Welcome! If this is your first visit, you will need to register to participate.

DO NOT use symbols in usernames. Doing so will result in an inability to sign in & post!

If you cannot sign in or post, please visit our vBulletin Talk section for answers to vBulletin related FAQs.


No announcement yet.

help [sensors for trigger lights]

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • help [sensors for trigger lights]

    Hi guys, hope everyone is well!. For my GCSE's i am building a prototype of seperate lights which will clip on to each drum and will light up when hit. What input component do you suggest? It will probably be on the underside of the drum skin. As the drum is hit, so i guess it is sensing vibrations or pressere etc, i want the sensor to ,well sense! .Any questions just ask. I would like to thank you in advance for your help. I hope everyone understands what i am saying. Not very good at explaining!

  • #2
    After i posted the post above i surfed around and realised i am making a trigger right?? If i am then all help would be very appreciated!


    • #3
      Hi amishra123,

      One way to do this is to get a half-normal patch panel - you could take the outputs from each pad into the patch panel then take separate output from the patch panel to the TD-? and to the lights.

      This would let you trigger from the actual pad and avoid the need for additional piezos / triggers / work etc.

      Patch panel would be a couple of hundred $s and a snake about $70.


      • #4
        As an Industrial Designer, loads of questions spring to mind...

        A few thoughts for you to think on:

        Separate on board power per light vs wiring loom from one main box? Note the extra up front cost on batteries if using on board supply (use rechargeable and include charging dock in the project evaluation?). If lights are to be used with electronic drums, and using single power source; people might be hesitant about the extra cabling and how many 'outs' do you allow? - some people have big kits, others small. If the GCSE requisite is to prove a principle, you need only make 1 unit < if it were me, I'd got for this at this stage and use onboard battery pack.

        If end game is for the system to teach beats - ie hit the drum corresponding with the light, then you'd want to go with single power source and cables. This system could be easily put into effect with a simple PIC cicuit (last time I visited back to my school, they were teaching PIC at GCSE). PIC sends a singal to light and waits for corresponding drum to be triggered - and on to next beat. OR PIC plays through beat and user trys to keep up with the lights (speed easy adjustable by using PIC clock frequency).

        Anyway, I digress. Look up the Keith Rapier circuit, from what I understand it's a transistor switch that gets a high/low output from a PIEZO element voltage. I think this would be your best bet to base something on this. 2x AA batteries per unit would give you your 3v operational voltage, transistor PIEZO switch, coupled with a few Ultrabright LEDs and you're on your way.

        Keep posting your progress. There is a WEALTH of knowledge on this site.



        • #5

          Thank you very much hercules and charly . The primary reason for the lights are to be used for gigs. As thrilling for the eyes if you get what i mean. Yes pics are tought at gcse level and i have doen quite alot of work on them . Your reason for having each one as a single device seperate from each is a good idea. However i was going to use the main box for brightness of each light, sensitivity and a on and off switch. This would mean the drumer could change the settings i the middle of the gig , if you get what i mean , is this still a good idea?
          I will keep everyone posted on my progress

          and again , thank you very much.


          • #6
            Amishra - no worries. Using clip on electronics with a base unit is the way to go then. Piezo based triggers also the way to go. Reading over your initial brief you mention triggering off the bottom head - hence acoustic drums.

            Take a look at the DIY threads of A to E conversions. Most use a foam tower to transfer the vibrations of a head to the piezo. Again most people are mounting their assemblies inside the drum shell, but the principle is the same. Roland and DDrum amongst others also have systems that you clip onto the rim on the exterior of the drum. In Roland's case this also uses foam 'transmitters'.

            Whereas these Piezo triggers are force sensitive, you just want a high/low output - this is the transistor switch I think.

            If the lighting is for the crowd effect (and not just for the drummer) the odd LED probaby aren't going to cut it in all honesty, you're going to need a large array of LEDs per drum. 'LED rope' is quite expensive, but a loop around your hoops would look pretty cool flashing on each tom for example.

            Something for you to consider and test out... LEDs have a 'power up' time - a fraction of a second until they get to full power and brightness. So you will have to see whether your trigger holds high long enoughto power the LEDs to full power - if not you might need to build in some kind of power-on-delay-power-off in order to see the LEDs are on.

            Ok enough from me. You can tell that my day is a little slow. That or this is more interesting than my work today.

            Bit of both.




            • #7
              Got me thinking again, can't stop me once you've got me started!!

              Another alternative to LEDs MIGHT be EL-Membrane (Electro Luminescent Membrane). Have a feeling though that this generally runs on a higher voltage than your common LEDs. It is bendy though and could be wrapped around the rim of a drum. It's not the brightest of things, but it does provide a constant band of light whereas LED's give point light. Might be cost prohibitive. So probably not that suitable afterall.

              Ok, I promise to stop now.
              Last edited by Charly; 06-20-08, 03:35 AM. Reason: accidentally clicked sent.



              • #8
                Thanx very i much you have given me alot to think about for the moment. I will keep you posted!


                • #9
                  This is something I am also currently working on for live gigs with my kit Amishra.
                  I am going to be working with a combination of ultra high brightness LED's and electroluminescent wire (around the underside rims of the drums).
                  My sensing circuit will use J-fet op amps for the input stages because they have a very high impedance input and will work in parallel with existing piezo's without affecting their signal to the module. The output stages will have a full wave rectifier and variable integrator circuit to extend the pulse width in order to allow the lights to illuminate for long enough to have a visual impact.
                  I'm also looking at adding a mains drive circuit to the output stages using either triacs or mosfets to drive par cans as well.

                  Good luck with your project and let us know how you get along with it


                  • #10
                    Geez SP...you don't quit. I'm looking forward to the video.
                    chris :D


                    • #11
                      The results of this project will be a couple of months off yet. I still have much work and prototyping to do and live shows are a little while off too.
                      For the moment, I'm focussing on the new album in the studio and then will be time for release and promotion. Once that happens and the songs start to get known, it will be time to put a touring band together and that's when I plan on implementing the results of all this behind the scenes work.

                      Sorry for the mini thread hijack Amishra. Hopefully we can inspire each other with our ideas and discoveries


                      • #12
                        No problem, we can bounce ideas of each other. It will be helpfull for both of us i think.

                        I will keep you posted.


                        • #13
                          Cool stuff. Same here


                          • #14
                            Thanks for your encouragement as well, SP..
                            I've been thinking about a similar thing myself with regard to a (sort-of!!) sideways project .... I will be interested in hearing about your progress as and when..

                            Cheers from Adelaide!


                            • #15
                              Hey guys its been a while. I was thinking could i not use an electret microphone??