I have bought a cheap solder fume extractor, which is working great, but because it is a small unit, the extractor really needs to be above the work piece. This gave me the issue of not being able to see the piece properly, because the extractor shades the light from above.
So I had some stuff lying around and I have hacked lights on the unit
You will need:
- The extractor fan,
- 4 pieces of strip led light
- A 12V power source. I have used an old plug in transformer, but you can use any power source which can convert 220V AC to 12V DC
- Hot glue gun
- Soldering iron
- Cables to to connect leds (I have used 0.6mm/22AWG hook up or jumper wires and normal household electrical cables)
Step 1: Getting the Transformer Done
I have used a regular 1A transformer as my powerhouse. In fact the actual power source, of course, is the main plug. I have hooked the transformer up to the extractor`s switch.
First I cut the plastic enclosure of the transformer and took the electrics out. I have then located the respective cables for 220V input and 12V output and tested the unit, with the help of a multimeter.
I always tin my cable tips, for me it is easier to solder later on and makes the build cleaner if you use ie connectors, etc...
Safety warning: It goes without saying, you really have to be comfortable to play around with electricity. 220V and capacitors are not toys and they can cause serious injury or death. If you have never worked with high current/voltage electric devices before, I would seriously recommend to do some research before you would attempt to do anything. As this is a solder extractor, I assume most people, who would have one, are aware of the all that.
The last picture shows my finger. I have accidentally touched one of the capacitors which gave me a painful electric shock. The two white dots (very deep dead skin patches) are the places where I have touched both poles of one of the capacitors and the electric current has entered into my finger. It was really no fun!
Step 2: Gutting and Sewing
I have removed the fan from the housing and located the wires around the on/off switch. I will not make a ground up explanation about electrics, I assume if anyone endures this hack would have some electrical knowhow.
I drilled a hole on the side of the unit and fed a cable through.
This cable will give the power to the 12v transformer. I have soldered it into the circuit "after" the switch so it only has electricity when the unit is switched on. On the other side of the cable goes the transformer. I have used the underside of the original 220v entry point.
The last picture shows the unit switched on with 12v provided by the transformer.
The yellow egg is from a giant Kinder Egg, I have used this as a makeshift case for the transformer.
Step 3: Wrapping Up
Once, I`ve sorted all the electrics, I have installed the fan and the grid back in to the casing. It was a very tight fit, I have used longer screws than the original ones because the grid is slightly offset due to the extra wires.
The yellow egg contains the striped transformer, the cable coming out from the grid will power the led strips. This cable goes through of an other hole on the fan`s hood, just underneath the kinder egg.
Step 4: The Finished Article
I have connected the four strips with the hook up wires and hot glued them around the fan. After connecting them up to the power source, I have now a well illuminated solder fume extracting unit.
It works for me very well, now I can see what I am doing.