Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:20 am

How can I modify a AC light dimmer to do a continuous sweep between bright and dark. I want to be able to vary the speed and possibly have adjustable range limits for the bright peak and the dark minimum. <p>I'm at a loss as to how to do this so any advice is appreciated. Or even an example circuit.<p>Thanks,
Todd Snyder

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by Chris Smith » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:21 am

The simple way is to use a VCR or Tape Recorder Tiny motor and pulley assembly, attached to a bell crank. Motor speed can be with a simple pot, and a bell crank can be carved out of a large plastic pulley, commonly found in VCRs etc.<p> Perhaps you can find a nice reduction ratio pulley platter inside the VCR that will reduce the rotation to a very slow speed, similar to the Eject gear mechanism of the common cassette and VCR.<p> Or Take it out whole and use the eject mechanism which is usually gear driven, but with out limit switches it goes in and returns out like a piston as long as you supply power to it.

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:07 am

Thanks for your reply...funny but the "mechanical" solution you mention is the first one that seems to come to everyones mind (from another forum I've asked this question on as well). <p>I would really like to think of an electronic solution. <p>The way I see the problem is that we need to find a way to effectively (electronically) change the pot resistance. How about replacing the pot with two power transitors each emmiter attached to the others collector. Then bias the transistor into their linear ranges and apply a sine wave at the frequency (and magnitude) that would effectively make the transitors look like variable resistors?<p>What are the "gotcha's" with this approach? Would we need transistors that can handle a reverse and forward voltages of 200V?

toejam
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 1:01 am
Location: n.c.
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by toejam » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:49 pm

do a google search on motorized variacs. Theres a bunch of em out there.Happy dimming
tj

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:57 pm

That would be some big bucks there wouldnt' it be? ....I would motorize some cheap dimmer switches I think before dedicating a variac for this purpose.<p>I just want some Ideas on how to implement this with a triac. I guess it must be pretty problematic as no one has any "electronic" ideas for this. <p>I did a search for info on here at N&V and another guy asked the same question a while back and got about the same responses. "motorize your dimmer swtich".<p>Thanks for the variac idea. <p>Does anyone think using opposing transistors would work (as I tried to describe above)?

cato
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by cato » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:58 pm

The pot in a light dimmer just sets the voltage going to the gate of an SCR. When the voltage is changed so does the point in the AC wave form at which the SCR goes conductive and applies power to the lamp.<p>You just want to replace the pot with a voltage signal.<p>Pay careful attention to all the potentials involved. I believe a proper circuit would include opto or other kinds of isolation.

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:05 pm

Thanks cato, So the voltage has to be AC that enters the diac? <p>How about my transistor idea? Is that workable.

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:08 pm

I guess I just need to do a little probing in there to see what voltages we're talking about.<p>Will this dimmer work in the neutral leg of the lamp so that I can use my O scope closer to ground levels...do you know?

User avatar
Chris Smith
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Bieber Ca.

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by Chris Smith » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:11 pm

You can purchase solid state pots. They take a signal in, to vary their out put.

paulrevelcet
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Kentucky
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by paulrevelcet » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:08 pm

Maybe you could use an ldr with an led afixed to it and then cover them up so no external light can get in. Then when you vary the intensity of the led the resistance of the ldr would change giving you control over the dimer.(I am speaking of the slide type dimmers) You would replace the slide with the ldr,led assembly.<p>I know this will work because I have one, no really I do, my wife made it after I tried for a week to get the motorized one to work, it was time to mow the yard and I kept saying just as soon as I get this to work, so, in about 10 minuets she made one that worked. wait should I have told that story? come to think of it I made the one that worked and she mowed the yard! <p> web page

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:21 pm

Not a bad idea!! but you shouldn't have admitted that about your wife..LOL <p>Oh well, some of us are still good a mowing!! (as I sit here and look stupidly at my dimmer circuit)..<p>Thanks

paulrevelcet
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Kentucky
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by paulrevelcet » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:41 pm

[URL=http://www.epanorama.net/documents/ligh ... tml#basics] Ok, took me a minuet but I found the site I was looking for. It has several different schematics for light dimmers and how they work, hope it helps.

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:06 pm


Bernius1
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by Bernius1 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:30 am

Some 20 yrs.ago, there was a touch dimmer which fit in a wall-switch box, and had a flat,oval, brass touch plate. When you touched the plate, the light would cycle (as you've spec'd), until you released your finger (at the desired brightness). WELL, as kids, we found that holding your finger kept it cycling, and in hot weather it'd continue a second. A lit match kept it cycling about 2-minutes!! Check older hardware stores, in their "dusty-old-inventory" area.
Can't we end all posts with a comical quip?

kb9nvh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: Continuous light dimmer sweep ?????

Post by kb9nvh » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:36 am

Thanks, yes I had seen a hack for doing just that but couldn't remember what it was. At first I thought it was a hack on a normal dimmer but after puzzleing on it a while I remembered the hack was for a touch dimmer. The hack was to add a 47pf cap from the touch plate to ground. <p>Those touch dimmers have a chip inside that does the logic. I dont know if modern touch dimmers will cycle back and fourth but the Hack page called ou a levithon model (about $20). I may see what I can find next time I'm at Lowes.<p>Thanks for your input.<p>Todd Snyder

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests