I decided to put the pics I took during an LED sign project I did a while back and make an Instructable out of it.
Everyone else used thin metal, I decided to use the circuit board from an old CD Drive.
1.) Drill Press
2.) 5mm drill bit (we used 5mm LED's)
3.) Table saw (we only used this to make the frame)
4.) Hot glue gun
5.) Soldering Iron & Solder
6.) Wire cutters/dykes
8.) Leg Sheer (I may be using the wrong name)*
1.) LED's (in my case 47 Yellow 5mm LED's)
2.) Large circuit board or scrap metal, or wood
3.) Thin ply-wood for the back
4.) Stranded wire
5.) 12V DC power supply
6.) 500Ω resistors
7.) Scrap metal*
8.) 8 screws
9.) Wood Stain
*Only if you want to make your own brackets to hold the wood together.
DISCLAIMER: I do not claim any responsibility for your actions, if you hurt yourself it's your fault. I'm not going to tell you how to be safe, it's not my job and a little common sense goes a long way when using power tools. I think we all know you shouldn't drill through your own hand.
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Step 1: Drilling the Holes
1.) Using a stencil, use a hole punch where you'll be drilling your holes.
2.) Using a drill press with a 5mm bit, drill the holes, be careful as the fiberglass/silicon the circuit board is made can break and chip easily. When drilling through the chips, don't apply much pressure.
Once all holes are drilled proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Placing the LED's
When placing the LED's they should for tightly, if not, you'll be gluing them anyways, just remember to orient them all the same way and add glue to any cracked areas. this can be labor intensive, but if it's not done right it'll be a thousand times worse. When you're done hold it up to the light and think "I'm almost, almost done!"
Step 3: Wiring the LED's
To get the desired brightness we went with wiring the LED's in segments of four in series and the segments were all parallel. More than a couple times I found that I had a backwards LED that I had to de-solder and fix. that's why orienting them during the previous step is so important.
I soldered them anode to cathode, the orientation also helped with this, all I had to do was bend the anode up, bend the bottom down, cut off the excess and solder them together.
Once they're all wired and working the anodes of the segments should be consolidated into one wire.
Step 4: Finishing the Sign.
I didn't take these pictures thinking they would turn into an Instructable so bear with me, in the border of the frame there's a groove the sign sits in figure out how the four pieces best fit and then piece three of them together using the fittings and screws, then slide in the sign, affix the fourth piece, then drill a small hole in the cover plate to run the wires through, then solder the wires from the LED's to the power supply.
After the four pieces of the frame were made (I didn't make the frame so I can't really tell you how to do it) I decided to stain them. Then I stained the cover plate.
While the stain dried I cut the scrap metal into a small rectangular pieces small enough to fit, big enough to work, bent them using the brake, and drilled holes in them for the screws.
Participated in the
Make it Glow!