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LED Backlit Glass Whiteboard

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I have a tiny desk in my room and what little space is available tends to get used up quickly. This can create a bit of a problem when it comes time for homework. Between whatever was already on the desk, my laptop, and my notes from class, I have no space left over for a notebook in which to do calculations. I figured a whiteboard would help, but as a broke student, I couldn't afford one. My friends and family are aware of my strange DIY junk hoarding habits and as a result tend to give me their electronic detritus. Recently this old behemoth of a printer entered my possession. I immediately saw the potential in the scanner bed for solving my whiteboard problem.

Space saved, junk repurposed, plus, it makes calculus and physics homework look all scifi snazzy!
 
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Step 1: Scavenge Scanner Bed

Picture of Scavenge Scanner Bed
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I began this build by first harvesting the glass scanner bed, along with the metal track along which it slid. I figured I could use the track to make the whiteboard movable, although I eventually threw out that idea, left the whole unit stationary on the wall and used the metal hardware to magnetically attach dry erase markers and various reference papers to the board.

Step 2: Cut and Drill Plastic

Picture of Cut and Drill Plastic
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Fortunately for me (since I'm a terrible planner), the metal hardware to which the glass was attached had gaps in it which corresponded almost perfectly to the sizes and shape of the switch I wanted to add as well as the necessary mounting holes.

I drilled through one of these gaps on either side of the plastic. The resultant holes would later be used to hang the whole board on the wall with nails. I also hacked open a switch sized whole in the center of the board. Knowing that one side of the terrible cut would be against the wall and the other side hidden behind metal gave me some peace of mind since, as you can see from the pictures, I'm not exactly precise with my rotary tool and my cut lives up to the term "hacking".
GuestPolis11 months ago
I love this idea! I have no experience with soldering or any of the electrical parts of this. Would you say that this is easy?
Kriegwesen (author)  GuestPolis11 months ago
Absolutely! The beauty of this project is that it's just cobbled together from old junk so however you can get it to work, it's still a success.

This was one of my first ever projects. I taught myself soldering only one project prior to this, and though my first few wire to wire solder connections were anything but pretty, the fact that I hot glued all of the connections to the back keeps the crappy solders from pulling themselves apart and keeps their ugliness hidden. One suggestion I would make, however, is a set of helping hands or the like. I tried soldering without a set on my first project and it was miserable. This one was so much easier because of them.

As far as actually wiring up the circuit, it's a super simple series circuit, there are an number of tutorials and the like available online and I'm sure books at your local library. If you're interested in learning electronics, trying out something like this is definitely a great way to start!
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