Articles – How to make a Glowpad

Glow pad making – HOWTO

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Want to make something like this?

Follow this simple tutorial, and you’ll be on your way to making one yourself!

Materials

1. 8mm Acrylic (depending on your mouse pad size)
2. Suitable mouse pad
3. 4 Clear Rubber Legs
4. 3 5mm Ultra Bright 3V LEDs at 20mA. Whichever colour you want.
5. Aluminum Bracket
6. 39ohm Resistor
7. Insulated wires
8. Insulating tape
9. Soldering Iron
10. USB head / cable
11. Switch
12. 5mm Drill Bit
13. Drill

Where to get materials?

Go to Sim Lim Tower and get your materials. 😀 how to get there? Click me!

How to make it.

Step 1:

Get your acrylic, and saw it to the size which fits your mouse pad. Mine is 23x27cm. Remember to leave at least a 1cm border to allow filing and to insert you LEDs. Once that is done, get your 5mm drill bit and power up your drill. Drill 3 holes, preferably spaced apart equally in the acrylic. You don’t need to go so deep. As long as your LEDs can be inserted in, it’s fine.

1. About this depth would do.
2. Acrylic with 3 holes drilled

Remember not to take off the protective covering until project is complete. It is to keep away all your greasy fingerpints and keep the scratches.

Step 2:

Splice up your USB cable. There should be 4 wires inside. We only need 2.
Red and Black: The 5V power supply we need!
Green and White: Data Wires. We won’t need that.

Follow this circuit and wire your components:

Try to keep it as neat as possible. Once done, solder them together. Tape the soldered ends up with insulated tape to prevent shorts. Take care while using the Soldering Iron. It is HOT 😀 and the fumes are smelly.


1. Everything wired up and soldered.
2. Soldering Iron and the soldering lead.

Step 3.

Plug it in the USB to test! If you soldered everything correctly, it should look like this:

It lights up! Ultra blue!
Plugged in the USB with a nice cable 🙂

I used double-sided tape to stick the aluminum bracket to the pad. Stuff all the messy wiring into the bracket. (Now looks much better eh?) You can use glue, but for now, it sticks like cement! Try not to use a permanent bond. For maintenance purposes. 

Now all you need to do now is to remove the protective cover, stick the 4 rubber legs and add your mouse pad on it. It should look like this now. I just love that cool frosty feeling. Haha.

1. View from top! Your completed glow pad.
2. The aluminum bracket hides everything!

Now isn’t it beautiful? It is completed!

Total Cost (for my glowpad)
*nil items are those I already have.

1. 23cm x 27cm x 8mm clear acrylic – $8
2. Mouse pad material from Art Friends – $0.95
3. 4 Clear Rubber Legs – $4 for a pack of 14
4. 3, 5mm Ultra Blue 3V LEDs at 20mA. – $1.80
5. Aluminum Bracket – $1
6. 39ohm Resistor – free
7. Insulated wires – $1
8. Insulating tape – nil
9. Soldering Iron – nil
10. USB head / cable – $3.00
11. Switch – $0.50
12. 5mm Drill Bit – $2.00
13. Drill – nil

Total cost: ~19.40

20 Dollars isn’t a lot actually. The satisfaction of making it yourself more than makes it worth it. And besides, you now have a lovely mouse pad to use and to impress people next time they see your computer 😀

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Look out for more!

Contributed by: Gao Guangyan (idreamz)
E-mail: oozisd@hotmail.com

*All price above are in SGD – Singapore Dollars.

Related Links:

Glowpad Gallery
Where is Sim Lim Tower

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