Brighten up your PCB drilling station

Being able to see what you’re doing can be the hardest part of drilling the through holes in those freshly etched printed circuit boards. We don’t know why we didn’t come up with this, but [Markus Gebhard] solved his shadowy woes with his 20-LED Dremel light ring. Honestly, how many times have we seen lights rings in photography without putting it together that a light ring is perfect for this purpose. So kudos to [Markus], now we’ve got to go and dig up some surface mount LEDs and uncork the copper chloride.

15 thoughts on “Brighten up your PCB drilling station

  1. @pascal, just glue them to a sheet of blank PCB material (or anything else that’s thin and rigid), and cut a hole in the middle. Nice job by [Markus]!

  2. They sell dremels with sanding bits (pretty much) to dog people with lights on them powered by the spinning of the bit. They’re for grinding the dog’s nails.

  3. @pascal, recycle some leds from dead phones. the display backlighting ones are stupidly bright and ideal for this purpose.

    often even if the rest of the phone is as dead as a brick they will be fine.

    :)

  4. Ordered a bunch of LED rings from DX last night (hopefully my order will get here in less than 3 months this time…). Thanks Markus!

  5. I use a normal drill press to drill the holes in my PCBs. I just put a white LED under the table to light up the PCB rom funderneath. THat increases the contrast and removes shadows.

    Nice hack though!

  6. We don’t have to wait that much till someone comes up with an idea how to autodrill pcbs.

    When I was a I kid I remember what a hard job was to make a circuit. First you had to clean the pcb then use an alcohol pen to draw the schematic on it then put it into acid make it dry etc. and the outcome was crappy a lot.

    Today you basically never draw anything by hand just design it on computer then print it to foil then push it to the pcb you still have to do the drilling tho.

    I think soon the pcb maker software/hardware will be so advanced and cheap that u buy a device and put in a pcb and it will make everything for u.

  7. I did the same basic thing with the Dremmel Drywall tool, I mounted two white leds in it, and epoxy’d on a flange for my wet/dry vac. So not only do I have light, but the vac keeps the workplace cleaner. Loud, but clean and well lit.

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