Circuit Skills: LED Color Organ, sponsored by Jameco Electronics

Circuit Skills: LED Color Organ, sponsored by Jameco Electronics

Long before the dawn of digital music, folks employed the power of the electric color organ (aka “light organ”) to add some synced visuals to their hi-fi experience. Schematics for building such a beast based on AC power and incandescent bulbs can be be found fairly easily on the web, but plans for comparable LED-based designs seem a bit harder to come by.

Adapted from Aaron Cake’s 3 Channel Spectrum Analyzer, I built my own analog LED Color Organ to enhance the aural experience. The circuit uses 4 operational amplifiers plus ultra-bright 5mm LEDs to respond visually for bass, mid, and treble frequencies. A parts bundle for building your own incarnation of the project is now available from Jameco.


Schematic updated 11/1/10, Larger size available here

In order to simplify the construction process, I drew up and printed a label specifying the pinout for quad op amp ICs. Those interested in printing their own can download the design here.

Quadopamp Label 400

I’ll likely continue tweaking the design as I continue the unusually groovy process of testing this thing. I predict a second channel plus somewhat more dramatic display option may be in my future ;)

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