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Eat Sign

August 10, 2013

EatRecently while on vacation I picked up two plastic letters and one metal one spelling EAT.

I am starting to make a sign for my kitchen using 2 TLC5940 chips and roughly 15 – 30 leds.  The exact number of leds I need is still to be determined. How to wire up the TLC5940 can be found here.

The letters will be slightly raised off the backing panel, allowing light from the leds to show.  I will be drilling holes through the backing panel and inserting the leds from behind.

The general idea is to use a photo resistor so the sign automatically comes on when dark enough.

I will also have a push button on the side so you can toggle through different modes.  Right now I have 3 modes.  Normal mode turns on one LED at at a time until all are lit up.  Blink mode blinks all the lights. Fade mode fades the leds up, down and up again, finally leaving them on at full brightness.

Check out the short video for the set up and the 3 modes.  In the video I am covering the photo resistor to get the lights to go on and then pushing the button to toggle through the modes.

9/7 Update. I finally made some progress on this project. Electronics soldered up and depth added to back of board to allow room for electronics.
I now have a standalone Arduino connected to 2 TLC5940 chips along with a photoresistor and a momentary push button. Next I need to paint the wood white after a little sanding. then, glue in pegs to raise letters off the board slightly. Finally insert the electronics on the back and wire up all the LEDs.

9/24 Update. In the home stretch now.  All 23 leds have been soldered to the board. I fixed the missing piece on the letter E with some Sugru, which worked great.  I need to finish painting the inside of the letters white and glue them to the pegs on the front of the sign.  I still need to add a heatsink to the power converter and make some tweaks to the software.  

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