LCD-LED Display

Chaotic LED Fireflies Schematic Circuit Diagram

Here we couple LED oscillators together to produce some interesting effects for an exclusive optical touch to your robot.

Chaotic LED Fireflies Schematic Circuit Diagram 1

Creating Chaos with Coupled Oscillators

The circuit depicted in Figure 1 introduces an unconventional approach by charging and discharging the timing capacitor through the output, utilizing a preset (P1) instead of the discharge pin on a 555 timer. This setup ensures a 50:50 mark-space ratio, and the output frequency remains unaffected by the load, provided a low output resistance 555 timer (bipolar, not CMOS) is used. However, by intentionally introducing an output resistance through a series resistor (R1), the timing becomes contingent on the load’s current draw. This occurs because R1 reduces the available charging voltage to the P1/C3 timing circuit.

Complex Interconnected Oscillators and LEDs

Now, envision multiple such oscillators interlinked through limiting resistors and bi-color LEDs. Figure 3 illustrates a potential arrangement of these oscillators and LEDs, each represented by their respective symbols from Figures 1 and 2. Each oscillator’s timing becomes interdependent on the state of other oscillators, as they dictate the current flowing through the LEDs. When all outputs are either High or Low, no potential differences exist, leading to zero current in the LED circuits. Consequently, all oscillators function at maximum frequency. Different combinations of outputs activate specific LEDs, influencing each oscillator’s timing. This interplay results in chaotic behavior. The R1 resistors serve as coupling elements between the oscillators, enabling them to influence one another. The introduction of switches across each R1 allows precise control over the coupling effect.

Chaotic LED Fireflies Schematic Circuit Diagram 2

Chaotic LED Fireflies Schematic Circuit Diagram 3

Creating Synchronized LED Chaos

By adjusting the oscillator frequencies to around 2 Hz using the P1 presets, the LEDs exhibit a captivating display, alternating between off, red, and green. At times, the LEDs synchronize their pulses, akin to the phenomenon observed in nature when fireflies gather in a bush, pulsating in unison. Our circuit might serve as a simplified electronic representation of this intricate natural feedback system.

Colorful Wave Effects at Higher Frequencies

Elevating the frequency by approximately 100 Hz results in a mesmerizing blend of flashing red and green colors, creating a ‘wave’ effect that traverses the array of LEDs, displaying an ever-changing spectrum of colors.

Exploring Interactions with Light Dependent Resistors

Introducing light-dependent resistors (LDR) in series with R1 could potentially enable each LED firefly to ‘perceive’ the others. Even without LDRs, when three or more oscillators are interlinked, there arises the intriguing possibility of observing chaotic behavior among the oscillators, adding an element of unpredictability to the LED display.


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