anyone use plexiglass faceplates?

Harry Bissell harrybissell at
Mon Nov 22 08:27:39 CET 1999

Eek!! I'd beware the "cold cathode" flourescent lamp... it has striking voltages
of (approx) 800V - 1200V and real fast spikey rise times... The electrical noise
is really severe (not like you'd notice on a laptop...)

I'd go with LED meant for the automotive taillight market. Or (gasp) little
incandescent bulbs...

Electroluminescent panel lamps are better than CCFL, but still need a high
frequency inverter to drive efficiently

:^) Harry

KA4HJH wrote:

> >I had an idea this morning, and I was wondering if anyone has tried something
> >similar before.  I'd like to try using a plexiglass faceplate for my synth,
> >and have the panels engraved at a local shop.  I was then planning on
> >painting the inside of the face black, and backing them with a thin piece of
> >aluminum for shielding/grounding.
> Been thinking about this for a long time. I started to get so many
> good visual ideas that I got up off my duff after almost twenty years
> and started building. Kinda stalled at the moment; maybe this is just
> what I needed to get going again. I forget how exciting this idea was
> (as some of you know this happens to me).
> >My main goal is to edge-light the panels so they glow a little, and the
> >engraved lettering will glow brightly.
> Use a cold cathode lamp, like a laptop. There are very small ones
> routinely available now. Rubbing something fluorescent into the
> grooves might make it brighter, but you still might have a problem in
> broad daylight.
> Another variation would be to paint the back with something
> translucent or even leave it clear in places--keep it black around
> the dials and other labelling--so you can see the bicolor LED's in
> the LFO's glowing. This is a good reason to put one in every module!
> Better yet, you could put an LED bargraph in there and watching the
> light move back and forth. Don't forget to use some blue LED's.
> If you don't want to fool with the edge lighting (it uses a switching
> PS so that's a source of trouble) there's still a lot of cool things
> you could do with backlighting with ordinary LED's, but you won't be
> able to cover the entire panel unless you use a _lot_ of LED's. Just
> stick some behind every spot with some engraving.
> >Think it'll work?  Any durability or scratching problems with plexi?  I plan
> >to mount a rigid enclosure behind the faceplate, so panel flexing shouldn't
> >be a problem.
> Scratching is always a problem with acrylics. You can spray a coat of
> Urethane over it.
> My own scheme is to have aluminum panels (black, of course) on either
> side for mounting the jacks (inputs on the left, outputs on the
> right--we'll see how long that lasts). Now there won't be hardly any
> flexing of the  acrylic panel at all. At the worst I may have to
> epoxy some aluminum angle on the back. This means that I have to
> unscrew three panels instead of one to remove it but I'll live with
> it.
> BTW, If you're doing it yourself you need a table saw and a good
> carbide blade. Drilling is a problem because ordinary twist drills
> tend to cause cracks. They make special (more expensive) bits for
> this; I've have pretty good luck with Forstner bits.
> Terry Bowman, KA4HJH
> "The Mac Doctor"
> ICQ: 45652354

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