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Thread: LED Music Controllers

  1. #1
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    Question LED Music Controllers

    Hi everyone, I'm a complete noob when it comes to this kind of thing so I hope I don't ask too many stupid questions Bear with me please.

    Here's what I'm trying to accomplish. I want to install a music controller in my car and attach LED strips that will pulsate to the music. I want to use either RCA or 3.5mm for detection (trying to avoid microphones).

    I don't want the lights to change color or anything... just brightness. No sound heard = no lights seen, and when music is playing they get brighter and dimmer along with the music. I'm going to have it for low frequency only.

    I have a friend that can help me install everything; the trouble I'm having is finding the products I will need.

    My car is a 2009 Chevy Malibu with the factory head unit. My cousin says I can get a line-out adapter that would convert the factory wiring to RCA.

    I did some Googling and found an "RF LED Music Controller" - it has the 3.5mm input I'm looking for, but I can't tell if the microphone can be disabled, or if this particular one changes the color or the brightness. It's not very descriptive.

    http://stores.floledlightingdesign.c...ler/Detail.bok

    Can anyone give me some guidance as to what I'll need, where to find it, and how to get this done?

    Thanks in advance!
    Kevin

  2. #2
    FLAC SNOtwistR's Avatar
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    I picked up something very similar a few years ago at walmart 2 6" neon tubes with a sound activated controller was like 10 bucks on clearance. But this is similar in nature just using leds now instead of neon. http://www.amazon.com/4pc-Blue-Inter.../dp/B000UV8FNS Hope this helps SNO

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the link. It does look close to what I'm trying to do, but the customer reviews on that product seem to indicate it uses a microphone to detect sound. My goal is to avoid that...

    I was also looking to attach LED strip lighting (the kind you can cut at a desired length) to the controller I get; that kit appears to have its own dedicated lights.

  4. #4
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    You can also wire LEDs across the speakers...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSpark View Post
    You can also wire LEDs across the speakers...
    Do you mean I could wire the LEDs directly to the speaker wires...?

  6. #6
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    Yes.

    How many in series depends on the power output and Ohmage of your speaker(s).
    As long as the speaker voltage is not greater than the total series LED voltage rating, your should be fine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSpark View Post
    Yes.

    How many in series depends on the power output and Ohmage of your speaker(s).
    As long as the speaker voltage is not greater than the total series LED voltage rating, your should be fine.
    Thank you for the info - I had no idea this was possible. I'm not sure I understand how this would work, though... I don't have subwoofers, or an amp, but I'm assuming this means I could simply tap the LED strip's wiring directly into those going from my head unit to the door speakers? If so, how would I do this such that the lights would only respond to low frequencies?

  8. #8
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    An HU is usually ~16W (RMS) into 4 Ohms.

    Hence from P = V*V/R, PR = 16*4 = 64 => V=8V which is enough for 4-5 red LEDs, or 3 white LEDs etc.

    A 12V LED string means 12*12/R = 144/R = P => P = 144W into 1 Ohm, 72W into 2 Ohm, 31W into 4Ohm etc.

  9. #9
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    Well that's very technical, and I appreciate you taking the time to put so much thought into this but I'm afraid I do not recall that much from my Physics coursework... Like I said, I am very inexperienced with this kind of work. I understand the basics... But not much more than that.

    I previously had no idea that the "signals" (for lack of a better term) transferred via the head unit's speaker wiring was compatible with that of an LED light. That is pretty cool! I gather from your calculations that the amount of LEDs I would be able to connect--without a music controller--would depend on their color and would be based on the wattage of my head unit. (I do recall that energy is proportional to frequency, E=h*f, so it does makes sense to me that colors of higher frequency in the spectrum have/require higher energy.)

    However, my curiousity lies mainly in how such connections would work, and what happens when doing so. My stated goal is to have LEDs of one specific color (i.e. no need for multicolors) pulsate in brightness only to the low frequency output. I do not see how a direct wire tap into a full range signal would accomplish this -- like I said, I do not have an amplifier installed, so wouldn't the LEDs respond to the full range?

    I suppose this is actually the only issue I have with this concept - if somehow this would work as I desire, it would definitely be the ideal solution for me It eliminates any microphone detection whatsoever, and doesn't even require special hardware other than the LED strips. Quite nice!

    I appreciate your willingness to explain in such accurate detail, but I would need a laymen's explanation for this... I didn't exactly major in Physics, heh heh. Thank you again!

  10. #10
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    You may be the addition of a low pass to accomplish response to the lows but then run the LED's from that?

    So says Latinmaxima, so it shall be done!

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