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thoughts and direction on this LED circuit idea

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by shapeshifter, Jun 1, 2004.

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  1. shapeshifter

    shapeshifter Guest


    my skills with digital ciruits are quite limited, or more acurately
    nonexistent , so am seeking your thoughts on the viability of the following
    circuit idea and possibly a pointer to someone who can help me build it.

    the goal is to create something of a starfield. im thinking N number of led
    clusters each containing M leds. for immediate practicality, probably 4 or 5
    clusters with 10-20 leds per. each cluster will pulsate, slowly turning on
    and off (ideally with adjustable pulse rate) either all-at-once or perhaps
    randomly within the cluster and after some time (variable?) will stop
    firing and trigger the firing of the next cluster (the next cluster chosen
    either in some predetermined sequence or perhaps randomly chosen). all leds
    will be a single color, probably blue or violet. power is from a portable,
    ie, battery, source.

    if i had a schematic i could build it and im wondering if there is something
    already out there or if not if you can point me to someone who could custom
    design this. btw, this is for a non-commerical art project, so resources are

    any thoughts? is this too complex for a beginner?

    thanks for your thoughts.
  2. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, yes and no. :) If you want it to look like the sky, shouldn't they
    be twinkling? Or is this what you're describing already? :) If so, I'd
    do 10-20 clusters with 4 or 5 LESs per. That thing about randomly within
    the cluster, that's kind of a tall order - but you could do it the way
    they do twinkling Xmas lights. I'm sure someone's got a 2-transistor LED
    flasher out there! You could use a flashing LED in series with each
    string, but I don't know if they come in the colors you're looking for.

    To have each one individually controlled, you'd use a matrix, and multiplex
    them, of course. :)

    Good Luck!
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Guest

    Sounds like a job for microcontrollers in my ears.

    One tiny controller (eg. 16F84, 16F628 or similar) for each cluster,
    with a program to fade the LEDs in a (pseudo)random fashion when
    selected from yet another controller, which select each cluster, again
    in a (pseudo)random fashion.

    I seriously doubt it, as you have chosen a rather special setup.

    It would probably be a tad expensive.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't make it neither faster nor cheaper to

    Nothing is too complex if you get somebody else to do it ;)


    * If it puzzles you dear... Reverse engineer *
    New forum: <URL:>
  4. Not too complex, but the quality will be greatly dependent on how much
    you put into it, both time _and_ money. If you want to build some
    shimmering circuits, here's one type.

    You can also build a phase shift oscillator with a few transistors,
    which can make the LEDs look like eyes fading in and out.

    Here's another:

    Operating from a battery puts more limitations on your circuit. Too
    much current and you will be replacing batteries often. If you can make
    the LEDs on time short, it will save a lot of battery current.
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