HELLO! Hi! Ah, yes, i'm still here - alive and kicking, just been whipping up my photos in PS and getting them uploaded. (sorta, damn knackered after today - Anyhoo! On with the show)
So! I've made a video of how and what I did to make my gear knob light up, clicky here.
And for you folk that prefer photos, well here you go:
So, first things first, getting the top off. Now I decided "what the heck" as I was fed up of damaging the top trying to pop it off, both the plastichrome and centre button so picked out the smallest diameter drill bit I could that was long enough to reach the top from inside the threads (this was a 4mm bit in my case) and drilled through the thread hole at the top (carefully as not to touch the threads) and aimed directly for the screw that holds it in. This means that I was following roughly the red line in the photo below, and as you can see, with the back of the knob facing up, I drilled at an angle at the top of the hole. Doing so results in some nasty sounds and occasional drill snatches as you're drilling both the core and the screw, so it wasn't too happy, but drilled it ok - I 100% recommend using a vice for this bit though, just be sure to get the angle right to pop the screw out. Now behind the button on top is a metal plate, so as you're drilling the screw out, it will get to a point where that chrome cap and button will fly off. You can damage them by this launch across the desk (ask how I know ) but you can't easily damage the visible parts of them at all through drilling, just the take off to mars or the moon
So once you're in, it should look like this:
You can then use a small drill bit (my friend the 4mm made another appearance here) and go up the back. Make sure to keep that hole within the leather marks that the bottom ring made, so you can't see it afterwards. I'd recommend starting this in a vice, but once you're in and going - take it out. I couldn't track the angle I was drilling at very well and this happened
So yeah, run a 4mm up to about 3/4 the way up, and then get a bigger drill bit on and drill down from the top to meet where you just got to with the 4mm. This will give you a bit of a cavity to lob the cables/resistors on the LEDs.
Then, you can get one of them tree drill bits (increment ones? Idk what they're called, they look like a damn christmas tree ) and wipe out the centre of the metal circle where the button sits, to about 16-18mm? Mine was rough but got to 16mm I think, although this is what the dent is from, because the metal isn't easy to secure and the drill snatches as there are holes there already and the metal is at different heights too. The mole grips I was using twisted the metal hence, dint. As I do more I'll probably make a little wooden jig to secure them in place so that they can't move or spin while I drill, reducing or not damaging it at all hopefully
I also used two/three layers of polarised film from out of a laptop screen, thinner than paper, and also crates a nice hazed effect to prevent hotspotting as much. I still haven't placed the LEDs directly below it, but it's in the top edge pointing down towards the button so that the light still spreads, and I took out some of the rubber material between the little pillars that support the crome top. I haven't found a way to fix it all together yet, but I think that I will likely use double sided tape for the filter and around the edge of the button to keep that secure but if I need to remove it, a swift hammer/poke from the first hole up the threads will remove it, but will likely UHU glue/super glue/ hot glue (whatever I end up using) to fix the chrome top to the leather and the rubber supports, and that should be hard to pry off (although I reckon if I need to I will be able to, as after removing the button, it can be levered up on material that isn't visible when assembled.
That last photo is how it is all sitting without glue, and the button looks raised, but it's able to sit ok in the ring flush with where it was positioned originally before I took it apart. I reckon this will work well, and I realise you now all know my secrets but hey ho, and I hope you peeps who wanna try it have it working well. I'm still planning to make a few and I have some more knobs on the way, so will (hopefully) be available in future if anyone is wanting one. And I may make a better DIY with more photos later if needed
Took me a while to write up, that's my excuse
P.S. I hope you all liked my rickroll!