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Author Topic: LM3909 hat - many blinky lights  (Read 1553 times)
aahne
Swab

United States United States


« on: October 22, 2016, 02:26:43 am »

The LM3909 was a marvelous little electronics IC that is, sadly, no longer in production.  It had one job: blink a LED, and it did it well.  It will blink a LED once per second, powered by a single D battery, for over three years!  It will blink for weeks from a single AAA battery if you want something smaller.

Luckily, the LM3909 datasheet shows the transistors hidden in the IC, so you can make your own LM3909 out of discrete transistors.

In memory of the LM3909, I made a hat with a discrete LM3909 circuit driving the central red LED that triggers a cascade of amber LEDs.  The YouTube video is here:

LM3909 Hat
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 07:36:20 am by von Corax » Logged
Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 01:59:09 pm »

Brilliant idea- a nice bit of real retro-work there!

And a nice hat!

HP
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frances
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 12:55:09 am »

Rather good.

I have just finished a fascinator with bronze wires that light up - but it is a modification of something I bought.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 01:19:41 am »

Very nice - I really like the sequential firing of the LEDs.

Yours,
Miranda.
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frances
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2016, 09:25:10 pm »

I've just been to an event wearing the lights on my head.  The surprise factor was sadly lost as two other people turned up with lights on their heads as well.  Mind you mine was the only one where the lights floated in space - the others had lights wound around the head band.
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The Bullet
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Germany Germany



« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 11:17:24 pm »

Wow that looks good. Can you show the schematics?
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RJBowman
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2016, 05:49:24 am »

If this is such a useful IC., why doesn't somebody recreate it with a low-end FPGA?
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frances
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2016, 10:29:34 pm »

On another thread Drew asked me about the lights  that floated behind my hat.  The lights that I bought were far too bright.  So with the help of a friend we bought a smaller battery box with smaller batteries and changed the resistor to something much higher.  This made the lights look much yellower.

I wound the copper wires with the lights on round a pencil so that they coiled up.  I then put the gubbins inside the hat and made a hole in the hat for the wires to poke through.  I had already attached stiff hat net at the back, which was wavy and stuck up in the air.  I wound the wires through the net.  There were about 8 little wires and each wire had a few lights on - did not count them.  In daylight with the lights off all you can see is coiled copper wire bouncing around.  In a dull room with the little lights on you cannot see the hat net nor the wires.  So it looks as though the lights are just following me around.

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Drew P
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 03:22:04 am »

^Like faerie lights!  Nice!
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cossoft
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 10:45:01 pm »

If this is such a useful IC., why doesn't somebody recreate it with a low-end FPGA?

If you could synthesise an IP core from a NE555 timer chip you might be able to get a Spartan to replicate the flasher chip.  Oh, wait...    Roll Eyes


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42Bloodbath
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 07:12:12 am »

The LM3909 is available on Ebay at this link
 Bloodbath
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=lm3909
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The Butcher of New Liberty
Rolan_Kraps
Deck Hand
*
United States United States



« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2017, 04:52:50 pm »

The LM3909 was a marvelous little electronics IC that is, sadly, no longer in production.  It had one job: blink a LED, and it did it well.  It will blink a LED once per second, powered by a single D battery, for over three years!  It will blink for weeks from a single AAA battery if you want something smaller.

Luckily, the LM3909 datasheet shows the transistors hidden in the IC, so you can make your own LM3909 out of discrete transistors.

In memory of the LM3909, I made a hat with a discrete LM3909 circuit driving the central red LED that triggers a cascade of amber LEDs.  The YouTube video is here:

LM3909 Hat


I don't understand a word of your description, but really love the hat and the effect.  Where is the battery?
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SPBrewer
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Sky Pirate Brewer


« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 03:56:37 am »

I've just been to an event wearing the lights on my head.  The surprise factor was sadly lost as two other people turned up with lights on their heads as well.  Mind you mine was the only one where the lights floated in space - the others had lights wound around the head band.

Show us pictures please.
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SPBrewer
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Sky Pirate Brewer


« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2017, 04:03:02 am »

Three Cheers for the LM3909!
If you want to add more to your hat, you might want to add this to the brim:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9b0J29OzAU
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Hez
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Canada Canada


aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2017, 04:10:35 am »

I've just been to an event wearing the lights on my head.  The surprise factor was sadly lost as two other people turned up with lights on their heads as well.  Mind you mine was the only one where the lights floated in space - the others had lights wound around the head band.

Show us pictures please.
pretty please?
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SPBrewer
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Sky Pirate Brewer


« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2017, 08:32:51 am »

I've just been to an event wearing the lights on my head.  The surprise factor was sadly lost as two other people turned up with lights on their heads as well.  Mind you mine was the only one where the lights floated in space - the others had lights wound around the head band.

Show us pictures please.
pretty please?
With Lights on Top!
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cossoft
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2017, 03:44:02 am »

Whilst it isn't quite as simple as the 3909, there is this (slightly) Steampunk version of the classic 555 timer chip that some may have used:-



You assemble the kit out of discrete transistors.  What fun! You might need a bigger hat though   Roll Eyes
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RJBowman
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2017, 03:38:06 pm »

Steampunk?  Let's see you build one out of telegraph relays.
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cossoft
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2017, 03:58:14 pm »

I think I could manage that fairly easily, but unfortunately I'm out of hats that big so I can't at this particular moment  Wink
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The Bullet
Snr. Officer
****
Germany Germany



« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2017, 08:02:01 pm »

Steampunk?  Let's see you build one out of telegraph relays.

Vacuum tubes for the transistors, wire-wound resistors, brass pins, wooden body and of course brass knobs for the terminals.

I´love to see that. Any volunteers?
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RJBowman
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« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2017, 08:20:10 pm »

Steampunk?  Let's see you build one out of telegraph relays.

Vacuum tubes for the transistors, wire-wound resistors, brass pins, wooden body and of course brass knobs for the terminals.

I´love to see that. Any volunteers?

Vacuum tubes didn't come into common use until the 20's; more the era of bakelite than of brass. The electric switching technology of the steam era was relays.
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cossoft
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2017, 11:52:14 pm »

Gentlemen, what are you thinking?  Consider a 555 timer chip connected to a LED.  It would repetitively flash the LED on and off with the ratio of on to off being adjustable.  We don't need transistors or fire tubes, we could do it with clockwork.  A clockwork mechanism would simply open and close an iris covering a carbide lamp.  An adjustment lever can change the on /off ratio and it would be exactly like a 555 or the simpler 3909.

The beauty is that this wouldn't require any batteries.  All you'd need to carry is a supply of carbide, water, winding key, lubricating oil, some oily rags, brass polish, loupe and a small toolkit.  All of these items could come in a lovely walnut box with brass corner plates and green felt lining.  I don't think that the box would have to be much larger than 12 inches across.  Now that's the Victorian way.
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Peter Brassbeard
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United States United States



« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 03:45:01 am »

The period appropriate tech would be an electro-mechanical switch system like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bell#Interrupter_bells
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