Introduction: USB Lamp Hub

When working at your computer, doing schoolwork, office work, etc... You sometimes need a little more light. So you get a desk lamp and hope you have an open outlet, or get one that is powered by your computer USB port. Now you have light, but now with nearly everything connecting to your computer through the USB port your lamp is now in the way. Most remedy this problem with a USB hub. Then the problem with having desk space for it all. So here is a to have all 3. The USB hub lamp.

(This is my is my first Instructable ever so please forgive me if I don't give enough detail and I actually forgot to take picture of some of the steps.)

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Here is a list of materials you will need:

a USB cable with a USB A male connector
a USB cable with USB A male and female connectors
a USB hub with the 4 ports on one side
6 x 10mm 3-5v high bright LEDs
6 x 150 ohm resistors
1 foot of 18g solid core wire( I use 18/2 thermostat wire)
1/4” dim. heat shrink tubing
1/8” dim. heat shrink tubing
some craft wire
electrical tape
1 x plastic electrical box with solid cover
1 x Altoids can
1 x single pole switch
some 24 gauge (2 different colors)

Here is a list of tools you will need:

Soldering iron
Flush wire cutters
needle nose pliers
dermal tool with cutting wheel, sanding bit, and cone shape grinding bit
 wire strippers
x-acto knife 
a small phillips head screw driver
hot glue gun
a drill gun
1/4” drill bit
5/16 drill bit
a marker

Step 2: Prepare the Stand

Trace the outline of your USB hub on the inside of the electrical box cover on the bottom-middle with the marker. Once you have outline the hub, now time to cut the outline out. Care when cutting, you can use the dermal with the cutting wheel for the long parts but the shorter parts you will need to cut only part of the way down and then use the X-Acto knife for the rest. After making the hole for the hub, use the X-Acto knife to trim off the all the ruff pieces on the inside and outside to make it nice and pretty.

Now using the 5/16 drill bit, and with the electrical box laying on it side. Drill a two holes, one on the top close to the back edge and the second one on the back just underneath the first holes. This is where you will be put the craft wire at for the neck of your lamp. Also drill a hole on the back of the box for the USB cables to go into the box. I put the hole on the bottom right corner. Now with the ¼ drill bit, drill a hole for the switch in a location on your choice, I put mine on the top, close to the front on the left hand side.  

Step 3: Making the Lamp Neck

To make the lamp neck we will be using the craft wire. Now depending on the gauge of your craft wire will determine how many time you will need to fold the wire. Mine was 24 gauge, so I need two 8 ft pieces folded in half twice. Now using the drill, put one end of the folded wire into the drill just ask your would a drill bit and tighten the chuck so the wire does not come out and holding the other end with the needle nose pliers twist the wire until it looking like one piece of wire. Stop especially if you see knots form in the wire. Do this to both pieces and then use the wire cutter to make both pieces even. When you folded them in haft they need to be at least 10 to 12 inches long. Now take both pieces of wire on put them in the hole on the back and out the top hole about half the length of the wire. Then hold the wire straight up and with the pliers holding the wires tight about a half an inch from the box twist the box until the wires are nice and tight. Make sure the wires no longer move. If so twist them tighter. You do the lamp to fall over. Then finish twisting the wire all the way until is a solid rod. Take the 18 gauge wire and cut 2 pieces(power wires for the lamp) 4 in. longer than the neck and run 2 in. of it into the hole in the back of the box and the carefully wrap electrical tape evenly all the up the lamp neck to about a ½ an inch from the top.

Step 4: Making the Light

I apologize for the lack of picture on the step, my camera missed up on me and corrupted the pictures. Now we are ready to make the lamp, taking the Altoids tin on the top mark 6 spots where you want the leds, I did mine in two rows of three. Once marked, take the drill with the 5/16 drill and drill the holes
for the leds. Now on one of the short side drill a hole in the middle to put the lamp neck and power wires. Taking the dermal with the sanding bit, sand all the holes so there are no sharp edges that could damage the leds or cut you. Now on the inside of the lid where you drill the holes cover the of it with electrical tape. This will keep the less from shorting out from the tin. Put the less into the holes with the positive leads( the longer ones) facing the same direction. Now using your soldering iron solder one of the 150 ohm resistors to the positive lead of each the less as close to the base of the less as you can. Then solder the other ends of the resistors together, since I did two rows of three I soldered the resistors in two row. Three on one and three on the other. After that bend the negative lead on the row together and solder them. Test your less with a 5 volt power source of some kind to test that of the connection are working. If not working check to make sure that none of the connections of grounding and are all solder correctly. When working solder a piece of the 24 gauge wire(got mine from a old Ethernet cable) need two colors, one the the positive side and one for the negative side, then cover all the connects and bare wire with hot glue.

Step 5: Preparing the USB Cables

   Now time to prepare the USB cables. Take the USB cable, not the one with the male and female, cut the cable about and inch or two longer than the other cable. That will be the power cable for the lamp.
(please note and we need the USB A male end, the part that plugs into computer, do not cut this end)
Strip the outer coating of the cable and you should see 4 wires a red, black, green, and white. All we need is the red and black wires which are the power cut the green and white wire off, they are the date wires. Then strip about an 1/8 in. off both wires. Now with the other cable. We are going to cut the cable 2 ½ in. down from the female end( the end that the hub will plug into) and strip and inch of the outer coat to the see the 4 wires, then strip an 1/8 of inch on each of the four wires. Now take the 2 cables and put the 2 USB connector even with each other and then put the 1/4 heat shrink tubing on the to cable 2 in. from the cut ends and the connectors and use the lighter to heat the tubing and shrink it
 to make them one. Some USB cables or thicker the other so if the heat shrink doesn't fit you could use the electrical tape.  

Step 6: Putting All Together

Now its time to put it all together and wire it up. First we are going to hook up the lamp, insert the lamp neck and power wires into the hole on the Altoids tin about ½ to ¾ inch in with the leds facing the same direction and the hub will be. Then hot glue the lamp neck on the inside of the tin, use quiet a bit it need to keep the lamp on and from moving around on the neck. Then solder the power wires the the lamp wires. Use the 1/8 heat shrink tubing or hot glue to insulate the connections. Now insert the cut end of the USB cables into the hole on the back of the box and put as much of the cable a you need to be able to solder the female of the data cable and insulate the 4 wire with the 1/8 heat shrink tubing and then with the ¼ heat shrink tubing as an outer coat. Now solder the positive wires to the switch and insulate the connections and solder the two negative wire to each other and insulate that connection. Then mount the switch in the hole you drilled for it. Put back the cables enough so you can put the USB hub in the box and hot glue the cables on the back pushing some of the glue to keep the cables from pulling out Now connect the USB hub to the data cable and hot glue the hub to the bottom of the box close enough to the edge so you can put the cover on and still connect your USB devices. Now put the cover and screw down the cover.

Step 7: All Done

I hope you enjoy your USB Hub Lamp

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