Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by jjanes, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. jjanes

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    I am new here so I say Hello to everyone.
    This Post hast two parts a project I need help designing and a question

    Project: I need to get a circuit designed to do the following:
    I have a full size traffic LED traffic light that runs on 110VAC, I want to get working.
    When I purchased it he plugged an AC power cord in and then tested each light to show that it worked

    Ideally I would want a circuit designed with:
    an ON/Off switch
    a dimmer for the overall brightness
    switch for three settings:
    1 All lights on
    2 Random single light on
    3 Normal traffic pattern such as this
    (Green 2 min, Yellow 15 seconds, Red 1 min) hopefully some adjustment of these times available

    I do have basic understanding of some components and have built simple circuits using breadboards and I can usually follow schematics OK but I do not have in depth understanding of the overall process or the details on particular components.

    I want to learn how to do this from the ground floor But I need some help getting started.

    Part 2 of this Post

    How do you start designing a circuit For instance in this case I know what I have
    1 (a traffic light)
    2 (power)
    3 (a breadboard)
    4 (what I want the power to do to the traffic light)

    Then I draw a blank. Do I need to have in depth knowledge of electronic components to go to the next step.

    I was looking at software to help me design a circuit nut I have ni idea of what each of the simulated components they had worked or how to connect them properly.

    Please be kind in your responses as I am very new to this but I do want to learn
  2. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Some knowledge, yes.

    These things are usually controlled with micro-controllers. The "PIC" micro-controller is a popular beginners choice.

    Before you start playing with your 100VAC traffic lights, I would get yourself 3 single LEDs (red, green yellow), some resistors, a prototyping "breadboard", a PIC microcontroller and a book: "Getting started with the Microchip PIC" or similar (I am only guessing the title).

    When you have got your little LED's doing what you want, come back here and get some tips on how to connect the big lights!
  3. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    It would help if we knew more about the LEDs in the traffic light, is there a power transformer?
  4. pilko

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    There is a Microcontroller out there called a PICAXE. You only need to buy the chip and the programming cable. The programming software (Programming Editor) is free.
    You can learn how to program it yourself, which only takes a few hours, or go on their forum and search for traffic light code. There are several examples.----Google "Picaxe" and "Picaxe forum".

  5. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007