I have always liked the idea of converting the dealer signs for home use, however the signs were just way too big. They are also very heavy and very expensive, not to mention hard to move or work with. DMCMW answered this gap with their own version, and wow did it look nice. I'm certainly not knocking DCMW's sign, I'm sure it's a great product and is answering the call for a home version sign for a lot of people with large houses. My only complaint was they didn't take if far enough. At 6' it was still too big and I felt it would overpower all but the largest of spaces. I think if the intended purpose was a home version, it would need to be scaled down even further. Second, I think I can do it for much less $$. I am pretty sure I can get by for around 200 bucks. I also wanted this sign to be small enough to put in my car and display at cruise ins. My sign will operate on 12v DC or 110 AC. I can use either a small jump pack for power and hide behind the sign, or even use the cig. lighter in the car...most likely it will be self contained using the jump pack.
First you need a custom frame. I went to wholesaleposterframes.com and had a nice black anodized frame made up. I just scaled down the original sign and ended up with a 46x12" frame.
I also had to draw up a design, and since I like to add my own flair to things, I changed the proportions a little making both the top and bottom halves equal, rather than the original 70/30 split. Here is a pic of the design:
The graphics shop had to rework it since I didn't vector it, in the future I will do so and save myself 25 bucks in fees. I had them do a vinyl decal in reverse(the adhesive is on the front).
That decal was placed on a piece of clear 46x12" lexan sanded with 400 paper first to aid in light dispersal and to give the paint something to stick to. The scratch/frost marks disappear when the paint is applied. I painted a few layers of my colors. The bottom black, the top quartz silver, and the DMC letters are charcoal. (whatever colors you want really) I know the DMC letters are metal and I could have done that with decals, but I didn't like the look. OK, once the color has dried well, you need to light block. A few coats of silver will do nicely. Silver blocks light the best due to all the metal in it. Now that everything is dry, carefully peel up the decal and you are left with a perfect pattern:
You will need lights! You have to have lights! I use the RGB 5050 LED strips found about anywhere, ebay, Amazon, etc. Some kits include a small generic remote control and a module. You will also need a 12v power supply. I picked up a 5 meter run of lights with controller, module and 12v power supply for 35 bucks.
All that's left is a lot of measuring and wiring up:
Since my frame was thin, I elected to make a light diffuser using a panel found at Lowes, it was cut to size, and two more made for the top which were taped into place. Universal foam seal (also from Lowes) was used to separate the two panels. Notice the module had the case emoved to make it thin enough for the frame, also notice the cutout.
Now that everything is ready, time to assemble. I cut out the backer board(a piece of cardboard form a car dealership) so the remote sensor and power jack is accessible. The sign and frame are joined and the frame completed. A tiny drop of super glue holds the remote sensor in place.
LED lights with remote controller and Power Supply: 35.00
Diffuser panel (ceiling light panel): 9.00
Foam Tape: 10 bucks
Graphics for paint masks: 51.00
Clear lexan for front: 21.00
Spray Paint: 20.00
The finished sign. ( It wasn't planned, but the GM logo was a nice touch and a nod to JZD)
And a little video showing assembly and the functions of the remote: