Game Day Beacon! Go UTES!


I started this project to learn about electronics, soldering, and circuits. The LED array is a pretty simple place to start because there isn't many elements. Soldering was a challenge for me at first but by the end of this I'm not too bad. I will share what worked for me; if I can do it, you can too. 

Deciding to make an instructable probably doubled if not tripled the time it took me to complete this project. Taking endless amounts of pictures while constantly thinking about how I will explain what I'm doing later. My goal, besides winning the Green Design contest of course, is to create an instructable that someone can learn from on every page. So, if you could care less about college sports but don't know the difference between transformer and a resistor than you can still learn something.  I've found the best way to learn something really well is to learn it well enough to teach it to someone else. 

I learned many things from designing and building this project. Mistakes were made in this trial and error process. I learned new skills like anti-sodering from fixing my mistakes. I also thought of different approaches to solving problems that I'll explain under 
Hindsight sections. If you know a better or simpler way to do something I encourage you to comment. Or if your confused on how I did something please ask. 

Green Design

Designing the Utes U to be as Earth friendly as possible was a challenge. Some things I wanted to do like using solar power or an LDR (light dependent resistor) to have the LEDs dim when the lights are on to save power, I couldn't get to work with so many LEDs. However,  the wood I used is recycled from an old cedar fence. Every material that is used throughout the project such as, glue, paint, wood putty the best eco-friendly options will be discussed. I will also show how to calculate how much power and energy is consumed. With that you'll be able to calculate the power and energy consumed for anything else. 
Let's pretend Utah doesn't do well in the Pac 12 or my wife doesn't get accepted to their medical school next year and I have to transfer schools and find a new team to root for. Everything in the U can be taken out and be used in other projects. Even the U itself can be reused in a fire to roast a marshmallow. 

Tools & Supplies

Resistors Ω 8 - 1 Ω   1 - 43 Ω
Transformer - 12V 15W 1.25A Power Supply
LEDs - 5mm 
Mounting Bezel and Ring for 5mm LEDs
Perf Board (1-7/8" x 2-3/8" )
Electrical wire - 2 colors
Electrical tape
Solder iron & Solder
De-soldering Braid
Button on/off
CPS-PT Pigtail CPS Power Adapter Cable (Female)
Straight Plunge Router Bit 
Wood Glue
Measuring tape
Drill Press or Hand Drill
Drill Bits
Band Saw or Jig Saw
Pencil, Markers, Eraser 
Screws 4 - #6 1" & 4 - #4 1/4"


Please read, understand, and follow instruction manuals for all power tools. Wear your safety glasses
This is awesome! I'm gonna try doing one with the Green Bay Packers "G" logo.
shippityboppity (author)  Adambowker982 years ago
Awesome! Let me know how it turns out. I'll be happy to help if you need it. Good luck!
bignel682 years ago
tocsik2 years ago
Sweet! Now I can make a blue Y! Just kidding if it had been a Blue Y I'd have said a red U. Nice work.
seamster2 years ago
Impressive work! And a very detailed write up to boot.