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Monday, November 30, 2009

MAINS operate Christmas Star

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Here is a low-cost circuit of Christmas star that can be easily constructed even by a novice. The main advantage of this circuit is that it doesn’t require any step-down transformer or ICs. Components like resistors R1 and R2.capacitors C1, C2, and C3, diodes D1 and D2, and zener ZD1 are used to develop a fairly steady 5V DC supply voltage that provides the required current to operate the multivibrator circuit and trigger triac BT136 via LED1.
The multivibrator circuit is constructed using two BC548 transistors (T1 and T2) and some passive components. The frequency of the multivibrator circuit is controlled by capacitors C4 and C5 and resistors R3 through R7. The output of the multivibrator circuit is connected to transistor T3, which, in turn, drives the triac via LED1. During positive half cycles of the multivibrator’s output, transistor T3 energizes triac BT136 and the lamp glows.

LED Lighting For Christmas

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Using light effects for decoration on festive occasions is a normal practice. Designers are coming up with varieties of electronic circuits to fill the imagination of users. Here is an easy-to-assemble circuit for christmas decoration as shown in Fig.1. It comprises four transistors, eighteen LEDs, a few resistors and two capacitors. Transistors T1 and T2 are configured as an astable multivibrator, which means one of the two transistors is always conducting. Thus the combination produces clock pulses. The values of time-constants formed with R6-C2 and R8-C1 pairs have been selected to produce a lowfrequency clock that is visible to human eye. The collectors of transistors T1 and T2 are connected to driver transistors T3 and T4. These are used to light up two rows of LEDs connected in parallel with alternate clock pulses. The frequency at which LED1 through LED9, and LED10 through LED18, alternately light up is about 2 Hz. You can easily change this frequency by changing the values of capacitors C2 and C1.
Resistors R2 and R4 are used to set the current through the LEDs. Red (LED1 through LED9) and green LEDs (LED10 through LED18) are used for simulating christmas decoration effects. For the brightness variation, you can change the values of resitors R2 and R4. Take any general-purpose PCB and cut it into a star shape. Thereafter, assemble the circuit and solder the colour LEDs onto it such that it looks like a christmas star.
Alternatively, you can design the PCB in circular shape with a festive white lacquer finish on component side and conductor tracks on the other. Place the control circuit at the centre of the PCB board, with LEDs mounted along the outer edge as shown in Fig. 2. Along this edge, there are three circular tracks:
The middle one is the positive supply, which goes to the anodes of all LEDs. The outer track is connected to the cathodes of the red LEDs and the inner tracks are connected to the cathodes of the green LEDs.

To obtain the best effect with the combination of red and green LEDs, mount them alternately on the PCB board. Exercise care so that you do not accidentally connect the red and green LEDs in parallel. The forward voltage drops of red and green LEDs are different. The circuit works off a 3V-9V battery. It consumes little current, so two/ four AA cells or a 9V battery can easily power the electronic star. You can also use a stabilised 3V-9V DC mains adap-
Fig.1: LED lighting circuit for Christmas tor in place of the battery.

Reference : EFY