Walking LED Billboard Answered
Hi Instructable Members!
I was hoping someone can help me with a project for a business, which in turn will help others with their businesses or give ideas to other members. In this down economy, we need all the help we can get and rather than ask for a handout out from the government it is up to each and everyone of us to make our own way. Okay, enough of the preaching, let's get a teaching!
My request is for information on constructing a internally lit, walking billboard. This is to advertise a walking tour business that I would like to start, but it could also be used to advertise other businesses. If you do a quick search on YouTube, you'll see a couple examples of what I'm talking about. Usually these models are pretty big and quite heavy, or should I say, heavier than they ought to be. I've seen them up close and have spoken to guys paid to carry them around here in Las Vegas. I'm told that they are constructed from sheet metal and plexiglass, weigh about 30lbs without the battery and aren't that comfortable.
I wanted to make my units lighter and more comfortable, especially since I'll be the one wearing it all day. To do so, I've done a little research and have come up with some of the components to do this.
I plan to use a military backpack frame called a Molle Frame. This is used as an internal structure to hold backpacks. It has several attachment points and is molded to follow the counter of the back. I have already purchased this harness along with the shoulder straps and hip harness. It is quite rugged and I'm sure it hold up to a 100 lbs in equipment. Though I hope my sign will weigh less than 10 lbs.
To attach the billboard to the harness, I'd like to manufacture an aluminum brace. This brace would be constructed from aluminum bar stock and bent in such a way to hold the sign upright. It would be attached to the Molle harness by drilling holes through the aluminum bars and attached via nuts, bolts and washers. Cross braces will be attached to give the brace rigidity.
Billboard Construction: (this is where I need help)
Rather than making a "light box" from sheet metal, my idea would be to use Coroplast (a plastic type cardboard, typically used in mail containers like the post office uses. These can be found in sheets up to 1" thick. This could be used for the construction of a lightweight "light box" and then covered with black vinyl sheets or even spray painted.
A rigid sign poster frame can then be attached to this box to hold a white opaque acrylic sheet.
Then the advertisement can be place onto this sheet and then covered by a 3rd clear sheet to protect the advertisement.
A quick note: This light box would have and internal skeleton, made of aluminum braces to attach to the brace and support the coroplast "light box" as well as the advertisement frame.
Electrical component: (again, help is needed)
I'm envisioning using led rope, or leds along the back side of the box to cast out enough light to illuminate the advertisement.
Also I failed to mention that along the top of this light box, the front side has to be lit, as it will extend about a foot above my head to advertise toward the people i'm walking toward to. Please search "walking billboards" in YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
My unit won't nearly be as large, as I do have to be mobile and be able to maneuver inside casinos without knocking anyone over.
So if you choose to accept this mission, I'd greatly appreciate it. Any ideas will be taken under advisement and if they seem to be doable and cost effective, I'll put up the results as a LED Walking Billboard Instructable - Let the creativity flow and the designing begin!