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DtheMac

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DtheMac last won the day on April 6 2019

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  1. Alright, my time to shine. My name is Daryn, and I am a Cincinnati local. I've been in the hobby for, well, about a year now. I went a bit nuts last year and really got into the hobby, buying books, doing hours upon hours of research... I've got a few hundred other hobbies, including, but not limited to, electronics, leatherworking woodworking, fish-keeping, succulents, carnivorous plants, guitar, ukulele, upright bass, knives... uh... I'm probably forgetting some things. I'm an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Cincinnati and I work at an engineering firm when I'm not in class.
  2. DtheMac

    DtheMac

  3. WARNING: ELECTRICITY CAN BE AND IS DANGEROUS. IF YOU'RE A CHILD, PLEASE DO THIS WITH A PARENT. IF YOU'RE AN ADULT, PLEASE TEACH YOUR KIDS ELECTRICAL SAFETY, AND THIS IS A SIMPLE PROJECT TO GET THEM INTO MAGIC. BLACK MAGIC. THAT SAID, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURY CAUSED BY ELECTRICITY, CUTTING TOOLS, HEAT, HOT GLUE, SHARP EDGES, HURT FEELINGS, BUG STINGS, ETC. I'M ASSUMING THAT IF YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING, POORLY-WRITTEN, ROUGH GUIDE, THAT YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH/HANDY ENOUGH/EDUCATED ENOUGH TO NOT HARM YOURSELF DRASTICALLY, AND ARE DOING SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. PLEASE BE SAFE. Full disclosure, I did a terrible job documenting this, so I'll explain in as much detail as possible. My work space is my small bedroom, so... yeah... Here's my original mock-up in SketchUp, which was basically just me putting my ideas down on (screen) paper. It didn't quite turn out like the design. Obviously it's missing a lid. And the fan. And two fins. But I digress. BEGIN! Materials List: 1/4" clear acryllic (I bought an 18"x36" sheet from Lowes) Thinner like 1/8" acryllic (This I found lying around) 5gal bucket (Doesn't matter what it looks like, at long as the diameter is 12") 12" brewer's funnel (Or whatever 12" funnel you can find) Bought on Amazon 1" PVC Blacklight/UV LED strip Bought on AliExpress I bought the waterproof, 5m, 120LED strip. More powah. Keep in mind this will take quite a while to arrive. Like. At least a month. Electrical stuff (I'm an Electrical Engineering major and do EE work, so I had all of this lying around from other projects) Wire (Red and black 18G wire used) Heat shrink (And something to heat it with?) A 12V AC-DC converter. Pretty common with a lot of electronics. Something like this, I just cut the plug off and spliced it into the wire that is attached to the LED strip (Eventually) A fan of some sort, probably a computer fan (Eventually) I'll find a lid or something that fits it (Eventually) Connectors for easy connect/disconnect Cut Things So you have your funnel and bucket? Good. Now we get to the fun work. Not really. I've never worked with acrylic before, so before I go any further, I recommend having them (Lowes, HD, wherever) cut the 1/4" sheet into at least the approximate sizes that you'll need. I did not have a good time. So, my original design called for 4 fins surrounding a 1" PVC tube. Well, I decided to go with two fins, and I'm not sure why. You can add two more fins to your design, if you want. It's a free world. BOOM! Here's the base. Some 1/4" acrylic terribly cut into ~12" x 1" strips with notches made to rest on the rim of the bucket or funnel, then 1/4" wide slots in the center of each strip, that span HALF of the width of the strip (1/2") You'll slot these together, and weld them together into a plus sign using acrylic welding adhesive. Then hot glue them together because you had a lot of trouble cutting the notches and they're not very clean. You want 2 of these. As you can see here, I attached several small pieces of 1/8" acrylic to each strip of 1/4" to act as slides or brackets or doohickies. Basically, the 1/4" acrylic fins that I (and hopefully not you) cut out will slot into these for support. Cut More Things Now cut the PVC to length. I cut mine to 18" which I ended up thinking was too long, but ended up working out splendidly. When that's cut, start wrapping the PVC with the LED strip. Leave a little room on the end you start on, enough for a hole to be drilled near the end of the strip. Great. Now drill some holes near the ends of the strips, and fit the loose wires from the strip through them, so they're sticking out of the PVC ends. Once that's done, you'll want to line up your previously done acrylic cross with the bottom of the acrylic (and the bottom is entirely up to you, use your judgment) and figure out where you'll need to notch the PVC so the cross can slot into it. Then weld THOSE together. And again, hot glue them because you did literally everything so far with a Dremel multitool and it's not pretty. Now for the top. As you can see here again. What I did was make a 1/4" rectangle that fit into the top of the PVC, then weld some 1/8" strips to it for the fins that you hopefully didn't cut yourself to fit into. Then, more hot glue to keep it in place. MAKE SURE THAT THEY LINE UP WITH THE STRIPS AT THE BOTTOM. THE FINS NEED TOP AND BOTTOM SUPPORT. Now, if you're a masochist, you need to cut the fins. I think mine ended up being 5" x 18" by 1/4". If you cut it yourself, I HIGHLY investing in a jigsaw/jigsaw blade for cutting acrylic. The score and snap didn't work for me at all, so I ended up cutting it out with a plastic cutting bit and my Dremel. Not very precise, makes a lot of mess, and smells funny. Much like children. So now you have (2) or (4) fins. Make sure they fit. Then make sure they fit again. If they fit, if your base mount sits on the funnel/bucket, then congrats. You've graduated to doing some simple electrical modifications. The Black Magic Known as Electricity So the LED strips run on 12V DC power. Your house's electrical outlets are nominal 