Introduction: LED Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer

Picture of LED Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer

Much of this Instructable is identical to this Instructable, the difference is, in the origional Instructable the Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer contained an LED light bulb to produce light.  In this version, a number of LEDs, including a pair of tri-color LEDs and two white LED bars are used to produce light.

As a college student, I spend quite a bit of time at my desk.  The other day, when I was working on some mechanics of materials homework, I realized that my desk is quite boring.  There is a grey office supplies container and a holder for pending documents in one corner.  In the other corner there is a lamp.  Most of my desk is usually occupied by my computer and textbooks.  I realized that doing my homework might not be so dull if my desk was a bit more inspiring.  So, when I knocked my lamp off my desk and broke the switch on the back, rendering it useless, I got an idea.

A few days later, after a bit of time on SolidWorks, I designed an inspiring and friendly companion in order to begin my efforts to spruce up my desk; plus, it doubles as a much more interesting container for office supplies and as a new lamp.  I named my new friend, Spotlight, it is a pose-able, dog-shaped lamp and desk organizer.

This Instructable will show you how to make your very own Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer to keep you company in the early morning hours as you complete your homework or latest DIY project.  Or, since the holidays are approaching, you could make a Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer as a gift for your favorite desk-lurker.

Step 1: Obtain Some Parts

Picture of Obtain Some Parts
The majority of the Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer is built from laser-cut MDF.  I used Ponoko for the laser cutting since I unfortunately do not have a laser cutter.  I have made the design files for the Doggy Lamp available for free in my Ponoko Showroom.  You are welcome to use the design files to order your own Doggy Lamp parts or you can modify the design.  Be careful modifying the design too much though because, as you will see in later steps, the pieces of the Doggy Lamp fit together with tabs so you want to be cautious not to mess up the alignment of the tabs.  As for a material, I used double sided white-oak veneer MDF. 
If you have access to SolidWorks 2011, I have also attached an assembly file of the Doggy Lamp to this step.
The design file on Ponoko also includes the electrical components needed for the LED Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer.

Other than the MDF pieces, you will need:
  •     Ten 5/8 inch long, 10-32 bolts
  •     Ten 10-32 wing nuts
  •     Four 1/4 inch by 1 inch bolts
  •     Four 1/4 inch nuts
  •     Ten small screws (small enough to fit through the holes in the tri-color LED boards
  •     One 3 1/8 inch by 4 inch piece of wood.
  •     Six adhesive silicone bumpers
  •     Five adhesive Velcro pads (sets of Velcro hooks and loops)
You will also need some electrical components:

Step 2: Drill Holes for the Bolts

Picture of Drill Holes for the Bolts

I chose not to have the holes necessary for connecting the pieces of the Doggy Lamp cut by Ponoko in order to limit the cost of the order.  It is far cheaper simply to drill holes manually than have a laser cutter do it.  Plus, in case you have some spare nuts and bolts in your shop, you can drill any sized hole you need.

Holes will need to be drilled in the leg pieces, neck pieces, head pieces, body side panels, and ear pieces.  Take a look at the dimensioned drawings on this step for measurements of the desired hole locations.  The laser cut pieces will ship with an adhesive paper backing.  Do not remove this paper until all the holes are drilled because you can draw marks on the paper in order to locate the holes without messing up the wood.

Step 3: Drill Holes in the Back Head Piece

Picture of Drill Holes in the Back Head Piece

You will need to drill a total of five holes in the back head piece.  Four of these holes will be for the bolts that mount the LED mounting piece to the back head piece.  The hole in the middle of the piece will be used for the potentiometer.  All of the holes are 1/4 inch in diameter.  Drill the holes according to the image on this step.

Step 4: Create the LED Mounting Piece

Picture of Create the LED Mounting Piece

All of the LED components will be mounted to the 3 1/8 inch by 4 inch piece.  Then, the entire piece will be mounted to the Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer.  The dimensioned image below shows how to drill the holes for the potentiometer and the bolts for mounting the LED mounting piece.  However, you will also need to drill holes for mounting the tri-color LEDs and the brackets for the LED bars.  In order to locate these holes, you will simply need to place the PCB on the wooden piece and trace the holes.  There is a picture on this step that gives a preview of the final positions of these components. 

