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Beginner’s electronics soldering project: Led Origami Flower

Beginner’s electronics soldering project: Led Origami Flower

Ok, so its been some time since I’ve done any soldering, so I figured I start with a small attainable project before I move on to my project of building a cigar box speaker(http://blog.makezine.com/projects/make-34/monobox-powered-speaker-2/).

Since I ordered some parts from Jameco, I went with their LED Origami Flower project as my starter project.

So, the premise of the LED Origami Flower Kit is pretty basic. You solder some RGB Led’s to a wire, and plug the wire into a breadboard that has a power supply with 3×1.5V AA batteries.

Following Jameco’s instructions was not the easiest thing.  There is a large caveat at the beginning of the website’s instructions(there are a slightly different set of instructions if you download the user manual pdf, rather than html), where they warn that users are burning out their led’s from the soldering iron, and they give tips on recommended ways to solder.  However, when you get to the part of the actual instructions on soldering the leds, it was very confusing(to a beginner) how to actually manage it.  Particularly because in the design of the flower, you use the wire of soldering to the led is coiled up and serves as the stem to the flower.

Needless to say, I killed two of the 3 included leds.  On my first LED, I followed the instructions to the T and coiled the wire first before soldering.  Even with my trusty helping hands,

Helping Hands soldering tool

Helping Hands soldering tool

it was impossible to get the leads of the led touching the stripped wire and held long enough for me to solder it.  So I decided to to solder first and coil, and this definitely seemed like a better approach.

I still killed the 2nd led, although i did a slightly better job as it only slightly still lit up after soldering it, but then i short circuited the led by somehow mashing the two leads of the led to touch together while plugged in.  don’t ask.

Ultimately, third time was the charm though as I figure out how to coil it with the leads of the LED inside the coil.

With the led soldered and lighting, all that was left was to make an origami flower.  The kit recommends the tulip, lily or kusudama.  The kusudama requires glue, so I chose the lily.  It was pretty easy.

 

 

 

Lily Origami Flowers

Lily Origami Flowers

Took a few tries to get it right, but again, 3rd time was the charm.  I cut a little snippet smaller than the size of the led.  This gives it some tension around the led after you slide it over.  I had to triple up wrapping scrap wire(salvaged from the 1st two leds) around the stem to give it enough stiffness to stand upright.  The lily is pretty top heavy; this is possibly because I just used an 8.5″ sq(when the recipe calls for 6″).  With origami, to get that extra level of detail, your squares must be perfect so you get precise folds.

Since I burned out my first two leds, I don’t know if its worth ordering 2 more until I have a reason to order more stuff from Jameco.  However, its still pretty cool with one led.  Basic, but cool and tiny bit challenging(in a good way) for a starter project.

Led Origami Flower

Led Origami Flower

 

 

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