Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Display Upgrade part 1

Most of the time on this blog we're talking about buying action figures so I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts looking at the other side of this hobby, displaying them. This is my action figure display as current. As you can see it's grown a lot over the last year and I've had to add several sets of shelves (and cheap tv stands) to make room. However its now out-grown my old lighting system. The lights I have currently are very good in the spaces I have them however are very expensive at £30 (approx $47) for a set of four and there are a lot of dark patches to fill.

Introducing this under-cabinet lighting, at just over a pound a meter I'm hoping it'll be a cheap way of adding a lot of light to my display and at the same time make it simpler to add new shelves and lighting in the future.

Looking at it more closely you can see its a strip of LEDs already wired with resistors in a protective plastic bubble. The strip can be cut every 5 cm and wired to another section of the strip which should allow me to run this all around my collection, lighting the dark areas and supplementing the existing lights.

So I've been doing my homework, trying to recall Technology lessons from over thirteen years ago and have done a bit of shopping. So far the spend has been a good deal lower than if I'd simply bought more of the existing lights.

Also as part of this upgrade I'm planning to add this switch. I'm going to splice it into an extension chord from which I'll run both the existing lights and new LEDs. I'll then attach it below the bottom shelf and I'll have one switch that turns on all the lights in the display (something my eccentric side is very excited about).

It's going to be a quite a big bit of work and so far all I've managed is these couple of excel sheets calculating how much LED strip can I use in each section and how much wiring I'll need. I'm a little nervous about doing all the soldering, it is over a decade since I've used a soldering iron so fingers crossed I don't screw it up. I have plenty of wiring on its way to me so I just have to be careful when soldering on to the LED strip.

Here is a video I made last August to try and convey the scale of my collection then but it'll also give you an idea of the shelving set up and a better look at the existing lights. Of course as part of this upgrade I'm going to have to take down all my figures. Which is a good opportunity for a well needed dusting but more importantly a new setup video for 2012. Check back over the next few Tuesdays and see how I get on.


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