Deluxe LED Menorah Kit Review

By Ari Dubinsky

Assembly Time: 1 hour
Skill Level: Beginner

Looking for a way to light up the holy eight-day holiday in a modern way? Look no further! Make your own with the Deluxe LED Menorah Kit from Evil Mad Science. Be the spark at all of your Semitic events when you whip out your portable hanukkiyah. Your peers will rejoice in celebration when they realize that you saved the night. Enjoy this wax-free menorah that goes anywhere: on your desk, on your mantle piece, even in your car. This special holiday can't be made any easier when you can have your own Hanukkah celebration to-go.

Required Tools:

Soldering iron
Solder
Wire cutters and pliers
AA batteries
Resistor lead forming tool

Like all projects, it's important to do an inventory check. You never know when you'll end up with less than the required pieces, so take the time to look through each bag. Who knows, you might even end up with some useful spares.

Parts inventory


Begin by placing your resistors in their respective spots. Orientation does not matter in this step. Using wire cutters, trim excess leads on the back side. Clip them close to flush but not so far that you cut the board itself. Keep in mind that leads can fly, so wear eye protection.

Place and Solder Resistors

Using the same procedure, install the capacitor at C1 and add the switch at S1. Snap them into place and solder both pins. To add the chip, locate the end with the half-circle shape, both on the board and chip. Matching these ends, insert the chip flush to the board. Bend out the corner pins very slightly to hold the chip in place and solder all 20 pins of the chip to the board. Pull the wires of the battery box through the board: red by V+, black by V-. Loop the wires (see picture) and solder. Pull any excess wire back through.

Adding Capacitor, Switch and Chip

With this kit, there are a few options when placing the LEDs. One option is to place the shamash, the ninth candle used to light the other candles, in the center. Another option is to place the shamash on the right. Within these options you can also choose which LEDs to elevate. I chose to go with the center flush option. If you choose to go this route then add all LEDs except your shamash, making sure the short lead goes toward the flat side. Solder them and trim their leads. Add the final LED, which sits higher than the others. Solder one pin at first to tack it in place, straighten it by hand and then solder the other pin.

Placing the LEDs

There are two acrylic stand pieces. Be gentle with them. If they look brown and papery, this is a protective covering, peel it off. Hold the board upside down and slide on each stand. Go slowly and watch for obstructions like unclipped pins. Carefully slide in the battery case.

Mounting Menorah on Stand


Troubleshooting

1. Check the soldering job. Make sure the solder from leads don't touch each other.
2. Replace the battery.
3. Match components with the instruction's specifications.
3. Check for damaged components.
4. Make sure polarized components are oriented correctly on the board (e.g., IC, capacitors and LEDs).

Need help? Your first stop should be the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories forums.
Ari Dubinsky attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He teamed up with Jameco to accelerate his learning as well as to lend a helping hand to a major electronics distributor. His interests include shredding on the guitar, electronics and music production.