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Guest raptor

LOG ENTRY: 2 Dec 2006


My design proposal involves reading as the activity and more importantly, the situation of reading in the dark. Why reading in the dark one may ask? I would say that I myself have in occasions seen the need to read in the dark. It could be my street directory, maps, or just not wishing to switch on the car ambient light that might distract the driver. Having a torchlight will only occupy one hand which will prove tiresome.


Hence my brief:


1. To design a product with a light source for reading in the dark

2. Hands-free operation

3. Extremely compact, small and portable


That does it. I will focus on this.





LOG ENTRY: 3 Dec 2006


I performed some quick observations and found a close association with books, papers, pages and paper clips. I must stress that paper clips is the keyword here. They're really compact, smart and inexpensive. all from one wire.


Now I will introduce a lightsource to the paperclip.

From past experience with and LED project, I will attempt to use a small white miniature LED.





LOG ENTRY: 4 Dec 2006


I have begun work on physical experimentation of the parts:

1. LED

2. Battery source

3. Paper clip.


From the sketches, I try to do hands-on experiments to combine the necessary parts in the most logical way possible. taking into consideration current flow as well as position of the LED light source.


I found that having one battery (coin-cell) does not enable to LED to light up, and that i require a stacked-up battery configuration. (Batteries in Series). This gives a problem. The battery is now too thick!


I will need to work on the physical problems now.

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Guest raptor

LOG ENTRY: 4 Dec 2006 (evening)



(above) photo of initial sketches and experimenting bits and pieces



(above) the paper clip - thinking of the wiring configuration to ensure + and - are set.



(above) a working prototype - first prototype that actually works with wire bent in configuration and LED soldered in.



(above) the prototype in action!





LOG ENTRY: 5 Dec 2006


Today I have managed to seek a technician's advice on the battery and LED. i manage to purchase a 3v coin cell battery with a 1.5v superbright LED. I have used white LEDs as they provide a more natural light based on my past research experiences on LEDs sometime in a school project. Experience comes in handy!


Now I will assemble the LED pins with the battery. It should work very nicely. Here we go...



(above) a coin-cell battery and LED



(above) it works!





LOG ENTRY: 6 Dec 2006


Its just past midnight from 5 Dec, so its the 6th now.

Im very glad the LED and coin-cell batteries work so well.


I take a paper clip and combine the LEDs together. They should fit neatly using a cellophane tape as a prototype. Remember I am still working on the physical prototype. From there when it does work, i can then devote on the aesthetics and other semantic aspects such as usability.



(above) the paper clip and LED are combined.



(above) the battery is tested with the configuration and YES! it works!


I will now aim to test the prototype onto a book in a dark lighting condition and thereby improve from there.







LOG ENTRY: 6 Dec 2006


I have done some quick tests and it shows that the LED light is working very well to illuminate each book page. The paper clip also holds up the structure well and firmly.



(above) lighted up book page. its in blue, i guess i didnt set the camera white balance well earlier...



(above) close up of the illuminated area near the LED



(above) this shows the last line or the bottomest page of the book which can still be read clearly. It works!



(above) now this is what happens when i remove the battery from the paper clip. PITCH DARK! really!


now that the configuration and physical prototypes work, i will need to work on the real design to make it attractive and not some just bent wires. I am aiming to look at a single injection-moulded plastic or perhaps wire that has been carefully dip-coated or plastic powder-coated. I remember I have done dip-coating many many years ago in hight school...


just a note:


the clip holds on the top of the paper very well. mainly because the clip is tight and overall it weighs quite light. I have chosen a CR2025 cin cell battery that is slim although my research shows that CR2016 is even slimmer! well, a slim battery means a shorter life span. I have decided to use CR2025 for now.



(above) the ClipLight firmly on the page



(above) ...and when switched on

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Great hands on approach to the problem! It would be good if you could find a way to diffuse or spread the light a bit more, perhaps with some makeshift lens or reflector? As long as it stays small and compact, it would be best if the result can remain in the book when it is closed.

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Guest KaW

Quite appreciable...... You used paper clip, led and coin cell for compactness... meybe you can modify the paper clip....so that it can rise the led a little bit up for spreading light further..... using reflecter or piece of white paper will provide more balance.... try to use a seme transparent paper like thing for diffusing the the lower part of led.....


Once again..... nice initiative....

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Just had an idea, what if you integrate a strip of metal bend in a parabolic shape and have the led shine into that? That way maybe you can get the effect of a reflector in a flashlight, perhaps that can spread the light a bit more evenly?

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Guest Amvi

You might add couple more LEDs to give more light source to the book. Line them up hoziontally and cover them by thin, clear plastic. Just an idea

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Guest raptor

thanks for all the advice. i have thought of things like adding more LEDs, having thin LEDs, using EL strips, having a reflector cap etc. but they add more mass to the whole thing. Basically the concept is to be very minimal. Its just meant to be used as it is, very raw. not a permanent thing. so its likely to be used for a very short while, just to check maps for a quick second, or just as a fast torchlight for you checking a blown tyre etc. the clip function does not necessarily need to be on a book. it can be clipped onto your watch strap etc which will act as a torch.


In summary, just a simple bare-bones piece of kit.

im into two directions, using the wire-form (paper clip) or to make it as a nice curvy injection moulded plastic form with a comfort grip etc. im working on it now and will post more ideas soon.


