Glowing Paw Sound Reactive Laptop




About: I like to modify things, make things, and modify the things i make. im no math whiz or someone with perfect grammar, but i am good at making things. at my school ive taken the welding, machining, mechanics ...

Ive had this laptop for a short little while, and I like it a lot more than my old one, but it lacked a little bit of personal flair, something that really made it my own.

Ive seen so many instructables on making a light up design like macs have, but so far none like what I did.
So here it is:
A laptop with a white sound reactive paw print.

Step 1: The Plan

So my main idea was to have a lit up paw on the back of my screen, like macs have the apple.
it was also to use the light given off by the back of the LCD.
I was working on another sound reactive project when i thought of making that glowing design sound reactive too.
I also wanted to make it multicolored but I cant get those 0603 LEDs very easily so just white would have to do.

Step 2: Disassembly and Assessment

This is a pretty basic step. You need to take apart the top half of the laptop.
Only go as far as removing the front bezel, you need to check for clearance behind your LCD first.
Carefully flex the LCD and the back of the lid apart and look for foam pads, take note of how thick they are, this is how much clearance you have.

Step 3: Lights!

Take your time here, because it shows later on. You are going to need a backlight assembly big enough to cover whatever design it is you plan to use. The one I used came from a DS Lite.
Backlights from thin LCD screens (Like PSP's, DS's, etc.) are better, because they take up less space.
Carefully take the backlight assembly out of the plastic or metal cradle the LCD sat in, and keep the thin plastic sheets that laid ontop of it and behind it in their order. Once you get it all out, use some clear tape to hold it together.

Next, solder some thin (about 30-25 AWG) wire to the LEDs. I wanted 2 to go to each speaker so I wired 2 LEDs in parallel to each speaker. make sure your LEDs are not going to short out the speakers by using a multimeter and/or a battery.

Also test the modified assembly with your laptop to ensure your laptop puts out enough power to light the panel.

Step 4: More Disassembly and Some Cutting.

Now find a spot where your backlight assembly will fit behind the LCD.
On the outside of the lid, draw the design you want to light up on the lid.
Finish taking apart the lid and cut out your design.

Step 5: Reassemble!

Use some more of that tape to hold the backlight assembly in place and to route the wires to the openings that lead to the base of the laptop. Take apart the base of the laptop to the point where you can thread the wires through the openings and into the base of the laptop. Once you do that you can reassemble the laptop's lid.

Now route the wires in the bottom of the laptop to the point where your speakers connect to the mainboard. Very carefully, solder the wires in like so:
+ of LED to + of speaker
- of LED to - of speaker

Repeat for the other speaker and LED(s) if you are doing it for more than one (set of) LED(s).
Once that's done reassemble the base of your laptop.

**Note: If you want you could also paint the lid of your laptop before you put it back together.

Step 6: Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed reading my instructable and I hope it inspired you to do much the same as I did.

Enjoy having a more unique laptop and have plenty of fun with your sound reactive lights!

Any questions? Post them in the comments section and I'll be glad to help.

Ive got this entered in the Make it Glow Contest, so vote for me if you like this!

Heres a video!



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    10 Discussions

    Arturo Elvis

    1 year ago

    My problem is my laptop (HP NC6230) have a metalic cover and well i dont know how to cut it like a paw


    hey guys hope you can help me out. i want to make one but i want the logo to be big like this one.. but how can i make it light? one of you are using nintendo ds lcd but its a little small for my logo. thanks :)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Make it work and you have my voice, it is a beautiful idea :P


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    my laptop puts out enough power at the speakers to drive the leds without the tip31 circuit.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    theres a video up now, not sure how the embed works anymore but theres a link to youtube.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Dont worry, im working on that.
    my camera doesnt capture it too well but i'll get a video put up on youtube.