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Old 02-23-2007, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Who knows about diodes?

Now why would I need info on making LED signs? Take a wild guess.....












Okay fine don't guess. Here.



Yeah. That's why. I plan on making a couple. One of Err, and one of Ignignokt. Won't be going on eBay. Screw that. I want these for my own use. And by my own use I mean putting them up at the EMR bunkhouse. And if anybody in these communities wants one, eh, I'll see how much time and money it takes to make one and go from there.

Being that they will be around electrical outlets I'd also sooner just make them non-battery powered. Will just plug them in, less hassle.


Now I've tried doing research and looking up data. But searches end up in simply signs for sale, led's for sale, or just talk from other forums. No actual useful sources. And I haven't done this stuff since highschool so my memory sucks! I remember anodes + and cathodes - , and somehow resistors need to be shoved in line there but which rings to look for can't recall.


Though I did find a good source for bulk LED orders. And in difused lighting style so it's a glow rather than a beam. Source.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Basically you'll need an AC->DC Converter then for the DC Circuit you'll need some resister's to protect the LED's

Code:
AC=>DC(-)=>Resiter=>LEDs=>DC(+)
Something like that. You'll need to pick out your LED's then depending on what voltage they run on and what voltage your Converter puts out you'll need to choose your resisters. Googeling "resister calculator" turned up a bunch of pages to help determine what resister you'll need.

For example: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...Bowden/led.htm

Also, If you want a good basic electronics book (Pamphlet really) check out radio shack's mini-labbooks. They have a whole series of "intro to" <whatever> books for a couple bucks a pop.

-MR
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You will need a rectifier circuit to make your AC input become DC current. There is a nifty arrangement of diodes (Not LED's) that will do this. I don't remember how off the top of my head though. Also, you mus make sure that the diodes are strong enough to take 110vAC. Next is the main resistor. This one will take the voltage down to... whatever the highest you will need. I'm thinkin' 18v. So... that would be a what resistor? What is Ohm's law again... R/VxA IIRC Whatever, so I can't remember it right now. ANYWAY... you will need to find the proper resistor to take the voltage down to 18. Which I think you should be able to run all of them from, depending on the colors. Then just hook up all the LEDs in parallel.

I will go talk to a buddy of mine that works with LEDs alot and draw out a schematic of what you will need. I will THEN scan it and post the image up for you.

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Old 02-23-2007, 11:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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HAHAHAHA....awesome. You can also build simple circuitry to make the diodes blink in random orders or if you have multi color leds to make a color shift.Darkstar hit it perfectly.Figure out your power supply first.Most common will convert 110 ac to 12v dc. From there you can determine what leds you want to use and thier power requirements.Once you know that you add resistors to the circuit to cut back voltage and amperage. The key is ohms law... volts = amps x resistance. Reasoning to use batteries instead of ac power is ease on components.You don't need a power converter.Just set up a bunch of batteries to get 9-12 volts. Leds draw very little current so that batteries will last a long time. Plus it's portable....
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here, I have a layout of each individual LED accurately. Not the circuitry, but just what it'll look like at the face. I'd assume this would help out in making a schematic.


*edit*

Okay, I have both led layouts done quite accurately. Did a lot of back and forth counting to figure out exact placement, number of LED's, etc. If somebody wants a larger/cleaner .bmp file feel free to PM or email me. As scaled down jpgs are smaller loading time. So more forum friendly. The original large .bmp file I have the actual LED being 10mm on my screen. So they're a bit bulky, can't even view the whole thing at once on the screen. They end up being just a little over a 12-13" in height.

Ignignokt


Err



Oh, also. I found a video of some guy who got his auction taken down from ebay. I snagged a screenshot of his board.

Hope that's helpful to the cause.

Last edited by Meph; 02-24-2007 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hmmm, seems to be a much easier task to make it battery powered than to just hook it up to an outlet. Can't find an AC/DC converter that isn't for a car charging type of connection. Yeah don't need that.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are using regular leds...you could get away with a couple of 9v batteries to power it.But if you want to use super bright leds you'll need a little more juice so step up to some d sized batteries to hold up the power.Or if you have R/C cars the battery packs from them work great in this type of application...
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just get a lightbrite. The ac power is already setup.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dang. Seems that LED's are a little more pricey than I pictured.

84 green LEDs are required, at $0.256 each. 105 blue LEDs at $0.128 each. Grand total coming to pennies shy of $35. For only the LEDs. And this is from a cheap site, not ungodly inflated Radio Shack type of costs. Of course also shipping cost, dunno that's probably another $5-$10.

Then a bare PCB board, either battery rack system or a stripped power converter, some hot glue, all the resistors, this bastard is adding up quicker than I had originally expected.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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