I decided to post this project to enter the Instructable Design Competition and the Make It Glow Contest. This is a logo that my friend designed for his band (Rhyme & Reason). He gave me the opportunity to bring his band logo to life. The logo is made out of plywood covered with black vinyl, 380 RGB LEDs, 28 feet of EL Wire, and 16 feet of RGB LED strip. This LED sculpture is controlled via a wireless controller and will sit on stage just behind the drummer.
Step 1: Getting The Measurements
To get the correct dimensions I sketched the design using Google Sketchup then I transferred the measurements to the plywood. I used a jigsaw to cut the design out, then drilled out the holes for the 5mm LEDs. After a good sanding to smooth out the edges, I spray painted it black and covered the front face with vinyl using adhesive spray.
Step 2: Making The Boards
I have more time than money so I decided to make my own WS2801 boards. I used Seeed Studio pcb service and Eagle to design the board. I panelized 10 sub-boards to one 5cm x 10cm board and I purchased 40 boards for less than 100$ plus shipping. I got the WS2801 chips and the RGB LEDs from Ebay, the resistors and capacitors were purchased from Mouser. All 40 boards were hand soldered then cut with a band saw and finally sanded down smooth. After a full day I ended up with 400 boards. There is nothing special about my boards I just wanted to save money and get experience using Eagle and a pcb service. I have supplied the schematics and board files if you want to check them out.
Step 3: Adding The Boards To The Sign
Since I glued vinyl to the face of the wooden logo I had to cut out the holes for the LEDs.