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I was looking over my photos and was curious to know what exactly you would like to see in this assembly guide.

 

Currently I follow these steps per unit.

  1. Preselect LED's for each "string" and put them in a breadboard so I can just grab them as I need them, not a necessary step but I still do it.
  2. Start at string 1 and solder in the resistor after bending the leads.
  3. Place each LED in the string in the board, make sure it lays flat, then bend leads and cut. Then flatten leads against the PCB with a flat edge to secure LED in place.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 till all strings are in.
  5. Solder all the leads in place.
  6. solder the output and input leads and wires in place.
  7. Test unit with paper over the LED's to prevent going blind lol

I am going to assume for the guide the person wishing to use the guide will know how to solder and deal with electronics in general.

 

The lights take about 1 hour to make, so doing a full assembly video wouldn't be desirable. But if you think there is something above you would like to see in video I can do it.

 

Right now I have photos of

  1. Each LED string being placed in the PCB one string at a time.
  2. Tools used in the process
  3. How I hold LED's while securing them in place (might want to do a video on this though)
  4. End units with wires

I do not have images of

  • Units pre-finished stage where I am adding each wire jumper to the board. I believe this could be figured out by looking at the images but might be wrong :)
  • LED's in bread board
  • How to test LED's if you mix them up
  • How to tell the LED's apart in general (red vs other colors based on anodes alone)
  • How to use pieces of leads to bridge holes for inputs / outputs on PCB (assumed if pointed out in image it should be easy to understand)
  • Each LED being placed in the board (this would be tedious and I did do this on the first unit I made but the process of assembly has changed to speed the process up now)
  • Images / Video about trimming the LED bumpers (posted an illustration in a previous blog if you think this is enough then I will go with it :) )
  • Process used to test the units (simply wiring up leads from the DC jack [hooked up to the power supply] to the boards illustrated INPUTS)

Did I miss anything?

 

So, tech minded people out there, how would you like to see this guide undertaken so I can produce it in a way you desire. I have to make  28  more units so I have room to adjust the "guide" as needed. I have also not figured out how I will mount these and that will have to be eventually included. However since I have not started this yet I will test the waters to see what you guys would like to get out of this and run with it from there...

 

Thanks for your input :)

-Burton

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Comment by TCLynx on April 16, 2011 at 6:09am

I would work on getting one of them mounted so you have that figured out before you finish building them all.

Then I would recommend you video as you completely build one.  (now you don't have to video the entire thing since many of the steps are simply repeating but you could video the whole thing and then edit it down to show the steps and even cut in pictures and diagrams at the appropriate locations.)  I know that is a lot more work and time (especially if you are not already practiced at video editing and narrating) but you asked.

 

Great job, once you get it finished you might also want to post on Youtube and perhaps some electronic forums or you could sell it as an e-book guide.

Comment by Burton on April 15, 2011 at 8:02am

Ok, something not post related but projected related.

 

I was testing the voltage across the resistors in each string to see the current going through them and found a problem ... seems the vF reported voltage of some of the resistors was off, not a big problem but I had to order some different resistors to deal with the issue.

 

String 3 is moving from a 150 Ohm resistor to a 130 Ohm to boost its 16mA resistance to 19mA. String 4 might moving from a 220Ohm resistor to a 240 Ohm resistor to lower its current from 20.9mA to 19.1mA to bring it in line with other lights. This will lower overall consumption of the 20 lights in a string down to ~37.26Watts from 39.59Watts if I move to the 240 Ohm resistor on string 4.

The parts are due in shortly so any new boards I make will have to leave them out till they arrive.

 

I have been thinking of the mounting system and I think I am going to devise a solution where I can move the individual units within the light bar to provide more options in coverage. Still working out what I will use for the rail but the sliders will probably just be 1/4" wood, I will keep you updated after I go to the hardware store this weekend.

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