LED Fixture Revision

Posted on Posted in Electronics
Rat Nest Fixture

The control system for this project involves a lot of research and programming effort. Development was starting to drag me down since progress was going slowly, so the LED fixture got some attention. I knew it was going to be a rat nest, but I didn’t think it would turn out as bad as it did…  Another consequence of choosing a lower voltage because a maximum of 3 LEDs can be wired in series.

To be honest, I was proud of completing the wiring.  It was a lot more work than it looks like, and getting everything back to the perfboard wasn’t easy either.  Soldering the LEDs while on the heatsink also wasn’t a dream…  Unfortunately, I received consistent feedback that it looked like a fire hazard.  Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, but it’s my baby so I still loved it.

I also thought it would be a good idea to reuse some old floppy drive IDE connectors.  I wired the channels to a couple of pin headers on some scrap perfboard and hot glued it to the heat sink.  The hot glue didn’t hold on one of the connectors, and it hangs down a bit. On the bright side, the mash of wires sort of keeps it in place.

Suspicious looking connectors

Instead of these connectors, I was thinking about using some VGA connectors instead of a IDE.  I fired up the rework station at the hackerspace and started salvaging connectors off of some old video cards.  It was the first time I’ve used a rework station and I LOVE it!  I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without using it.

I ended up talking with another member about the connectors while I was there, and he mentioned that he had a bunch of surplus parallel cables with a male end and a female end.  He gave me one to try out, and I think it will be perfect.  I cut out the existing wires and drilled a hole in the side of the heatsink.  It was a bit tedious mapping the pins in the connector to the wire in the cable, but it really didn’t take too long.  Routing the wires and soldering everything back together took a good bit of time, but I’m happy with the results.

Fixture Rewired

Now that this is out of the way, I guess it’s time to get back to software.  On the other hand, I do need to design a new board to house the current drivers and connect to the fixture…