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"Help!" for: Electronics

Discussion in 'New Recruits' started by 23Magnum, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. recon313

    recon313 Jr Member

    I do using files not rasp thought that things destroy my suit. the purpose of buying tools is so that I can sand the left over from files since it's too thick and I rather use machine cause using sandpaper is a pain and very long.
  2. ShadoKat


    oh hello there!! i am currently running a single 12v fan off a 9v battery. while it usually lasts through a full con weekend, it is completely inconsistent with fog prevention (i always pair with rain-x anti-fog on my face shield anyway), so i am looking to improve airflow. i plan to cut out the cheek hose area on the inside and make slashes through the hoses themselves, and i would like to place one fan on each side (one for air in, one for air out). i would like to get another fan, but don't want to install another battery. would it be possible to run two 5v fans off a single 9v battery? (from the perspective of an electronics n00b, it seems like it should be better, since i'd be drawing 10v instead of 12v, but i'm sure that logic is fatally flawed somewhere.)

    sorry if this has been asked before, but i did use the search feature, and did not find the answer.
  3. Meatwad

    Meatwad Jr Member

    If the circuit is run correctly, you can run 2 5v fans off of 1 9v battery. The only problem with cutting holes in those vents is light getting into your helmet. If light gets in your helmet, it will be a lot easier to see though your visor, which is not cool off you ask me. I plan on running about 4 fans in my helmet when everything is said and done. I sweat more than the average person, so air movement will be very important.
  4. peterthethinker


    Fyi most are about 7.5 ish volts. 6 cells .. the good lith ones are 9.
  5. ShadoKat


    just getting more and more into electronics lately. i bought two of these microphones to use in an external audio system:


    got it all wired up, with a pair of earplug-style headphones (part of the problem is that if i speak too loudly, it echoes in my helmet and really hurts my ears) and managed to get it working, but the sound quality is just awful and scratchy. i've tried reducing the gain, reducing the voltage, adding bigger capacitors, adding resistors, and a couple other things. even with the sound quieter, it is still scratchy. i tried different electret microphones but got the same results. any suggestions? am i just going to have to use a separate amp?

    also, if anyone else is looking for a similar solution, i got one of these, too:


    UPDATE: on a lark, i put resistors between the capacitor and the headphone jack (i had been doing it between the battery pack and the mics previously... like a n00b) and that seems to have cleaned up the sound quite a bit! now it's just a little too quiet. weakest resistors i had on hand were 270 ohms, so i'm going to try out a few different strengths.
  6. Shadez

    Shadez New Member

    Here's one for anyone.... If I were to build a recess for the visor to go into, then lay electroluminescent lights (string like) down, running it around the visor, would that illuminate the clear visor, especially if it has a honeycomb tint on it, like the MC's????
  7. Redshirt


    Yes, that should work. There are numerous energy swords here using similar solutions. I would look through a few of those. Lighting the visor is a two-way street. While it may look cool on the outside, it will also hinder your vision and light up your face. That is something you may be willing to accept or not, but it does need to factor into your planning.

  8. GreY2231


    I need some help. i need to build a circuit with a motor. it needs to spin a certain distance then stop on each button press. kinda like windshield wipers, regardless of when you turn it off they return to the start position but once you hit the button again it repeats. I'm building a Halo 3 Rocket launcher and i want it to spin the 180° upon each button press, this will work side by side with a sound and light system I am building. I have an Arduino but I can't program it myself i was hoping i could do the movement with contact switches or something similar. I am grateful if anyone have any ideas? Thanx!
  9. thatdecade

    thatdecade Well-Known Member

    What you are describing is called a servo. Motor with precice motion. Arduino is great at running servos.

    Two Issues

    Common inexpensive servos are not very powerful. Look at the torque rating for the servo and use an online "servo torque calculator" to see if that servo can move around your weighty rocket chambers.

    The average servo is not meant for continuous rotation. So make sure the servo you buy lists that as a feature, or you can find online instructions for that servo on how to modify it for continuous rotation.
    Redshirt likes this.
  10. Redshirt


    I second everything that ThatDecade said. If you have the patience to learn arduinos, do so. I have not yet and know I am adding weight and complexity in my systems that rely on contact switches and off the shelf servo testers to provide my driver signals. Regardless of whether you use a system of cutouts or arduinos, servos are the most obvious answer. They typically produce a lot of torque to go a small distance. In order to lever them to move something a large distance, you lose speed and torque. I used a RC aircraft landing gear retract servo on my Spartan Laser. The first servo failed due to the load I asked of it. I had to opt for the very expensive metal gear version. Even so, the new servo performs at its limit to position the shroud and is not as fast as I'd like. You will likely need to look into commercial rather than hobby servos to get the speed and power you need. The low-tech answer is a DC motor from a small tool like a weed whacker and cutout switches. Look up "Most useless machine ever" on Instructables.com. This gave me the idea for a basic circuit for the Splaser's shroud lift. The same principal would work for your barrel rotator. Kudos for doing a Halo 3 weapon, still the pinnacle of the series IMO.

