Worlds smallest color organ
This instructable diagrams a build of what is likely the worlds smallest color organ. At just over the size of a postage stamp, it is very impressive for its size. It uses an LM339 quad comparator chip to flash 3 colored LEDs in time with three separate frequency channels of a music input.

Step 1: Parts

Worlds smallest color organ
To build it, you will need a few things. All of them are avaliable from Jameco.com, but I suggest that you buy one part from elsewhere.
LM339 quad comparator
3 x 1k smd resistor (no bigger than 1206)
3 x 470 ohm smd resistor (no bigger than 1206)
2 x 1uf capacitor (no bigger than 1206). I suggest yo buy this somewhere other than Jameco, since the minimum order quantity is huge for this component. I just used through-hole capacitors for this one instead
2 x 0.22uf capacitor (no bigger than 1206)
2 x 0.1uf capacitor (no bigger than 1206)
1 x smd prototyping board for SMD 16-pin ICs
1 x audio connector, your choice
1 x 9V battery connector
3 x 500K potentiometers, or fixed resistors of many different values (CANNOT just use 470K resistors and get a "balanced" output)
3 x wires
3 x LEDs size and power are your choice. The maximum current from the LM339 is just about 16mA, so you cant use high power LEDs. I suggest 3mm LEDs, blue for low, red for mid, and yellow for high, but that is yor decision. The one in the pictures used one red 3mm led, and SMD blue and yellow LEDs. The SMD LEDs were 5050, so I couldn't fit the red one in.
*optional* you can add headers for an external display. The output of the LM339 will drive PNP type transistors if connected directly to the base.

Step 2: The schematic

Worlds smallest color organ
The following is half schematic, half where-to-place-the-parts-diagram.
The potentiometers can either be soldered in a "bridge" over other components, or you can drill through the board and mount them on the other side.

If using resistors, you will attach them in step 5.

Step 3: Soldering tips

Worlds smallest color organ
1) When working with SMD components, make sure to have a sharp tip, and small gauge solder. You only need a tiny bit of solder for each component.
2) Use an iron below 30W. Anything higher can destroy the components.
3) After soldering each pin, touch the LM339 chip. If it is too hot to touch, stop soldering for a few miniutes, then continue. You may have to stop multiple times.
4) Use play-doh, adhesive poster putty, silly putty, or even glue to hold the components that you're soldering. DO NOT attempt to hold them with your fingers while soldering, you WILL be burned by even the lowest powered of irons.
5) Solder the SMD stuff first, and the pots/resistors, LEDs, and wires next.

Step 4: Audio and power

Worlds smallest color organ
The audio connection is unusual in that it connect audio + to power -. Just follow the wire diagram for a 3.5mm adapter. If you use another connector, it should be similar, but you should experiment and make sure that it works for you. Solder each connection to the proper pad or wire on the circuit proper.

You can add a switch for the 9v battery, though it is not included in the schematic. The red, blue, and yellow wires are labeled for their connection to the protoboard circuit.

"signal", "audio -", and "audio grd" are the same.

DO NOT attach signal to power ground. This will short out your input source.

Step 5: Test it

Worlds smallest color organ
If using potentiometers, check to make sure they are NOT below 500 ohms. Now, connect your 9V battery. The LEDs may blink when connected, and the low, if not all, will turn on steady after a few seconds. Connect your input (ipod, mp3 player, computer, stereo, etc) and play some music at normal volume. If you are using potentiometer, adjust them for the desired sensitivity. If you are using resistors, start by connecting (but not soldering) a 470K resistor between + and input + of one channel (where a pot is shown in the schematic. Gradually use lower and lower resistors, but not below 470 ohm, until you have the desired result. Do this for all 3 channels.

The LEDs should blink on a loud note, but not be almost constantly on. The bass LED will usually be much more sensitive than the high and mid LEDs, and the mid more sensitive than the high. This is because a low note is usually more powerful, and the capacitors allow more power to pass through.

Step 6: Rock Out!

Worlds smallest color organ
Worlds smallest color organ
Put on some mad beats and watch the fruits of your labor confound your sight with compliance with sound.

By soldering 2 component leads to the top pads of the board and bending them over the back, you can make the worlds coolest lapel pin.

-project Inspired by Colin Cunninghams color organ and SMD circuit videos, though no content from them was used. The circuit was compleatley designed by me.
 
 

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