The only tricky hole is the big hole for the back of the potentiometer.  The hole should be located in the center of the piece horizontally, but vertically, it is located just short of 1 3/4 inches below the center.  This measurement is not extremely important though since the potentiometer should have room enough to fit in the hole even if it is not in exactly the correct position.

Step 5: Start Building

Picture of Start Building

Since the Doggy Lamp fits together with tabs, there is a strategy for putting the pieces together easily.  The procedure I use in this Instructable should enable you to put the lamp together with relative ease.  Start with the piece that will form the underside of the Doggy Lamp's belly.

Step 6: Attach the Middle Divider

Picture of Attach the Middle Divider

The body of the Doggy Lamp can be used to store office supplies, like pencils, markers, scissors, index cards, or practically any small object.  The office supply compartment is divided in half by a MDF piece.  Simply slide the single tab on the bottom of the middle divider into the hole in the bottom piece.

Step 7: Attach the Front and Back Pieces

Picture of Attach the Front and Back Pieces

The next step is to attach the pieces that will form the front and back of the Doggy Lamp's body.  It does not matter which piece you attach to which side of the bottom piece, but just note that the piece that has a hole near the top is the back (the tail will eventually  be attached at that hole).

Step 8: Attach the Sides

Picture of Attach the Sides

Next, to finish the Doggy Lamp's body, attach the two side pieces.  There is a particular orientation for these pieces.  In the upper corner of each piece, there is a hole.  This hole needs to be towards the front of the Doggy Lamp body.  Orient the side panels this way and attach them to the rest of the body.

Looking ahead, the hole in the upper corner of the side piece will be used to attach the Doggy Lamp's neck.  The holes towards the bottom of the side pieces will be used to attach the legs.

Step 9: Attach the Legs

Picture of Attach the Legs

For this step you will need the four legs, four of the bolts, and four of the nuts.  Attach the four legs to the four lower holes in the side panels with the bolts and nuts.  You can pose the legs by adjusting the wing nuts.

Once you have all four legs attached, set the body aside because in the next several steps, will be concentrating on the Doggy Lamp head.

Step 10: Attach the Ears

Picture of Attach the Ears

Using one bolt and one nut for each ear, attach one ear to each side of the head.  The ears should be oriented as indicated in the picture.

Step 11: Attach the Top Head Piece

Picture of Attach the Top Head Piece

Next, attach the top of the head.  There three tabs on the top head piece, but they are not centered on the piece.,  The side with the longer projection should go towards the Doggy Lamp's nose.

Step 12: Attach the Back Head Piece

Picture of Attach the Back Head Piece

The back head piece, like the top head piece, is not symmetric.  The side with the longer projection from the tabs should go more towards the ear.  After the back head piece is attached, put on the other face piece.  This complete the construction of the Doggy Lamp Head.

Step 13: Attach the Neck Pieces

Picture of Attach the Neck Pieces

There are two neck pieces, attach the one end of each piece to the upper holes in the side panels.

Step 14: Attach the Tri-Color LEDs to the LED Mounting Plate

Picture of Attach the Tri-Color LEDs to the LED Mounting Plate

Set the Doggy Lamp's body aside for the time being because it is time to assemble the electronics. 

The first thing to do is assemble the two tri-color LED breakout kits  from SparkFun.  This is a relatively simple process but there are a few fine points.  First off, the kit comes with a total of six resistors.  There are three 330 ohm resistors for the transistors, these are the only three identical resistors included in the kit.  As for the other three resistors, you can determine their values from the bands of color printed on the resistors using a tool like a Graphical Resistor Calculator.

In addition to the parts included in the kit, you will need to attach female headers to the tri-color LED boards.  Break a set of five headers from the set and solder them to the board in order to create a place to plug wires into the power, ground, and LED control pins. 

In order to attach the tri-color LED breakout board to the mounting plate, first, attach three rubber bumpers to the bottom of the tri-color LED boards with one rubber bumper over each transistor.  Then, attach the tri-color LED boards to the LED mounting plate created in step 4 using four of the small screws.  Do not tighten the screws too much or you could crack the PCBs; you are only trying to hold the breakout boards in place.

