electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

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dlb
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electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

Post by dlb » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:40 am

i used to have a light organ, aka colour organ, from the 70's. like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxe1mBLD6VI

it had a 1/4" input on the back so i used to connect it to the amp of the keyboard player in my band. the more noise he made, the more it would light up. it had a sensitivity adjustment knob on it too. i loved the thing but foolishly got rid of it when i moved, way back when.

now i want another and i can't find one (for a decent price) anywhere, and all the instructions i can find to build your own are for more high tech designs, which i'm not interested in. so i'm wondering if anyone here can help me figure out how to make a simple, old fashioned one.

here's what i imagine i'll need:

- a box with a textured plexiglass front
- a short strand of small xmas lights
- a sensitivity potentiometer (is this called a rheostat?)
- and a 1/4" instrument jack.

as i remember from my old light organ, it didn't need to plug into the wall for power because it was like a speaker cabinet in that the power and signal came from the instrument amp via a regular speaker cable which was plugged into the 1/4" jack.

what i'm most unsure of is how to wire it from the 1/4" jack to the sensitivity pot, and from the pot to the lights. any ideas?

thanks, all.

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Mark
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Re: electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

Post by Mark » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:07 am

I wonder if you could just somehow wire the lights in series with the speaker. That way when the voltage to the speaker increases with increased volume, the lights would get brighter. Of course you'd have to find a speaker and lights that went off the same voltage (probably 110v or so). Maybe the resistance in the lighting string would be too much and the speaker would be too quiet or the increased current would overheat the amp or the voltage to the speakers wouldn't be enough to light up the lights at normal volume. I sort-of did this with the speakers in my car, but with a resistor instead of a lightbulb. I put a resistor in series with some of the speakers to make them quieter to balance them with other speakers. A resistor and an incandescent light bulb are effectively the same thing. The resistor dissipates power as heat and the bulb as light.

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Re: electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

Post by Ridlbox » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:16 am

Did lights two speakers and sound systems the best way to do it is to use resistors so you do not blow out your lights and you do not use lights use LEDs
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dlb
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Re: electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

Post by dlb » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:54 pm

no more input on this? i'm surprised.

i stopped at spencer's gifts (not sure if that chain is in the US too, it's basically a counter-culture 'head shop') and looked to see if they had any modern versions of light organs. they did, but they sucked. they had adjustable sensitivity but it only adjusted the threshold for when the lights came on -- as soon as they come on, they're full blast. so it was all lights on or nothing, and that's not what i want. i want quiet sounds to make a few lights flicker, and loud sound to make all the lights come on full blast. i'm sure my old one did this but i'm not sure how. i guess there would have to be several different strings of lights, and each one would have their own sensitivity threshold? but ideally, they'd all be adjusted by one knob.

cripes, i'm asking for a lot from a bone simple device. maybe i should just try following the instructions i found online for new high tech ones.

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Re: electrical enthusiasts: help me build a 'light organ'

Post by takza » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:55 am

You should check out some of the stuff they sell out of China?

Try.... http://www.dx.com/

http://www.dx.com/p/e27-3w-3-led-rgb-so ... ite-414844

* probably not sensitive to sound?

These are?

http://www.dx.com/p/zndiy-bry-sunflower ... lug-262527

http://www.dx.com/p/sunflower-rgb-48-le ... nge-336172

http://www.dx.com/p/replacement-sound-a ... -aaa-53478

http://www.dx.com/p/car-sound-control-s ... 1cm-152888




There are also sites sponsored by Chinese companies that advertise products and give some links.

You might be able to find something straight out or adapt something? I wouldn't pay too much...quality can be lacking...but then you might luck out.
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