Re: LED little black dress

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Re: LED little black dress

Postby illy dilly » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:26 am

cherryblossom73 wrote:Your tutu is awesome!!! I am so happy to hear that as an "LED noob" you are having such amazing success. I am currently working on a 'little black light dress' in the same vein as Junglesmacks' pants. I'm constructing my own dress base and light panels (LEDs are not here yet, so I'm doing all the prep work) and just got the mini-controller in the mail on Saturday. This will be my first venture into soldering and electronics. I'm a little nervous, but *so* excited to get started! Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

The last two years I've done two different pairs of pants with UV-LEDs. Not on par with junglesmacks, but still a bunch of LEDs per pair.

I found, that "UV-LED" is thrown around a lot. Especially on ebay. I've ordered UV LEDs from a couple different places, and so far, no two orders have had the same color light. JS actually sent me some in 2011 that were a faint purple, that were a different sort of UV reactive. Rather than makes things sort of 'day glow' bright, they made reactive colors sort of Pastel or Easter colors.
I ordered some that were a royal purple and VERY UV reactive, 2011.
I tried to order more from the same seller, 2012, and the ones that arrived were sort of Blue/Purple and kind of UV reactive. I also order some 'flat top' LEDs that were royal purple, but not very UV Reactive.
At $.05 - $.10 a piece, I'd suggest ordering 50 from a few different sellers.

Machina wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Isn't that fabric glue cool, too? Illy Dilly was the first to show it to me last year on playa and it literally saved my whole outfit.


The fabric glue is THE BEST. Ever. I had planned to sew the tulle over the LEDs, but it was too crazy. The fabric glue literally saved/made the whole project possible. THANK YOU again for telling me about it! So glad I ordered 5 baggies of it!

FWIW, I recently learned, the hard way, that if you try and switch your hot glue gun back to regular glue, you need to run about 2 or 3 of the long sticks of the regular glue through your gun to get all the white-ish fabric glue out. When the two glues come out together and sorta mixed they dry/cure with different flexibility and adhesiveness.
FWIW#2, the fabric glue does not stick to Aluminum very well. Other wise I'd always leave the fabric glue in. :wink:
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:45 am

Ditto what Illy said about the different batches of LEDs. Always try and order all of your LEDs together at one time so that the batches are the same. This last year, I miscalculated the number of green LEDs I needed and had to order a second batch. Even though they were from the same seller, one group was brighter than the others and would physically draw more current. Meaning.. that as the voltage dropped on my battery source from use, some would be brighter than the others and start to make it look funky. Super annoying.

One year the pink that we received was this pale pink and not all that impressive.. the next it was this super juicy pink that was awesome. Thank god we got the second batch as that's what we made the girls jacket with..
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby cherryblossom73 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:57 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Ditto what Illy said about the different batches of LEDs. Always try and order all of your LEDs together at one time so that the batches are the same. This last year, I miscalculated the number of green LEDs I needed and had to order a second batch. Even though they were from the same seller, one group was brighter than the others and would physically draw more current. Meaning.. that as the voltage dropped on my battery source from use, some would be brighter than the others and start to make it look funky. Super annoying.

One year the pink that we received was this pale pink and not all that impressive.. the next it was this super juicy pink that was awesome. Thank god we got the second batch as that's what we made the girls jacket with..


Thanks, guys! Illy made me realize that I didn't make my dress intentions clear... ;-) I am making a 'little black dress with pink lights'. I used JS's ebay seller and got 1000 pink LEDs. As advertised, I assumed they would be the super juicy pink ones...but we shall see!

I do want to thank anyone who has ever posted anything about making LED art/clothes...I have read every word 4 or 5 times to make sure that I am getting this right. Wish me luck...I'm going to start putting together my controller kit tonight!
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:08 pm

cherryblossom73 wrote:Thanks, guys! Illy made me realize that I didn't make my dress intentions clear... ;-) I am making a 'little black dress with pink lights'. I used JS's ebay seller and got 1000 pink LEDs. As advertised, I assumed they would be the super juicy pink ones...but we shall see!



