pimiimip

How to make LED signs for concerts

Anon request: A small recap w/ images of how I made my LED sign for Music Bank in Paris. I’m putting this under ‘Read More’. Strike that, Read More doesn’t work..

Materials I used:
- black cardboard
- two perfboards
- LEDs & resistors (I bought mine on Ebay, and since they came in a pack I didn’t need to get separate resistors. Check which resistors your LEDs require)
- solder & soldering iron
- batteries (check the voltage you need), wires

NB! This might be quite time consuming if this is your first time, so be prepared to spend a good 4-6 hours messing around with your board.


Step 1 - I did my design 유키스² with Photoshop (counted all the holes on the two perfboards I was going to use and fiddled around with PS until I came up with a useful design), mirrored it, printed it. I used two perfboards that I in the end placed side to side on the black cardboard.

Step 2 - I made holes in the cardboard according to my design and popped through the LEDs like so (all the positive ends in one direction, the negative in the other):

Step 3 - Soldered the ends of the LEDs. Got my dad to help me with that. /not my hand

Step 4 - Now this might be the trickiest part of the process/There is probably an easier way to do this. OTL I cut the ends of the LEDs and put in the resistors and soldered them. I myself had no idea how to use resistors (never got that far in physics in high school), so my dad helped me again. If you’re unsure of what to do, where to put the resistors, you’ll definitely need to ask someone with the knowledge. We put the resistors in place, checked that everything was working (all the LEDs were connected to a resistor and that they got electricity). – Try not to get too frustrated if some LEDs don’t work; relax and take a closer look at where the problem might be. – After we were sure every LED worked, we made small cuts between the small copper “plates” on the perfboard to direct the electricity the way we wanted. If you accidentally cut a wrong plate you can fix it by connecting it to another working plate using a bit of solder.

Step 5 - After finishing the first perfboard we did all the steps above with the second one and connected the two with a small wire (both boards need to get power). The only thing left now is the power source, i.e. batteries. Connect them in a way that is convenient for you (we did it with really thin wires that we soldered onto the board, which wasn’t such a good thing since they came off during the flight to France…) and attach them to the board somehow. We also had an on-off switch attached to the batteries.

And voilá, the LED sign is done! You might want to put another piece of cardboard at the back (by e.g. glueing small bits onto all four corners and putting the other cardboard piece on top of them, making like a small box), just to make it safer.

My LED sign is far from perfect, but it was good enough to get 5 seconds of air-time when KBS broadcasted the concert. ^^

If re-posted, credit jongdae-ified @ tumblr or kpoplightsticks @ tumblr!