  11. CommanderPalmer


    OMG I've been searching for this thread for a long time! \o/

    I'm a complete n00b when it comes to electronics. ;_; That's why I'd love to ask you for help.
    I want to light up my shoulder pieces.


    As you can see, it isn't a big part, but I'd like to ask you what parts do I need for that, it'd be cool if you could give me some specifications or links to products (I'm located in Europe, so I'll have to search for alternate links, but I'll know what I'm looking for)

    I appreciate any help. ;_;

  12. kaween


    That's easy. Heh, I told you you just had to ask, remember ?

    Parts : step into any electronics repair shop in Poland. Any shop will have the parts you need, or take a look at Conrad.pl (but I feel they're much too expensive).
    What you need :
    1) 1 or 2 white or Blue 5mm high brightness LEDS per shoulder (it depends on how bright you want that shoulder to light up, and I presume you'll be wanting White LEDS)
    2) 1 x 9 V battery (per shoulder) and a 9V clip
    3) a bit of wire and basic soldering skills. and solder, of course.
    4) depending on how much leds you want (1 or 2), you'll need a 330 or 220 Ohm to go with that.

    But if you're looking for a "heck help me I just want a solution I can simply put into my armor" kind of trick, send me a PM.
    I can build that for at no charge and send it up to you. Only thing you'd need to do is to add the battery.

    There are TONS of different approaches to this, but basically this will be the most used one. Depending on just what you value the most, other solutions/battery setups or even methods (like those "finger leds"... not really a fan of them but they do offer a valid solution too) may be the best way.

    PS : PM'ed you. Don't panic, we'll enlighten you. :)
  13. GreY2231


    Thanx everyone! could i use a cordless drill motor or something similar in design? I happen to have a lot of stuff like that lying around. I'm a mechanic and electrical expert for motorcycles so I have a few ideas that might work. like have it spin one way till making contact with a reed switch (kinda like a reverse light switch for a transmission) and use another button to spin it back, so spin 180° then back with 2 buttons. I have an arduino UNO but dont know how to programm it. we shall see!
  14. peterthethinker


    Here is a easy way to add the marker lights and have them be properly defiused ..

    Poly tube and some hotglue and a LED on eatch end .




    For the moveing parts. use a PICAXE.

    the Uno is not bad but All those boards are really made for Dev use not for a prop or end product and are HUGE for there chip size.
    the 8 pin 6 I/O picaxe is better suited for this and its cheap at less then 3 bucks a chip..

    BIG tip.

    Ditch 9V batts .

    they are not 9v and are often 6 cells about 7.5 V ... Get in the habit of USB power banks and a little Boost Switch mode converter.
    run lights on a 5V rail ( bus)

    USB banks are a 5V flat power supply and are easy to hot swap and are easy to reuse for more then just cosplay.

    for 12V you can get a little thingy called a boost module and it lets you take in 2-20V and pop it up to 12V or what ever you want and drive fans.

    ( as a bonus the off the rack boost bricks can be adjusted ! so if you need Real 9V as it runs the fans a tad slower to not make as much noise ect you can do that too!)

    most are rated at a amp and thats pelnty of power to run 12V fans.
  15. FlyinPhil

    FlyinPhil Marketplace Supervisor Division Staff

    I'd advise against the use of a 9v. 9v batters are quite expensive, and don't last super long. I prefer to run a 3 pack of aaa batteries in most of my parts (3aa s in my chest and helmet).
  16. peterthethinker


    Yup the avg 9V is 7.5V and about 300mAh..... the common AAA has 600-1000 mAh AAs are 1000-2600 ish mAh
    FlyinPhil likes this.
  17. kaween


    ... as I said, there are tons of different solutions to this. Space, weight ... all can influence what solution is prefered. On my shoulderpieces, I use 3xAAA's too by the way but not because of a deliberate choice but because I had the batteryholders around anyhow.

    But just for arguments' sake :

    I like the 9V as for 2 leds at 20mah setup, they'll run more than long enough for any convention. As I use rechargable batteries everywhere anyway "cost" is not a vector in my case. I'm not a big fan of the format myself, but I won't be blind to the fact it has its uses and place in the industry.

