escribblings
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: SW UK

Extending the status LED's

Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:25 pm

I really hope the next version of the pi replaces the surface mount LED's with a pin header and jumpers (with the LED's in) so that they can easily be broken out and put into a case fascia.

In the mean time however, I have had a brain wave (well more of a ripple actually). I have tested it briefly and it kind of works.

The idea is to use fibre optic light guide to transmit the light from the LED to wherever it is require.

All I had on hand was my old Lego fibre optic cables which are plastic, not glass; aged, so maybe not as clear as they once would have been; and they have little "bubbles" in them so that the entire strand lights up rather than just the tip.

That said, by just touching the base of them to the LED's gets a result that would be noticeable in the dark - however having proper glass, unobstructed light guides securely attached (some how) would be much better.

All we need now is some form of holder that snaps into the mounting hole and over the edge of the pcb to clamp the light guide in place.

3m of light guide is available on ebay for a couple of quid. If I had access to a 3D printer I could probably knock something together.

But what I want to know is what you guys think? Has anyone else managed (without re-soldering) managed to successfully break out the status LED's?

hal8000
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:22 pm

Re: Extending the status LED's

Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:45 pm

Good idea, you can also use light collecting acrylic rods, link below:

http://hobby.uk.com/materials/plastic/l ... -rods.html

These collect light and if placed near a LED will "transmit" the light to the end of the rod.
I have used them in model making, not tried with my RPi but they are cheap enough
and possibly cheaper than your optic cables.

karlkiste
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:50 am
Location: berlin, germany

Re: Extending the status LED's

Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:59 pm

If you've got a means to hold the fibers in place for some time, you can glue them to the LEDs using a tiny drop of transparent epoxy glue. The LEDs are epoxy, so the coupling into the glue is near to perfect. That will give a far better transmission than a dry connection with an air gap.

zakpucci2
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Extending the status LED's

Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:41 am

I would also be extremely interested in any solution to this. I am attempting to build an enclosure and would like to move the status LED's outward as well as well as add other status LED's (wifi/internet activity, hard drive processing, etc)

escribblings
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Extending the status LED's

Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:28 am

hal8000 wrote:Good idea, you can also use light collecting acrylic rods, link below:

http://hobby.uk.com/materials/plastic/l ... -rods.html

These collect light and if placed near a LED will "transmit" the light to the end of the rod.
I have used them in model making, not tried with my RPi but they are cheap enough
and possibly cheaper than your optic cables.
karlkiste wrote:If you've got a means to hold the fibers in place for some time, you can glue them to the LEDs using a tiny drop of transparent epoxy glue. The LEDs are epoxy, so the coupling into the glue is near to perfect. That will give a far better transmission than a dry connection with an air gap.
Thanks for the info guys. I haven't looked at the rods yet, but the price of the light guide is very good.

optic fibre light guide - eBay

3m x 2.0mm £1.99 + £0.99 p&p.

Just got to work out what material it is and how best to cut it.

escribblings
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Extending the status LED's

Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:29 pm

Just uploaded a quick and dirty demo to YouTube. Video (and build) quality is not brilliant, but it gives a good idea.

I think this is ultimately do-able, I also have an idea for a mount to install the light-guide cable into. I just have to work out how to build one. I will need to mock one up (possibly in sketch-up) then it is a case of getting it made. My B-i-L works at UCL, so might be able to pop into London's HackSpace and borrow their 3D printer.

Image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5_AlNO7_m8

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