Introduction: Octopus LED Without Solder


I needed extra lights for our reflector microscope so I built this parallel wired LED octopus.

I discovered early in the project I was out of solder! And, as I live in a place where bread boards are not easily available, I ended up using wiring connectors... the project is essentially solderless (I did find some solder at the end and used it for securing connections).

What you'll need
  • LEDs (all same)
  • 1 resistor (don't know which one, sorry)
  • wire (I scrounged and stripped some old CAT5 wire)
  • wire clippers
  • wire strippers (using a knife is possible but results are not clean)
  • small screw driver
  • push switch (press and hold to keep lights on... saves battery)
  • wire connectors
Nice, but as it turned out, not necessary
  • solder
  • soldering iron
  • wire cover (not necessary, just makes it look nicer)
  • plastic box to hold the 'innards' all together

Step 1: Parallel LED


I went with parallel wiring after reading this: http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html

I cut all my wires to more or less the same length, stripped the ends and wound them around the LEDs. I made sure to keep the color coding to pos/neg on the LEDs the same!

Step 2: Testing the Initial Idea

I'm a big believer in testing as I go... I tested the switch and the connector and the resistor and the LED working...

Step 3: Parallel Wiring With Wire Connectors


Connect the positive wires together in the wire connector. Do the same with the negative ends.

Step 4: Test Your Connections!

I test every step as I am not sure that my connections are solid with the wire connectors but as it turns out, I had very few connection problems.

Step 5: Box Up the Battery and Connectors

I found an old plastic shoe polish box that would hold the battery, wire connectors. I melted a hole through the top and inserted the push switch.

I still haven't used any solder! :)

Step 6: Test Again

Everything is working. It's ugly but solderless!

Step 7: Wire Wrap and Solder to Polisht the Octopus

I added some shrink plastic over the two wires to reduce tangling and soldered the LEDs to the ends though I DIDN'T have to.

Step 8: Lighting Up the Miscroscope

Ok, truth is, the wire I used was too flimsy. I am having trouble keeping the LEDs pointing where I want them to... /sigh.

But, it does work! Check out the difference, slight it may be.

Step 9: Do Differently

  • Heavier gauge wire
  • brighter LEDs
What would you suggest?

Comments

author
caitlinsdad made it!(author)2010-09-18

Clean off the mirror and focus up a brighter light like a table lamp.

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