Easy LED Alternative To Cathode Tubes - Quick Tutorial

Discussion in 'Cases / Modding Discussion' started by xperiment, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. xperiment

    xperiment If At First ......

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    Whilst working on the lighting for my case today I decided to post a quick guide on making your own LED case illumination.

    Its a very quick, in-expensive and easy alternative to using cathode tubes which I think people may find useful as this lighting method can be placed almost anywhere in the case.

    -Shopping List-

    2 x 5mm 3.5v LEDs (I will be using super-bright blue)
    2 x Suitable Resistors - 12 Volt or 5 Volt
    2 x lengths of Wire (I am using solid core bell wire, black & Blue)
    1 x Housing box - Maplins code JX56L is a good one to use
    20cm heatshrink - Here
    2 x 5mm LED holders - (I am using Maplins code N89AX as needed black)
    1 metre of aquarium air hose (or cable braiding or your choice)

    -Tools-

    Wire Cutters
    Needle Nose Pliers
    Corded/less Drill - 3mm, 8mm & 9mm Bits
    Ruler
    Pen
    Masking Tape

    Ok thats everything you will need to make 1 lighting unit housing 2 x LEDs. This would be enough to illuminate a third of an average size case to the brighness of a cathode tube.

    [​IMG]

    1st Step -
    Mask the box you have chosen as the housing, measure and mark where each LED will sit. Drill a 3mm pilot hole then enlarge to 9mm.
    Repeat this on the rear of the housing but enlarge to 8mm.
    [​IMG]

    Remove masking tape
    [​IMG]

    2nd Step -
    Take the LEDs, heatshrink, resistors and LED holders
    [​IMG]

    Join the resistor to the longest wire on the LED and apply heatshrink, repeat with second LED and Resistor.
    [​IMG]

    Now join one wire to the resistor and another wire to the shortest wire on the LED, again apply heatshrink. I used back and blue so its easy to see which wire is positive (blue) and which is negitive (black).
    [​IMG]

    3rd Step -
    Now moving back to the LED housing, insert LED holders into the 9mm holes (if using different holders check mounting hole size)
    [​IMG]

    Once inserted tighten the small nut to hold them securly in place.
    [​IMG]

    4th Step -
    Next twist the 2 wires together for neatness. As I am using solid core wire this is very easy and the wires stay together and keep thier shape very well.
    [​IMG]

    5th Step -
    With the LED holders in place and the wires twistes together, insert the LEDs through the rear 8mm hole on the housing and into the holders. Most LED holders will come with a small plastic plug to hold the LED inside the holder. I did not use this as I prefer to use a very small amount of superglue around the rim of the LED.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. xperiment

    xperiment If At First ......

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    6th Step -
    Thread the wires through the aqurium hose (or your choice of braiding) so that the end of the hose is inside the housing.

    [​IMG]

    7th Step -
    Screw the housing cover into place using the screws provided and the unit is complete, simple ehh.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now all thats left is to instal it into your case using the mounting holes on the housng plate and connect the wires to your chosen power supply.

    Here are a few pictures of the LEDs connected up. I think you will agree they go give a very nice effect for such a small price - £4.20 approx.

    I have made 4 of these in total and they illuminate my whole case, but most importantly they allow you to only illuminate the areas of the case you want.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope some of you find this post useful, I know there are similar versions of this availible to buy, but its always nice to make something yourself for half the price you could have brought it for.

    I personally think they look much better aswel.

    Anyway it would be nice to know if anyone has had a bash at this and how they have turned out.

    Thanks For Reading

    -Kustoms Product Links-

    Heatshrink
    5mmLED Holder
    Blue 5mm LED
    5v Resistor
    12v Resistor
     
  3. Essay @ Kustom

    Essay @ Kustom I friggin' hate Pod 6

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    Awesome.

    Welcome to sticky...population = You.
     
  4. jacobzcoool

    jacobzcoool Chav Hunter

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    Those are great, I might have to make one of those to give my case a bit more lighting :)
     
  5. BloomerzUK

    BloomerzUK I'm back!

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    Amazing :D
     
  6. xperiment

    xperiment If At First ......

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    Here is a picture of one installed in my current project Liquid Fusion, I need to update the project log really as I have done so much on it over the past few days. The lighting being one.

    The unit can be seen half way down the picture on the left mounted on an alluminim bracket. That one unit alone lights up the entire bottom half of the motherboard.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. BOB2709

    BOB2709 Registered User

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    great. think ill have to give that a shot Dont know which forum to post this in, but does anyone know where i could get a vfd to fit 2 3 1/4 inch drive bays. been checking everywhere, but cant find anything.
     
  8. crypthacks

    crypthacks New Member

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    Amazing indeed. Interesting tutorial, thanks.
     
  9. gizmohunt

    gizmohunt Registered User

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    great job man
     
  10. DieselLives

    DieselLives Constant Upgrader

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    Nice, as i'm a complete electronics novice, I think this would be a good starter point for my tuition! Thanks xperiment!:)
     
  11. HaZzA

    HaZzA Hardcore Gamer

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    O0o might give that ago ;) nice work. Could you show how you are powering them please =]
    Thanks.
     
  12. Fireblade

    Fireblade Mental Modder[ator]!!

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    Given that this thread was posted/started over a year ago HaZzA (27-10-2006)...
    and also given the fact that the OP last logged onto the forums back in early September...

    I wouldn't hold your breath meantime :D
     
  13. HaZzA

    HaZzA Hardcore Gamer

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    Ahh... well how can i power them then? Does anyone know? =]
     
  14. Fireblade

    Fireblade Mental Modder[ator]!!

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    That's explained in the text directly above the first picture of the two blue LED's connected and lit (third up from bottom)...

    How they're physically connected though - be it via a couple of molex connectors or whatever, I'll have to leave to the electricians on the forums to suggest ;)
     
  15. Euphoria

    Euphoria The music dude!

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    I've never see this before either. Nice idea!
     
  16. HaZzA

    HaZzA Hardcore Gamer

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    I was think just hook it up to a plug =/ but no idea.. i was thinking also powered through the PSU but how?
     
  17. addy999

    addy999 Banned

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    I mean waoooooo ...its amazing buddy you looks like a scientist ....from where you buy these things ..??
     
  18. amanda223

    amanda223 Banned

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    Hey i was wondering from where you get them..??
     
  19. HaZzA

    HaZzA Hardcore Gamer

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    If you read the tutorial you would notice that you MAKE them... And buy the bits from Maplin.
     
  20. Kripz

    Kripz New Member

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    I know this is probably is a stupid question.. but could i put these neons seperate anywhere on the case.. and is there any chance that i could hide the cables some place.. and would this work on a xbox?