Step 15: Attach the LED Bar Mounts to the LED Mounting Plate

Picture of Attach the LED Bar Mounts to the LED Mounting Plate

The white LED bars from SparkFun come with three pieces:  the LED bar itself, a wire, and a mounting bracket.  In this step, the two mounting brackets for the two LED light bars will be mounted to the LED mounting plate.  The first thing to do is remove the sticky pads on the bottom of the mounting brackets.  These pads are quite thick and spongy so they do not do a very good job of holding the bracket firmly in place.  Second, clip off the thin plastic wings on the sides of the mounting brackets.  These are useful for screwing down the bracket, but for the Doddy Lamp, these winds are simply too wide. 

Next, drill a small hole directly in the center of each mounting bracket.  Then, using a small screw, attach the mounting bracket to the LED mounting plate by screwing it to the small holes near the sides of the LED mounting plate. 

Step 16: Attach the Potentiometer to the Back Head Piece

Picture of Attach the Potentiometer to the Back Head Piece

This step is simple.  There is a nut and washer on the shaft of the potentiometer.  First, unscrew the nut and remove the washer.  Then, insert the potentiometer shaft though the hole in the center of the back head piece.  Then, put back the washer, then the nut.

The black chicken head knob requires an Allan wrench to attach to the potentiometer shaft.  I am not certain what size is required, but just try a couple small ones until you find one that fits.  Then, just slide the knob onto the potentiometer shaft and tighten the set screw. 

Step 17: Attach the LED Mounting Plate to the Back Head Piece

Picture of Attach the LED Mounting Plate to the Back Head Piece

Using the four 1/4 inch nuts and bolts, attach the LED mounting plate to the back head piece.  Use washers between the bolt heads and the back head piece, between the back head piece and the LED mounting plate, and between the nuts and LED mounting plate.

Step 18: Attach the Ears

Picture of Attach the Ears

Now it is time to get back to building the Doggy Lamp.  Using one bolt and one nut for each ear, attach one ear to each side of the head.  The ears should be oriented as indicated in the picture.

Step 19: Attach the Top Head Piece

Picture of Attach the Top Head Piece

Next, attach the top of the head.  There three tabs on the top head piece, but they are not centered on the piece.,  The side with the longer projection should go towards the Doggy Lamp's nose.

Step 20: Attach the Back Head Piece/ LED Assembly

Picture of Attach the Back Head Piece/ LED Assembly

The back head piece, like the top head piece, is not symmetric.  The side with the longer projection from the tabs should go more towards the ear.  Notice that there will be a gap between the LED mounting plate and the head piece; the neck piece will go in this gap in the next step.
After the back head piece is attached, put on the other face piece.  This complete the construction of the Doggy Lamp Head.

Step 21: Attach the Head to the Body

Picture of Attach the Head to the Body

With the Doggy Lamp's head and body complete, it is time to unite them.  Place the head on top of the neck so that the neck pieces fit inside the head pieces.  Then, line up the two holes, and use two nuts and bolts to fasten the pieces together.  Note that you can change the angle of the head in any way you wish.

Step 22: Attach the Tail

Picture of Attach the Tail

Now, attach the tail by simply inserting the tab into the slot on the back body piece.

Step 23: Program the Arduino

Before the Arduino Uno is put into the Doggy Lamp, it will need to be programmed.  A sketch written in the Arduino IDE is attached to this step.  In case you are are not used to using Arduino, there is a very helpful introductory tutorial here.  Also, I tried to include plenty of comments in the code to help new programmers understand it.

The program is fairly simple.  The Arduino simply reads a value from the potentiometer and based on that value, it lights the appropriate LEDS.  There are six settings:  red light, green light, blue light, white light, a fade effect from red to green to blue in a cycle, and off.

Step 24: Attach the Arduino

Picture of Attach the Arduino

Now that the Arduino Uno has been programmed, it is time to attach it to the Doggy Lamp.  This is accomplished with the four Velcro pads.  By using Velcro to attach the Arduino, you can remove the board and reprogram it if you wish.

So, first take the eight Velcro pieces (four hook pieces and four loop pieces) and attach the together.  Then, stick the pads to the bottom of the Arduino Uno board.  After that, sick the Arduino Uno to the underside of the top head piece with the power jack side facing the back of the head.  Try not to place the Arduino directly over the Doggy Lamp's eyes. 

Step 25: Attach the Power Control Kit

Picture of Attach the Power Control Kit

The Arduino Uno can only give 5V of electricity to components connected to its digital, analog, or Vcc pins.  However, the white LED bars require 12V to operate at full brightness.  Therefore, the 12V will need to be supplied by the 12V wall adapter.  But, we still want to be able to control that power with the Arduino.  This is where the power control kit comes in.  The power control kit uses a device called a MOSFET to switch the power from the 12V wall adapter on and off.  For details about how MOSFETs work, check out this page.

