Darkbox Red LED Light

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Remodeled Darkbox, now version 2.0!

Since site traveling wet plate shooting is on hold, I decided to tinker my portable darkbox (refer to the box build here) to accommodate a bit more light. There wasn’t much fault with it to begin with, but the strip LED lights that was on it, was crudely taped onto a wooden rod and it runs on regular rectangle 9V battery.

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Previous light source. An LED strip with a 9V battery attached to it with a masking tape. The wooden bar is from a retired broom.

I noticed the power to sustain the red LED strip was poor (which is SMD 5050, excellent and large LEDs). It runs flat almost an hour after use, and having too many spares batteries and switching them too often would be something I like to do less while on the field. Considering that the 9V single battery had only 200mA, doesn’t surprise me that it runs out quite fast. Plus the rechargeables are expensive.

I decided to switch to 6 x rechargeable AA batteries, with each carries 1300mA, totaling 7800mA, which would be enough to push for full session without change (still needs to be further tested).

Considering that it will have more juice, I might as well placed another strip that illuminates further inward towards the plate handling area.

Two switches were built, and they are were independently channel the power separately from single battery source. Two rocker switches were used.

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A Zombie lights is a bulkier rocker switch with 5 pins.
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That’s right… Zombie lights baby.. zombie lights.
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Two switches wired to a single battery source.
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External strip lights on
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Internal strip on
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Full power!

To those wants to know more of the wiring:

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The wiring diagram for the red LED lights

Note: I am considering to try out using RC batteries at some point, but these will do for now.

Moving along to another project…




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