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Look Ma, no cords

08 April

We loved the look of our old displays, but after several seasons they were falling apart. So this winter we designed new ones.

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Old displays

table display

Computer rendering of new displays.

 

The biggest difference is how the new displays charge the jewelry. The old ones used USB cords. The new ones use infrared (IR) led strips.

Why IR?

The previous USB cords were quick and effective, but they cluttered the displays and prevented customers from handling the jewelry. USB cords also caused confusion about how the jewelry was powered, it looked like it needed to be plugged in to blink.

Using infrared LED light has a lot of advantages.  Its cord free and invisible to the human eye, so we can charge the jewelry in any lighting level.  Most cell phone cameras do not have an IR filter, so the LED’s can be seen on the screen like the picture below.

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Infrared LED’s on cell phone camera.

We did testing in a dark box to determine how bright the LED’s needed to be, how close to the jewelry, and how long charging took.  I put jewelry inside the box and timed how long it took to start blinking.

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IR LED charging test rig. Fancy.

Construction

Once we had a design on the computer, we cut the wood out with the laser at Sector67.  I love using the laser, its super fun.

Next we assembled them. They fit snugly together, only requiring a little bit of gluing.

Dry fit pieces.

Dry fit pieces.

Glued and clamped together.

Glued and clamped together.

After gluing we added the LED bars.

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Adding brackets to hold the IR LED strips.

The IR light bars have hinges to fold away for easy transport.  Check out this video to see how it works.

Finally I added a cover with plastic hinges in it.  The cover protects the displays during transport and folds behind to act as a stand at shows.

Cover with hinges.

Cover with hinges.

I also cut out a TON of hooks for hanging jewelry that fit neatly into the grooves on the stands.

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Hooks on the laser.

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Display with lights folded in for transport and hooks in slots.

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Display with hooks in slots and lights folded out for charging.

Voila!  Finished displays. I am super happy with how they function, its like magic.  The initial charge can take hours, so I still do that by hand.  But with the IR LED strips the jewelry keeps blinking brightly all day with no fuss.

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Finished displays.

 

 

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