Maker Faire Build Night 2015-02-26

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This is part of the Noisebridge Booth for Maker Fair 2015 project

The project continues.

This night we tested LEDs under the resin table surface test peice that we made last time. It did not go as smoothly as expected, but we learned and we ended up with a decent test.

So the caulk option may already be out of the running.

The mylar sheet that was sandwiched between the casting void and the backer board did not stick to the resin at all. The wavy shimmer is from the mylar sheet deflecting when we screwed the boards together. It would be good to find a way to get it to lay flat next time. I'm thinking that we could spray mount it to a flat surface.

We were able to find everything we needed and in a reasonable amount of time, good job NB.

The "LED crew" was not able to attend this evening, so Torrey and I did our best. On the way to NB I picked up a double density (60 LED / meter) of RGB strip, and a remote IR controller from Cool Neon, whom has been very helpful so far, so that we could test. Torrey had soldered some before, and I had attended Circuit Hacking Monday once, so we felt pretty confident that we could figure it out.

Soldering is easy?!

Except, the wires on the LED controller don't match the leds. So working this out took longer that we expected. We opted to use the proven 'Guess and Check' method and eventually worked it out.

Torrey warms the pad a little before adding some solder

Also, soldering wires to those little pads on the waterproof RGB strip was not simple but after a couple of youtube videos Torrey seemed to be getting the feel for it. We learned that one should add solder to the wires and pads separately, and then solder them together. I couldn't tell if we were using flux core solder, so we used some on everything just in case. If anyone knows of a good video or tutorial for wiring and soldering these strips, please add a link to it here:

Finally we picked up a Signal

Despite our best efforts we couldn't seem to make the thing work properly. Maybe next time more advance research will be needed. Fortunately, we knew of this place where you could usually find hackers who tend to be down to help others with projects. With Signal's help we made more progress and got a few tips on how to solder the LED strips more reliably.

Then we started to look a the the test piece together.

Red of course.

Despite our fumbling, we are able to see a pretty good comparison of how the light looked under the resin. Here are closeups of the Three different castings below:

resin with caulk backing
clear resin
resin with pearlescent pigment

The pearlescent was neat since it scatted the light internally a little. Since the initial castings, I have picked up some opaque white pigment which I hope we can test, using different opacities or even a mixture with the pearl, during the next build night.


The quick El wire test did not turn out so well.

under bright direct light

Of course, this table is meant for a bright room, first at Maker Faire then at Noisebridge. So we also looked at the table under differnet lighting conditions. The LEDs preformed well and will likely look great at the show.

On the following Sunday, Julio and I picked several sheets of plywood and some other necessities for the next step.

Next week we will do another casting while we also work on the table top. Please come by.