Firefly PAL


Sr Member
I got my hands on one of gw2tulsa's fantastic PAL castings (thanks again, Gary.) and decided that it needed to have a light that worked when you pressed the button up top. This is about as basic a circuit as you can get, and I think even someone who's never done any wiring before could set this up in a matter of minutes.

From the back, you can see the minimal parts involved. For those interested, it all came from Radio Shack to the tune of about 6 bucks:

5mm red LED, stock #276-041
Momentary contact pushbutton switch, stock #275-1566A
AAA battery holder, stock #270-398B

Not some of my best solder work, but since it was 4 small connections that aren't going to be under any real stress, I just sort of stuck it together.

The positive (red) wire goes from the battery holder to one terminal on the switch, and the positive lead of the LED (always the longer lead, known as the anode) goes to the other terminal. I used a small bit of red wire to close the gap between the LED and the switch.

The negative (black) wire goes directly to the negative lead, or cathode of the LED. Stick some batteries in and you've a complete, working circuit. Easy as pie. It's best to solder everything together, but you could do the old twist-'n'-tape method in a pinch.

The battery holder fits perfectly in the bottom cavity. I'm going to cut a small piece of foam and glue it in there just to keep it from rattling around.

On top, I just stuck the rubber button cover down with some RTV silicone sealant I had laying around. It looks like it's going to be pretty secure, but still flexible enough to let the button work unimpeded.

Here it is lit up - the flash washed it out pretty badly, but I assure you that it works quite well. :lol

My next steps will be to put a little bit of black fabric behind the speaker grille, and to cut a back plate out of some sheet styrene to close the whole thing up.

Hope this helps at least a couple of people out. Feel free to ask me anything if you need a hand. :)


Sr Member
I like it. I wish I had one now.

So the PAL cast didn't come with a back piece for it? Not that I'd complain.


Sr Member
Very cool. :thumbsup

Here's a pic of the one it's molded from--not sure how you could easily replicate the brass "donut" (speaker), or even if you'd want to. Maybe a brass lamp fitting part from ACE?

Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting (and for the PAL.) :)
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Sr Member
Ooh, thanks for the pics. I had forgotten that the LED cavity had a reflector. Guess I need to paint that. :)

As far as the speaker goes...maybe I'll see if I can find a big enough piezoelectric element to go back there, since I'm pretty sure that's what it is anyway. I was just going to black it out with some cloth, but I suppose if I've gone this far already... :D

Gary Weaver II

Sr Member
FYI, the original PAL LED area DID NOT have any paint where the LED is. What you see there is the backside of the Acrylic LED Cover where it has been removed and reapplied to the PAL. Me, I intend to just put some clear 2 part epoxy resin over it and let that set up.

And, nope the kits do not come with backs. Didn't know how people may want to do theirs. As you can see from the pics of the original, there isn't much to it. A piece of sheet plastic should be all you need.