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Thread: Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

  1. #1
    Primered
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    Jul 2009
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    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    I have a question as far as LED based lighting for cases.

    I have enough knowledge in how to wire basic things, such as wiring a LED component for your case to switches and or dials, so that you can control when they turn on or not...I have also found a product at frozencpu.com that allowes you to cause the status LED for your Mobo(one on the case that is usually on solid showing that there is power and the PC is active) to become animated, as in it blinks, pulses or flickers... For looks mainly. What I am trying to find, is something that does this for other components. Say some sort of central hub that you hook up to a 4 prong molex, so that whatever you hook up to it, preferably some for of case lighting, and allows you to select how it appears. The case I am planning on, having gave up on using ThermalTakes Lanbox... too old and small to be compatable with todays hardware... The Case I have chosen has quite alot of surface area, and is designed with modding in mind.


    Its called the Qmirca, and that image is just an example of the pre built model they offer, or offered at the time they uploaded the image. The base is all black though. I want to put some lighting around the side windows, and have the leds do something other then just be on. Anyone got any ideas for this? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    In theory you can rewire pretty much any LED that's already in there - things like DVD activity etc. Some sata add-in cards have seperate headers for each drive (assuming you're using more than one) and there are things like LAN activity which usually has an LED or two. Another fairly easy to do one (i've seen a tutorial that LOOKED easy - havent done it myself) would be sound sensitive - brighter for louder sound output etc. There are virtually endless possibilities. With the right bits, you could have email notifications by LED too - things like that. The world is your oyster heh - altho don't go too far - do too many and you'll have no clue what's causing the flash/light/pulse when it goes off

    One thing I'd like to to with my lobo project, if I get around to it, is wire up some kind of light meter so the darker the room, the brighter the light - just for the hell of it - after all - pretty much all the light in it is going to be white and you aren't really going to see that very well in a bright light room...

  3. #3
    Primered
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    What I would want to do, is say have one of those flexible string of LEDs and have it wrap around the edge of the optional acrylic windows for the sides, and have them do a marching or pulsing(fade darker to brighter and so on) around the edge. I know there are sound activated add ons for cathodes....Dont like the idea, either the pc is loud enough to keep the lights on, or you have to have some thumping audio from your speakers to get them to work.. and likely piss off neighbors. What I want to do is, have them make the plastic area around the drive bays, which you can choose to have in several colors of your choice(see their website) If they use plastic, have them make the outer shell of the drive cage out of acrylic, and so that you can have lighting glow out from around it. If I can get a series of LEDs to go around them, set them up to do some sort of of series, either just marching series.. pulse glow.. or random flicker. Their is so much surface area along the edges of this case, and along the top, it leaves alot of room for modding. I want it to stand out a bit more then just have everything glowing solid. At the very least I plan on working some switches in line so I can turn them on or off at will, and maybe hook up some rheo dials so that I can affect their brightness...apparently cathodes work well with variable voltage. Too bad they dont do the EL wire(or glow wire) in segments, that would be an awsome affect to have, glowing segments marching around the border of your case. I hope I dont have to build my own circuit board for this...I dont have any electronic education...Just remember stuff from my old childhood electronics kit from Edmund Scientific's hehe.

  4. #4
    Clear Coat
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    878

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    There are controllers that do what you want, but they can be pricy -- if you wanted to do it yourself, you'd probably end up having to learn microcontrollers. Which are ok as long as you know/can teach yourself basic programming.

  5. #5
    Primered
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    281

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    Where might I find some of these? I have looked at various computer modding sites, performancepcs.com xoxide.com and so on... Nothing like that. Where might I find these specialized controllers?

  6. #6

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    1. You can hook up the audio driven lights directly to the sound card output of the PC - doesn't have to be driven by a microphone....
    2. I thought el wire could be cut as required - isn't that supposed to be one of the "cool" features of it?

    I don't know - have zero experience with either - just what I've read and kinda half remembered over the years....

  7. #7
    Primered
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    281

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    Sure you can cut the EL wire down, but to get the affect that I desire, it would mean having inverters and plug ins for each segment, each one independently connected to some sort of power hub that alternates power to each outlet...

    Thing is, I had a 5 foot length of EL tape...same thing as el wire, but its a quarter inch wide thin tape.. alot more light output...I tried to cute a piece and rewire it...hard as hell and never worked..

  8. #8
    Clear Coat
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    878

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    Well microcontrollers are usually bought from eletronics places. A great place to start is http://adafruit.com/ the Arduino line of products is probably your best bet unless you want to jump straight into the deep end. Go for the USB version.

    You might not want to leave an arduino setup in your computer as it can get pricey going that way, but you can do a great deal of learning, and it is a great platform for prototyping stuff.

    If you have any questions about the microcontrollers, just hit me up via PM -- I might be able to come up with some simple circuits for the blinking effect.

  9. #9
    Primered
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    281

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    That is waaay to advanced for me.. I dont know heads or tails of what I am looking at...
    Sorry hehe

  10. #10

    Case Lighting/ Animation-synchronization

    There are pre-made light controlers out there. I used one for my Must Kill Teddy Bears case. You could set each channel to pulse, move with sound, flash, whatever. There were like five channels you could hook up Cathodes or whatever too using a 3 pin or 12v plug. I don't think they don't make them anymore though. The days of bright blinky flashy cases are gone like the 80's.

    You might check out. xoxide, frozencpu, or just google light controller.

    I found this one using google. http://www.devhardware.com/c/a/Computer-Cases/Nexus-Fan-and-Light-Controller-NXP-301/

    The Sun Beam Light Bus is what I used http://www.xoxide.com/sunbeam-525-lightbus.html

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