But, before the board can be used, it has to be assembled.  Assembly is quite easy with this kit, but we are going to make one small modification.  Replace the two-port screw terminal on the device side of the PCB with two male break away headers.  This way, the LED light bars can be plugged into the power control board using their included wires.

Using the last Velcro pad, attach the power Control kit next to the Arduino Uno board with the three-port screw terminal side facing the back of the head.

I don't actually have a picture of the power control kit since I build my own from scratch a while ago.

Step 26: Wire the Tri-Color LEDs

Picture of Wire the Tri-Color LEDs

Showing the wiring inside the Doggy Lamp gets a bit confusing because there are a lot of wires and it is somewhat dark.  So, the next several steps will use schematic-type drawings to show you how to hook up the wires.  The important part of wiring the various components together is to make sure that the components are all plugged into the correct ports on the Arduino Uno or else the program will not work correctly.

So, the first step is to hook up the tri-color LED breakout kits to the Arduino.  There are five connections to each board that since step 14 have female headers soldered to them:  a power (Vcc), a ground (GND), a red, a blue, and a green pin.  We will leave the power pin for a later step because we will need to connect more components to it.  First, wire the two ground pins together and plug them into one of the ground ports on the Arduino.  Then, connect the color pins in the following way:

Tri-Color LED Kit 1:
Red Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 3
Green Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 5
Blue Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 6

Tri-Color LED Kit 2:
Red Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 9
Green Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 10
Blue Pin  -to-  Arduino pin 11

Step 27: Wire the Potentiometer

Picture of Wire the Potentiometer

Next, the potentiometer will be wired to the Arduino board.  If you have never used a potentiometer before, check out this page for some great info about how they work.  So, the potentiometer has three connections, one will be power, one ground, and the other will go to an Arduino pin.  Again, we will hold off on the power connection because there are more things to attach to it.  First, attach the center connection on the potentiometer to Arduino analog pin 1 (A1).  Then, wire one of the outside connections (it does not matter which) to ground. 

Step 28: Wire the Power Control Board

Picture of Wire the Power Control Board

The next piece of preparation to do is to cut off the barrel plug from the 12V wall adapter and strip the ends of the wires.  Now though, we will need to figure out which wire is positive and which is negative.  In order to do this, stick small pieces of the 22 AWG wire into the connector on the LED bar wire.  Then, plug in the 12V power supply and touch its wires to the two wires coming from the LED light bar.  On the underside of the LED light bar, the wires are labeled positive and negative.  So, if, when you connect the light bar to the 12V power supply it lights up, mark the wire connected to the positive port in some way (I use a piece of tape).  If the LED light bar does not light up, then the wire connected to the negative pin is positive (the light did not work because you guessed wrong and had the wires switched).

Wire Arduino pin 8 to the C port on the thee-port screw terminal on the System side of the power control kit.  Then, plug the wires from the 12V power supply into the other two terminals on the system side of the power control board with the positive wire in the positive terminal and the negative wire in the negative terminal. 

Step 29: Wire the LED Light Bars

Picture of Wire the LED Light Bars

Now it is time to wire and install the LED light bars.  Snap each LED light bar into the white mounts on the LED mounting plate installed in step 15.  Using the wires included with the LED light bars, connect the two bars together making certain the the positive and negative terminals are connected.

Then,  attach one side (it does not matter which) to the male headers on the power control kit.

Step 30: Insert Power and Start Up the Doggy Lamp

Picture of Insert Power and Start Up the Doggy Lamp

The very last thing to do is plug the barrel adapter from the 5V power supply to the barrel jack on the Arduino board and plug in both the 12V and the 5V wall adapters to your favorite electrical outlet.

Then, rotate the potentiometer knob to adjust the light setting and congratulations, your Doggy Lamp is complete.  Now you just need to name your new desk friend or put it in a box and give it to somebody as a very nice holiday present. 

Comments

happi cat #71 (author)2012-01-02

This is truly awesome and how creative! Do you think you could you add a coat of reflective paint or whatnot to the inside of the head so as to make the light brighter/more concentrated? Sorry if I sound nit-picky;). Great instructable, and by the way, Maggie is adorable. =^..^=

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