Intro: Trash Can (or Other Sweet Box) Usb Light
An absolutely 'rubbish' way of lighting your desk or showing off at LAN parties
UPDATE: For a crucial safety update and time saver head to Step 6
Step 1: The Shopping List
For this project you need:
>>1 USB wire, doesn't matter what kind as long as at least one end is standard USB A (look below)
>>1 3-5v LED
>>A sweets tin, in this case a small box from some garbage shaped sweets.
>> OPTIONAL: If your box or case has any plastic that is dark in colopur it will absorb the light more, if you cover this plastic on the inside of your box or case ((in this case at the top of the box there is a bit of dark plastic on the lid)) with a layer of tin foil, shiny side facing the light source, then your box will be better lit.
Also to ease the job along you should consider:
>>A standard pair of wire clippers
>>A handheld drill
Step 2: Electricals
This is the step that tells you what changes need making to the cable before use.
1. First snip of one end of the cable, make sure you leave the end that connects into the computer; on.
2. Then (carefully using your wire cutters) strip the black outer covering of your wire, you want to take about, 3cm of black covering off
3. Then you should find 6 wires, one braded one that wraps all round the cable, another silver one that is with the braded one. Then behind a silver paper film, 4 other wires, Black Red Green and White.
4. Remove everything leaving only the red and black ones
Step 3: After That Lot...
You should have a usb cable with a black and red wire sticking out the end. You now need to (carefully) strip the black and red cables (as pic 1) and twirl them in your fingers to make all the wires come together, this helps the project and makes the remaining steps easier. You should now have some wires ready for connection to your LED, your wires should look similar to the pictures.
Step 4: Now to Get Down to Business
After all those shenanagans, you are ready. Drill a hole through the sweets tin/tub and push your wire through it.
Step 5: Now to Really Get Down to Business
Now link ur LED to the wire, you could solder it, or tape it on, but i find easiest, cheapest, fastest and genuinely highest quality finish is achieved simply by wrapping the wire round the LED really tightly.
1. Make sure the circuit isn't gunna short itself, keep the linkages clean, and organised
2. Make sure the current flows the right way round, LED stnd for Light emtting Diode, on a diode the power can only flow one way so you must get it right, try one way, test it buy plugging it in, to your PC or PS2, and if it doesn't work turn the led round, rewrap and retest. The LED will have 2 legs coming out of it, one should be shorter than the other. Connecting the shorter one to the Black cable, is the general rule of thumb.
Step 6: Bam!!!
Now your done, hook it up to a USB port and you're good to go. Down the page are some pics of mine. I'd love to see your designs and where you've taken the idea. Also, its not just LED's you can connect, all sorts can be done. If you have an idea, then limit yourself, the power output of a USB port is only 4.75-5.25v. Please send your pics of what you've done. Enjoy the project and have fun.
Now for the update: To save time and prevent issues such as the LED legs burning or the components being damged, and to reduce heat, please consider installing a resistor in the circuit, if like me you are using a standard 3v LED u need an 1/8 watt resistor coded --- Brown Grey Brown --- Now for the end of the update... There we go!