3D LED Xmas Tree

3D Xmas Tree LED Projectdownload as pdf

 The circuit is designed for those with basic soldering experience. I will do my best to make clear what is needed, but if further clarification is required, let us know, we can update these instructions.

First we are going to build the driver circuit. This is made on the copper board supplied in the kit.
You need to cut some of the tracks, so flip the board to copper side up, and cut away the copper where indicated.
The easiest way is to use a small drill bit and twist it gently in the hole.

Flip the board so that the corner "A1" is bottom left - (Turn the board over "Top to Bottom" not "Side to Side"- Imagine a flip chart as opposed to the page of a book)

Now we can fit the components and solder them into place, start with the smallest, it will make the job easier. 

Explanation of the key!- R1, R2, R3 - Resistors. Resistor 1 and Resistor 2 are 22K resistors identified with the stripe colours RED, RED, ORANGE, GOLD
Resistor 3 is 1K and has the colour code BROWN, BLACK, RED, GOLD
You may find extra's in your kit if you are lucky :o)
C1, C2 - Capacitors C1 is a ceramic disc capacitor, you can put it into the circuit either way round because it is not polarised C2 is an electrolytic capacitor. The orientation matters because it IS polarised
IC1, IC2, IC3  These refer to Integrated Circuit Sockets. IC1 has 14 holes and is where you will "plant" your Christmas tree. IC2 has 16 holes, its where we place the 4017 integrated circuit, IC3 is for the 555 Timer IC.

The board doesn't have numbers and letters on it. They have been added to the diagrams to give a grid reference, which simplifies the description of where to put components. Can you see that the letters for the rows is reversed when you look at the picture of the top of the board?
Can you see the green link wire which is in positions g17 and f23? It looks like it goes through the 555, sorry, its just an aberration of the software we used to make the drawing. The link wire can go around or over the 555. It really doesn't matter, so long as it connects the two points together.

The Electrolytic capacitor should have the stripe in row h, the other in row g. (electrolytics are polarised! the stripe indicates the negative side. Can you see how the link from i17 to h17 connects the capacitor to the negative of your battery which is soldered into i25)
IC1 in the diagram is just a 14 pin socket. It is where we will "plant" our tree. We are going to send electricity from the right of the socket, up the "trunk" to the LED's, then back down to the left of the socket. The LED's negative sides all come together at the base, it's not shown on the diagram, but you need to connect row 1 tracks together from a to h, which creates a "common" negative for our circuit. Do this by placing a stripped wire through a1 and h1, so the wire lays on the copper side, and solder it to every track it crosses

Resistor colour codes -
22kR = Red, Red, Orange, Gold
1kR = Brown, Black, Red, Gold

To adjust the flash rate, swap out resistors R1 and R2. Bigger resistor values slow the flash rate, smaller resistors increase the rate. Want to know more? try this link

The driver circuit can be tested. Put some LED’s into the 14 pin socket, the side with a flat*  on it goes in the left side of the socket. Hook up a battery, and the LED’s should flash.

*Flat?  Take a closer look at an LED, and you will see a lip next to where the wires poke out. Look closer still and you will see that this lip is not a circle, it has a flat edge! The wire next to this flat edge is the negative. This is important because LED's only work one way, its another polarised component.


                                                                Now we can move on to the Tree Construction
Connect 3 LED’s together with a green and brown wire at each end

All three LED’s are shown as RED, but you can choose any colour. Just make sure that the flat sides are connected to the rounded sides, and the wires are connected Green to flat side, Brown to rounded side. The wires will form the “Trunk” so make sure you leave them long enough.(15cm to 20cm or if you are traditional 6"-8"+)
You need to make 6 of these.
The top layer is our star, and it is made the same way, but with only one LED. It can be any colour you like.


Now we can assemble the tree
Build up your layers by starting with the star
Add a layer of three LED’s, and secure with sticky tape to hold it together during assembly.
When all the layers are added, wrap some spare brown around the bottom of the trunk. This isn't part of the circuit. It just holds the other wires together neatly.

Now trim all the Green and Brown wires to about 5cm below the brown wrapping, and bare (remove the pvc insulation) the last 5mm.
These ends push into the 14 pin socket, green to the left, brown to the right.
Secure the battery to the bottom of your driver circuit with double sided tape, to add ballast
Congratulations! All you have to do now is adjust the position of the LED’s to how you would like them
Happy Christmas
Thanks to Sam for helping edit this file 

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