Backlit coffee break fun

Some of the products I repair at work use TFT LCD display elements and out of these, a 10,4″ size unit (manufactured by NEC) is of most common variety. When these parts are swapped during repairs, I’m of course left with a defunct LCD which I have to take apart and sort for recycling (plastic/metal/electronics). Two of the most usable ‘DIY bits’ in these display elements are the enclosure back plates (2x very thin aluminium sheets, can be cut with scissors) and the backlight diffusion/dispersion element. The latter is basically a piece of plexi glass that has, on the side facing the visible LCD surface, a stack of different thin plastic films (think overhead projector slides) taped together. These films help scattering the light coming from the CCFL tube evenly across the whole surface. Some of these films are pretty fun for trippy eyeglasses whereas the plexi glass is good for, well, whatever plexi usually is good for :)

Returning to the issue LCDs in a short while, I’ll shortly present Kewlers, as the group hasn’t yet been mentioned in my previous posts and it relates to what I’m getting at here. Kewlers is one of the demoscene groups I’m a member with and one of the key visual elements of the group are the Kewlers and the Finger(tm) logos designed by Curly Brace. Those of you lazy enough NOT to visit the Kewlers website through the link above, the Kewlers logo looks like this:

Kewlers logo (tm)

..and the Finger logo is of course the stylized letter ‘W’ cropped from this. Now, one of the things we like within this group is branding products with either of these two. Armed with aplenty of stickers and iron-on transfer prints, we’ve branded all kinds of stuff, from t-shirts to underwear to beer bottles to various toys to drunken demosceners (the meat/flesh branding iron still remains on the drawing board).

So, as I was once again stuck with one of these LCD elements I thought maybe the plexi could be used to make a Kewlers sign like the glowing side-lit ones commonly seen at bars / in shops / whatever.. Or at least do a quick test pass on engraving and taping the plexi, not that I have any proper tools for copying/transferring the logo to the plexi anyway ;) .. So after a few coffee breaks worth of fiddling around, I had this piece of amazing DIY:

Mad skillz with the engraving, nothing quite beats a generic hobby knife and a flat-headed screwdriver \:D/ .. Surprisingly enough, just taping the text using clear packing tape was sufficient enough for a okay-ish result. However, regarding glow strength it’s nowhere near the engraved one. As such, this project is clearly best off returned to when I have some proper engraving tools at my disposal!

Scratching / engraving  1, clear packing tape 0

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