Flat top LEDs

I love you!

I’ve built 40 or so digital boards and every time, the nightmare was in aligning the LEDs. The way I did so far was to get them approximately correct, and then move them one by one left or right, up or down, back of front, while keeping the soldering iron hot on one of the leads. Sometimes, even after 15 minutes of battle, the result was still messy.

fcd72 introduced me to flat top LEDs and at first, I did not get it. Was it just something fancy and different looking? I bought some last week for the looks, but indeed they are killers when it comes to having super clean rows of LED. It’s so simple :

  1. Make sure that you haven’t soldered other parts taller than the LEDs
  2. insert the LEDs in the holes
  3. Turn the board the other side, the flat top of the LEDs on your bench/table/desk
  4. Press the board and solder the LEDs

The LEDs will come out perfectly aligned. It’s the third digital I do with flat top/square LEDs and I don’t want to look back :slight_smile:

"It’s hip to be square"
Huey Lewis and the News

cool! yeah i had mad trouble with my leds.

which ones are you using ?

Why don’t put normal led directly on the PCB and no More alignment problem (4 transparency case ok)?

@eatyone: even with normal LEDs, the alignment is not always perfect. Also, I find that having the LEDs almost as the same height as the case make them easier to see when you’re looking at the Shruthi at an angle different from 90°. If they are too close to the board they are hidden by the switches as soon as you start looking a bit down.

@janvanvolt: this and this

Half the problem with LED’s, is that most I have used don’t have a perfectly flat bottom. So getting them soldered in straight can be an issue when they are right up against the PCB. Spacers usually help a lot too though?
And flat top LED’s are usually a little taller, so yes, I expect this help’s stop them being obscured by the buttons in a Shruthi.