At any moment, I could talk your ear off about something inane. To spare those around me, I try to channel a lot of it here.

Display Lighting.

Display Lighting.

The fine line between 'hoarder' and 'collector' comes down to a few things and one of the things that points to the latter is if you can have a nice display of your collection. I had a nearly spare wall, so I installed some Mosslanda picture ledges from Ikea and put some keyboards on it. It looked pretty good, but that end of my office is pretty dark. It didn't seem right to have my pretty items so under lit.

After a couple of weeks of gathering parts, I finished the install today.


The heard of this install centers around some Marswell 5600K LED strip light and quarter inch aluminum L brackets. These aren't the best strip lights I've worked it, but they're bright and look pretty good. Something to keep an eye on when using strips like these are the places where strips are joined at the factory.

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You can see the two blobs of solder in the image above. Usually the adhesive backing for the strips does a great job of insulating them from what you stick them to, but those solder blobs can stick through them and cause shorts. Easy enough to put some kapton tape down first, but you don't want to find out afterward.

The lower two strips have shelves to stick to. So mounting them was as simple as slapping some strong double sided tape on there. But the top most one needed some engineering.

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These brackets took almost no time to model up in Fusion 360, but were a bugger to print. My hideous chimera of a printer has developed a jamming problem which I haven't been able to lick just yet. Once I had a pair, they were adhered to the L channel with CA glue and baking soda, then screwed to the wall using drywall hangers.


Everything is powered off a generic 12V 5A brick. I knew from experience though that these strips are both bright but also hot and it's nice to dim them down some.

I lucked out and managed to print this guy without any jams. It's just big enough for a cheap voltmeter, a buck converter, and a potentiometer. 12V direct current comes in the bottom and the dimmed voltage comes out the top. Technically, I know that you shouldn't use barrel jacks like I have. If you unplug one of those top connectors, you can theoretically short those by sticking something in. The buck converter happens to include a protection circuit in it, though, so I'm not too worried.

The wires are 18 gauge solid core copper that I sleeved with paracord. I did my best to make the runs as clean as possible, but I'm only human. 

There are some flaws with all this. I didn't install a simple on/off switch, which was pure laziness on my part. This will get plugged into a smart switch tied to my home automation system, but its always nice to have a manual option. As well, the potentiometer I used to replace the one on the buck converter isn't the right choice. Realistically, the only useful voltages are from 8 to 11.4 volts, which covers less than a fifth of the pots turn. I should have used a lower value pot with some resistors to set it to a more useful range.

Still this came out so much better than I expected.

Focus FK-2001 Modification

Focus FK-2001 Modification