I've followed your threads on RPF and Instructables and am really blown away by what you've created! I was hoping for some advice with my sons Titanfall costume i'm making for him for Halloween. I wanted to add some basic lights to both the helmet and the jump pack (a small package that mounts above the butt and has thrusters on each side). For the helmet I wanted to add a total of 9 led's and a short length of EL wire. The jump pack I wanted to add maybe 8 or 10 led's in 2 groups of 4 or 5. I thought the best way to activate the power for both of these props would be with a reed switch. It would be nice to embed a rare earth magnet in my sons belt and then be able to attach the jump pack with some assurance that it would stay put for halloween night.
The helmet has an antenna on the side of one of the ear cups that if attached in a manner where it would be stationary i'm afraid it would break. Mounting it so that it could fold down would allow me to magnetize both up and down positions and also allow the helmet lights to power on when when in the up position.
I have no experience wiring electronics and very little experience soldering so this project is a challenge for me at this stage. What i'm hoping is to get a recommendation on which reed switch to buy as well as some pointers on the led setup. Thanks!
You can enter in your LED specs and battery voltage and it will give you a simple wiring diagram. All you need to do is insert the reed switch between the battery pack and LEDs. This is the same scenario if you are using EL wire- just wire the reed switch between the battery and the EL wire inverter. If you need me to sketch a quick wiring diagram just let me know!
thanks for the reply! I will pick up a bunch of those switches you recommended. I found a bulk bag of blue led's as well www.sparkfun.com/products/9983 but when I tried the ledcalculator it kept giving me an error asking me to put in a valid power supply voltage. I must have been using the wrong abbreviations or something. If it's not too much trouble to sketch out a quick diagram I would really appreciate it. While i'm shopping on sparkfun do you have any other recommendations of things to purchase just to have on hand? Special batteries, servos, etc... thanks again! now back to sanding the helmet!
Using 6V as you battery pack voltage and 10 LEDs with the specs listed on the blue LEDs you have I get a resistor value of 150 Ohms for each resistor (one resistor per LED and use 1/4 Watt resistors.) If you used a battery voltage of 4.5V (three AA batteries) you would use a resistor value of 56 Ohms. The resistor value doesn't have to be exact- just get close. All of the LEDs would be wired in a parallel circuit so you can have as many as you want in each circuit. I'll draw you up a quick circuit diagram when I get home from work tonight.
better late than never. unfortunately between my job, finishing the actual build of the costume etc i wasn't able to get the lights set up in the helmet in time. i'm still in the process of finishing the build and learning how to solder at the same time. there's certainly a learning curve with soldering bu t i suppose with practice i'll get it.
i did wire up the lights properly outside of the helmet but i want to solder the wires so once they're buried i won't have to worry so much about disconnections. i'll post pics when the lights are in the helmet but in the meantime this is what we were able to cobble together for halloween night.