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A project that uses a small PCB and optional 3D printed case (not needed) to create a very simple spray of up to 20 LEDs that are powered from any USB power supply capable of at least 300mA. The LEDs can be fixed colour, colour changing, flickering, flashing, clear or diffused. Basically any standard LED.
If the two pin sockets are used, the LEDs can be changed as desired. The open circuit voltage is low, so putting an LED in the wrong way round will not damage it.
The end result is a very low power (just over 1W) spray of decorative points of light than can be left on continuously, as the running costs are virtually nothing.
If desired, the resistor values can be increased to reduce power further for battery powered decorations.
The PCB's zipped gerber files and the STL files for the case can be found here:-
http://www.bigclive.com/freebies.htm
The openscad scripts for the case are below.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:- http://www.bigclive.com/coffee.htm
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.
Here's the openscad script for the case's base:-
//USB LED dangleberries base
$fn=100;
difference(){
union(){
difference(){
union(){
//baseplate
hull() {
translate([29,11,0])
cylinder(h=5, d=14);
translate([29,-11,0])
cylinder(h=5, d=14);
translate([-29,11,0])
cylinder(h=5, d=14);
translate([-29,-11,0])
cylinder(h=5, d=14);
}
}
//base inner
hull() {
translate([29,11,1])
cylinder(h=5, d=10);
translate([29,-11,1])
cylinder(h=5, d=10);
translate([-29,11,1])
cylinder(h=5, d=10);
translate([-29,-11,1])
cylinder(h=5, d=10);
}
}
translate([-27.25,0,0])
cylinder(h=4, d=6);
translate([27.25,9,0])
cylinder(h=4, d=6);
translate([27.25,-9,0])
cylinder(h=4, d=6);
}
//screw holes
translate([-27.25,0,-1])
cylinder(h=6,d=3);
translate([27.25,9,-1])
cylinder(h=6,d=3);
translate([27.25,-9,-1])
cylinder(h=6,d=3);
}
Here's the openscad script for the case's top:-
//USB LED dangleberries base
$fn=100;
difference(){
union(){
difference(){
union(){
//baseplate
hull() {
translate([29,11,0])
cylinder(h=10, d=14);
translate([29,-11,0])
cylinder(h=10, d=14);
translate([-29,11,0])
cylinder(h=10, d=14);
translate([-29,-11,0])
cylinder(h=10, d=14);
}
}
//base inner
hull() {
translate([29,11,1])
cylinder(h=10, d=10);
translate([29,-11,1])
cylinder(h=10, d=10);
translate([-29,11,1])
cylinder(h=10, d=10);
translate([-29,-11,1])
cylinder(h=10, d=10);
}
//USB port
translate([32,-4,6.5])
cube([5,8,4]);
//cable ports
translate([-37,-13,2])
cube([5,10,10]);
translate([-37,3,2])
cube([5,10,10]);
}
translate([-27.25,0,0])
cylinder(h=9.5, d=6);
translate([27.25,9,0])
cylinder(h=9.5, d=6);
translate([27.25,-9,0])
cylinder(h=9.5, d=6);
}
//screw holes
translate([-27.25,0,1])
cylinder(h=12,d=2.5);
translate([27.25,9,1])
cylinder(h=12,d=2.5);
translate([27.25,-9,1])
cylinder(h=12,d=2.5);
}
#ElectronicsCreators

A while ago, i made a video about the dangleberry light, which was a 3d printed housing with a capacitive dropper in it, and then a big cluster of series leds operate it mains voltage and there was a slight problem with that. It meant that it's not really handy for people who are not willing to work with mains voltage, yet also meant that if you take one led or you get a bad connection, the whole string goes out and it's not obvious, which one has gone out. Also, it's effectively means voltage on single insulated wire, so not ideal, but it was just a novelty of time and a very attractive light is too it has been lit every evening since hanging from a light in the hallway. However, i, upon request have done a new version.