Thanks guys!

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Guest raptor

LOG ENTRY: 7 Dec 2006


Okay, today I have thought a little about the structure again, considering the paperclip concept. I have managed to obtain an old LED with an extended wire. This extended wire length allows me to bend it into the shape of a paper clip.



(above) I tried some sketches again to understand how to bend the wire accordingly.



(above) ... and with that I came up with the bent wire incorporated as part of the LED wireframe. This means I now no longer need the paperclip physically. Hurray!



(above) the lighted up LED shows that the bent structure does work well.



(above) and the underside of it showing the clip


with these, i did some tests by clipping it to pages of the book. the battery seems loose and I need to clip the battery tighter without falling off the papers when slated.






LOG ENTRY: 7 Dec 2006 (early morning 01:14hrs)


I analysed how the battery falls off sidewards. I thought to add a plastic catch to the overall structure, but that would be a no-no. I just preferred to have a simple wired structure.


Thats gives me to my next development with an angled catch to the wire to prevent the battery from falling off sideways accidentally.



(above) notice i have created a slanted catch so the battery is locked.



(above) side view with the arrow showing the slanted catch to hold the battery in place.



(above) and once again, the underside showing the clipping onto a page of a book.



(above) side profile again viewed from the top. I can achieve an even thinner profile with a slimmer battery from a current CR2025 to a CR2016 thinner coin-cell battery.



(above) and once again, a close up view of the cliplight on the book.


now i need to refine this to make it perhaps aesthetically more pleasing, now that the structure is taking shape.

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Guest woodie

Just wanted to say i really like the idea and process your going through here.


One thing that may be important to address;

So far it looks as if the clip needs repostinging each time you turn a page. Possibly make it very easy to attach to a new page i.e. can be done in the time as the page is turned or so that it is clipped to the back of the book allowing easy page turning?

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Guest raptor

thanks for the advice woodie. I think i'd leave it for now. but i understand problems with page turning etc. what I will do later is to make the finger area large enough for easy access. thanks again!

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Guest gBevis

Hi Raptor,


I like the idea very much, and the way you are working.. and the fact the light has a bookmark effect...

(i have a simular idea.. incorporating a light, bookmark, in a case, which the book is held. bit too much tho maybe..lol)...


However to be honest...

I am not convinced with the amount of illumination that will be given off, due to only one LED, whats the user benifiting from using it??... what about when they get off from the top paragraph.. there dont seem to be enuf light to read at the bottom of the page.??


is there a more powerfull LED?.. i think there is... may be a bit more chunky tho..

does it effect your goal if you are able to clip from the side ot the book, rather than the top, and able to additional LED's in your design, whch woud give off more light?


and the fact that it may get squashed/ crushed when book is closed??.. your hand grap that area.. tight... does this effect the LED..


i like the fact that (it looks as though) it has enough weight to it, to stop the page from flapping over in a breeze... nice.



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Guest raptor

Hi Gary (gBevis),

thank you for your advice and suggestions.


regarding to some of your questions, here are my answers:


1. not convinced with the amount of illumination from one LED

-> If you take a look at the 11th picture i posted from the top, it says: "this shows the last line or the bottomest page of the book which can still be read clearly. It works!" I have demonstrated that the illumination works.


2. whats the user benifiting from using it

-> this cliplight is only meant to be used as an emergency light. not as a leisure purpose light. Take for instance a scenario you might be out camping, you might wish to have a small lightsource that you could use to refer to a map, or perhaps a car manual during an emergency breakdown, or even in the home to refer to your emergency manual during a blackout. I am attempting to have the clip coated with an illuminescene paint so that it will glow in the dark and be easy to identify. perhaps not, well, its still underdevelopment.


3. is there a more powerfull LED

-> Yes there is, definately. but when we have that, the amount of illuminating time will be reduced. I have taken consideration of that and have found that that particular miniature 1.5mm or 3mm LED works best and more so, a white LED.


4. does it effect your goal if you are able to clip from the side ot the book

-> that will depend on the user and his application. he could purchase more than one light source.


5. and the fact that it may get squashed/ crushed when book is closed

-> I have demonstrated with an image showing the structure in a close book position. THe battery and LED are extremely solidly built. then again, we cant go to extremes and have it placed in 100,000tons of books. we have to be realistic - this is just for a short duration purpose use, not for leisure.


Thanks Gary. Hope it answers to your questions.

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Guest raptor

LOG ENTRY: 8 Dec 2006


Today I have tried out a slightly different concept for the ClipLight. It involves a secondary piece, which i started out using a paper cut-out.



(above) the first paper cut which incorporates an LED together as a clip



(above) taking it further, I used a hard plastic card and did the cut out. I required only 3 components - the battery, plastic cut out and the LED



(above) I punched two holes for the LED to be inserted through. It was tight and the LED did not fall off. Reduces need for adhesives or glue



(above) the front when clipped onto a page



(above) this shows the back when clipped onto a page



(above) close up of side profile



(above) and another one


The next step for this might be to explore possibilities of a casing or shell. I am still not sure to incorporate a shell, or to leave it bare-bones with the wire exposed. After all this is meant to be used quickly and cheaply for emergencies and not as a comfortable long-term product.

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