[Piffpaffpoltrie] There was a 20-year-old Acer flatbed scanner that they couldn’t justify keeping up with. But dropping a work piece of gear seems embarrassing. Instead, the old scanner became a light table. Admittedly, as projects go on, it’s not the most technically sophisticated thing we’ve ever seen, but we think it’s a worthy way to upcycle something that would otherwise fill a landfill.
The scanner was old enough to have a CCFL light source inside. However, it was very small, so it came out with many other components that could still be used in other projects. If you don’t know, scanners are a good source for small stepper motors, straight rods and first-surface mirrors.
The only parts that survived the refit were the power supply (including the Wal-Wart), the outer case, of course, and – oddly enough – a large controller board. You might wonder why a light table needs a controller board, and the answer is no. However, a 20-year-old scanner controller board is not much needed, and reusing the board allows the power switch and power socket to be exactly where it was supposed to be. At this point the board is effectively a mechanical mounting bracket.
New LED lights, and some white cardboard and foil construction are finished. Truly, all the scanners donated were glass fragments, enclosures and power supplies. Nevertheless, it creates an attractive lighting table and we are always ready for upcycling.
If you need to do something with the inside, how about making a camera? Or deck out your PCB lab.