That's usb powered and it's using a custom circuit board which i'll put the i'll put a link to this file. So you can download it and you get a little batch of these made for two pounds, plus postage from many printed circuit board manufacturers and uh there's an option with this. The reason it's a circuit board, as opposed to just discrete wiring, is because all the leds are in parallel and each one is a resistor in this case 150 ohms, but once you've actually made it, you can either put a piece of heat shrink over the whole Thing to cover it like many chinese modules or in this instance, if you go down into the description, you'll see a 3d printed file. The 3d printed file is for a case for this circuit board.

The circuit board fits in like this. The lid goes on. You add some screws, it has the usb connector at one end and it has two cable ports other end for the lights to dangle out of. But this 3d printer case is entirely optional, because not everybody is a 3d printer, but it's quite a nice thing.

The usb socket in the past, i've mounted it in the back of the circuit board, with the pads the little uh contact wires at the back actually just laying across pads, and i have to say i've made it go through all this time, but they're not very Long i've got some more in order, but some of these are very very short and they just barely poke through. So i'm not really sure about that. However, let's begin the project. The project begins with me already, having stripped lots of wires.

Now the connector i'm going to be using the end, so you can swap led's willy nilly is going to be the mole. What i call the molex connector is that what molex calls the kk connector, the name and the internet - i'm just going to zoom down here, because it's the very tiny the internet, for this tends to be a kf2510. And this is nice because i i've never seen them in black before, but they they're available on ebay in black. So you get the connectors.

You get the choice. The connectors are a separate bag of the crimps or roll of the crimps. Uh you'll need basically two crimps per connector, so it's good to get them as a second. It's not that expensive, even buying it from a uk seller.

It was like seven pounds for a hundred complete set the little crimps uh different to the ones i normally use. When you actually want to snap these off they're very, very easy to snap off, you basically just fold the crimp back in itself like that and it suddenly goes weak and then it just fold it back and it drops off. So that's quite good and they do fit perfectly in my existing crimping tool, which is also good, but you can solder onto them as well. Let's begin this is my suitable crimping tool.

This is from a prominent supplier in the uk, rapid electronics, not quite as rapid as desired, but they're still there and you put an end into this and it's pre-stripped don't twist the the strands they have to go in straight because it's going to actually grip them. Like two little bunches like this of mcdonald's biting into two little bunches and folding around them, so you put it in and then just put a little bit of the insulation in for the insulation grip and then crimp it down. And you end up with a nice crimp like this, these connectors uh well, certainly when i first got them, they weren't fun to crimp, but once you get used to them, i suppose that's any crimp connector! You can get very fast at crimping these, so i'm going to uh crimp another one and then just spare you all this crimping, because it would take a very long time. I'll show you that the connectors now go in there's a little slot on the top of each side and there's a little tang opposite to the sort of the bent crimp here.

So this goes in here until it clicks where's, the other one, the black wire, and that goes in there. Now these uh leads. I made them all 12 inches long. What i'm actually going to do now, i'm going to pause.

While i put all the rest these crimps on and then i'm going to trim the length of some of them down a bit, it seems that way it would have been good idea just to do them with multiple sizes. But it was just easier time just to pull them all out the same length, and i can use the trimmings for other stuff later on, but i'm going to uh crop them to length strip the ends ready for going into the circuit board after the resistors have Been put in and then uh once they're soldered in i'll, be twisting them to actually keep the wire together. So i'm just going to pause and do that right now. One moment please! Well, that's all the tales made so before i start soldering components in i'll.

Show you the circuit board. The circuit board is very straightforward. You get the usb connector. At this end, a row of resistors in between each resistor is two pads for the tail for the led.

This means that the tails are going to be pressed down across the top of the resistors. It doesn't really matter because the resistors are running at very, very low power. We can calculate that so initially here's a usb connector at the end, the positive is just going to all the resistors. The negative is going to the negative out to the leds and the other end of the resistor is going to the positive out to the leds.

