BY JOHN F. MASTROMORO
A short time ago, I
was working on a
small digital project
that required the use of
lights outside of the
building that the device
was installed in.
LEDs, of course, were the
appropriate choice for these
indicators and, because of obvious
weather conditions, etc., I had to
use some sort of “weather-proof”
enclosure for the LEDs. On my
workbench was a package of those
very common pencil-topper erasers
that are simply inserted over the end
of a pencil. They can be purchased
at almost any store that vends this
type of product. I purchased a pack
of 40 such erasers for less than a
dollar at a local WalMart store.
eraser is shown as it would be after
it is cut with an LED inserted into it.
■ FIGURE 1
As can be seen in Figure 1, the
blue eraser shown is the type that
you would use for this project
before cutting it down. The purple
On the pointed end of the
eraser, snip off approximately 3/8ths
of an inch so that the “pointed end”
is now even and flat. It is now just a
simple matter of pressing the LED
leads through the open end and continuing on through the bottom of the
eraser. You should have a fair amount
of lead length protruding through
the eraser bottom to work with, even
for “wire-wrapping” connections.
Checking for proper LED voltage
polarities is all that is now required.
Warm up your glue gun and have
it ready for use. Then — using a common plastic soda-sipping straw — push
either open end of the straw around
the LED just far enough to cover the
tip. Holding the straw in place over
the tip of the LED, shoot some glue
around the inside of the eraser to seal
it, making it weather-proof. Within 20
or so seconds, the glue should be set.
Remove the straw and you have a
weather-proof enclosure. If you’re
fairly accurate with your glue gun,
then you don’t have to use the straw
for a petition around the LED.
Once the LED enclosure is
completed, then you can see how
the eraser has a ridge around it.
Take advantage of this and use it as
a perfect alignment stopper when
placing the enclosure through the
proper size hole of another enclosure for display, etc. The rubber
quality of the eraser makes it ideal
for this purpose, too! NV
Go to http://superbrightleds.com