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  1. #1
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    want a usb light

    i want a usb light to have above my keyboard (i have the microsoft keyboard with 2 usb ports on it). i looked on newegg, but they wanted $20 for one, plus shipping. for that price, ill tell them where they can stick their usb light (just joking around newegg people!). anyway, what ive been thinking is, ill just buy a few shorts lengths of male-male usb connectors (so i have a few extras if i get any other crazy usb powered ideas). then i can cut them as i please to use them. my questions are:

    1. what should i use to make the lights stand up on their own? im thinking 2 little "stems" with 1 or 2 white leds each (see pitiful paint picture below).

    2. what color wires will be what voltage in the usb connector? theres only a 5v line, right? or is there a 12? i figure ill just pull the wires out that go to the data transfer part of it.

    pitiful paint picture:


    edit: upon further consideration, i think i might use a few dabs of suber glue, and stick the main wire to the back of the keyboard. then i just need something stiff to hold the leds up. then ill just cover the wires in heatshring tubing or something. what do you guys think?

  2. #2
    yes it is a 5v line, the other two are data lines.

    are you looking for somthing like This? but without the Moltex connectors?

  3. #3
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    no, not really what im looking for. but that snake light they have that is out of stock is what im looking for. i was thinking about having 2 of them, but i guess a single one might be bright enough. id have to try and see.

  4. #4
    Member Angelslayer's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    Nice picture!!!! lmao, Got to love Paint!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Member Wiseass's Avatar
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    Re: want a usb light

    Originally posted by SpaceRangerJoe
    i want a usb light to have above my keyboard (i have the microsoft keyboard with 2 usb ports on it). i looked on newegg, but they wanted $20 for one, plus shipping. for that price, ill tell them where they can stick their usb light (just joking around newegg people!). anyway, what ive been thinking is, ill just buy a few shorts lengths of male-male usb connectors (so i have a few extras if i get any other crazy usb powered ideas). then i can cut them as i please to use them. my questions are:

    1. what should i use to make the lights stand up on their own? im thinking 2 little "stems" with 1 or 2 white leds each (see pitiful paint picture below).

    2. what color wires will be what voltage in the usb connector? theres only a 5v line, right? or is there a 12? i figure ill just pull the wires out that go to the data transfer part of it.

    pitiful paint picture:


    edit: upon further consideration, i think i might use a few dabs of suber glue, and stick the main wire to the back of the keyboard. then i just need something stiff to hold the leds up. then ill just cover the wires in heatshring tubing or something. what do you guys think?
    I like the idea, if you do it can you post up a FAQ or Walkthrough of what you did? I'm thinking about creating one like that myself from some spare parts

  7. #7
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    Not for sure what you could make the light stand out of, but here is a link for the pinout on the usb cable.

    Linkage

  8. #8
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    angelslayer, i am looking for something like that. but i think i might just go ahead an try to build my own. thanks for the link pixel punk, that will be helpful. maybe after work and class today i can try to find some parts. i think i might just grab 4 white 5volt leds, and a couple of usb plugs. then i can just wire all the lights in parallel, so on the off chance that one of them goes out, i dont have to worry about the rest of them shutting off. i think i might put a small switch in there too, so i can turn it on and off without unplugging it. maybe i will actually do this mod, instead of just talking about it (which is what i usually end up doing!). ill get back to you guys if i make any more progress.

  9. #9
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    while sitting here at work (not really working very hard obviously) i have had another revelation. i think i want to keep the bulk of the wiring inside the keyboard. its a usb keyboard, so it will have a 5volt wire coming into it. so, ill just take the kayboard apart, and tap that. then drill 2 small holes on the back of the kayboard to run the wires out. then ill see when i can do to find a small switch to put on the back to turn the lights on and off. what do you think about that? if all of my leds are 5v, then all of them in parallel is the way to do that right? sorry for the dumb question. i havent taken any physics in a long time. my circuit know-how is a little rusty .

    parallel = same voltage for everything (since resistance is the same)

    series = same amps for everything. and each led would have a voltage drop of 1.25V across itself, right?

  10. #10
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    Hey Joe,
    I have done this before. There were 4 wires in my USB cable - 2 data, 1 ground, and 1 +5 Volts. Your last idea sounds like a winner. A switch to turn it on and off would be cool. I just used 1 LED with the appropriate resistor inbetween the LED and the 5 volt wire. If you just want to use 1 LED, then, you can use this calculator to find the resistor you need - http://linear1.org/ckts/led.php . Hope this helps

    Scott

  11. #11
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    thanks, its always nice to have someone conquer (sp?) on your ideas. ive only spent a few minutes looking, but i only found a 4v led. if i can find a 5 volt, it would be a lot easier, so im going to keep looking. while i was daydreaming (i do alot of that at work) i also thought about sticking a few leds under the keys, so maybe get them to glow. but i have to think about how much i really want something like that. ill keep everyone posted.

  12. #12
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    http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...-75&type=store
    That is for a white LED, 3000 mcd, and operates at 5 volts. Have a look around there, I'm sure you will find something you like

    Scott

  13. #13
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    i looked at the tech pdf for those, and i thought it said that its operating range was 3.6 - 4 volts. they are 5mm leds, is that what your thinking? i could be wrong. im at my dads house now on his computer, so i cant check (he has the worst security settings ever. he read how evil cookies were somewhere years ago, so he has all cookies disabled, along with just about everything else IE has an option for. its its not straight html, theres a good chance you cant see it on this computer! sorry, tangent there.) anyway... im sure i can find some leds somewhere that will work. will 4V leds be fine at 5V? how long would they live?

    another problem i thought of is, what should i use for a reflector? i dont want these to be shining in my eyes whenever they are on. i guess i could just put a piece of electrical tape on the top or something, but that is pretty ghetto. i was gonna try to make this look a little better. any thoughts?

  14. #14
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    Oops, sorry about that. I was looking at the reverse voltage. If you want to know what can happen to LEDs that are "overclocked" so to speak, then you should look here: http://bit-tech.net/article/84/ . I can't tell you exactly how long a 4 volt LED would last @ 5 volts, but it probably wouldn't be very long at all. The only 5 volt LEDs I can seem to find are blue. Would a resistor be such a big hassle?
    For a reflector, are you meaning something that will direct the light down toward the keyboard? Maybe something like a piece of tin - a pop can would probably work - that is bent to where u like it, and then painted, along with the cable. Also, to keep the cable from flopping down, you could put a straightened out coathanger, then cover all of the wires and hanger with some type of cover, then that could be painted.

    Scott

  15. #15
    Member RadiationMan's Avatar
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    Hey SpaceRangerJoe, here is a guide I found. Hope it helps.

    linkie

  16. #16
    Member dowmace's Avatar
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    that is the easiest guide i've ever seen I may have to do that now

  17. #17
    Member SpaceRangerJoe's Avatar
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    thanks to both of you for the links. a hanger, very good idea. ive seen lots of resistor calculators on the net, but i never keep track of them, so thanks for that. its not that big of a hassle if i have to use a resistor, it would just be less soldering if i didnt have to.

    does anyone know how bright 3000mcd is anyway? i assume thats pretty bright.

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