I chose 150 ohms because if we do the math with the kink calculator uh, it's going to be a 5 volt supply minus the roughly about, say: 2.5 to 3 volts. Let's say 5 minus 3 volts is going to leave 2 volts to drop across the resistor. I equals v over r, so that's the 2 volts to drop over the resistor divided by the 150 ohms i've chosen gives approximately about 13 milliamps. It's going to be closer to 15 milliamps, typically at the low current i'd, maybe expect it to be 5 minus a 2.7 volts across the led giving 2.3 divided by 150.

This could be more accurate about 15 milliamps. It seems a common choice of uh for running leds for decorative purposes that isn't going to fry them too quickly, so i've preformed all the 150 ohm resistors i cheated. I ran them through a machine that i have. I got it on ebay, it's very nice.

You basically feed the whole band layer and turn the handle and once you've got it set up correctly, it will form and cut the leds, the resistors for you, which is really good, let's zoom down now so i've put one side of resistors in here and i've Stuck a bit of sellotape or sticky back plastic as they used to say in blue peter because they weren't allowed to say selective, apparently because it was a brand. And now i'm just going to go along and solder all those resistors. Again, i'm probably not going to show you the whole process of soldering everything in our pause, because otherwise it would get a very long, video and while it is quite therapeutic to have videos like this, sometimes those type of videos can go on long, because this is Actually, a fairly complex project, just making all these looms up is a massive part of that project. So i'm going to solder one lead of the resistors, then i'm going to double check before i go any further, that the tape is still in place and the resistors haven't moved and popped up there can okay should give them a squish, yeah they're looking good, and I should solder the other lead of those, as always, when soldering, a nice shiny tip to the soldering iron, is important and uh place, the soldering iron onto the pad and the lead and then apply the solder, and when you do that, the flux comes out.

The core of the solder i've mentioned this in the past, but it's worth mentioning again just in case people. Don't realize this, because, when you're trying to carry solder to the joint by melting it onto there see how that smoked me off. That was the flux that was supposed to be released. While you were soldering on the joint itself.

That's why your joint will end up quite dry. So when you actually heat the leading pad and then apply the soda, the flux that's inside, the solder will then be released at just the right time to make that super diver joint. If you have got dry soda joints a result of that carrying soda to the joint, you can add a bit flux and reflow them or you can just add a tiny bit more soda directly on the joint and re-flow it and that liberated flux. It doesn't take much will basically repair the joint to the crusty joint if you're using lead-free soda, the joint will be crusty, no matter whatever you do.

Some of them are just very dry, looking okay, so that is a the resistors on that side soda. So i'm going to pause momentarily while i've solder the other side and i'm going to crop those leads off one moment please, the resistors are all soldered now so now it's time to put in these - and this is going to take a ball - i recommend doing it. One wire at a time - and something quite important here - is to not push the wire as you're sewing it, because if you do, it makes the plastic shrivel back. You end up the wire.

That's poking through the circuit board gets longer and longer, and it starts sort of dragging out the shoulder, but you'll find this out when you start doing it. So the connections on the outer edge are the positive and the connections on the inside, for both sides are negative. So i'm going to start by putting just one wire in holding it gently at the back, so it's not pushing through the circuit board and then just flowing some soda onto that wire. Not bad, not bad.

Hopefully it's not peeling back some different insulations. Do you get different colors of the wire and uh just some of them uh? The insulation is more prone to sort of like curling back with the heat. It's just to curse these wires. They're sort of you just have a technique to actually well you'll pick it up when you, when you actually do it you'll realize what the technique is.

It will just be whatever is required for that particular wire at this point in time. Technically speaking, i could just stuff an led this in this and i could bring in the usb power supply, which has its uh current monitor on it, and i could plug it in and i could just uh stuff an led into that and see what happens. Let's do that what's the worst could happen. This is where it does something terrible.

A random led here is a random led. I'm not sure what this led is positive in there negative in there it's a color, changing led. This is good. This is one of the options we have later on because you can put any leds into these sockets.

