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home made illuminated power button...

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#1
I was looking at some of the power buttons and saw the "vandal resistant" type switches n decided to make one.

This started out as "unplanned" evolution of looking at what I had laying around, imagining what I needed to do to get it to look like a power button... Parts are: Old leaky faucet valve from a mohen or kohler; The kind that's got a ceramic valve, that screws into a 3 hole assembly, A brass pipe fitting, a bolt and nut, an old PC power switch spring, n some coffee..

I made the case panel insert from an old screw in faucet valve and used the part of the faucet that the valve screwed into as the backing nut of the case insert, by hacksawing the threaded section off the faucet part. Cut the panel insert "valve" bottom end off, so the panel insert was a little shorter, but still had the threaded section. For the button, I used a bolt with 1/4-20 threads with matching nut as the rear stop. Chucked the bolt into my hand held drill, then spun the bolt on the drill while carefully using the dremel with a reinforced cut off as a sort of rotory grinder, to grind down the bolt head and nut. I found that if I held the dremel cut off wheel just right on the end of the bolt head, while spinning in the drill, It cut a nice concave profile into the top of the bolt head.

I had to cut the nut down so that it was smaller OD than the back of the brass fitting threads that I used as the button carrier. I'm gonna use the threaded section of the button carrier to glue a tube over the threads. That tube will eventually hold the power switch on the inside, and led's on the outside, this way the bolt can push the switch, and the nut fits in the tube without binding. The nut stops the bolt against the carrier, to keep it from falling out the front... I can also set the push depth of the button with the nut, then glue the nut to the bolt, so it doesn't un-thread.

I used my old case power switch return spring to fit behind the head of the bolt. It's one of those tapered coil springs, when it compresses, the coils lay flat, instead of stacking up..

Had to drill the brass pipe fitting ID a little, so the threaded part of the bolt would fit through, while leaving an inside shoulder for the spring and bolt head to stop against. Then I had to drill the ID of the brass fitting to fit the OD of the now rounded off bolt head, just deep enough to give room for the spring to compress into, without removing too much, think I could have gone a little deeper on that part, but it'll work.. I took the OD of the brass fitting npt threads and hex section off using my drill press to chuck the straight thread side of the fitting into the drill, then ran the drill press down into a lathe bit being held in the vice.. This took a few little passes to remove the pipe threads of the fitting.

I took two little pieces of brass off the left over faucet valve parts and used them as solder on trusses.. I figured that if I wrap the center section with enough paper, I could place it nearly in the center of the panel insert, the paper would also block any solder from going down into the rest of the parts, so there would be an even gap for light to shine through.

I set everything on a piece of scrap metal, so the center section and case insert ends were flush with eachother, then layed the two little brass trusses against the panel insert and center section, torched and soldered, let it cool off, then removed the paper by pushing it out from the back.. Coulda used my bobby pin to push the paper out, but I didn't think of it at the time.. I fussed with this, using a fishing hook,,, for a while..

Sometime between grinding the nut for the bolt a little smaller, and showing my progress to my brother... Yeah, this took all day... and no I'm not finished yet.... I managed to drop the return spring somwhere.... I thought I put it ontop of something that was sitting on the work bench.. Wound up looking for the spring for a couple hours... Then for some reason I looked inside my computer case with a flashlight and there it was!! my spring! About 4 feet away from where I was working, where I though I put it...... I think the grimlins must have grabbed it off the bench and dropped it in the case!

I still need to fill the face of the button with some kinda plastic that will "glow" and fix/hotglue my power switch, power and hdd activity led's to the back side, or maybe just the power switch/led, but it's pretty much done..

I could have bought a switch for like 5 or 10 bucks, but I like to make stuff..
 

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#2
Nice. Big story for a small button. lol
 
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#4
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#5
That's pretty cool! I read through and saw the bit about the diode, I might try that for my led's n see if I like it.
 

erocker

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#6
Your button looks great! It looks almost steampunkish! :toast:
 
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#7
Yeah that would be nice.

I ordered this one.
€15 for a switch. lol
 
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#8
I was looking at some others from frozen cpu, but they run like 19 dollars us?

Steampunk? That's new to me.. Had to google it; reminds me of some of the stuff I saw at burning man n some of the stuff in the movie Edward scissor hands...
 

h3llb3nd4

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#9
ahhh... very clever :respect:
 
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#10
Thanks!

After trying different plastics in the gap, with an LED shining through the backside; I decided that the gap between the center and outer section wasn't big enough to let in enough light. I unsoldered everything then took some off the OD of the center section. Did this by tightening the button "bolt/nut" through the center section, chucked the threaded end of the bolt/button in the drill and held a file against the OD while spinning the drill..

After resoldering the center to the outer section, I put the bolt/button back through the center, re-tightened, then put the bolt threaded end back in the drill and filed off a stepped sholder from the backside of the outer section. That gave me a little more thread sticking out the back of my panel. After cutting down the backside of the first button, I started liberating parts from the other faucet valve/assembly to make another one :)

I didn't have the same pipe/compression fitting for the center section, but I had one with the same OD/ID that was pipe threads on both ends. I'll have to make a grove/shoulder at the base of the small pipe thread side, so the trusses have something to sit on/into, before soldering.

Here's a new picture of the first button, showing the wider gap/cleaner soldering. It's sitting next to the old faucet parts that I used to make it and another picture of the other faucet valve parts, along with the nut/bolt and pipe fitting that will make up the button and center section.
 

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#11
Had a little trouble on the second button... After turning down the OD of the second buttons center section, removing the big end pipe threads and tool surface; I had a nice straight cut on the OD and started to bore the ID with the small pipe thread chucked in the drill press, and drill bit in the vice, like a boring bar/lathe, the tapered pipe thread spun in the chuck as the bit grabbed, the whole thing spun then twisted sideways and popped out of the chuck. Thankfully it didn't break my drill bit but it did mess up the center section. I had to make a new center section out of another pipe/pipe fitting.. Used the same method, but this time I put a little more umph on the chuck to keep the fitting in place.. It's kinda hard to keep it centered, and tighten the chuck down on the tapered pipe thread, but I finally got a new center section done. Started to solder it up and globbed too much solder on one of the trusses, filling in gap between the OD panel insert and truss.. had to remove the truss, let it cool off, clean all the parts, and re-wrap the center, line everything back up for soldering, heat/solder/cool, file off the extra bits of truss hanging off the edge etc.. Can't run the power tools this late, so I'll have to finish cutting down the shoulder, rounding off the backing nut and clean it up a little tomorrow... Here's a couple more pics :)
 

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crtecha

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#12
I like some of that steampunk stuff. They have a bunch of videos on youtube that are pretty interesting.
 
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#13
Edit; added another picture showing the bits before soldering and the screwed up center section. I'll have to check some of those vids out; I saw some cool looking stuff that I might try to incorperate into a home made old-timer view camera that I've been wanting to build..
 

crtecha

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#14
Once I get home I'll send you some links for some good stuff.
 
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#15
almost done :) Gotta cut my bolts down a little, fill in the gap and mount the switches :)
Thinking of mixing in some UV reactive paint with some 2 part epoxy, then using some UV LED's
 

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