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I made a light that shines when the International Space Station is in the sky. I'm raising money to make a whole bunch and sell them.
292 backers pledged $18,637 to help bring this project to life.

Parts! And LED Testing

Posted by Nathan Bergey (Creator)

Digikey Arrived

Finally. I have just about everything to make a few test boards, minus the board itself.

I unpacked and inventoried everything, then took some printouts of the layout and carefully placed each part on the paper, taking note of the pin spacing and distances between the parts, etc. 

Couple of Errors

By doing this I noticed my one big mistake: somehow I had managed to switch around the position of pin 1 on the power supply chip. But that's what this test is for. Also some of the pads were not as big as they should be.

I fixed these things and printed new version and laid everything back out. I think it looks good!

Off For Manufacture

So I took the fixed version and sent it to a board manufacture. I'm just making a couple of test boards first, since it's pretty expensive I have to get this right for sure before I send off for hundreds.

Still getting the format and details right with their customer service, but hopefully I can have a board in my hands within the next week and a half.

LED Testing

In the mean time I've been playing around with the tiny, tiny LEDs to see how much current they pull at different brightness'. It's very hard to get a sense of how LEDs look just from datasheets. So I soldered together a little test board with one of the LEDs and a button for each color. I found that even down around 5 ma each, they're still really bright and the color saturation is great! I think these will look awesome.

Check out the video for the lights in action!

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    1. Missing avatar

      Andrea&Nathaniel on

      I second Bryan's comment on the binder clip! Also, so excited to see all the led lights.

    2. Missing avatar

      nanette emerle on

      AMAZING! Great job you're doing!

    3. Cameron Mulder on

      Awesome! Looks like it is coming along

    4. Nathan Bergey Creator on


      I use binder clips for all my cord management and home office needs :)

    5. Bryan Stearns on

      Nice - I like the video (and also the double-binder-clip headphone holder in the photo with the DigiKey box)

    6. Pierre Baillargeon on

      Looking good, thanks for the update!