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gavino200

Backlit store signs?

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

nice job! 

 

try lowering the amps with more resistance. Are you using your big pot to set brightness of a few leds in parallel? I would really look at using the little 10 cent pots for each led and trim them individually. Back the led with a bit of painted foil where you attach it and use a piece of white rough drawing paper on the floor that the led is aimed at to diffuse it more. Also a dab of the pearl gallery glass on the smd led can help diffuse it more as well. Really should not have to do heavy light blocking unless the leds are reall on bright. 

 

If you want something fun for your pachinko parlor check out the little led toys on ebay. Some fun little flashing colored led circuits you can utilize!

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=led+toy&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1

 

some also have some bits of plastic fiberoptics you can play with.

 

jeff

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gavino200
5 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

nice job! 

 

try lowering the amps with more resistance. Are you using your big pot to set brightness of a few leds in parallel? I would really look at using the little 10 cent pots for each led and trim them individually. Back the led with a bit of painted foil where you attach it and use a piece of white rough drawing paper on the floor that the led is aimed at to diffuse it more. Also a dab of the pearl gallery glass on the smd led can help diffuse it more as well. Really should not have to do heavy light blocking unless the leds are reall on bright. 

 

If you want something fun for your pachinko parlor check out the little led toys on ebay. Some fun little flashing colored led circuits you can utilize!

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=led+toy&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1

 

some also have some bits of plastic fiberoptics you can play with.

 

jeff

 

Thanks. I already took it apart. I don't mind because I used E6000 glue and I noticed after sealing it that there were some "stringers" that landed on the windows. So I can avoid it when I rebuild. I also need to find a method for getting the floor divider clearance more exact. I had to cut them back a little to get the back of the building to close. The result being light leak. I turned out that the boy like the small amount of light leak to one of the "unlit" floors. Said it looked like the computers were left on leaving a low glow.

 

The building was really quite translucent. Even with a 36K Ohm resister I could still see some glow. The pot in the tester circuit is mainly to turn the level down for photos. LEDs look much brighter on a cellphone camera than "IRL". I need to replace it anyway with a higher one, as it doesn't dim much. Or maybe I have the wrong two of three tabs connected. 

 

Thanks for the link. We have a bunch of those. The boy used to used them for the "Glow in the Dark" section at the roller rink. The kids cover themselves in these lights and skate around in the dark. They're battery operated though. I'd rather keep the buildings wired. I've ordered a bunch of colored LEDs. But I agree it would be great to have flickering colored lights. 

 

Btw, the kid wants us to add a movie theater. Do you know of one on the market?

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gavino200

Another nice example of the sign illumination LED idea here. This one using a variant of Jeff's idea. I think it's just a painted LED glued to the end of a micro tube. Not sure what would be the best glue for that. Also I'm guessing the base is just a piece of carved plastic. 

 

http://hkuma.net/trans/2016/11/

 

Edit: 

And another

 

7October%20003.jpg

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

would be like a 20” x 15” sized light. Kind of looks like that may what these may be. You see these size spot lights for buildings but usually not mounted out on poles, usually on the ground or on walls and roofs. 0603 get more down to the size of streetlight and other hanging bulbs, butnthey are much harder to solder leads to and better to cheat and buy pre soldered. 1210 are pretty easy to solder and have nice solder pads.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Getting back to the original issue of making actual BACK Lit signs.... I have a couple of ideas.

 

1. I'm assuming that regular decal paper is translucent enough to allow back-lighting. So design a sign and print on decal paper. Then place between two layers of clear acrylic. Then make a cutout in the structure the size of the sign. Place the sign.

 

2. The second idea involves probably involves laser cutting or 3D printing. Basically cut the outline of the sign lettering in a structure wall. Then have a light guide with the lettering made to protrude through the wall. Light it from the inside.

 

Is there any service available that would do something like this?  I think it would look good for large lettering signs on the sides of buildings.

