Instructables

Etched photo and LED text, perfect for Valentine's day

Picture of Etched photo and LED text, perfect for Valentine's day
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Last Christmas I were looking for a present for my girlfriend but I didn't want to just buy her something. It seemed to easy so I decided I was going to use my electronic experience and make her something unique. I wanted something that showed her how I feel about her.

I thought about making something with a picture but that is kind of boring. But suddenly I remembered that I had etched a photo on a PCB for a friend. That was perfect for her, I know she would like it. I played around with photoshop and finally decided for a picture that I made to black and white and then used the toner transfer method to transfer to PCB. There were some large areas that got some small holes in it so I had to fill them with a special pen. I also think that I should have swiched the black and white but it works kind of nice anyway. I finished the picture by spraying it with a transparent spray for circut boards protecting it from oxiding and getting ugly.

At the same time I found a really nice project with seven segment displays, link.
But I only had yellow displays and that would not work, so I grabbed my bag of 3 mm red LED, bought cheap from Hongkong, and started playing around with a prototype board. In the article they painted it white but I wanted the board to disappear and only show the text so I painted it black. I added a USB cable for power and put a lot of SMD resistors because that was all I had at home with 220 ohm.

All LEDs in a column is connected in series and all columns in parallel. I put as many resistors in parallel for each column as there were LEDs. But I didn't think about the heating of the resistors so the board get kind of warm and nice. I don't see this as a bug but more like a feature... :-)
scottinnh2 years ago
Nice. Looks like2 projects worth combining. The 'love' could be part of the photo, using SMT LED for low profile.

You'll get better 2-color photo results with large dot dithering, or newspaper halftone. Gimp or photoshop can do it. Just remember folks that fine detail may not etch well.
gedditoffme5 years ago
Very nice. I found this as I'm looking to do something similar. Never done PCB etching though.

Did you invert the B&W before etching? To me it looks as if the dark bits (such as the bikini) were the corroded / eroded ones (where the black on the original image should have protected the copper).

Also, what was the spray you used to protect from future oxidation?

Anyway, looks great and reassures me that this should work wonderfully :D
rainievu6 years ago
your GF is lucky! _<