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CD Drive Bay Panel - LED's

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
This is kinda long so I made two versions of this... The short and the long version.

Short Version: I wanted to customize the front of my computer, so with the help of a laser engraver at my high school I used it to add "3d" to the front in green LED's. (Skip to bottom for pictures).

Long Version:
I built my computer several years ago, and a friend got my case for free; however last year I decided I needed to customize it somehow. I have 3 empty CD bay's and needed a project for my CAD class so thus I have used clear acrylic and two types of led's to do the first two letters of my nickname.

First I took the empty bay panel and figured out how big to make the letters so it would not destroy the bay panel by having weak spots on the top and bottom because of the hole I would need. After I figured out the size and the letters I wanted to use, I then designed where the holes were and how the led's would go with the perfect spacing so the middle of the "d" would not fall out after I used the laser engraver.
Once everything was set right on the computer, I sent the job over to cut out the box on the front bay panel so I could put the acrylic in, this is where trouble came in. I did not realize how thick one of those bay panels were, so instead of cutting through with the laser, it just melted the plastic :/ To fix my problem of the thick plastic that melts, I went over to our CNC Milling system and just did the box by hand, that's why on the top right corner there was a little mistake, however it does not look that bad from a distance. The rest of the cutting went excellent on the acrylic except when I got to the black paper, that took me three try's to get correct. I used the black paper to help hide my bad soldering job that was going to be behind it... On the first try, as soon as I closed the lid of the laser, I forgot to tape the paper down so it got sucked up and into the vacuum outside, on try number two, the paper caught on fire... the third try I got smart, I turned the laser to the lowest setting and I turned the vacuum off and thus I got a perfect sheet of black paper that would overlay on the acrylic.
I did not have any money at the time when I made this so I looked around and found enough green LED's, I was going to do it in blue but I did not have enough and I did not want to wait for shipping, so I had to settle with two different types of green LED's. Adding the LED's, resistors, cable, plug, and hotglue was the easiest part of this project, just inserted the LED's into the holes, and soldered them. For power I am running them from my 5V rail inside my computer, I just took an old floppy drive and removed the plug and soldered the wires to it. I learned something within the last month or so, to protect the 12V rail on the floppy drive connector. I forgot all about that and bumped my computer and it turned off on me, come to find out, the wires on the plug were hitting the metal case and causing a short.

Alright, Enough of me talking, time for some photos...

448
The very front of the panel when taken out of the case, you can see the floppy drive power connector in the background

448
The back of the panel, lots of hot glue, I think I could have done better with the soldering however I just wanted to be done with it.

448
The side of the panel when powered on, I made a mistake on the right side, the acrylic does not come out as far as the left side does.

700
The front of the computer with the LED panel

I have been thinking of adding an LCD panel to the top of my computer where the broken USB ports were for the last few years... I've been too busy/lazy to do that, so who knows if that will ever happen...

Questions? Comments? I would be interested in what others think smile.gif

Thanks
Joe
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Main
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Gigabyte EP43-UD3L Radeon HD 5750 Kingston  
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
Micron Technology  Kingston  Kingston  ST3808110AS 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WDC Wd10EADS-65P6B0 TS-H653N Windows 7 Professional Dell 1704FPT 
MonitorKeyboardMouseAudio
Dell 1704FPT Logitech G15 Logitech G500 Creative Audigy Sound Blaster 
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post #2 of 2
Not bad for a first try.
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My System
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5000+ BE 3.4G @1.447v DFI 790FX-M2RS Sapphire 3850 8G Corsair XMS2 DHX 
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Seagate Win7 Ultimate 64bit Antec TPQ-850 
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