How are you planning on attaching them? Just poking them through? If so, I would highly recommend using the 4 prong superflux type like this. They will sit nice and flush with the fabric while not flopping like a 5mm dome LED.
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby cherryblossom73 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:10 pm

So...I got my controller all put together. Double checked all my components solder points. Hooked up my power source to check the voltage (before adding the IC2)...multimeter says 1.70. Voltage is supposed to be between 4.25 and 5.25. Double and triple checked the board. I've been scouring the internet and controller site and will continue to do so, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone had any ideas for things I should check. Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I should have said...I am using 2 9v batteries as my power source. :-) Thanks!!
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby Machina » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:08 pm

cherryblossom73 wrote:So...I got my controller all put together. Double checked all my components solder points. Hooked up my power source to check the voltage (before adding the IC2)...multimeter says 1.70. Voltage is supposed to be between 4.25 and 5.25. Double and triple checked the board. I've been scouring the internet and controller site and will continue to do so, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone had any ideas for things I should check. Thanks in advance!


Noooo! What kind of power source are you using--what type of batteries? EDIT: Oh I see you said two 9V :D Hmmm. None of your solders are accidentally touching each other? I'm not a pro at this and that's the only thing I could think of. :?

I was admittedly bad and didn't check ANYTHING before soldering... but then, I wasn't creating a very complicated set up at all.
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LED little black dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:20 pm

That was exactly my reaction...noooooooooooo! lol! My first thought was the soldering points as well...no solder bridges that I can see. (Even got out the magnifying glass ;-) ) I've posted a message on the picprojects forum as well, to see if they have any ideas.

Here are pics of my board if that helps...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/77965/temp/201 ... .09.19.jpg
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/77965/temp/201 ... .09.07.jpg

It's all a learning process....I'm trying to enjoy the ride. ;-)
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby TT120 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:40 pm

I don't think 1 9v battery has enough current to run that gizmo. Maybe 2 or 3 of them in parallel.
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Re: LED utili-tutu

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:30 pm

First off, please start your own thread for your own project.. that way we can offer specific help and all the discussion can be directed to one place.. :D

A 9v battery has plenty of current to flow through that board. Plenty. To run things.. not so much. 9v batteries drop off quickly when much current is demanded from them and as such they don't make very good LED project power sources. Use AA batteries in series connections.

Looking at your soldering job, I can tell that you were using most likely a cheap pencil type soldering iron. You need to be concentrating the heat on those copper pads and joints to really get the solder joint fused well which is super difficult with an unwieldy iron. Double and triple check all of your connections again and reapply some heat on any that don't look fully fused.

If you (or anyone for that matter) plans on doing any kind of electronics/LED tinkering, it really pays to invest a little money and get a decent soldering base station. You can spend under $100 and get something that will do an awesome job and save you much time and headache. Check out this unit for $80 + shipping. I use the same machine but with the heat gun attachment for re-flow work which comes in handy for shrink tube heating as well.

If you were to email Pete the owner of PIC Projects and tell him your problems.. he would ask to see a hi res of the back of your board.. and he would tell you to re-do your entire soldering job.

Trust me. I learned the hard way 8)
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby Eric » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:10 pm

Little messy, but I've split questions about the "little black dress" off from the the "utili-tutu" thread.
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Re: LED dress

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:31 pm

Re: LED's and power - Junglesmacks and others are great expert advisors!

Re: soldering - It is simpler than welding, but would benefit from some in person training and troubleshooting at a neighborhood hackersapce makerspace, easily searchable on the webs, or from a friend-aqaintance experienced advisor. A good soldering iron and solder is not expensive.

Re: UV fluorescence. UV light comes from the sun, from bulbs and from LED's (and lasers). Materials florescence based on the illuminating wavelength. LED's have a very narrow point spectrum wavelength compared to bulbs. Suggest testing chosen material fluorescence against your illuminating specific UV LED's early in your design cycle. Spectrum of LED's and bulbs is measured in nm, say 200-450. Keep in mind safety, UV LED's and lasers can be seriously harmful to eyes and skin, most designers cannot measure how harmful.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby tattoogoddess » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:26 pm

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Re: LED little black dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:57 pm

First...Thanks, Eric!! Hardest working man on eplaya... :-)

Second, thanks JS and everyone who offered thoughts and suggestions. I did contact Pete at picprojects and he was SUPER helpful. He pointed out some solder joints that really needed redone due to shorting to the ground. I cleaned up those and a few others as well. I also got some AA holders and hooked those up in series. And **finally** last night....It all worked!!! The voltage was measuring correctly and nothing was overheating. I was so relieved I almost cried. LOL!

