SAO v1.69b Hackerspace Logo

Stacked PCBs to get a nice looking lit logo using WS2812b LEDs

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  • Too tiny

    Wim Van Gool09/09/2019 at 08:43 0 comments

    So, 2020 WS2812b and 1mm thick PCBs was not the right way to go. The lower light ouput of those LEDs results in an unclear logo. next version will be bigger and with 5050 LEDs.

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  • 1
    Design Guide

    For those attempting to replicate the same visual effect, make sure to use some extra thickness in between the front PCB and the LEDs. In this case I used 2 pieces of 1.6mm PCB stacked, 1.6mm should have been enough, but by adding more room you get some more space for the light to evenly distribute. For the front PCB, use copper on the top layer, this will allow the FR-4 to first diffuse the light and gives you the sharpest image. A previous test with 2020 WS2812b LEDs resulted in not such a good result due to the lower light output of those LEDs.

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Dan Maloney wrote 09/09/2019 at 18:28 point

Another FR4 light-pipe experiment! I really like the way this looks - FR4 is so much better at transmitting light across the short dimension than through the long way.

So is the solder mask alone doing the light masking, or is there copper in there too? Just wondering what kind of cool, subtle effects you could get mixing traces and mask.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Wim Van Gool wrote 09/09/2019 at 19:16 point

The first mockup with 2020 WS2812b LEDs was only copper opening but still covered by soldermask on the top layers. This resulted in a rather unclear image therefor I opted for removing the soldermask as well in 5050 version. The bottom layer has a large opening in the soldermask and copper, then the image opening in the top copper layer and the soldermask.With the 5050 LEDs I think you could actually cover it with soldermask though.

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