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Knight Rider LED Scanner Circuit Mustang Type

In this  post we learn a straightforward circuit which produces a LED scanner type illusion through the various sequencing illumination modes over the attached LED arrays. The idea was requested by Mr. Danely Sooknanan.

Technical Specifications

Hi, I need your help.i want to build the new Knight rider mustang light for my car scoop.What i have read is. It's made up out of 480 distinct LEDs, arranged in three rows of 80 in each row, then divided up into two sides.

My question is how you build it. The size i want to work with is 12 inches in length by 1/2 inch in width. How many rows of leds will i get by that dimension. What kind of led to use ?What can i use for the diffuser case? What to use for the control box.

The Design 

In the actual knight rider LED scanner unit as shown in the video, there are as many as 29 number of functions to be precise, implementing those is virtually impossible using discrete components and without employing MCUs, however here we'll see how a few of these could be possibly made using just a handful of components.The main two functions of the proposed Mustang LED scanner circuit may be assessed as given in the following description:

1) LEDs light up in a bar mode fashion from the two ends of the strip and meet up at the center, illuminating the whole module brightly.

In the next sequence the LEDs begin shutting off in the same sequence as above from the outer extreme ends until all the LEDs are switched OFF.

The rate or the speed of the above procedures are adjustable through a pot as per individual preferences.
2) The second scanning sequence is similar to the above, except the shutting off procedure which is done for all the LEDs at once instead of one at a time.

The above two functions can be easily implemented using a couple of 74LS164 ICs and a 555 IC oscillator as shown in the following circuit diagram:

Circuit Diagram

Using IC 74LS164 as the Controller

In the shown mustang scanner LED light circuit, a couple of 8-bit parallel-out shift register ICs 74LS164 are employed, driven by the IC555 configured as the clock oscillator.

The circuit may be understood by considering the following two modes in the design:

As may be seen in the above circuit diagram, a 3 pole, 9 throw switch is used as the changeover switch for imitating the 2 functions explained in the previous section above.

In mode1 S1 is connected as shown in the circuit diagram, in this position the LEDs illuminate in an sequencing LED bar like fashion with every rising edge of the clocks from the IC555 until all the LED light up and the final "high" reaches pin16, when T1 momentarily resets both the ICs producing in instant shutting off of all the LEDs at once.In the actual prototype the LEDs from Q9----Q16 must be arranged such that Q16 faces Q8, while Q9 faces the outer end of the relevant strip.

As soon as the above happens, a new cycle initiates afresh and the cycle repeats for so long as the S1 position isn't changed.


In mode 2 let's consider the switch S1 connected with the positive supply, thus S1a gets connected with the +5V line, S1b gets hooked up with the collector of T1 while S1c with R5.Also the reset pin9 of IC1 and IC2 get connected with the collector of T1 whose base can be seen configured with the last output Q16 of IC2.

On power switch ON, the LEDs begin illuminating in a BAR like mode as before from Q1 to Q8 and from Q9 towards Q16 in response to each clock pulses supplied by the astable IC 555 at pin8 of the two 74LS164 ICs.Now as soon as the high across the shifting outputs reach pin 16, T1 instantly inverts and renders a low to the serial pins1,2 of the ICs so that now the LEDs begin shutting off one by one across the arrays in the same sequence as it illuminated in response to every clock from IC555.

The LED Sequence Keeps Recycling

The procedure keeps repeating as long the switch S1 position is not changed from its existing position.The above two functions are pretty easily implemented and we have our LEDs scan the whole array quite in the manner the actual Mustang scanner is supposed to do, however with the above two functions the features look much limited and we would want to insert a few more of the features as may be witnessed in the original video.

I'll keep the article updated with the new added features, but in the meantime let's learn how the LEDs could configured to the above scanner design as per the request made by Mr. Dannel.For ease of calculation and configuration we incorporate 32 + 32 LEDs on each left and right strips.

The arrangement and the connection details may be verified through the following diagram:



Enabling Rapid Up/Down Sequence

Another interesting scanner function that could be easily added to the above circuit with a feature producing rapid to and fro sequencing over the two strips in groups of four.

This could be easily done by toggling an arrangement wherein T1 would freeze once all the LEDs switch ON in bar like style.

Now in this position a 4017 with its own oscillator would come into the scene with its outputs switching OFF the lit LEDs rapidly in a reverse forward manner. The switching could be done using BJTs which would ground the relevant anodes of the LEDs in the process.

So now we have three interesting scanning sequences toggled in our very own homemade mustang LED scanner circuit, any more possible solutions are welcome from the readers.

Cascaded 16 Strip LED Sequential Switch ON Lights using 74LS164

The following figure show how a 16 LED strips or power LEDs can be illuminated using a 2 cascaded 74LS164 ICs, and by using IC 555 as the driver oscilltor.

The diagram was contributed by Mr. Norman Kelly:

LED Sequential Switch ON using 74LS164 circuit



About the Author

I am an electronic engineer (dipIETE ), hobbyist, inventor, schematic/PCB designer, manufacturer. I am also the founder of the website: https://www.homemade-circuits.com/, where I love sharing my innovative circuit ideas and tutorials. If you have any circuit related query, you may interact through comments, I'll be most happy to help!

