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I have waaaay too much time on my hands

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok, you know those little lights that clip onto a book so you can read in the dark?

From what I heard they are pretty bad as far as actualy reading by them goes. The light is too yellow, it burns out too quickly and the batteries run down fast. Seeing as I read a good bit, can't sleep in cars, and had a bit of time on my hands (along with a good selection of parts) I decided to build one.

What resulted is a 4AA powered clip on with a white LED instead of a lamp. Ahhhh, perfection. Well, maybe not, but it works dam well, able to bathe a normal paperback book in crisp white light. And it draws about 7mA on high and 2.3mA on low, meaning that it should light up for days, if not weeks, continuously.

And it looks pretty nifty too. Imagine a street lamp stuck on an aprox. 1" square bar of aluminum and you get the idea. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, if I am as bored then as I was today.

Yes, I have nothing to do, and wouldn't have it any other way.
post #2 of 5

Re: I have waaaay too much time on my hands

Quote:
Originally posted by CaptBubba
Ok, you know those little lights that clip onto a book so you can read in the dark?

From what I heard they are pretty bad as far as actualy reading by them goes. The light is too yellow, it burns out too quickly and the batteries run down fast. Seeing as I read a good bit, can't sleep in cars, and had a bit of time on my hands (along with a good selection of parts) I decided to build one.

What resulted is a 4AA powered clip on with a white LED instead of a lamp. Ahhhh, perfection. Well, maybe not, but it works dam well, able to bathe a normal paperback book in crisp white light. And it draws about 7mA on high and 2.3mA on low, meaning that it should light up for days, if not weeks, continuously.

And it looks pretty nifty too. Imagine a street lamp stuck on an aprox. 1" square bar of aluminum and you get the idea. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, if I am as bored then as I was today.

Yes, I have nothing to do, and wouldn't have it any other way.

I though of that some time ago as I like to read late...but I never wound up doing it...good to know someone finally did it. Please post some pics and your expeirence doing it so I can learn from you and make one for myself too
post #3 of 5
My SO had one of those 2AA powered things and she fell asleep with it on. The smell of the covers starting to smolder woke us up. Very scary.

Send more info on the LED rig. You may have found a new career building them.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Here are some cruddy pics I took with a little web-cam thing because my father currently has the digi-cam.


See? It is a street lamp attached to an aluminium bar.


Different perspective.


The switch. A center-off SPDT switch. Left is low, right is high, the center is off.


A really bad pic of what it looks like on a book.

Making the case took the longest amount of time, about an hour. It is made from aluminium flashing, which you can pick up at Lowes or other places for ~$4 for more than you'll ever need. The clip is a piece of 12awg ground wire. If you are worried that it won't hold tight enough you could use 10awg, but 12awg works great for me. The black wire is 14awg and can be bent down into a position similar to the clip so that you can carry it easily.

The reflector on top is a modified peice of aluminium (I love this stuff) that I got from a broken UPS (it was a heatsink in it). The LED is just the white RS one, but disaster stuck when I was working with it, one of the leads fell off. So I chipped the plastic casing and brought to bear skills in soldering I had gotten from practicing taking apart and reassembling SM stuff. Now clear packing tape protects the LED and the connections in back.

I used a 1K resistor and a pair of 660 ones (so it is 330) so limit the current. On low the page is pretty well lit, but the oppisite corner is a bit hard to read. On high everything is dandy. I experimented with different refelctor designs using aluminum flashing before deciding the street-light looking thing spread the light out best without any overly bright spots.
post #5 of 5
So when do you start taking orders?

What's the price?

What's expected delivery date?
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