Introduction: LED Constellation

About: Hello welcome to my profile , I'm an electrical engineer, painter. My hobbies include gardening, baking, crafting and trying different things.. instructables is a good place to show case it

Hello Everybody,

All love to see and admire the sky filled beautiful stars. What are these stars ? Actually they are ball of fire, Fusion and fission reaction happening constantly and it's burning up at very long distant light years. But all we see is a simple small dot. Many like me are fond of star gazing, What do you see when you look up at the stars - a mountain? flower ? Animals ?

Ancient astronomers identified these and other patterns in the night sky. People told myths and stories about the stars, and they followed the stars to navigate ships at sea.

These star patterns are named as CONSTELLATIONS

Step 1: Supplies

Materials needed

1) Cardboard - 20" x 25" (Base)

2) Black paint

3) Painting brush

4) White LED - 170 Nos

5) Red LED - 1 No (Orange would have been perfect)

6) Blue LED - 4 Nos

7) Connecting wire as required

8) Soldering gun and soldering Lead roll

9) Silver glitter pen - 1

10) Pen knife, scissors, pencil, scale and measuring tape

Step 2: Research

I used to read these book in my childhood days, found this while searching for other thing ;P I love to read space related facts and idea, while giving a glance and I came across and interesting topic which I noted above. "Mapping of sky", saw it and read beautiful facts about constellations and idea popped in why I can't make this itself. Making something you love will keep you happy and josh. Also stuck at home due to lockdown, this took lot of my time but worth doing it. Also perfect project for lockdown

Step 3: Cardboard Sizing

I didn't get from store, I used old one in which our recent tv was purchased, I used that itself as base of our star constellation. Overall it was a good piece, I sized for 20" x 25 " (w x l)

Step 4: Marking Constellation

Let us give life to the constellation given in the book. First image is the Hercules, Likewise kept drawing the constellations as per book

Step 5: Poking

Eventhough we are paint it, soul purpose was to mark the position of star and poke them, so the patterns are same as per real ones.

I used metal skewer of 2 mm dia, tested with one led. It was a perfect hole. Led was positioned without being loose or tight, no need of glue

Step 6: Sky Is Black

Before starting this process, its safe to cover the place in which you are about to paint, I placed old newspapers. and started painting vertically, by default nature cardboard was have vertical lines. I also gave the strokes in the same way

Step 7: Throw Some of Your Silver Dust

I know , I know again drawing the shape is required. As our pencil marking have been covered by black paint. Take a deep breath, suit yourself and start drawing.

Step 8: Ta - Da

What you saw in book have been made real and it looks really cool

Step 9: Electrical 101

How did I plan to give supply, obviously I will have to use adaptor since led requires DC voltage as input. Incoming AC 230v (for India) have to be converted to 12V DC, 2A I bought a adaptor with these specification. Adaptor DC side has a male pin, which will be inserted in the above jack. Output from jack goes to LEDs

Step 10: Preparing for Soldering

Here a few tips for newbie solders,

1) Soldering doesn't that easily in smooth surface, so scrubbing your wire of little bit using knife or blade helps in lead settling fast

2) Also apply flux little on the area to be soldered, grip will be really good

Step 11: First Set

Arrange the led, Initially I gave connection for 8 Leds in series thinking that leds are hardly 1.5v so 8x1.5 = 12v. But boy was I right ? No.. Especially not for this white led, because the white led requires 3V to get switched on. So I decided the set as 4 Led in series (4x3v = 12v) and they will be connected in parallel with the supply.

For series connection, I have marked the terminals polarity, jus in case I don't get confused after tilting the led terminals, also its easier to sought out. Led bigger terminals is +ve and small terminal is -ve

Note: I didn't directly test with adaptor directly for first set, coz its 2A amp rated, this is suppose to light up 175 Leds, given this number it will definitely deteriorate or even fuse off immediately so I gave 1k resistor from supply to led which will help in reduced amps due to voltage drop

Step 12: Connecting First Set to Another Set

Do the another set similarly to first set, four led connected in series, then tap a parallel supply for source, i.e., red wire for +ve source and black wire for -ve source.

Keep the 1k resistor for testing this too, when this turns out fine, follow for the rest for the constellation

Step 13: Lot of Work... Almost Done

For more than a decade industrial soldering have been ruling the world. But I have done manual soldering for the entire set, it sure took a lot of time, but as I said it was worth and I really enjoyed doing this.

Step 14: Yayyy! Finally Done

Look at it, to me its like a medal hung in my bedroom.

Step 15: Measuring and Cutting for Frame

I didn't have scrap wood or anything that would make a classic frame. so I made with cardboard.

Our main cardboard size is 20"x25" so cut out the frame for 22" x 27" coz I gonna hot glue it, little touching inside but mostly outside.

Step 16: Gold Dust It

I wanted to give some colour, it should be matching my dark black space. I thought ok gold would be appropriate, I painted with gold colour and had gold dust just for little sparkle

Step 17: Its Hot Gluing Time

Place the four sides and hot glue it. cut the excess pieces

Step 18: Admire It

On rainy days, you have got a good show in your home, Its time to pat your shoulder that you are the proud owner of constellations, of course not all constellations are there. You can customise with the constellation as per your liking.

Blue represents more brighter stars

Step 19: Thank You

I can't wait to tell few facts I got to know about these constellations,

Polaris - Also called the pole star and the North Star, Polaris sits almost exactly over the North Pole. Polaris has been important to navigators because of its position.

Betelgeuse - As a red supergiant, betelguese boasts a distinctive orange colour that stands out against the mostly blue stars of orion.

Star attraction: Orion - With its distinctive "belt" of three bright stars, Orion is one of the most easily recognised constellations. The Greeks saw the star group as a hunter.

Star bright: Sirius - While Sirius is not the brightest star in the universe, it appear that way because it is close to earth, just 8.6 light years away. It shines as bright as 23 suns.

Andromeda Galaxy - The closest major galaxy to earth, the spiral shaped Andromeda galaxy is the most distant object visible to the naked eye. It lies about 2.5 Million light years from earth and contains over 200 billion stars

Disclaimer: All the facts have been taken from the book. Things may be upgraded in current time

I hope you enjoyed this space program :)

Please post your thoughts and comments regarding this

Stay tuned for more, Adios!!

Space Challenge

Participated in the
Space Challenge