Traffic Light Project #2: Finally some progress....

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Blog entry by waters posted 02-09-2011 02:31 AM 2245 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting my ideas straight... Part 2 of Traffic Light Project series Part 3: Light Controller Schematic... »

Today marked two days in a row of progress on my light project. This, after over a week of beating my head on the bench with the electronics on the lighting. But….. finally I have the basic light circuit wired and working, and tested with the actual lights that will be mounted in when it’s complete. Now I’m waiting for the paint to dry, and assembly of the “lamp” portion tomorrow. I’ll post as soon as I can get it together, and post a video as soon as I can (although my work week starts tomorrow night, so it may be a few days). Also, I’ll get a schematic of the traffic light wiring up on here soon. I chose to wire the light separate from the clock, so that if something happens to go wrong with one part the other will continue to work.

Now, here’s some details to share…....

First off, I’ll show a little video of what was driving me crazy for the last several days. This is what my lighting circuit was doing until yesterday when I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. What I wanted it to do is to press the button, and the lights would cycle through green-yellow-red. After doing this cycle three times, then it would shut itself off. And then you could adjust the knob to make it cycle faster or slower.

So as you can see….. this isn’t what was happening :) I redid this stupid thing something like 5 times. I’d build it out on a breadboard and it would work just fine, but on my soldered board it would do this. So I’d re-solder it, and the same thing would happen. Over and over this stinkin’ thing was killing me. I actually lost sleep on this part. So yesterday morning the wife had an appointment, and that pulled me out of the garage to watch the little ones. So I thought that I’d re-draw my schematics and break them out into a light control circuit, and a power control circuit. While doing this, I was looking at the datasheet of the 4017 again…... and there it was! Staring me right in the face. I had my sequence off! Originally I had thought that pin 3 was the last in the sequence, but it turns out that it was the first. So this explained why you had to hold the button down until the second tick, because I use the last output pin to shut off the power supply to the light control. This means that when it started, it started with pin3, which I had wired to shut off the lights.

As far as the lights not going through 3 times, this was because when I had drawn the original schematics, I had put down the sequence order (or what I thought was the order :), and not the alternating order. A typo on my part, that I dutifully transferred to the soldering :) So silly. So here it is when it is working as it should.

The rest of the day was making the face piece, and the hoods for the lights. For the face I put a rabbit along the face to have it set down inside of the box. I wanted to keep this thing as light as possible, but the lid had to be thicker to support mounting the lenses. Which I plan on mounting by gluing them into a 45 degree chamfer on the inside.

The rabbit… This is 1/4” deep, and 1/4” inside, as the box walls are 1/4” oak.

The chamfer… This was done so that the lenses will rest inside more or less flush.

The hoods… These are made with 4” to 4” sewer adapters. I’m not really sure what the different pipes are, but one fits inside of the other. And the lenses are exactly 4” wide, so this worked out perfectly.

-- Dale, Oregon

1 comment so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 4001 days

#1 posted 02-09-2011 02:38 AM

This is coming along really nice! The sewer adapters make excellent hoods for the lights. You are in the home stretch now and it looks like it will come out wonderful!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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