 

Can a laser cutter cut plastic? Or just wood and card?

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

A lot of great examples of lighting in this old Quinntopia video. He has used both types discused here - back lighting and front lighting. I'd like to avoid one problem that you can see in Quinn's back lighting. There's a tendency for the lighting to be uneven, with darker areas and an area of super brightness where the Led is. I wonder if this could be avoided by having the light diffuse through a layer of white paint or even white styrene.

 

I also really need to work out how he does this. It's printed acrylic or other clear plastic that he uses as window framing. I'd like to use the technique in kit bashing/scratchbuilding. What I need to work out is how he designs these things on the computer. ie what program etc.

 

 

image.thumb.png.fbe787e5a95aa924d17ace49ba485429.png

 

image.thumb.png.841b5d3ced197d232a3debcebab2524c.png

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I just ordered a few items from Miller Engineering - the phosphorescent back lighting company. I was reluctant to do so on account of the high frequency humming sound that Jeff mentioned. So I just got the experimentation set. I'll see if the hum is too annoying. I also got a mini flourescent light and a flash circuit.

 

https://www.microstru.com/Experimenter-Kits.html

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cteno4

It will be interesting to see (er hear) how these work out on the whine. I picked up a couple of dozen of those 2m electroluminescent light ropes with little aaa battery packs that you use for dance parties really cheap on ebay earlier this year’s for a friend’s birthday party and they had a range of ones you didn’t quite hear anything to some real whiners. I still have a few left over, I’ll pop batteries in them and see if I can find a whiner and see if trying some uv gel glue on the fly transformer works. Probably about the same high freq step up transformer circuit they Miller units use.

 

jeff

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kvp
20 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

I also really need to work out how he does this. It's printed acrylic or other clear plastic that he uses as window framing. I'd like to use the technique in kit bashing/scratchbuilding. What I need to work out is how he designs these things on the computer. ie what program etc.

Actually that looks just like printed projector sheets. You can get blank ones  in office supply stores and print them in any laser printer. For software, anything should work, even the vector drawing program in ms word (it also has a built in ruler for sizing).

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gavino200
23 minutes ago, kvp said:

 For software, anything should work, even the vector drawing program in ms word (it also has a built in ruler for sizing).

 

Thanks. I'll experiment with this. I think I've found a guinea pig project.

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cteno4

Yep these are just overhead acetate sheets you can get for laser printers or inkjets (different sheets for each). It’s a great way to do window mullions as trying to line up a lot of pin tape or strip styrene will drive you mad and the stupid human eye finds that one that just a little off if you put a bunch or parallel lines down. In the old days on architectural models I use to draw out the pattern on paper with a plotter then put the acetate sheet or acrylic down then lay pin tape down on the lines. Very tedious. We tried to use the old hp flatbed plotter directly, but the ink just would not take well to the acetate.

 

btw unfortunately many shops will not let you laserprint on the clear sheets for fear they may fuse to the fuser roller in the laser printer. Never had this happen but folks think it will happen.

 

check out Inkscape, a friend liked it. There are a number of free vector programs out there as well as online ones (but those are only good as long as the web site is there). I would avoid graphics and bitmaps in word, it’s just horrid at times screwing things up and lots of great free options out there.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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JR 500系

This would be interesting! The Miller's engineering products have caught my eye for sometime now, just hopping to see someone make a Japanese version type of sign boards from it!  🙂

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gavino200
6 minutes ago, JR 500系 said:

This would be interesting! The Miller's engineering products have caught my eye for sometime now, just hopping to see someone make a Japanese version type of sign boards from it!  🙂

 

That's what I'm going to try to do, if the high pitched noise isn't too annoying. Maybe we could work together on the design. I copied your advertising sign method, so it wouldn't be the first time I piggybacked on your creativity.

 

I also bought an LED flashing circuit, but I wonder If they could be obtained somewhere else for cheaper. I'd also like to find a random flashing circuit to simulate a TV in a room. 

