Intro: LED American Flag.
Ok class, today we are going to make a LED american flag. I hope you bring your A game cause this aint no walk in the park. Just kidding, its not to difficult at all. Well let's get started.
Step 1: What You'll Need.
4 - L brackets.
red and blue paint of your choice.
20 Red LED lights
5 Blue LED lights.
25- 330 elms resistors.
soldering iron and solder.
5 volt wall plugin.
a good attitude.
Step 2: Decisions.
First you need to decide how big you want your flag to be. i chose to have it be 36 inches across and 19 inches tall. that means my stripes will be 1.5 inches high. I dont have access to power tools but the gentleman and Lowe's were kind enough to cut my board for me.
Step 3: Drawing It Out.
So what i did next is drew out the flag on the board with a pencil. What this also allowed me to do is draw out my plans for the wiring. what i decided on is to have 20 lights, about 5 per line. My plan is to have the red lights on the white lines, then i am going to have a frame that comes out 1 inch that'll have boards that run over them causing the light to reflect off of the board and shine onto the flag making the red stripes. I was able to to buy LED's from my University for 20 cents a pop compared to the $2 they cost at radioshack. i also needed to by resistors for each light. i bought 330 elms as that was sufficient to protect them from exploding. in the picture you can see my drawing of how i laid out the wiring. I had all the positive lines run to the top of the board and all the negatives run to the bottom. I then had a line for both that ran to the right of the board.
Step 4: Drilling, Screwing and Framing.
So now it was time to drill my holes, and make the frame. i bought cheap fence beams at Lowe's for 2.99. i then phoned a friend to use his saw to cut them to length and make my frame. i cut each corner at 45 degree angle to make it look nicer at the corners and then screwed them together with L brackets. all really simple to do.
Step 5: Soldering Soldier.
Time to solder. Because i am cheap i bought audio wire and then with an exacto knife carefully cut off the plastic around the wire and then used that as my wiring. i then just soldered them all together. (view image.) I found the best way to power all the lights was to get a 5 volt wall plug strip the end and put alligator clips on each end to connect it to the wires on the back. also to keep the cooper wiring down on the back of the board i just used hot glue.
Step 6: The Star.
All i did for the star's was obviously just bought one big star, because i didnt want to go through the process of doing tons of small ones. and just put 5 blue LED's behind it.
Step 7: Problem.
SO in the end i learned the lights didnt shine bright enough to make the red stripes look cool, so i improvised and instead of doing the boards over the lights i just painted those lines red. In the end it looked different then I thought but i still like the way it turned out. thanks for looking and happy crafting.