led project need wutever help i can get

hello.. my names todd and im quite new to a project i had in mind.. i have no clue what to purchse or were to even start .. the project i was looking to do was add LEDs to somthing.. basicly a row of 6 indivual LEDs (not strips) ..1inch apart..mayvbe 7 rows .. what i want the LEDS to do is a bunch of different settings such as beat or pulse to music , also i want the leds to randomly sparkle/twinkle like randomly all over liek stars .. also i would like the LEDs to light from one end to the other kinda like a wave.. and possibly change color .. now i have no clue how many LEDS i can use becasue i dont kno how many i can run at one time off of a chip or even which chip i can use with the settings i mentioned above. .. also wut i need is for everything to be portable and run off of a battery pack .. i have no clue wut parts or were to begin

thanx so much every one

you got a long way to go buddy. you will need to look into led matrixing do some searches on this site and google for: led matrix shift registers arduino arrays and that will give you an idea of what you think that you about to do.. you have to learn alot about arduino before you can just make a led matrix. and also, how good are you at soldering? if you are brave, you can also look into charlieplexing lots and lots of reading you will have to do. especially if you are new to arduino like me! there are premade sketches and plans for them out there but, well, um... you just have to find out for yourself.. best of luck to you!

if you not know what to make, you can search on youtube many examples

in the meantime buy an UNO and and some handful of leds, breadboard resistors (starters kit) and go experimenting, do the sketches on the tutorial pages of arduino.cc and you will learn a lot.

Acutly I'm very good at soldering ..I am very very handy .. I've wired LEDs toghter and have on off switchs but never diff settings.. I don't need it to be crazy.. I was hoping there was acutly suthing made tht I can use .. but I have no problem jumpin into making wutever I need...

Now u say bread board this I'm new to what does this do ? And as foro youtube I searched for a few hours.. that's hwo I came across this site .. I jsut don't kno wut things are called and what other things are evn used for

add these terms to your google search list: breadboard arduino uno transistors and how they work

and as robtillaart said you need to also goto youtube and search for arduino arduino led matrix arduino sketch

on this site search for: arduino led matrix sketch

all of this is just scratching the surface of what you want to do. you have a long way to go before you can get that far... now you are at the point the rest of us were at, at one point in our lives. you are sure that you want/need a arduino. now you need to get one and a starter kit. and do at least 10 or more smaller projects so you can become familiar with it. it is not an issue of just throwing it together. you have to work for this like the rest of us are doing here on this site. lots and lots of reading. radio shack carries arduino uno and arduino mega and the starter kits now. and you can make your first led blink tonight. yes, that is the first lesson is making a led blink. for what you want to do, I suggest you get a protoboard or breadboard also.

Just take it one step at a time and "develop" your project.

I see 3 basic things you need to do -

  1. Design and build LED output.
  2. Design & build the audio input.
  3. Write the program (sketch) for the various LED patterns.

For the LEDs, I'd recommend starting by adding a few LEDs directly (with a current limiting resistor) to several of the Arduino outputs, and then experiment with modifying the [u]Blink LED Example[/u] to make the other LEDs blink, and make some patterns, etc... Just to get the hang of it.

You'll also want to experiemt with the Blink Without Delay example, because you probably don't want your final program sitting there, doing nothing, waiting for the delays to expire.

Next, you'll need to do some research and make a decision about using a matrix, or another method, in order to drive the number of LEDs you want to use. That's likely to be the hardest part of the project. You might want to skip that for now, and just use 6-or-7 LEDs on 6-or-7 Arduino outputs.

I'm working on a project now that has 48 individually-addressable LEDs running off six 8-output [u]Maxim[/u] LED driver chips. With the serial input, I only need to use 3 output lines from the Arduino. In my application the LEDs are a few feet away, and it made sense to minimize the mumber of wires in the cable.

And, you'll need to experiment and learn how to turn on & off one LED at a time with whatever matrix or serial shift-register design you've chosen.

The audio input will need some external curcuitry too (probably an op-amp). Again, you can do some research and make a desision. I use a [u]Peak Detector Circuit[/u] and with a resistor and a couple of diodes to keep the voltage in the 0 to +5V range for the Arduino.

If you you want the lights to respond to different frequencies (pitch) there is a handy-dandy chip for getting 7 frequency-band oututs for 7 Arduino analog inputs. (I wouldn't try frequency-filtering in software with the Arduino.)

Once you get your hardware working, then you can play around with the fun stuff... Manking the lEDs blink interesting patterns with the music!

P.S I don't want to be too hard on a new guy, but your "casual" writing style (using made-up words like "wutever" and "wut", etc.) won't cut it when you start writing software! ;) You have to be very precise, and it takes a precise attitude... If there are any little errors, you'll have a bug. And, there will be errors... Professional programmers make errors every day!

So, when you start writing code (writing your sketch), write (or change) one or two lines of code at a time, and test what you've done before continuing. If you try to write your whole sketch in one shot, you will have lots of errors and you may not be able to find & fix them. Pro programmers do this too... They write and test their code a little at a time (but maybe more than one or two lines).