That's perfect right here! Well, i'm going to continue doing these and i shall be back in a moment once i've got them all in together. One moment please, the wiring loom is complete and i guarantee once you've made one of these, that when your friends say, oh, that's lovely, can you make everyone you'll probably say no make it yourself, because that was very time consuming. Do you know this whole project took longer than it that takes to completely populate our super computer, just because of all the crimping and cutting wires to length and then putting the resistors in and soldering them all in individually. Uh? Is that about right, yep? Roughly about the same time, perhaps hmm it's a very time consuming project you'll also have to be careful that you don't leave too much coffer showing when you solder these uh in so that when it folds down, it's not going to short against the resistor like legs, But it's looking good so far, now where's the case.

Where is the case? Let's try it in the case. I've not tried this for size. I don't know if this is gon na fit or not hope it does. I made a rough guess at what size these bunches of wires might be.

I've also got a selection of leds here for us to try right here, so this goes in here. It's looking good. This goes on here, that's fitting! That is good. I kind of wish i'd made little ports here, maybe made it round, but this is a prototype.

The screws i designed it for are four by three eighths or 2.9 millimeter by 9.5 millimeter. Just a happy coincidence. I had them because i i think i got them for something else, but they didn't really fit that other project, but they do fit this one. Where is a suitable screwdriver? This looks like a suitable screwdriver.

Let's hope that the pillar doesn't split. That's all right. It's holding it with just enough force. That is good.

This is a tentative time. Is it going to fit? Is it going to go together? Am i pinching wires? Everything has been designed to the circuit board with the little pillars on the other side will touch either side of the circuit board. So hopefully it's not pinching wires, because there wouldn't be much indication if it was. This looks.

Okay. Actually, it just looks like a box with lots of wires hanging out. Okay right, tell you what, let's plug it into a usb power supply and start loading it up with leds. Uh current so far is zero.

This is very good. I'm going to zoom back out a bit here because uh, otherwise it's not going to be so easy to see things. Let's pick some random colors, it doesn't matter if you get led in the wrong way round, because uh, it's only five volts. It's not going to damage the leds, so that's a red one! I've got some interesting long, uh what they call long high colloid.

The high colloid is a bit kind of finds these, but it's a really long, leds very nice. I think they're designed for going into christmas lights so that it sits into the base and then you've got the big bit sticks out. I've also got some warm white here. It doesn't light.

First time turn it around the worm. White on its own would be quite nice, so tell you what i'm going to just randomly populate this, because there are 20 positions, i'll pause and i'll come back in a moment with the lights set to suitable levels. So you can see what this looks like and there we have it just a little module with the spray of leds coming out. It would look very good with caps and incen it gently you'll notice.

I've put little 3d printed caps in these because the ones i had these, what they call the high colloid long leds, are very good for putting the caps on because they're tapered very gently from the nice and longs that spreads the light along the inside of the Cap and also makes a nice friction fit wherever it stops. It kind of makes it easier to actually size them for that, and so that's it uh. You also notice i put in load, i like the 10 millimeter ones, so much that i put in a load of the 10 millimeter ones. It's a good result.

It's very nice! It's the sort of thing that you'd the power consumption is very low. It's quartz 1 amp, 270 milliamps at the 5 volts. So you know the power consumption is just a couple of watts or something like that. It's not that much uh just barely over 1 watt, and you can just shuffle these leds to your heart's content.

You know they just unplug, so you can plug other ones in and use the covers. So that's quite a nice result. It's that would be a nice little table ornament or even just standing up the way, uh fanning into the air and just sort of letting them drape down a nice thing, but it is very tin consuming so watch your eyes. The light is coming back.

So that concludes that project, and that is really quite nice. Uh, it's a good effect. It would look good with a uniform say all warm white or just maybe the little uh, the i suppose. Some people, like the cold white, a mixture of the warm white and cold white side emitting leds, which are available quite readily on aliexpress, but this looks pretty good.

It's got lots of potential. Now i'm seeing how this looked. I'm kind of like wishing i'd made these longer in a way and spread them about something just made a plum more also. I would like to actually sit these inside the little sort of olive lamps.

