Add some LED enhancement to your netbook lid

[Mathieu] needed to open up his Acer Aspire One to do a hard drive replacement and decided to add a bit of pizzazz while he was in there. The image above is the lid of the netbook adorned with RGB LEDs and a spray painted stencil.

He previously purchased a set of surface mount RGB packages on eBay and thought that they were perfect for this hack. after removing the case he found that by using a flex PCB he would be able to fit the LEDs inside, and pass the connections through to the main computer housing. The leads connect to a Teensy board, which is held in place with a liberal application of hot glue. [Mathieu] removed the USB connector and soldered jumper wires to one of the computers ports. In the video after the break you can see that he uses the programming software to write some code to the Teensy, driving the LEDs. We’d like to see it set to listen for serial communications and react accordingly. That way you could use it for notifications, as an audio VU meter, to track torrent progress, etc.

Comments

  1. 0x4368726973 says:

    @anyone
    Perhaps, considering a microcontroller is actually being interfaced via the USB port, it is an interesting idea to add some IO functionality to the laptop. It would be even more interesting to include an IR LED or two to enable IRDA communication via the mod.

  2. aztraph says:

    so when does it go BOOM?

  3. echodelta says:

    DYI and the TSA don’t mix. Don’t try to fly with this. Certainly not with the b word icon.

  4. Luke says:

    i’d prefer hid over serial, but great anyway

  5. kudoz says:

    And nary a few weeks after the admins posted about issues with negativity etc in the comments some of you guys are crapping on this persons attempt!?…

    Cool hack Mathieu, would be fun to do to almost any laptop!

  6. sariel says:

    I agree. i once did a laptop casemod for a pos hp laptop that took over 3 months to complete. was totally worth it. when i broke it out at lan parties and coffee shops all eyes were on her. she may have been 7 years old at the time, but everyone wanted her just the same. a tip for modders, take your time. it make take you an hour to read a build log on a mod but it most certainly wasn’t built in an hour.

  7. Joshua says:

    That is why I want a CNC machine, then stuff like this will be easier.

  8. Very cool project! And very nice that you work at a board house (pcb mfg). Do they let you make PCBs whenever you want? There are a lot of possibilities for flex PCBs… and it gets me thinking outside the box.

    I have an idea for a pattern you can add to your BABOMB. Randomly flicker all LEDs on for a short time so that it looks like it’s sparking, and then every 2 or 3 seconds turn one completely off and keep the others going. Once they all go out, delay for a second and flash them all again at the same time on and off to indicate an explosion. You could accomplish the random action with some math, and then control the LEDs with an indexed array of pointers that have port masks assigned to them. Randomize the index, and use the array as a lookup table to control LEDs. Then every 2-3 seconds remove the currently indexed array element, and collapse the array around the empty element (just shuffling them over one at a time), then decrement the max_index counter to keep your random numbers matching your array size.

  9. umbongo says:

    sorry, but that’s probably the worst stencil job i’ve ever seen. use spraymount glue!

    • @umbongo if you would like to say the same thing and be less abrasive and unassuming next time… “if you would like to have a cleaner line on your stenciling in the future, use spray mount glue on the stencil before painting”

      I would think Frog Tape would work pretty well too. However, I kind of like the rough look of it. Seems more artsy to me.

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