So today I started on light panel production. I can tell that this is going to be time consuming and tedious, but I really want to see these LEDs in action so I am motivated! I have a couple of other things to check off my to-do list this afternoon and then I'm going to start wiring up the first panel. :-)
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Re: LED dress

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:07 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Re: UV fluorescence. UV light comes from the sun, from bulbs and from LED's (and lasers). Materials florescence based on the illuminating wavelength. LED's have a very narrow point spectrum wavelength compared to bulbs. Suggest testing chosen material fluorescence against your illuminating specific UV LED's early in your design cycle. Spectrum of LED's and bulbs is measured in nm, say 200-450. Keep in mind safety, UV LED's and lasers can be seriously harmful to eyes and skin, most designers cannot measure how harmful.


I wouldn't worry that much about the UV LEDs being that harmful unless you're intending on spending a good amount for some rare and esoteric wavelengths. Lasers, yes, but that goes for all lasers, not just violet lasers.

Most "UV" LEDs are actually around 395nm, which is more violet than UV, and hardly dangerous, especially given the weak power levels such LEDs put out because of the energies involved. The optimal "black light" wavelength is 365nm, and such LEDs cost substantially more than their longer wavelength violet versions; on eBay, they're about $1.25 per LED even in bulk quantities, and usually marketed for home urine-forensics. You'll be very hard pressed to find UV LEDs in shorter UV wavelengths as they're hard to manufacture, and have few uses except maybe for UV curing.

The best source of black light is using a fluorescent bulb coated for black-light output. The conversion efficiency is pretty good because of the mercury vapor spectrum in fluorescent bulbs; seek out black-light bulbs, not dark blue bulbs. Avoid incandescent black lights. Sure they're cheap, but they produce ridiculously low amounts of black light, and lots of heat.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:47 pm

That video I posted.. Does anyone know what was used on the dress? The more I see it the more I want to make it.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:41 pm

The dress is really cool! I think it might be El-Tape. something like this....?? http://www.jab-tech.com/EL-Wire-and-EL-Tape-c-62.html

And I'm really enjoying all the info on the UV LEDs. They might be a fun future project, but this little black dress is going to be covered in pink LEDs. (I'm a pink kind of girl... :wink: )

edit....also stating that the above link is just an example and not an endorsement... thanks, badger
Last edited by cherryblossom73 on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:46 pm

That might be EL sheeting/paneling (note that the link is just an example, not an endorsement of that shop).
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Re: LED dress

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:06 pm

BBadger wrote:...and usually marketed for home urine-forensics.

And people think burners are weird.
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Re: LED dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:32 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
BBadger wrote:...and usually marketed for home urine-forensics.

And people think burners are weird.


I think it's safe to say that you should never bring those things into an hotel room where you would like to enjoy your stay. :shock:
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:15 pm

Most of those look to thin. Could I maybe attach them together some how? I need like 2-3" ribbons.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:30 pm

You could just cut something like this in half and double it up. Still, that's like only 1 inch wide when doubled-up. I usually find that electroluminescent stuff too expensive for the light it produces.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:34 am

Also, EL sheets aren't as flexible as you think. It's one thing for an application where the person is just standing in one place, but once you start moving and walking in it.. you're going to break things. For TTITD, it would all end in tears.

Now.. different placement is a different thing. "Glow Fur" uses the same EL panels stitched into the middle of faux fur layers and it works because it's an external garment and not tight on the body like a dress. If you can place things in low/non moving places, that can work.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:32 pm

All panels are made. LEDs attached. Leads twisted. I soldered one panel (resistors and all) and hooked it up to some juice...LIGHT!!!! So now that I know my wiring is good, I'm going to proceed with 7 more panels and hook them all up to test the system. I do have pictures. I'll upload them all tonight and get them posted. So excited!
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby cherryblossom73 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:22 pm

The panels before LEDs. They are a stiff fusible interfacing ironed onto the broadcloth type of fabric that I am using to make my dress base. I folded over the edges and finished them off with some stitching. Every panel is marked and labeled. My dress is a little A-line tank dress, so I made each panel going down the dress gradually bigger so the LEDs follow the line of the dress.
Image

Closeup of the panel
Image

back of the panel w/ LEDs
Image

front of panel w/ LEDs
Image

24 panels of 30 LEDs
Image

LIGHT!
Image


I have to thank Jungle for his step-by-step threads. It has made this project so easy for this electronics newb. Next steps for me: finish the panels, work up a schematic for placement of panels, circuit board, and battery packs on the dress, and prep the dress for component placement. How many more days until we leave????
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:54 pm

I daresay not only will Junglesmacks be thrilled for you, but I am amused to see you say "How many more days until we leave????"

