Anyone know how to use this? (Box PCB)

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  #1  
Old 01-04-07, 03:23 PM
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Anyone know how to use this? (Box PCB)

Im building an LED lighting system using a DIY manual I bought online. I've built one before using a 12v power adaptor, telephone cords, and LEDs and resistors. Pretty cool DIY project.

Im, trying it again, but am not sure what this device does:

<img>http://www.thelebos.com/main/parts_photos/4037.jpg</img>

The person I bought it from mentions its used to make easier connections and that its not covered in their manual. However, I can get any more information than that!

Im assuming its used to connect the LEDs, resistors, and wires "in sequence" with each other.

Anyone know what a Box PCB is??
 
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Old 01-04-07, 03:36 PM
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PCB stands for printed circuit board.

There are traces (essentially connections between components) on the surface (or on a layer of the board) that connect the components, so that wires are not needed. In many projects the layout of components on a PCB is vital to the operation of the project.

In your case the PCB is optional, as long as you know how to connect the components. However, you do need to put them on something.
 
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Old 01-04-07, 04:10 PM
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These boards are wonders! I made some "experimental" LED lights for my car. Of course these lights are not DOT approved(cough, cough).

Racraft is correct. You will only need a little wire to solder the resistor and LED together if not long enough, but essentially just solder the resistor and LEDS right to the board without running wire.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for the input!! I couldnt find anything but then figured DIY would help. Thanks so much.

Yes, I was hoping I could connect the LEDs and the resitors directly to the board.

basically, the plan is to wire about 10 LEDs in sequence using these boards. looks like one side is "+" and one is marked "-".


how do I know which side is the "IN" and the "Out", ie - which +/- do I connect the LEDs to and which do I connect the incoming/outgoing wires to?- or I guess it doesnt matter?
 
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Old 01-05-07, 04:46 PM
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Being a diode, if it doesn't work one way, turn it around..
 
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Old 01-06-07, 09:35 AM
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Hmmm. Ok. I'll have to try that! thanks.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 01:28 PM
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the anode is the positive on a diode and the cathode is negative.

The cathode is the shorter lead and there may be a flat spot on the LED by the cathode.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 08:21 PM
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I'd get a bunch of that perf board and build the LED assemblies on that. Maybe the stuff with the traces you can solder to.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 09:24 PM
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Nap - thanks for the explanation. i do know the LED has one shorter end. So, I guess I can solder the Postive (anode) from the incoming wire and the anode on the LED to the same place on the PCB. then solder the outgoing wire on the other spot. Then repeat with the negatives.

Classicat - what's "perf board"? not sure what tracing is either?
 
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Old 01-06-07, 10:01 PM
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do not forget to use a proper size resistor. You did mention resistors earlier but didn;t on your last post. Just wanted to make sure you don;t burn up the LEDs.

typically the LED's would be wired in a parallel circuit so each LED would require it's own resistor.

here is a website that does a pretty good job of explaining perfboard

http://tangentsoft.net/elec/breadboard.html

the copper ring type simply gives a convenient place to solder components. You still need to solder wire connections or flow solder to connect multiple rings.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 05:35 AM
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Radio Shack sells a kit to etch your own PCB's, I've used it a number of times and it works quite well. Will certainly give the final product a more finished/professional appearance.
 
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Old 01-08-07, 09:58 AM
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Nap - Ahh, Perfoard - thats a neat idea. Makes me want to do some more projects! I wonder if I can use it, however, on this project. Ive posted more below on the details of my project. Im liking that idea!

Also, yes, I have the resistor part covered. Good point. The DIY manual I purchased covers all of that. One question, if I connect all of these LEDs in one line, do I only need one resistor at the beginning or do I still need one per LED? Im not sure which way a "serial" connection is.

Pendragon - sorry for the newbie questions, but why would I want to etch my own PCBs? and how would I do that?


Here's some pics on my project. These are from the DIY manual, and dont reflect exactly my plans, but it gives you an idea..


First, this is what Im trying to accomplish. I want to light my home aquarium at night, sort of like a moonlight. Check out what it looks like

<a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/Moonlight_tank.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

- very cool asthetically and also cool b/c you can see different creatures that come out at night!

The manual Im using has all the details (60 pages) on how to do this. The limited knowledge I have comes from this manual. Here's a sample on soldering the LEDs to resistors:

<a href="http://photobucket.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/Moonlight_LED.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"></a>

Finally, similar to the approach I will use, you can see in the below pic. Basically, the "Moonlight strip" is appended to your current lighting fixture. In the below, you can see the flourescent lights and then a simple wooden plank with the LEDs sticking out. I have an light fixture I built by riveting aluminum tubing, and Im still not sure how Im going to mount them. Oh, I did also purchase the below accessories to mount the LEDs. The PCB and LED will fit into this little enclosure.

http://www.thelebos.com/main/parts_photos/4027.jpg

Let me know what you think!
 
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Old 01-08-07, 04:57 PM
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You will want to use one resistor per LED. -

A series connection would be where the negative of one LED is conected to the positve of the next and so on. If you did it htis way, you could figure the resistance of each LED and then figure the correct resistor to limit the current to the correct amp flow. The voltage across any LED could vary depending upon the resistive value of it compared to any/all of the other LED's. It can be done but is a pain.

Parallel is where each neg of each LED is connected to the neg power source and each positive terminal to the positive power source with the correct resistor in between the LED and the power source.

If you would group LEDs in a parallel circuit but only use one resistor, what could happen is if the resistive values of any of the LEDs is different from the rest, it would change the current across all the LED's. If an LED were to burn out, it would alter the circuit and allow more current to flow across the remaining LED's. There is also much calculation to do this same as in a series circuit.

stick with one resistor to one LED.


One other thing. When you are soldering, make it fast. You do not want to overheat the LED. If you have a heat sink, it would be good to use it between the solder joint and the LED.
 
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Old 01-08-07, 07:30 PM
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thank you for explaining all of that. makes sense. i'll stick with one resistor per LED, esp since I already bought them and got them at a good price (its amazing how little these things cost and how much they do!).

and thanks for the tip on soldering. im still learning. i do have alligator clips. but i have to say, it is not anywhere near easy, even after reading my manual. i soldered about 5 LEDs to 5 resistors and never got the hang of it! i dont know, i'll try again with this project.
 
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