"Proper" LED Height / Soldering Best Practices
  • So, this is the first project where I have to solder a bunch of LED's, not knowing the "proper" length of lead that should be pulled through and soldered. In other words, since I'm not sure how I'm going to house my Shruti-1, how high I should make them (and how much they'll poke through the font panel.)
    Edit: Actually, now that I think about it, there probably is a standard height.

    I noticed that in one of the build pictures, a piece of paper is used to align the LED's. How tall is this piece of paper? 0.5"?
  • The piece of paper is 0.4” (1cm) tall. It is such that the top of the LEDs is at the same level as the top of the switches.

    Some other options if you don’t like this: – Get LED holders to keep the LEDs at a target height – “Light pipes” – in this case you solder the LED at the PCB level and put a plastic tube/cap on them which guides the light up to a certain height. Looking for references…

  • The easy way just to do them last and use your case.

  • If I left the LEDs out would everything still function properly? I'm thinking about leaving them off until I get the permanent faceplate done. For now it is going to go into a temporary box and I don't want to bend or tweek the LEDs.
  • Yes, it’ll work, if you don’t mind feeling like a cat without whiskers…

  • thanks. If it is too awkward getting around I'll get the led holders and put them in. Can't wait to get this running. I'll be putting some time in this weekend.
  • does this still apply for the shruthi + mutable case? ie i need to solder the leds at .4” height?

  • The case is transparent and has no holes for the LEDs, so even if the LEDs are soldered straight on the PCB, you’ll see them.

    However, I have noticed that if you often look at the Shruthi from a low angle , low LEDs can be hidden behind the switches, so it is better to raise them a bit. I use a 3mm “LED cup” in all the kits I build to bring the LEDs closer to the surface of the top panel.

  • cool, thanks Olivier. i finally got round to starting soldering last night. should be in poly shruthi nirvana by the weekend…

  • nice green display btw! will they be available from your online store?
  • Next time I’ll order some I’ll take a few extras for the store (they come from CrystalFontz). At the moment I have only 4 of them left and I keep them for special builds.

    And beware because they require a different backlight resistor value, and a solid power supply!

  • Since we’re talking LCDs….I really like the New Haven displays. I mentioned in another post that I received a couple from the mutable shop that are Xiamen Ocular LCDs. They weren’t as bright and I guess having two sets of identical terminals gives you more options when making enclosures. For me personally, it gives me a backup I can use when I mess up a terminal. I’m a noob and usually learn things the “hard way”, unfortunately. I’ve been able to run two units with a 9V 1000mA as well as a 6V 1000mA. I think that’s overkill, but I was hoping to be able to connect 3-4 units with one 1000mA power supply. I’ll see what effect that has on the screens.

  • Thanks for the tip, I’ll try to order some. There are some very unique color combinations (blue on black black on white).

    Could you post a picture of the Shruthi with this display? The font looks very different!

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