Introduction: You Amplify My Life -- Share the Love

So, let's describe a survival situation:

It's the day before Valentine's. You had forgotten that fact until now, and have nothing for your girl/boyfriend / spouse. Realizing you error, you jump to your workspace to clear your head and find a solution.

Surveying the table, you find a burnt out 20 amp, a yellow LED, 2 feet of black and red wire, 2 button cell batteries, a small magnet, sandpaper, a drill, and a soldering iron (with solder of course). Go to it MacGyver.

So here's what I decided to do in this situation. I made a nice and nerdy necklace.

Step 1: Shave Those LEDs!

We want the LED to fit inside the small opening at the bottom of the amp. On my first run through this project, I used a small, yellow LED because I didn't have to sand much down to make a clean fit. However, I lost that Mark I when trying to drill a hole through it.

So, I turned ruefully toward a large yellow LED. I didn't think it would make the fit, but after lots of sanding and a little help from my friend, Mr. Dremel, the new LED was even smaller than my original.

There were also some metal pieces in the way of the LED's space. I took a small screwdriver and worked the metal until the pieces broke off.

So sand down your LED, make it a clean fit, and heat up that soldering iron of yours.

Step 2: Solder Up!

Take your newly sanded LED and fit it into the amp. Position it as you like, and then bend the LED leads in the manner you desire. Bend them over the amp legs, because that's where the soldering is going to happen!

Put some flux and solder those puppies. Test the LED with a battery to make sure there's good bondage. Bend or cut the extraneous leads off.

Step 3: Drill a Hole!

A simple step, drilling a hole in the amp. But don't underestimate this! My first amp wasn't properly clamped down and it flew away in such haste.

Two things to remember about drilling:
  • Tightly clamp down the amp before drilling.
  • Drill only through the plastic parts.

I tried drilling through the metal, which I thought would be fine. However, it didn't work out too well. The drill ended up going through the middle. *sighs*

But, in the end result, the hole is hardly noticeable. (I hope ;) )

Step 4: Wire!

Grab your wire! Braid the entire length by twisting with one hand and holding the unbraided wire with the other. Don't worry if the red and black wires don't end up perfectly even at the ends; we'll cut them to size when needed.

Feed one end of the wire to the other side. Then get ready for another soldering round! (You didn't put it away yet, did you?!?!)

Step 5: Crank That Solder Boi. (Sorry, Couldn't Resist)

Solder your wires onto the amp legs. If you don't know which leg each wire goes to, test the LED again with a battery.

Step 6: Finish the Necklace

Feed the other end of the wire through the hole and wrap it around the other end of the necklace (see pics). This makes the wire look continuous, concealing the covert soldering job.

Step 7: Battery Time

Clip the other end of the necklace, you know, the part that goes behind your neck. Follow the wires from the amp legs and strip the ends. Solder the ground (black) wire to the ground on the battery, but solder the red wire onto the magnet. Now you have a handy switch for turning the LED on and off!

Wrap the wire ends together, as in the photo. You're done! Congratulations, you've averted certain death MacGyver!

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