Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rainbow Goose

A little while back a friend of mine donated a beautiful Grey Goose bottle. With the frosted glass and clean-etched goose, I couldn't let this beauty go to waste. I had a few RGB LED's laying around from the 2012 Cal Poly EE Banquet table centerpieces. These LED's had 3 diodes inside along with a small microcontroller to fade between the colors and create intermediate tones. They're quite nifty, and pretty cheap at that. They can be found from SuperBrightLEDs

Wanting more brightness, and a little more control over the color changing, I purchased a 3 watt from gybbshop on eBay. It's a pretty neat unit with the following features:

  • Aluminum-backed heatsink for dissipation
  • Built-in controller circuit with small SMD components
  • Power requirements closely matches a USB port (DC 5 - 5.5V, 150 - 600 mA)
  • Built-in infrared receiver and microcontroller
  • Small footprint (28mm) with mounting holes
  • Brightness control as well as on/off button.

Picture courtesy of eBay seller gybbshop

I purchased two of these boards (along with some green LED's for my traffic light project) and all worked perfectly upon arrival. After removing the existing leads, I soldered the leads from a 5V 750 mA wall wart phone charger onto the board. I cut some aluminum foil to closely match the diameter of the Grey Goose bottle. Slathered with thermal grease, the aluminum-backed PCB and aluminum foil couple to make a decent heatsink for the LED. While the the PCB should provide enough thermal dissipation, I didn't want to fry anything when running at full power.

After a quick test fit, I hot glued the whole assembly in place. The concave bottom of the bottle provides plenty of clearance for the bulbous LED and large IR receiver. Plug it in and voilà! We now have a gorgeous customization multicolor Grey Goose bottle. The modules respond to the same IR codes, so a dozen or so of these could be placed behind bar and all be controlled from one remote.

The final product! For those curious, the original contents of the bottle were replaced with plain water in order to comply with Housing regulations.


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