Author Topic: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels  (Read 583 times)

soldersqueeze

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PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« on: December 10, 2017, 01:57:21 PM »
I'm putting together some big PCBs for the first time in a while, and a lot of them have board mounted LEDs. I really don't like the idea of not using bezels so I usually use flying wires, but these projects are tight on space and keeping the LEDs in place under the board seems the best route.
Using bezels seems a bloody nightmare but I was wondering if anyone has a method I haven't noticed in build reports over the years?
I might drill an undersized hole countersunk from the back so they sit flush to the panel, but I much prefer the look of a bezel.

Max

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 03:52:30 PM »
My answer is: both.
Depending on the space you have vertically, if the pots are PCB-mounted it should work, given that the drilling of the enclosure is precise enough.
Put a 2-pin in-line socket (https://www.musikding.de/2-Pin-inline-socket) where the LED should go.
Then install the LED in the bezel (with the white part flush to the silver part so the LED doesn't move) and cut the leads just enough that they fit the socket.
That's it, you may have to install this first, and then solder the pots in place, just to be on the safe side, but it works, the PCB just snaps on the LED.
I have to say that when I did it (twice) the pots where PCB mounted but were normal pots, so I had to use some wire to fit them on the PCB, but it should work all the same with proper angled PCB pots.

playpunk

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 04:02:46 PM »
My answer is: both.
Depending on the space you have vertically, if the pots are PCB-mounted it should work, given that the drilling of the enclosure is precise enough.
Put a 2-pin in-line socket (https://www.musikding.de/2-Pin-inline-socket) where the LED should go.
Then install the LED in the bezel (with the white part flush to the silver part so the LED doesn't move) and cut the leads just enough that they fit the socket.
That's it, you may have to install this first, and then solder the pots in place, just to be on the safe side, but it works, the PCB just snaps on the LED.
I have to say that when I did it (twice) the pots where PCB mounted but were normal pots, so I had to use some wire to fit them on the PCB, but it should work all the same with proper angled PCB pots.

You can also just spot solder one leg, fix the bezel, and then push the LED into the bezel when you box the build.
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alanp

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 09:52:12 PM »
You can also countersink the LED hole from the knobbed side, so it looks better than just a hole.
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pickdropper

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 11:18:19 PM »
VCC makes fresnel lenses that are designed to be used with PCB mount LEDs.  These don't grab the LED in any way.  They mount to the enclosure via a lock washer and a plastic nut.  You put the PCB in the enclosure, screw down the pots, THEN you drop the LED in place and solder it to the PCB.  We use them for FFX all the time.  They aren't the cheapest option, but they work well and look nice.
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soldersqueeze

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 06:31:41 AM »
Thanks for the replies, all good stuff!

I think given the *ahem* non-zero chance of things being taken apart, tuned, fixed and rebuilt multiple times, the best route would be a lens that doesn't attach to the led combined with a pvc standoff on the legs- should provide a bombproof solution.

VCC makes fresnel lenses that are designed to be used with PCB mount LEDs.  These don't grab the LED in any way.  They mount to the enclosure via a lock washer and a plastic nut.  You put the PCB in the enclosure, screw down the pots, THEN you drop the LED in place and solder it to the PCB.

This sounds perfect, and the lens on the Clusterfuzz looks great. VCC seem to sell a crazy amount of lenses, do you use the CMC 441 series? (https://www.vcclite.com/product-category/panel-lenses-and-clips/panel-lenses-for-5mm-leds/cmc-441-series/) They look right but at this price I don't want to buy a bunch of the wrong ones!

pickdropper

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Re: PCB mounted LEDs vs bezels
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 07:28:15 AM »
Thanks for the replies, all good stuff!

I think given the *ahem* non-zero chance of things being taken apart, tuned, fixed and rebuilt multiple times, the best route would be a lens that doesn't attach to the led combined with a pvc standoff on the legs- should provide a bombproof solution.

VCC makes fresnel lenses that are designed to be used with PCB mount LEDs.  These don't grab the LED in any way.  They mount to the enclosure via a lock washer and a plastic nut.  You put the PCB in the enclosure, screw down the pots, THEN you drop the LED in place and solder it to the PCB.

This sounds perfect, and the lens on the Clusterfuzz looks great. VCC seem to sell a crazy amount of lenses, do you use the CMC 441 series? (https://www.vcclite.com/product-category/panel-lenses-and-clips/panel-lenses-for-5mm-leds/cmc-441-series/) They look right but at this price I don't want to buy a bunch of the wrong ones!

Yep, those are the right ones.
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