His version is HOW MUCH LONGERRRRRRRRRR?!?

(It usually begins in April or May).
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:34 am

Savannah wrote:I daresay not only will Junglesmacks be thrilled for you, but I am amused to see you say "How many more days until we leave????"

His version is HOW MUCH LONGERRRRRRRRRR?!?

(It usually begins in April or May).


:lol: :lol: :lol:

GUILTY!!

Ahhh.. LED poking and twisting. Can't say I miss those days! Reminds me of the first suit I built with the 1200 LEDs and the fabric panels and how I swore I would never do that again!

Looks GREAT! Although.. you may have a major problem on your hands here. The main lesson I learned the year of the pokey panels was that there is an inherent amount of flex going on with clothing.. especially at Burning Man due to all of the walking and partying. LOTS OF FLEX. The problem with making fabric panels and chains of LEDs like that is that they DON'T flex.. instead they break. A lot. The flex will be in every direction, too.. inwards and outwards, laterally, warping through space and time.. you name it.

Heed my warning: The only way that this is not going to end up in tears and/or hours of daily on-playa soldering/repair is if you do one or both of two things: Reinforce the shit out of your connections and/or make some kind of rigid backing panels to attach those fabric panels to so they don't flex.

I had an idea earlier this morning that what if you were to smear the hell out of that fabric glue all over the back of the panel and literally encase all of the connections..? It would hold them all together, limit flex and make then durable as hell.. while still allowing some lateral flex. The downside is that if something snapped, you wouldn't be able to get to it to fix it.

Another idea is to get a sheet of thin/flexible plastic from a craft or surplus store and cut out panels to glue those panels to. Downside there is now you're increasing your bulk load and possibly making things TOO rigid.

This stuff is tough, let me tell you. It's one thing to build a rad LED based outfit.. and it's entirely another ball of wax to build one that can withstand all the stress of being an outfit at TTITD! This is why last year I went with fully rigid PCBs and nylon nuts and bolts to hold them on.. and even after that, I had massive problems with wires flexing and popping off of the boards. So.. next one will be with PCBs, nylon nuts/bolts, screw down wire terminals on all boards and nothing less than 18AWG wiring throughout.


NOT to discourage you!!! SO STOKED seeing people build something like this!! Just.. plan now to avoid frustration later.. because that's the last thing you want out there.. :wink:



EDIT: Ok.. it's early. I just woke up. On first cup of coffee. I see the backing material that you used is a stiffer, fibery kinda stuff.. interesting. Still.. there is flex, no? What do the backs of the boards look like where you twisted the LEDs together? Are the pins straight out and taught with each other?
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:55 am

Barring making your own PCBs like JS did, if you want some rigid panels, try buying some protoboard and use that for wiring. With the bulkrate discount on DX, each protoboard comes to about $0.50 a piece.

It doesn't solve your flexible interconnect problem though. For that I would get some thicker wire and ensure that there is strain relief on the wiring. You don't want any flex on the solder joints or else they may break off. I'd add some slack on the wires and then zip-tie them down to the board.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:14 am

Yeah.. I would say at very least to not twist the LED leads so tight and leave them in a slight V to allow for flex.. and if you're feeling really saucy, then solder in a jumper wire for your connections instead of using the pins. That.. could work.

Also, what are you using for backing material?
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:22 am

I still have a soft spot for Wire Wrapping, as it is great for applications with lots of vibrational stress. The problem is that it usually ends up being pretty expensive -- even if the wire-wrap forest looks cool.
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Re: LED little black dress

Postby DhammaSeeker » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:34 am

cherryblossom73 wrote:How many more days until we leave????

163 days, baby!
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