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General Questions

Q. Will the circuits work on 110V?

A. Yes, they should - you don't need to change any component values, the circuits should work just as they are.

Q. Why doesn't DiscoLitez 1.xx work on my Windows NT/2000 system?

A. DiscoLitez used to use direct hardware output, and did not natively support NT kernels - you should update to Discolitez 2.10. There is a way to fix DiscoLitez 1.xx to work, but this is no longer supported. Please contact me if you need further information.

Q. In your circuit there is a TRIAC connected to the MOC3041 what is the purpose of this?

A. As you may have noticed, the MOC3041 has a built-in TRIAC, but this one can only handle very tiny amounts of current way less than that required for driving lights; so I hooked up an extra TRIAC with a higher current rating so it can handle the extra current.

Q. How do you run two instances of DiscoLitez ?

A. Up to DiscoLitez 2.0, the most recent one when this FAQ was written, you must make a copy of your entire Winamp directory and then run the two Winamps out of their individual directories. This is the only way. To make the one Winamp use the others visualisation data, click Open URL and enter linein:// - this uses the line input for the visualisation.

Q. Does DiscoLitez work with any MP3 software other than Winamp?

A. DiscoLitez was written specifically for Winamp, but it may be possible for it to work on other software but this was not tested.

Q. Where can you find the Solid State Relays mentioned on the circuits page?

A. This was copied from the Discussion Forum (thanks to buzz AT dazedandconfused D0T com) "A good place for relays is electronics stores (obviously) such as Radio Shack. You will have better luck at Fry's or a more dedicated parts store. I live in the Northern California area, and there is a store of almost all used parts from miscellaneous electronics. You can find pretty much anything you want from these stores. To find the exact one, or if you're not sure if the one you're looking at is the right one, some of these stores have spec manuals from that manufacturing company. Look up the specs for the relay that closest matches the 5v input, 120 output, load and everything.

The reason I mention the used parts stores (surplus stores) is because they usually have about 100 or so of everything, albiet used. So finding cheaper parts in bulk is a lot easier than buying from Radio Shack or Mouser."

Q. Im having trouble finding the 74374 chips used in the Deluxe32 circuit. Where can you obtain them?

A. Radio Shack or Jameco (direct links).

Q. Where do I find the MOC3041 chip?

A. Thanks again Khelben; here.

Q. You dont say what wattage resistors on your circuits should be... what wattage should I use?

A. All resistors, except where mentioned in the descriptions, are 1/4W , 5%.

Q. Ive built a Solid State Relay or TRIAC circuit how do I test whether its working (without using DiscoLitez) ?

A. Use the DiagLitez utility available here. It offers an easy-to-use user interface which makes it easy to test a rig connected to any parallel port. For the more technical people, you can also use DEBUG, an early, but quite powerful DOS assembler. Open up a command prompt (DOS box) in windows. Type DEBUG <enter>. You will be prompted by a -. Enter O 378 FF <enter> to turn all the lights on and O 378 00 to turn them all off substitute 378 with your parallel port address.

Q. How do I find the parallel ports address?

A. Right-click on My Computer, click Properties. Click Device Manager and open the Ports (COM & LPT) line. Find your parallel port there and double-click it. Click on Resources and find the Input/Output range line. The first value next to it is your ports base address the one you should use with DiscoLitez.

Q. Do you have any good ideas for DiscoLitez rigs?

A. DiscoLitez fans have come up with brilliant ideas! Here are a few of them:

(wh0rde At home D0T com) : Make an (obviously heat tolerant) rig and drill (its only an IDEA, Im not a psycho) some holes in your hood, then putting tiny lights in them.. a driving vumeter!

(fukengruven0 AT home D0T com) : I use the DiscoLitez output circuit to run various parts of my lighting show. I run one set with standard parcans, in various colors. BUT the other set I use 16 125 watt strobe lights, It looks incredible and is brighter than hell...

(x_pike AT hotmail D0T com) : I bought a little non-expensive strobo light and attached it to one lite trigger... one with a very low probability of being lited... and then u put it on a great delay... about 2-2.5 secs.. its SO cool...

(buzz AT dazedandconfused D0T com) : What I did was to take about 12 strands of Christmas light and have two sets of 6 apiece. I put these up all over my room, crossing the two sets over in the middle. Then I set the DiscoLitez plugin for one set to be the bass, and the other to be the treble, its awesome! :)

(geoff AT d229 D0T com) : Ok, I made mine from a broken pole light in college. It has the 3 normal holders for the lights, and I added one to the top. I put two lights in each holder, using all 8 chans. The lights are Automotive model 914 bulbs, and the power supply is a TORO 12 volt outdoor lighting transformer. I built the circuitboard on a radio shack board, using 8 solid state relays. Each bulb has its own color, and it works VERY well. I put outdoor lights on it for lenses, and I am thinking about making a switch for Chan. 8 to make it AC or DC.. and have an AC outlet right on the unit, so I can control an outside AC light from the origional circuit board. I have lots of pics, so if ANYONE wants to see them, just e-mail me and for them. (:commentdb:)

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Page last modified on June 06, 2006, at 07:05 AM