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Pauljag900
3 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

That's what I'm going to try to do, if the high pitched noise isn't too annoying. Maybe we could work together on the design. I copied your advertising sign method, so it wouldn't be the first time I piggybacked on your creativity.

 

I also bought an LED flashing circuit, but I wonder If they could be obtained somewhere else for cheaper. I'd also like to find a random flashing circuit to simulate a TV in a room. 

There s a guy that trades under the name of Iron penguin that does all that type of stuff.

https://lights4models.com/product-category/iron-penguin/

he s in America somewhere but I do nt remember where exactly.i had some control boards from him a few years ago,very helpfull.

 

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gavino200

We actually had some votive "candles" in the house. We use them for the pumpkins at Halloween. So I opened one up. Very surprising it's super minimal and cheap. There's no circuit board. There aren't even any wires. No resistor either.  All there is, is a battery and an LED. The switch isn't even a real switch, just a piece of plastic that pushes the LED leg into contact with the battery.

 

But it DOES flicker. Fairly well too. It works with the battery and also in my test circuit. On inspection the LED looks completely normal inside it's little plastic globe. Weird.

 

EfwN1J0.jpg

 

 

 

MgVvQbN.jpg

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kvp
46 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

But it DOES flicker. Fairly well too. It works with the battery and also in my test circuit. On inspection the LED looks completely normal inside it's little plastic globe. Weird.

Look closer into the led itself from the front. It's a chip with a led in the middle. Actually leds are semiconductors too and nothing stops them from getting integrated into chips with transistors and other stuff. There are even intelligent RGB leds with microcontrollers in their package that could be programmed through a serial bus to any of ~16 million rgb24 colors.

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gavino200
1 hour ago, kvp said:

Look closer into the led itself from the front. It's a chip with a led in the middle. Actually leds are semiconductors too and nothing stops them from getting integrated into chips with transistors and other stuff. There are even intelligent RGB leds with microcontrollers in their package that could be programmed through a serial bus to any of ~16 million rgb24 colors.

 

 

I get what you're saying, but it doesn't look like there's anything in there. Here's a closeup.

 

bKyRQRo.jpg

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kvp
41 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I get what you're saying, but it doesn't look like there's anything in there. Here's a closeup.

Look in from the top or really close from the side. There should be circuits on the led die in the middle. (the actual leds are small specks in the middle of the larger metal plate, but it's possible to have a circuit on the same base)

https://mcuoneclipse.com/2014/07/13/first-adafruit-neopixel-blinks-with-the-frdm-board/

https://hackaday.com/2013/12/16/reverse-engineering-a-candle-flicker-led/

Actually nowdays you could put a full computer on the end of a led, but i/o would be a problem as the two legs are only enough for power.

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gavino200
11 minutes ago, kvp said:

Look in from the top or really close from the side. There should be circuits on the led die in the middle. (the actual leds are small specks in the middle of the larger metal plate, but it's possible to have a circuit on the same base)

https://mcuoneclipse.com/2014/07/13/first-adafruit-neopixel-blinks-with-the-frdm-board/

https://hackaday.com/2013/12/16/reverse-engineering-a-candle-flicker-led/

Actually nowdays you could put a full computer on the end of a led, but i/o would be a problem as the two legs are only enough for power.

 

You're right. There's a tiny little circuit board in there. Amazing!!

 

YavnVjM.jpg

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cteno4

Bummer that means you can’t solder these to smd leds now. I’m headed to the craft store this week and see if they have the ones like to old ones I have with led separate from the blinker pc board.

 

jeff

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gavino200

The Miller Engineering Experimentation kit arrived today. It doesn't look too complicated based on a quick glance at the booklet, but I haven't made any attempt to parse it. I also got a blinker circuit and a mini fluorescent tube. The only thing I'm in a hurry to do is to give it a basic test and see how bad the humming is.

 

UBeLMAz.jpg?2

Edited by gavino200

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