Introduction: Backlit Fallout Map

Since the first installment of this franchise released in 1997 I am a real fan of Fallout. The idea to this project did not emerge from the recent Fallout 4 announcements, but was born much earlier. Today I just saw the fandom contest category and just started writing - even if this little project is still a kind of prototype I wanted to share it.

Weeks ago I went to IKEA and found this picture frame and I wondered if it is possible to hack it in some kind of way.

Also, for several months now, I am tinkering with an Arduino in my free time on small scale projects, just to learn something about programming and electronics in general. Please forgive me any mistakes and fails. Using an Arduino, programming and soldering is really new to me.

Step 1: The Frame

I unpacked the frame and saw the spacer in between the back and the glass is removable. So I changed the order of the parts inside the frame. At first comes the glass, then the passepartout to which the picture will be connected, then the spacer and finally the back. With the order changed, we now have some "hidden" space between the glass and the back.

So I opened the search engine of choice, searched for the map of Fallout 1 and printed it slighty bigger than the hole of the passepartout and glued the print in place.

Step 2: Electronics 1

As already mentioned, my knowledge in electronics, programming and soldering are ... improvable. But since there are so many talented enthusiasts around in the interwebs, noobs like me can learn a lot.

If there is an interested reader right here, who has ever posted some kind of tutorial that taught something to ones like me: Thank you very much!

BTT: At first I tried to let randomly flash 6 LEDs on the breadboard, and it did work nicely. So I thought, let's try to solder it to a PCB to make is more sturdy for the first test-fit in the frame. Even on the PCB everything worked at the first try, but as you can see, the LEDs are too close to the picture, so that I did not achieve the desired effect.

Step 3: Electronics 2

For the second prototype I printed out an extra sheet of the same image and the same size, cut out all the green spots indicating every location, and transferred the holes with a pen onto the PCB and the backplate. Now knowing where every LED has to be placed, I started soldering again - now with yellow LEDs since I just had not enough of the green ones.

Step 4: Working Prototype and More Ideas

And here we have a working prototype. Since there is no switch I am trying aroung with a motion sensor mounted inside the frame. But this is not working yet.

Of course, taking a map is just one idea for a backlit picture, as the last video shows.

If you like the idea behind it, it would be nice to know and I appreciate every useful tip for making it better.

Thank you very much for reading my first instructable!

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