This tutorial will explain to you how to easily add accent lighting to your Logitech MX Revolution charging dock.
Drill-Use a drill with at least 1000 rpms. A slower drill will give you uneven sanding/buffing
Drill bits-I used an 1/8th inch bit because it was sitting on the work table
LEDs-I salvaged some from a rope light
Heat Shrink tubing
Soldering iron/electrical solder/flux
Wire-I used some salvaged outdoor, solid, 20ish gauge phone line wire (solid wire holds its shape)
resistors-dependent on LED voltage
Clear acrylic-thickness is completely personal preference. I used 1/8" as I had it handy. You can mismatch thicknesses or stack the acrylic to give you different looks.
Bolt and nut (I used a 1/4 20)
Rotary tool with a sanding bit
(As all my past/future instrucables will go, I finished the project before I decided to write a tutorial, so some of the steps are already finished in the pictures.)
Step 1: Getting to the Guts
You will be working with soldering irons on an electrical device. It is a possibility to ruin the dock or burn yourself. If you do not know how to solder, learn first.
You will need to cut into the label on the bottom of the dock to find the 3 hidden screws.
Once the screws are removed, open up the dock. Inside the dock you will see two more screws, remove them.
The next part is a bit tricky. You will have to push in the two metal contacts on the top of the dock while you pull down the board on the inside.
Step 2: Soldering the Guts
Once you have the guts out, you will see where the power wire is connected. Obviously the wire with the white stripe is positive.
Take out your multi-meter, set it to dc volts and measure. (I got 7.9v at .25ma)
The particular LEDs that I used were salvaged from something long ago, but if you use the 9v 1ohm resistor trick with your multimeter you can determine the current of your leds.
Take the numbers that you got, and plug them into a led resistor calculator to determine what size resistor you need. (As i finished this project before I wrote the tutorial I do not remember what size resistor i used.. use this great resistor calculator)
Wire the two leds in parallel (they must be the same. if you salvaged 1 led, use only 1, dont try to mix them up, if you salvaged two leds from the same item, that will be fine)
On the bottom cover, there are some silver weights. drill one hole (use a bit with the diameter of the led) in the middle of the weights, and then drill another one in the center of the two rear screw holes.
I managed to use flat leds, but if you have one with a large clear... im not really sure what its called.. the plastic on the top of the led, you will want to grind it flat with a rotory tool.
Step 3: Cutting the Acrylic
Clear acrylic plastic has a very neat property when it comes to light dispersion. If you simply put an led under a polished clear base, you get no effects. If you sand the acrylic until it has a uniformed matte finished, the light is then scattered throughout the plastic and gives you a great glow.
This particular docks base is oval instead of round, so you cannot use a hole saw to cut it out. (yes its possible, but the time it would take to try to fix it wouldnt be worth it)
Use a sharpie and trace around the dock.
take a small drill bit, and carefully drill a series of holes completely around the trace. This will take some time, but it will give you a perfect shape to work with. Drill on the outside of the trace, so you will be able to see the entire black line around it.
After everything is drilled, you may need to take a utility knife and cut any plastic holding the oval to the sheet.
Step 4: Finishing the Acrylic
I'm sure that I didnt invent this trick, but i just found it one day and so useful, you will resort to it time after time. You basically turn your drill into a lathe.
Right now you have a rough edged oval. put the oval up to the bottom of the dock and mark a dot directly on the center screw. Flip the oval so the back becomes the front (not top becomes bottom) and mark a dot directly over the center screw.
In the middle of those two dots, drill a hole the size of the bolt you have. This is pretty much the center of the oval.
Take the bolt and thread it through the center hole. Tighten the nut on the bottom so the plastic is clamped between the top of the bolt and nut.
Chuck the left over bolt into the drill.
This step isnt required, but it will help. If you drilled on the outside of the trace, you should have a black line that is complete with no drill marks. Decide on how far into this line you want to go, then grab a rotory tool with a grinding/sanding bit and go all the way around the oval to your set depth.
After you have a nearly smooth oval, take a peice of medium grit sandpaper (I believe I used 60 grit) and hold it to the edge of the oval.
Run the drill.
This process could take some time before its completely smooth, but if you use equal pressure on the sandpaper, when its finished, it will have retained its shape and is perfectly smooth. (It took about 40 minutes to do to my liking)
Once its smooth lightly sand the tops and bottom of the oval so you have a matte finish.
Step 5: Last Step.. Have Your Wife Get Your Beer Ready.
Take your perfectly smooth oval, and hold it to the bottom of the dock. Take the sharpy and mark two holes directly over the two back screws.
Drill holes into the acrylic so you will be able to take the bottom off without removing the acrylic.
Hot glue a couple spots on the bottom of the dock, and lay it centered on the acrylic.
Plug it in and you're done.
I added some clear furniture cushions so it wouldn't slip around on my desk.
If you have nothing better to do and want to try different things with the acrylic, mix it up. Double or triple stack it until you like the result.
(As you can tell, my camera skills arent the greatest, and i believe on most of the images my aperture was set incorrectly, so the base looks very bright. In reality, it has a very mellow appearance and is quite soothing to look at.)
Step 6: Crap. How Do I Remove an Extra Step?
How do i delete this step?