Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The chassis is made of aluminum L-profile (30x30x2 mm) and the candles are made of 13 mm aluminum pipes. The structure is about 35 cm wide and 25 cm high, and assembled with two component glue. The fittings (E10) and bulbs (14V, 3W) are obtained from an old christmas-tree string. The chassis is the common plus-pole for the candles. Care should be taken to ensure the pipes make

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contact with the chassis, for example with small parker screws underneath the chassis. The schematic is very simple, basically a PIC16F628 using the internal oscillator and an ULN2003 as amplifier for the candles, and of course a power supply: 12VDC/1A wallwart and a 7805. The electronic components fit easily on a piece of vero-(strip)-board (you will notice the connector for ICS programming with Wisp628). The board can be mounted underneath the chassis. Since the ULN2003 is loaded practically to its limit I glued a heat sink on the body. The control program is pretty simple, and may be an example of the use of timer interrupts. The source contains comments about how and why. The luminesce of the candles is regulated with PWM (bit banging) using Timer0, for each candle individually. Under control of Timer2 the PWM value of each candle is slowly changed, having the effect of fade-in and fade-out. The overall luminosity pattern can be changed with a push button, some alternative patterns are provided. These dimmers are equiped with a PIC12F683, an N-channel MOSFET and a few other components. The 5V dimmer can control the brightness of many LEDs, for example when used as background lighting of control panels, such as the cockpit of a flight simulator. The 12V dimmer is aimed at the use of halogen lamps. The package contains source-, hex- and make files, as well as the schematics of the 5V dimmer and the 12V dimmer. These...

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