Hardware Thread, Changing small LEDs on circuit boards in Technical; Alright guys let me just start by saying this is not at all a serious or urgent request haha! Get ...
2nd April 2009, 12:51 AM #1
Changing small LEDs on circuit boards
Alright guys let me just start by saying this is not at all a serious or urgent request haha! Get to the others on here who actually have a major issue with their network they're stressing over and help them first. This is more for fun.
So here's the deal. I've got 3 more servers I'm implementing at my personal server room I use for hosting and my own apps and testing. I really like lights, like, I'm a huge fan of LED's and colours etc. I've worked with rounded LED's before and soldered them in place of boring old faded green LED's, and replaced them with superbrite blue's, greens, etc. What I'd like to do is replace the small LED's you see on for example, RAID cards that send the light up the plastic tubes to the front of a hard drive tray, or the small LED's that are soldered right onto the small board with the power/reset button at the front of some servers, with status LED's etc. in some servers like the front of a Dell Poweredge 2400 or an IBM XServer 226 etc. Is it possible to switch out these LED's since they're so small, and how would I go about doing that? Anyone know the specific type of LED's I need? If it's not worth it and will be more than 20 bucks, I'm not gonna do it, but if it's super simple, I wouldn't mind. I found a website like superbriteleds.com or something similar the other day that had something that LOOKED like the small LED's on those boards, but they're WAY more expensive each, like 8 bucks per LED as opposed to 50 cents per LED. So I may not do it if they're that expensive. But the thing is I'm naming the 3 servers Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, so I'd like to switch all the LED's to Red, Blue, and Green. [comon, you KNOW that would look freakin rad when you walk into the server room with the lights off].
Last edited by link470; 2nd April 2009 at 12:55 AM.
2nd April 2009, 09:38 AM #2
If they are the little rectangular ones (about 2mmx1mm) that lie more or less flat on the board, they are surface mount ones which are really difficult to solder without specialised equipment.
2nd April 2009, 09:57 AM #3
Depends on exactly what size they are, how good you are at soldering and if you have an iron with a small enough tip.
The trickiest bit with replacing the surface mount ones can be getting the originals off in the first place.
Once they are off you can clean any excess solder with some solder wick and re tin the pads.
2nd April 2009, 07:13 PM #4
Sounds good. Basically the responses I was expecting and that confirms what I thought which is good. I had a feeling they might be hard to get off the board in the first place. Also, you're correct, about 2x1mm's, super small square guys soldered right to the surface of the board. They look hard to work with.
Thanks for your responses! I'll keep looking for fun but like I say, this is LOW LOW LOW priority on building those systems haha! I might just do a power LED mod for each one and stay with that. That's what I've done with my other systems.
I was thinking about instructables as well, wasn't sure what I'd search for though. I'll give that a shot!
2nd April 2009, 09:22 PM #5
If you are still young enough to have good eyes, removing an SMT LED won't be too bad. Your problem will be current draw in the new LED. Especially if you go for really bright ones.
I hope I'm not talking down to you but:-
Check the polarity of the board before you remove the old one.
You need a resistor to limit the forward current to whatever the LED is rated for or what the board can supply (whichever is lower).
Sound like fun to me!
3rd April 2009, 02:39 AM #6
No problem! Not talking down to me at all, exactly the kinda responses I was looking for.
Eyesight is fortunately a strength for me being 21 and without glasses, and I was wondering the same thing actually about the board. The superbrite's can definitely suck up more juice, I noticed that on a couple other boards I've tried in the past. I haven't had one not work yet, but I was wondering about these forsure. I don't want to do the RAID card unless I really know it's gonna work of course :P I just think it would look totally awsome with all the hard drives. If all else fails I may just switch out the power LED's.
Also, don't mean to sound like a total noob [while sounding like a total noob] but how would I go about checking the polarity on the board? What points would I check?
3rd April 2009, 08:15 AM #7
Use a multi-meter across the existing diode; one side will be positive in relation to the other (not by much). You could use a transistor where the existing diode is to switch the new LED from either the 5 or 12v rail. You will need advise from someone who hasn't forgotten most of his electronics knowledge from here on though!
3rd April 2009, 08:47 AM #8
IIRC the drop should be about 0.7v for a diode. If you can get a very strong magnifying glass you might still be able to see the cathode markings on the diode or on the board, which would be safer. (Why does it have to be right? because a diode is like a one-way gate; current can only flow in direction for reasonable values of voltage.)
Originally Posted by Andrew_C
If you can possibly find an LED of matching specs it will make it much easier... otherwise your protective resistor will really matter - just remember you risk blowing up a £100 RAID card for the sake of a £0.05 LED!
3rd April 2009, 09:09 AM #9
use some theatre gels over the existing LED you can get a sample pack from rosco for quite cheap. OR raid a box of quality street!
3rd April 2009, 09:33 AM #10
Pimp my server
Perhaps we need a new forum.
'Pimp my server', anyone?
3rd April 2009, 09:40 AM #11
Originally Posted by Wildebeaste
3rd April 2009, 11:38 AM #12
Trouble with that is that LEDs tend to be monochromatic. Thus a green LED will have little red component to the spectra, and the way filters work is to remove everything from the light you don't want, leaving the colour you do.
Originally Posted by Hacksawbob
5th April 2009, 06:40 AM #13
Haha ya I've definitely thought about that. The problem seems to be so far that I can't find the LED's anywhere. I've found similar ones but they all look very expensive. As I said in my top post usually I'll see the typical round LED's like this one but the ones on the card seem to be more like [here is the place I was going to post a picture of what it looks like, problem is, the only way I think I could do that was by snapping a photo myself. I can't find one anywhere so far. If I can I'll post a picture].
Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey
5th April 2009, 12:59 PM #14
Last edited by SYNACK; 5th April 2009 at 01:03 PM.
Thanks to SYNACK from:
link470 (7th October 2009)
7th April 2012, 06:54 PM #15
Originally Posted by link470
sir it's depend what the size they are . " and just try to Check the polarity of the board before you remove the old one.
don't mean to sound like a total noob , but how would I go about checking the polarity on the board?
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