Testing LEDs with the Boldport Ligemdio

Saar Drimer is a man with an eye for style. He invented the Boldport club as a subscription club to provide a “unique and exciting project sent each month at fixed monthly cost”. The Boldport club shipped 32 creative projects and over 15,000 packages to upto 1000 members in over 30 different countries. Saar’s designs have clever electronics, are interesting the build and are visually stunning. To help design his boards Saar created PCBmodE, a python based circuit design tool that hooks into the vector graphics tool InkScape.

The subscription service stopped back in Jan 2019 but Pimoroni spotted how popular the kits were and now you can buy some the kits via them.

Ligemdio

This week I wanted to test some flickering LEDs for an upcoming project and remembered that I had a Boldport Liegmdio, LED testing kit waiting to be assembled.

The Ligemdio is named after the first few letters of the Light Emitting Diode. The box looks more like a piece of jewellery than a soldering kit.

And the peculiarly shaped board is probably like nothing you’ve seen before. The circuit has a simple constant current circuit formed from two bipolar junction transistors and a couple of resistors. You can run it from a battery or from the USB connector. The instructions come with “homework” in the form of asking you to explain and simulate the circuit, although it is possible to make this work without having completed that.

The instructions are fairly basic and it will help if you are able to read a schematic. There are hints on the board such as the lines indicating the long leg of the LED and the square pads indicating the positive terminals. I managed to solder the USB connection on the wrong side and hence all my connections were backwards. The instruction “solder the USB connector on this side” could be clearer in that it means to fit the USB connector on this side and solder it on the back like the rest of the components.

The schematic also only includes the primary components so C1, R5 and LED3 are not included. Their use is fairly straight forward assuming you check the polarities. The board is a tough little thing and was up for my repeated solderings although the white solder mask will show up such errors. All the components are included although you may need a USB extender cable and optional header to power from a supply or battery.

The board is designed to take either through-hole or surface mount components so if you purchased the PCB directly from BoldPort you can make your own choice.

This is a challenging little kit and you should be able to complete construction in under an hour. It makes for a useful test tool. I will be adding some kind of base as the exposed back could short out on a messy bench.

Now, where did I put those flickering LEDs?

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