Make a Lighted Name Plate Out of Keyboard Keys




Introduction: Make a Lighted Name Plate Out of Keyboard Keys

About: Ham Radio, Gardening, InfoSec, Bicycles as transportation -- Currently: Product Security @ Slack

This Instructable will show all of you how to make a lighted name plate out of some scrap keyboard keys and a few electronics.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Supply List

Here is what you need to complete this project

-Some translucent computer keys, i found mine on an expensive microsoft keyboard broken in the trash
-a battery pack, i used a 2 AAA
-An LED, you could use more i assume, i just used one.
-a switch, so you can turn it off.
-a bit of wire, i used scrap wire
-an altoids tin, or similar tin

Step 2: Modify the Tin

My first step was to modify the altoids tin to make it so it can stand up on it's own. I did this by taking the lid off, flipping it around and putting it back on. I think it works pretty well!

Step 3: Positioning the Letters

Next i took the top of the tin to arrange the letters and then i glued them together. This allows the letters to be easier to handle later. After gluing, set aside to dry.

Step 4: Putting Together the Circuit

The circuit is pretty easy, it's just a led, switch and power supply.

After it's all soldered together you can hot glue it to the bottom of the tin so it stays secure.

Step 5: Glue on the Letters and Turn It On

Next you want to get the letters and put them in the tin and then fill all the open spaces with hot glue.

This is a really messy process, i'm sure a better option is around. I used about 3 sticks before i thought it was good enough.

After the glue cools, turn it on and enjoy!

Step 6: Find a Cool Place to Put It

After it's all done, find a good place to put it a project like this should not be left in a box!

some ideas for improvements:
-an led behind each letter
-thinner profile so you can wear it.
-sound activated, blinks with the beat!


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    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    if you want transparent keys, you can pull ones off an old Apple USB keyboard or the Apple Pro keyboard, but these are black tinted (the newer ones (that shipped with the iMac G4) have white keys, but im not sure if they are translucent)


    13 years ago on Introduction

    On "some ideas for improvements", it would look neater to cut holes in the lid of the tin, and push the rectangular bottom bits of the keys in. As you suggest one LED each would be needed. It looks a bit messy as it is, but you could go with this theme by gluing more bits of junk on to it, so that it looks like a congealed lump of junk where the keys shine through? L