Make my stereo glitter and hum.
April 3, 2012 8:00 AM   Subscribe

My stereo needs more blinkenlights. Point me to some neat projects I can do.

I recently refurbished a Marantz 2220B amplifier/tuner to go with my Thorens turntable. Right now it has an iPod dock and the turntable hooked up to it, but that's it, and it's kind of bland.

I have a tape monitor output and I'd like to build something that can use this to do something and sit on top of the amp.

I have several scavenge-able old units (cd, dvd player, old amplifier) to house the flashy thing. I know my way around a soldering iron, bread board and a Mouser catalog. But: I'd prefer to avoid anything that requires programming or LCD screens (given the old-school vibe of the current setup).

So point me to some neat projects so whilst I sit and listen, my eyes can rock out too.
posted by 1f2frfbf to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Cheap Laser Show!
LED Blinken Lights!
posted by plinth at 8:13 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, the Pulse Project is a prime example of what I'm looking for!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:15 AM on April 3, 2012

You wouldn't have to build anything, but an antique oscillscope (the kind with the round crt) could look pretty nice with that rig.
posted by contraption at 8:23 AM on April 3, 2012

I fully approve of this project and wanted to offer this for inspiration!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 8:32 AM on April 3, 2012


This is a very simple to build 5 level volume indicator. I've built ones that use up to 130 LEDs and another ran for several consecutive months with about 60 LEDs hooked up.

Here's an example of one I built... SLYT

Usually you can have a line run directly in, but since I used mics I had to build a little transistor pre-amp.
posted by cloeburner at 8:35 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's pretty cool, cloeburner. Got a schematic?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:26 AM on April 3, 2012


This is the direct line input schematic. Change the 2.2uF cap to control the amount of time the LEDs remains on... lower the value for a quicker fade.
posted by cloeburner at 9:30 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Would a Ruben's' tube be outside of your comfort zone? [video] [Instructions]
posted by Ookseer at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2012

Response by poster: Not outside my comfort zone, but possibly outside my wife's, and definitely interfering with my lease. Very cool, however.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 3:00 PM on April 3, 2012

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