Dimmable AC Light Box

On October 10th, 2011 I visited Hack A Day, and found a project that used an MSGEQ7 chip from Sparkfun to break a line-in signal into 7 bands, and graphically represent the values onto an LCD screen. As there was a Halloween party the next weekend, and the host wanted my lights, I knew what I had to do.

I ordered a few chips, and as Arduinos were all the rage with my hackerspace, I went to the darkside and ordered one.

I assembled a prototype circuit, and found a reference for help. It didn’t take me long to write code that took the intensity of 7 bands, and translate it into UART my box understood:


I completed the prototype just in time for the party, took the Arduino with breadboard, and set it up. It worked better than I could have ever imagined and had a better frequency isolation than Discolitez.


After the party, I moved the circuit to a more permanent perfboard:





There you have it. As any big project, it will never be finished in my mind, and will be ongoing. :)



Github Repo of PIC16f628a ASM + HEX

Github Repo of Dan’s Home Automation Mobile Application


To Do:

– PIC Code

  • Add routine to adjust Phase offset via software; Save value to eeprom
  • Clean up timing code; fix a couple of bugs

– Python Socket Listener

  • Update code to allow for home automation specific routines
  • Rewrite the code to be more streamlined; make into an api

– Arduino Code

  • Build DMX512 Box


One last vid, the lights on our FamiLAB, Fami-Tree :D

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About waterbury

Hi, you may also know me by my IRL name, Ted.