Done the Instructables way. What project is perfect to do with kids and uses only one LED? Create your own big Orange functional analog bulletin board suitable for tacking up stuff after you are done. Make the original message board where you actually post messages. Great to hang up in the dorm, cramped work cubicle or bomb shelter. No sewing involved in this one, just hot glue, scissors, and maybe some soldering.
HAL is the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Great book and movie. Didn't understand it then, still don't, one of the great mysteries in life to unravel.
This bulletin board simulates the glowing eye bezel of HAL and the surrounding displays. Great debate rages on the meaning and symbolism of the details in the movie. Here we present our version of HAL, the Instructables IBL 9000 glowing eye, centerpiece of our display board.
Many say if you take the letters that come alphabetically after H, A, L, you get IBM. If you take the letters the come alphabetically before I, B, L, you get - - -, coincidence, you decide...
Step 1: Get Some Stuff...
For this project we will need:
A working red LED.
I found these LED book lights at the dollar store. They contain a white light LED so I had to modify them.
Some sheets of box cardboard the size that you want to make your bulleting board. Mine were about 2 feet square. You can buy real cork tile to use as the base of the bulletin board for more durability and hold. Or you can use a sheet of rigid foam house insulation.
A small plastic bowl to use as the lens cover. I had these disposable dessert bowls/cups that were perfect to use. You may use a small glass dessert bowl too to give a better appearance of the optical fisheye lens.
Fabric of any kind to cover your bulletin board. I had some leftover orange stretch knit fabric which fit the theme of this project.
Patches of different colored fabric, I had different colored felt pieces, to make the display panels.
Computer/Printer to create logos and wording for the displays.
If you need to modify the light, you need some soldering/electronics skillz.
This was constructed using only a hot glue gun to attach everything.
CAUTION: Hot glue and the hot glue gun are HOT! Can cause burns if you are not careful. Have tweezers/pliers to handle pieces that have hot glue just applied to them. Hot glue can pass through the fabric as you are pressing down and burn you.
Step 2: White Light, Red Light...
In this industrial age, you let others do the work for you if you can. And for the price, somebody has already put together a self-contained complete LED, working circuit with switch, battery pack and mounting in the LED booklight. You can come up with your own if desired.
This LED booklight had a white LED. I could have cheated and just put a piece of red acetate for a light filter on the lens to make a red light. Now who would pass up a chance to do some soldering?
The light assembly comes apart like a flashlight and saw that the white LED was easy to replace with a red one.
I had this assortment of LEDs from a previous project and picked a replacement red LED based on similar size since they were not marked in any way with their voltage rating.
It was simple enough to pull back the heat shrink insulation and the wires just fell off. I had to unwind the other lead.
I soldered back the replacement red LED after inspecting the LED for correct orientation for polarity.
Test the light to make sure the LED works, if not, reverse the connections.
Step 3: Get on Board...
I had a nice big clean sheet of cardboard, probably the insert from the packaging of some IKEA shelves. I folded it in half and hot glued it together to laminate it for strength and thickness. For a good tack board you may need three or more layers. It was arbitrarily just the right size for a bulletin board.
Find the center spot where you want to mount the LED. Punch a hole through the cardboard so that the LED headlamp can be mounted. I covered the edges of the hole with hot glue. It essentially made a grommet where it reinforced the hold and provided a friction fit to keep the headlamp in position.
The booklight had a spring clip on the other end. The battery pack and the switch were mounted on one side of the clip. I wanted to be able to switch this on easily so I cut a hole to have the switch/battery pack on the front of the bulletin board. If the batteries need changing, I could just pull the unit from the back and change the batteries.
Step 4: Gotcha Covered...
Begin to cover the bulletin board with your fabric.
Start on the edge of one side and tack the ends with hot glue. Stretch and smooth as you go along.
Hot glue the rest of the side. Use some tool like tweezers or pliers to press the fabric onto the bead of hot glue so you do not burn your fingers.
Hot glue the fabric on the edge of the opposing side being careful to keep the fabric taut and smooth.
Where the LED headlamp pops out of the cardboard, place a bead of hot glue to outline the shape. Cut a hole in the fabric to let the LED pop through. The hot glue bead serves to reinforce the hole to keep the fabric from unravelling.
Cut a piece of black felt that will be the faceplate of the glowing eye.
Position over the LED headlamp and cut out a hole to fit. Hot glue the piece in place.
Hot glue the plastic dessert bowl over the LED headlamp. Apply the hot glue to the rim of the dessert bowl and then "cap" the LED. You can run an additional bead of hot glue around the base of the dessert bowl to secure it and smooth out any blobs of hot glue.
Step 5: COM PLT IBL
Cut out four pieces of fabric of different colors to simulate the display screens surrounding the glowing eye.
Hot glue in place.
Using your favorite graphics program, create the logo and any wording that you want on the display screens. Cut out and hot glue in place. I just used Mspaint to do a color filled rectangle with white text. You may want to better match the color with your fabric or create iron-on graphics for the display panels.
Since the real HAL had a fisheye camera lens for its optics, I got some graphic of a camera lens ring to attach to the bottom around the dessert bowl for additional detail.
Apply the metallic trim surrounding the black bezel. I used aluminum duct sealing tape for the trim. This stuff is like tin-foil tape instead of the traditional cloth duct tape.
There you have it, the IBL 9000 analog bulletin board. You can attach a piece of wire or string to the back to make hanging it easier or just press it on to a nail on the wall.
Feel around for the covered switch and turn the unit on. Just hope that there is no major malfunction...