Add a LED to a Flash Drive

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Introduction: Add a LED to a Flash Drive

Step-by-step tutorial on how to add a LED to a USB thumbdrive. Useful for color coding drives for archiving files.

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    36 Comments

    OMG! I used to play the bass clarinet! Monstrous instrument!

    I used to as well. Had to give it up though. It had a nice sound. I didn't like the high-pitched sopranos as much.

    what would be the best led to use for this project? add an ebay link for some major cool points

    I cant watch the video, so i tried to do it on my own using the schematics that GITRGR8 kindly gave. In a nutshell, I made sure the polarity was correct, and that I used a 100K resistor. I connected the LED to the VCC and GND, and i plugged it in. The second the flash drive connected with my laptop it shut down. What did I do wrong and why cant I watch the video? Could it be that the wires touched the metal casing and shorted it? But why would that cause my CPU to crash? P.S. My laptop is fine.

    2 replies

    Nevermind, i just read that if the USB power jack is shorted out, then most laptops shut down to protect the motherboard otherwise it'd get fried and your computer would die... i am SO glad they put that in otherwise id have a dead laptop.

    I still dont know why the video wont play...

    he used a 5v led and the power source was 5v, so it doesn't need a resistor

    ingenious man!!!!!!!!! but whats a 'led'?(that question isnt necessarily answerable.)

    at turkey where every single letter is short

    i do

    Instead of using the 5 volt rail, you could have used one of the data rails. That way the LED would blink when you are transferring data.

    3 replies

    hi, i wanna do this, which ones the data rail?

    Here's a pinout for USB. You can use either the Data + or Data - depending on how you wire the LED and transistor.

    I'm pretty sure if you hooked up an LED over the data rail you'd make the USB drive no longer function (as you are essentially shorting out the rail to ground) You'd have to hook up a small transistor with the LED hooked to power and ground, and then you'd be OK.