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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Very Very Odd Table Lamp...

This is what happens when I get bored and want to do something different... Awhile back a friend gave me a broken Ionic Breeze air cleaner to fix. I took it apart and the power supply was blown up and had cooked itself.  About the only thing inside that was still working was the transformer. I used that in building my bench top power supply. The other part of the air cleaner that I thought was neat was the plastic base that the entire thing sat on. I took the transformer and the base and threw the remainder of the apparatus away (with my friends permission - I couldn't fix it!) Anyway around the same time I got a cool blue glass flower vase that someone else didn't want. The blue glass vase seemed to fit on the Ionic Breeze base more or less, especially after I cut a groove in the plastic base the same diameter and the vase. Looking at it I thought it would make a neat looking table lamp if it had lights inside it. Besides what doesn't look cool with lights inside it?? How could I go wrong?! After looking around in my garage I found some clear plastic tube and some clear flat plastic. Add a bunch of LED's and WOW what a lamp!!!!
The next fun task was to figure out how to turn the LED's off and on. I added a timer circuit and a CD4017 counter chip to drive the green LED's around the base and the red LED's going up the clear tube. At the very top of the clear tube I put one of the ultra-bright LED's you get from Radio Shack and connected that LED to the 'carry out' of the CD 4017 counter chip. The timer circuit causes the counter chip to count (obviously) and turns on sequentially the red and green LED's, making the green ones light round and round in a circle at the base and the red ones climb up the clear light pole. When the red ones 'reach the top' of the pole the blue ultra bright LED lights up and stays lit until the red ones make it about half way back up the pole. The carry out pin on the CD4017 controlling the blue LED is normally used to connect together multiple counter chips when you want to count higher than one chip can count... anyway to finish it off I got a little hobby kit board that lights LED's based on sound that it picks up from a microphone and I stuck that in there. I drilled a hole in the beautiful Ionic Breeze base and poked the microphone through it. You can see it in the picture. I rewired the sound board to drive a different number of LED's than it came with and put those (yellow) in between the green ones because I couldn't find a better place for them. I put a 9 volt battery inside to power the thing and placed the blue glass vase on top..
The finished lamp is somewhat odd looking as it sits on my desk blinking away. The clicking sound of my keyboard makes the yellow ones blink with the brightness based on the intensity of the sound, louder is brighter (in electronics - not people)... really cool!!! not really cool but it's something interesting and now I'm not bored any more.... I'm sitting here wondering why I built it...

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