Author Topic: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?  (Read 1478 times)

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Offline Amy Worrall

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I'm making a keyboard to use as a theatre lighting controller. I'll be designing my own PCB, and as I'd like RGB backlighting, I have bought Cherry RGB switches.

I know that the typical way to do RGB backlighting with these switches is to drill a hole in the PCB under each key, and surface mount an RGB LED on the other side of the board, shining through the hole at the bottom of the switch.

Since I can't find any addressable RGB LEDs designed for reverse mounting, I guess I need to use surface mount RGB non-addressable LEDs such as these, along with a chip per LED for handling the addressing?

Has anyone done this? Anyone got any recommendations on which LEDs/chips to get?

Online fpazos

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:42:23 »
I know that the typical way to do RGB backlighting with these switches is to drill a hole in the PCB under each key, and surface mount an RGB LED on the other side of the board, shining through the hole at the bottom of the switch.
It depends on which type of switches you have. There are 2 kinds compatible with rgb leds. The ones with 4 small holes, where you put the led ON the switch and under the keycap, maybe tricky to find the right size of leds. The second one, have a long hole almost the size of the switch, that's for SMD leds as the ones you posted.

I don't understand the part of reverse mount leds. Never heard about that before.

Good luck with that!!

Offline hineybush

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:47:18 »
WS2812b's are the standard addressable RGB LEDs for underglow. You could use that LED's built-in controller, the WS2811, by itself to drive a "dumb" RGB LED. There are other methods, like using ISSI controllers which QMK can now handle. Not sure exactly how "addressable" these ones are.

Offline redbanshee

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:49:22 »
I dont know the model number of the LED's but it has been done, see here: https://imgur.com/a/Hmb6SRt

That is a proto pcb from the Revo team that produces the dr D keyboard and some other kits. It was a small run of pcbs and as far as i know, was never released. Led configuration is for the cherry RGB switches that have the space for it on the bottom casing.

Hope that album can help somehow

Offline hineybush

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:50:14 »
I dont know the model number of the LED's but it has been done, see here: https://imgur.com/a/Hmb6SRt

That is a proto pcb from the Revo team that produces the dr D keyboard and some other kits. It was a small run of pcbs and as far as i know, was never released. Led configuration is for the cherry RGB switches that have the space for it on the bottom casing.

Hope that album can help somehow

This PCB is wild lol. Those HC595's in the spacebar area are shift registers, likely used to control those LEDs.
« Last Edit: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:52:34 by hineybush »

Offline redbanshee

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:55:23 »
also i think most of the ducky rgb boards use the topside surface mount LED's

Offline hineybush

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 13:58:20 »
These LEDs (or similar) seem to be what Matrix used. They'd be easily soldered from the bottom as long as the right size square is cut in the PCB.

Offline Amy Worrall

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 15:00:04 »
I have Cherry MX RGB switches. They have a teeny tiny hole, but way too small for a surface mount addressable LED.

« Last Edit: Thu, 12 July 2018, 15:05:31 by Amy Worrall »

Offline redbanshee

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 16:55:52 »
I have Cherry MX RGB switches. They have a teeny tiny hole, but way too small for a surface mount addressable LED.

Show Image


Actually the PCB that i linked above fits those. Its a really tiny rgb led

Offline Amy Worrall

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 17:22:50 »
I have Cherry MX RGB switches. They have a teeny tiny hole, but way too small for a surface mount addressable LED.

Show Image


Actually the PCB that i linked above fits those. Its a really tiny rgb led

Wow, those are super tiny! Would they get better results than a larger one reverse mounted, I wonder?

Offline redbanshee

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 18:09:39 »
I have Cherry MX RGB switches. They have a teeny tiny hole, but way too small for a surface mount addressable LED.

Show Image


Actually the PCB that i linked above fits those. Its a really tiny rgb led

Wow, those are super tiny! Would they get better results than a larger one reverse mounted, I wonder?



I decided to take a pic real fast... keep in mind im not 100% sure if the leds are their brightest setting in this pic as i dont know the rgb control's on this pcb


Offline Leslieann

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 12 July 2018, 19:04:28 »
At least one company adressed this by using a second PCB under the main one just for the RGB leds, then shone them up through a hole in the main pcb.

Yeah, kind of silly, but it works.
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Offline donfuge

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 18 July 2018, 13:16:36 »
The SK6812mini can work, but it is a bit tricky to solder them. They are used in the Helix keyboard, have a look at the build guide:

https://github.com/MakotoKurauchi/helix/blob/master/Doc/buildguide_jp.md

Offline TalkingTree

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 18 July 2018, 13:37:03 »
You might wanna look into this IBNobody's project.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, Skipad, TOAD (KotM Sept '17), TOAD v2 (KotM April '18), XMMX.

Offline senso

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 20 July 2018, 06:11:50 »
There is a new RGB addressable led in a pretty small package, the APA102-2020

Offline hineybush

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 24 July 2018, 10:49:02 »
There is a new RGB addressable led in a pretty small package, the APA102-2020

2020 package... ohhhhh baby

Offline marhalloweenvt

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Re: Has anyone made a PCB with surface mount addressable RGB LEDs?
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 24 July 2018, 22:59:14 »
There are something smaller than WS2812b 5050 package. You should have a look at SK6812 mini 3535 package. It's smaller but better than WS2812 at some point. Personally,  I think they are easier to buy.