34 thoughts on “Knight Rider LED Scanner Circuit Mustang Type”

  1. Howdy, Friend! Interested to Learn Circuit Designing? Let's Start Discussing below!
  2. If it is built … and tried to put the LED on the pin 3 of the ic555 and only turns on but does not blink what if I noticed that put in the pin that put the led is on all the pins Or the ic55 is defective or the board is poorly made. Could I send you a photo of my project to see?

    • If the LED does not blink at pin#3 of the IC555 then you will have to rectify the problem, or learn how a 555 IC is supposed to work and then examine your circuit accordingly,,,I can only help with tips and suggestions, I won't be able to troubleshoot a circuit by referring to its picture,

    • I understand ….. I will see if I can guess how to check the ic 555 without being connected in this circuit …. thanks and I will tell you

  3. I think I have the bad scheme copied to Livewire because I do a simulation with Livewire and I do not have voltage in the terminals Q1 ……. etc if I could send you my e-mail schematic and you check me that it has no fault ??

    • sorry, if you are simulating on a software you are never going to get correct results…i myself never use or recommend software simulations… for testing circuits I always make it with real parts and use my brain simulation for troubleshooting,

      I thought you built it practically!!

  4. I have just checked and on the pins of the IC where they go connected Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, And in the rest 0.15v ….. this is not normal, right ?? Something I have to have a bad soldier.

    I leave you my email …. ffvamp69@gmail.com

    By the way I do not see your demo video does not come out on the web ….

    • If you are having difficulty making this circuit then you should first build the basic design.

      search online for "74LS164 circuit" and try succeeding with this basic circuit design first. once you succeed then you can proceed with my design above.

      I built this circuit long time ago, and did not create a video at that time.

    • …checking voltages on the IC pins will not help you to identify the fault…..you can check whether the IC 555 is feeding the clocks correctly or not to the two ICs.

      connect a LeD with 1K series resistor across pin3 and ground of IC 555…if this LED blinks then the IC 555 is OK…the fault could be somewhere with your 74LS164 IC section

    • Can I send you the circuit done with Livewire and so can you tell me if it is well copied? Maybe I have done wrong in doing the scheme …..

  5. I do not know if you expect better to publish the same but with Arduino ….. I'm getting stuck this circuit ……

  6. Hi, can I power the circuit with 12v ?? It's that I do not understand much since I'm using the google translator and it's not very good translating …

    The led strip is constructed the one that appears in this article with a resistance of 100 Ohm for every 8 leds as it appears in the drawing ….

    • Hi, No not directly with 12V….use IC 7805 for converting 12V into 5V….if you supply 12V directly the IC will burn.

      on each channel use a single LED with a 1K resistor …test with single LEDs first afterwards you can increase it.

  7. Hello already finished the plate and a strip of leds but it does not work well, I connect it to a source of 5v 1000mah and only the leds turn on but very little light and when moving the switches or the variable resistance does nothing ….. What I can be doing wrong?? Or do you have to connect the two complete LED strips?

    • Hi, sorry it will be difficult for me to troubleshoot without practically checking it…but I can assure you that I have built this circuit and I did not have any problems making it work, I had built a Chasing "Welcome" sign for auto-rickshaw with this circuit.

      LED strip is not the problem, a single LED strip will also do but make sure it has a resistor in series with each LED.

      I would suggest you to use a 12V supply from an AC/DC adapter and drop it to 5V using 7805 IC instead of a battery….this will allow you to get higher illumination on the LeDs…

  8. Hi Swagatam, how are you …. one question ….

    The strip of 64 Leds that makes it long and wide for the Mustang? How far are the leds from each other?

    Thank you

    • Hi ff, you can even use less number of LEDs if you want, there are no restrictions for the LED quantity, and the distance can also be set as per your own liking, and as per the available area.

  9. Hello from Spain ….. Would you please have a new circuit, a new scheme for the newest version of Knight rider mustang?? Please…

    I do not understand in this scheme because there are two 5v ….. that are two positive shots of 5v ??
    I use the livewire software …. would you be so kind to pass me the schematic file ?? Thank you very much, my email is ffvamp69@gmail.com

    I would be very grateful and if the new version is much better, I suppose it works with 12v of the car …

    Thank you and greetings from spain

    • Hello, sorry I do not have the latest version of the schematic at the moment, but I will try to present it soon using Arduino.

      You can try the above circuit for the time being…the two 5V can be joined together and fed from a common +5V source.

    • Thank you very much for the clarification I will try this scheme and I will wait for the new scheme. Thank you Swagatam

      Will the new schematic also use the same led strips of the current scheme?

      a greeting

    • You are most welcome ffvamp69, I wish you all the best…!

      The new design will be using Arduino, in this design most probably the LED strip specification could be adapted as per preference

    • hello, you can use any LED of your preference, just make sure to calculate the series resistor accordingly, using the following formula:

      (Supply Voltage – LED fwd Voltage) / LED current specs

    • It's not yet posted in this site, but can be simply implememted by rendering pin13 through a gate such that when the IC reaches pin11, its pin 13 becomes and the IC is locked….this high at pin13 subsequently can be used for initiating the next IC4017 by erdering its pin15 low through another gate

    • …sorry I missed a word, it should be:

      ….can be simply implememted by rendering pin13 high through a gate such that when the IC reaches pin11, its pin 13 becomes high and the IC is locked

  10. Hi Swagatam,

    What do I need to change if I like this circuit to be driven from a 12V PSU?
    Can I exchange the 74LS164 IC whit a 40??

    Thank you

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