Scanner Parts Sign




About: Engineer making renewable energy products for African entrepreneurs.

I love old derelict scanners. There's plenty of useful parts inside - shafts, belts, pulleys CCFLs, power supplies, glass etc.

This sign was made almost completely out of an old scanner - pulled from a Stanford dumpster on move out day.

I got a great compliment on this project - I was told that we'd have to get more nice things to go along with the sign. Amazing, as this thing is made from a derelict scanner,some scrap plastic, a bit of grubby scrap paper and hot glue.

Step 1: Parts

You'll need a few critical, equally important, items.

  • CCFL Bulb - preferably in it's holder assembly
  • CCFL inverter - will have some wire going in, and some high voltage wire going out (to the bulb)
  • Power Supply

Where to find?
The bulb will be on the scanner carrier along with the scanner CCD. It's likely to be in a plastic housing. The inverter will be close by too.

The power supply will be a little more tricky. You'll need to determine how much power your inverter requires. It may be printed on the inverter - or not. In this case, it was not. First, I tried 12 volts - any 12V source will work. This resulted in a half lit bulb - the center of which being dark. Then, I tried the 30V power supplied that came with the printer. Voila, it worked.

Step 2: Signage

You'll need your sign now. I'm using this uber cool part cut on a water jet. Behind it is a scrap of orange paper and a semi opaque white diffuser.

In order to get the full effect from the light, you'll need to have your sign raised away from the light source. I used a bit of scrap found in the dead scanner carcass.

Step 3: Solder

You'll need some power. So, solder some wire from your power supply to the power on the inverter. Usually, black is ground ;) Be sure to test your power supply for polarity. Feel free to rip some wire out of your dead scanner - you'll only need a few inches.

It's a good idea to encase your good solder joints with hot glue.

Step 4: Assembly

I used my favorite semi permanent, low operating temperature adhesive for this project. Hot Glue. First, glue your power supply to the scanner bulb assembly. Then, glue your sign risers to the bulb assembly.

Finally, glue your assembled sign to the risers.

Step 5: Hang

Find the most perfect location for your new sign - hopefully, near a power outlet. Step back, and be proud :D



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    17 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I also found some/ most printer/scanners have peristaltic pumps for the ink system, Various stepper motors, Dc motors, Light bars RGB LED or CCFL, Linear slides, LEDS from old indicators,Wiring, screws and bolts, and most awesome POWER SUPPLY. I added my salvaged power supply to a L2956 Step down module. Now i have an adjustable Bench type power supply, just need on of those DC battery LCD monitors from hobbyparts or something and it's just the same as a bought power supply. Granted im limited to 24V

    Groovy!! By the way, if you obtain a newer scanner, it may contain a funky, 3 colour, super bright led module, akin to the multicolour flasher on some cell phones (I don't really know about some, there is one on my LG8100, and it kinda freaked me out when I turned it on in the dark) HP all in ones have these leds and seem to have a high failure rate for other components (I've got 3 from the dump in the last year or so) By varying the on/offness and brightness of the leds, you can generate any colour light you wish, even random changing colours and so on. Far out, man... Oh yeah, the led unit will be stuck to a chunk of acrylic that directs the light into a nice band for scanning. This may provide even more artistic possibilities...

    1 reply

    @incorrigible, LOL I just got an old Canon Printer. HAcked it The other day, and sho nuf it has the AWESOME RGB LED bar. I took it, and found the anodes and cathodes ( after a few minutes of testing with Multimeter). Soldered them to a salvaged ribbon cable and WHAM, connected to my arduino = 1 awesome WallWasher! Ran the color Hue sketch and it is so cool! Maybe ill do an ible on that.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    That's pretty cool. Now to find the old scanner.... Attic, here I come!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this. I knew there was a reason I kept my old faulty scanners!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome job! This is pretty sweet, and I just happen to have an old scanner....


    Funny, I just got a new scanner so I took apart my old one and somewhat like you, turned the scanner bulb into a regular light. My only problem with your instructable is that I used a 6 volt lantern battery. One of these huge things. And it worked fine, I soldered a switch to my wires and it works great, I'm just working on housing, but I like your idea to make it into a sign. I might just do that.

    2 replies

    I first tried using a 12V battery - just to see if I could work off 12V.... The bulb didn't light completely, instead the two edges were lit, and the center was dark. I used the 30V power supply that came with the scanner, and the entire bulb lit ;)

    I know what you mean. I had connected two AA batteries to it at first and it only lit where my hand was touching the bulb. Gave it a cool, yet impractical result. It was fun knowing that the bulb was taking power from my hands.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job, Trebuchet03. I didn't expect from you less than that.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I believe the correct term is "FI'YAH!". Whats the hammer from? And why is it orange, was there something orange behind it? From the pix in the other instructable, I thought it was cut out or something, it looks the same as the wall behind it.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Step 2: "I'm using this uber cool part cut on a water jet. Behind it is a scrap of orange paper and a semi opaque white diffuser."


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I was wondering what that thing on the shelf in your previous instructable was ;) Cool idea. I have an old scanner that I've been trying to figure out what to do with, I was thinking maybe a desk lamp.