120V AC. I'm not going to explain the difference here, but needless to say, your LEDs won't get along with your electrical outlets, so DON'T just stick the wires into an outlet or something. I'm planning on making this design 100% portable with a car battery (which is 12V DC) but haven't yet, that's for the future. So the following instructions relying on an outlet or available extension cord. The first step I took was to splice some wire into what comes attached to the LEDs. Pretty simple, strip the wires, slide some heatshrink over the wires, twist exposed copper/aluminum wiring together, slide heatshrink down, heat it up, and repeat. Watch a YouTube video if you're unsure, it's really pretty easy. Next is basically the same thing, but you're using the 12V AC-DC adapter that you bought/found/stole/made because you're a prodigy untrained Electrical Engineer. Make sure you slide heatshrink over the wires BEFORE you twist them up. Otherwise, you know, no heatshrink. Again, pretty simple. Cut off the circle plug, strip the wire cover, strip each wire, twist, heatshrink, boom. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TOUCHING THE WIRES TOGETHER AND MAKING SURE THE LEDs LIGHT UP TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE NOT BROKEN. At this point, you should have a solid piece of wire attached to an adapter that plugs into an outlet. So go ahead. Test it. If you did it right, the LEDs light up and you're set. It's just a matter of putting it all together. If they don't light up, then you either did something wrong, or the LEDs dun broked, because they're from China. But equivalent strips from Amazon would be 40+ dollars and you're cheap. But that's okay. I'm cheap. Anyway, if you've got a multimeter, you probably know how to check your circuit with it, so I'm not going to explain that. If you don't have a multimeter, just undo everything you did, then check to make sure the lights work after each step. You could've messed up the splice, the heatshrink, gotten the wires switched (RED goes with RED. BLACK goes with BLACK). If nothing works, you can message me and if I notice, I might be able to help you. FIN There you go, you're a proper DIY'er. Everything should sit levelly (ha), your edges should be neat (ha), and you're completely uninjured (ha). Like I said, I intend on making this completely portable and will update when I get that far, as well as any modifications I make between now and then. IF you decide to go the battery route, you want to make sure have several Amp Hours (like 5+, and more is better). I have a car battery lying around, so I'll end up using that. Notes: I use a piece of 550 paracord to hold the contraption to the bucket firmly. You could very easily use a bungie cord, but I'm handy with knots and didn't have any bungie lying around. I painted everything white. If you decide to do this, use a plastic paint (Krylon Fusion I think is what I used) and make sure it's WHITE so it reflects the light. Also, make sure you painters tape over the LED strip. You don't want that getting paint on it. I plan to add connectors to the wires so I can go between battery and AC-DC adapter whenever. I also plan to add a fan. The strip has wire on both sides of the strip, so I should be able to wire a fan into it. The point is to blow anything that gets too handsy with the LEDs or fins into the funnel. Also, the LEDs can get warm, so some airflow would be good. Here's the full album of pictures I took. Again, I only have a little room to work, and I'm only one person (I think) so I didn't document everything as well as I would have liked. If you have any questions, message me via the Discord, ideally. I'VE MADE SOME MODIFICATIONS About time, me. So I finally made the time (by that I mean procrastination on studying for my exam. Stay in school, kids) to modify my trap to accept power from a car battery. I did so with plugs. Lets begin! Step 1: Cut and strip wire. Step 2: Create the battery plug extension. Just showing how the plugs all go together. Wire goes into red waterproofing plug, then into the header. Crimp the plug holder. Now, you have two options; Crimp the header onto the wire, or solder it. After trying to crimp them, I learned the hard way that the final product isn't very nice. So on a whim, I soldered them. Much, much nicer. Nice and clean. You'll need to do this for two male headers and two female headers. Then you insert the headers into the appropriate housings. Pictured is the male housing. Step 3: Insert fuse. This is pretty important. On the off chance anything goes wrong, the fuse keeps things from blowing up, setting on fire, etc. In this instance, I'm using a 3A fuse, because my measured current draw from the LED strip is 1.5A, give or take. When I add the fan, I'll need to put in a larger fuse. Easy enough. NOTE: FUSES GO DOWNSTREAM. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT YOU NEED TO PUT IT AS CLOSE TO THE POWER SOURCE AS POSSIBLE. I HAVE ONE FOR THE BATTERY AND ONE FOR RESIDENTIAL POWER, ON THEIR OWN PLUGSET. You'll need to eyeball this, because you want the length of the positive wire you cutout to be the same as the fuse holder. KEEP IN MIND THE WIRE YOU'LL NEED TO STRIP, OR YOU'LL END UP TOO SHORT. Step 4: Create some loops with the non-plugged ends of your wires. I soldered the connections and heat-shrunk it just for good measure. Don't get your positive and negatives mixed up. Also, learn from my mistake and check to see if the negative post on the battery is smaller than the positive. Or else. And I think that's it. It's pretty repetitive stuff, but be sure to do it as neatly as possible, electricity isn't anything to mess with. I also used the opportunity to make an extension cord with some extra plugs, just in case. Things I bought: Fuse holders. Make sure you buy equal or smaller wire gauge. (By smaller I mean if you have 18, you need 18, 20, etc) Plug kit Make sure it's the 2-pin, and if you opt for another product, do make sure it's waterproof.
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