I've not got it here, but uh hold on i'm gon na grab one of those things like this. This is a cap from a string of lights. Let's see if we can just pop this out that it turned out that it takes one of these little sockets inside quite handily, so if you poke the wire through and then crimp or crimp them, and then before you sewed it into this module, you actually put It through then uh put this cover back on it kind of holds it in place. That would look quite nice with the the long leds in there yeah.

That would look quite nice, wouldn't it but lots of possibilities. You can do a lot with these things. It's just a versatile, low voltage and safe led spray. That draws very little power, so you could just leave it on if you've got a multi-way charger and there's one port spare.

This could just become a little decorative light. Just to show the charger is active or just as a little mood light in the room. I would say that is a good result. It's a very nice little effect, indeed quite complex to build, but uh, not too bad an appearance and i'll be pushing the files for the uh the case in the uh.

The description of this video i'll put it in as like the script file and the circuit board itself, i shall put a link to the zip files that you can then send to manufacture and get small batches of these made. If you have the courage to build one of these yourselves.

13 thoughts on “DIY USB customisable LED cluster with files”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars v2joecr says:

    My best guess for what to search for the shaper you used on the resistors ending up with clothing not electronics. so tips on that search term would be appreciated.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Charles Gould says:

    Great stuff. Could you break down a couple different battery monitors that you plug into car cig lighter? The ones that don't use batteries. Edit, some have like clamps but basically LEDs light at diff. voltages. I have one with a digital display from 8v to 19.1v and I'd like to modify a little.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Derik says:

    I miss your long Making videos. Yes, they are Very relaxing, and you used to talk more and answer questions. Sometimes you’d gently ramble about the topic. Good times. 🤙🏼

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars no one says:

    Hi Clive, a bit off-topic here but looking at your channel in general, have you discussed DIY red light therapy? I would like to make a panel if I could source and trust the LED's were correct

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Arno nümuss says:

    That looks like quite the relaxing build.
    I might make it, but cheat by buying those pre-crimped wires in a bundle of 100.
    Also I might substitute with 1kΩ resistors.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Eliot Brown says:

    Time nicely spent~! Suggestion: a spreader of some kind. Perhaps a 3D printed "star" shape. Maybe with little forks that can hold them just so.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RuinFox says:

    Coming from ashens. that video wear you took apart that awful power bank. i actually had one of them before and it just didnt work at all. didnt charge either.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rgnlsaizo says:

    A question to bigclivedotcom:
    If I want to connect a blue 3mm LED to a 5 volt powersource, what resistor value should I use?

    20mA LED, 3mm Ø.
    Powersource 5 volt (usb).

    However, I will be using at least 2 LED's.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Richard S says:

    This is cool?

    As someone who knows nothing about a lot of things, I note a lot of people like to put these things in glass vases/bowls. Out of pure curiosity, do you think these could be powered via a wireless charging coil through the base of a glass vase/bowl? I guess the base thickness will come into it but can these things work through glass? 🙂

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars PushyPawn says:

    I can't believe YT haven't fixed the Scotland Flag emoji yet.
    This is what you get: 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
    How is one supposed to cheer?

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mgcamp85 says:

    Great video as always. I must admit however that I initially misread (possibly wishful thinking) the title to be “diy usb COMBUSTIBLE led cluster with FIRES”. Of course that could have been fun too.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars FullStack says:

    Hay, @BigClive are you aware that someone had made a thumbnail from one of your videos? It looks like they are selling one of those fake energy saving devices with the capacitors inside.

    I've tried to leave a message with the web addresses in but YouTube removes them possibly as it looks like spam.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Blondie SL says:

    Sometimes, it's just not a good idea to try to read a title when you are very tired. LOL

    I read the above as, "USB COMBUSTIBLE LED…"

    Sign. LOL

    I mean, in my defense, with Clive, that most certainly could be possible.

    ROFL

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