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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by BSmith, Apr 23, 2014.

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  1. BSmith


    Apr 23, 2014
    Alright, I'm not 100% sure which section of the board this would fit in, so I figured I would post it here in hopes that a member can point me in the right direction. So I have a TV show prop in the shape of an octagon that I want to have lighting behind it. I think the flat LEDs would be the ones I would want to use because I want the circuitry that the LEDs are going to be soldered to to be as low profile as it can be.

    So I guess there are a couple parts of this question that I will seperate into its own line. As I said over the winter I have been doing some reading on understanding circuit boards and the components, but am unclear on circuitry specifics, vendors, etc. So first:

    Where is a good vendor that carries everything needed to put together an octagon shaped circuit board with LEDs

    The second question I will try to explain the best I can, I'm still a bit unclear on how to understand circuit boards and how to ensure everything soldered onto it is connected correctly such as capacitors, LEDs, etc so the board and LEDs operates correctly. So if anyone can help me understand this more clearly or point me into the direction of where I can understand it more clearly it would be GREATLY appreciated!

    Thank you everyone for reading and assisting as well as giving your input.
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    No one supplier carries everything.

    If you're in the US, Digikey and Mouser are two suppliers that have a good range. Neither do PCBs to the best of my knowledge.

    Everything gets connected correctly on a PCB because you design them that way. Often, in addition to the copper tracks, you add markings that identify where each component is placed.
  3. aharrison


    Nov 14, 2010
    There's a freeware PCB layout program that is easy to learn and use here: It isn't necessarily the least expensive service, and the files generated are only readable by their foundry. However, they provide great quality boards and good service. Surface-mount LEDs are available from many sources, with DigiKey being one of them. You didn't mention the size of you octagon, nor the spacial pitch of the LEDs, but if the octagon is relatively large, you can use LED adhesive strips such as attached to any substrate, and avoid a PCB entirely. However, if you octagon is smaller and requires greater LED density than that offered in the prefab adhesive strips, then a custom PCB may be better. Be sure that you arrange the LEDs schematically so that they receive an appropriate current. In most cases, ballast resistors will be a necessity. You should consider the electrical characteristics of the particular LEDs you choose, and select an appropriate power supply on that basis. You can reduce the number of ballast resistors by arranging the LEDs in series-wired sets. Prove-out your scheme on a breadbaord before committing to a PCB layout. Remember that LEDs, although quite efficient in comparison with incandescent lamps, still dissipate heat, so allow for adequate cooling.
  4. BSmith


    Apr 23, 2014
    The octagon is smaller. I'm unsure if anyone is a smallville fan but its simply a key with see through colored plexiglass so I just want a small low profile octagon shape with white LED's to light the key up when I want it to be. Here is a pic of what the key looks like. $T2eC16dHJHIE9nysfCCHBRHUYGYz1Q~~60_57.JPG
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