    The 9V block has the advantage of being simple and easy and you don't even need a battery holder : a simple 9V clip, battery is taped or velcro'd in place and you're ready. No risk of battery connection corrosion due to the way the battery is constructed so little to no chance of bad connection over longer periods of time. Simple, one piece replacement when needed. In terms of weight and size, NO other solution can produce 9V on such a small footprint and at such a low weight.

    Off the head calculation on the burning time : weak rechargable 9V battery roughly is 250mAh. 20mA full lid led. 250/20mAh : that gives me 12 hours of running time.
    Alkalines will run longer. Not sure how much longer as I haven't used Alkalines for years now.

    And lets be honest : when you suit up, you'll be making sure you'll be using fresh batteries anyhow, as you've NO idea if those batteries from last weeks convention will really get you through the next one. So if price is something to be worried about : get yourself rechargables no matter what format of battery you're looking at and charge them the night before. Ready. :)

    I can run leds from a LiPo too if I'd really want, they would even run much longer than a set of AAA's and if anybody's into Airsoft chances are they've got those around anyhow.
    Just saying, there's no "best" solution for everybody : all depends on parameters only known to the person who's asking.

    People who don't want to mess with soldering can use Fingerleds : cost next to nothing, no soldering needed but I'm not a big fan of them as they tend to be a bit iffy in terms of reliability.
    They run on 3xAR13's or comparable, and they'll run for 6 to 7 hours with ease. In terms of price, this would undoubtable present the cheapest solution.

    The Polytube solution peterthethinker presented is very nice.

    I used a more simple solution : a piece of frosted plastic as window and a metal-film reflector in the inside of the armor to diffuse the lightsource yet amplify the light performance itself. Reflector was made by simply bending a flexible piece of plastic over the light port and coating the inside of it with silver metalic repair tape.
    Voila, costs next to nothing, nice bright light without clear "light source" origin point.

    PS : not sure what kind of 9V batteries you have over there, but any fresh 9V will give you 9V and nothing else. And if you use them for what they were designed to do in the first place (low power electronics), they will do so in a stable manner and over a more than ample enough timeperiod. The complete electronics of my MA5C/CB88 runs from a single 9V block, including ammo counter and display, at least 4 much too bright side leds .... and I've NEVER run out of juice unexpectedly with that one.

    All 9V blocks consist of regular 6x 1.5V cells setup, that gives you 9V which I'm sure you are fully aware of.
    There's no escaping this pretty straight forward basic principle that produces the 9V in a 9V block.
    Not 7.5V or whatever.
    Rechargables will give you 8.4V when full as the NiMh's as a fully charged single cell will be rated at roughly 1.4V when no load is applied.

    Using a central fed system like Peter proposes is technically speaking very nice and as a Tech, I Like it.
    It's an elegant system.
    But it opens a new can of worms.
    Reliability of the cables boom and trying to hiding it.
    Not to mention catastrophic failure if your central feed goes down for whatever reason. :)
    A simply battery system setup : No light ? Change battery. Works
    A Central feed system : No light ? Erm ... let me get my mulitmeter/digital scope/batterytestst ... oh no wait, I don't have those at hand when I'm on the floor. :)

    And that little detail techs tend to forget : cost-effectiveness for a thing that will be used maybe 4 times a year making even those cursed 9V look cheap.
    The only way to make this worth your while is if you'd develop this as a central non-suit-specific harness system, which you could use and re-use on every new cosplay suit you're doing. And even then, you'll need several suits to make it a break-even.

    I'm not saying you're wrong Peter : pure from a technical point of view, I agree with the beauty of such a system.
    I'm not even pretending my solution is better as it is NOT : it is crude, primitive and electrically pretty ineffective.

    But using it will be the best and most cost effective solution for anybody who does not care for the technical beauty of a central fed system, and who's just looking for a reliable, cheap and working system which the user can "debug" in the field with a near absolute certainty of getting it to run in case of problems while having next to no knowledge of electronics.

    Hence no, I wouldn't dare to say "ditch 9V batteries" as they have their place in electronics and work perfect when used for what they were designed to do.
    Neither would I dare to say "central fed systems for everybody" as unless you're into this fulltime and have a lot of suits or/and have a soft spot for designing technically elegant solutions which you yourself can maintain and repair in the field when needed, it will not be the best solution for most of us.

    I'd rather say "ditch non-rechargables no matter what type" as there's little to no excuses left to use alkalines these days unless you're dealing with electronics that do need the full 1.5V rating of a single cell, and using rechargables will always turn out to be the cheaper option in the long run, certainly if you do NOT use them ONLY sitting idle in something like a cosplay suit for 99.99% of their operational life time but put them to good use elsewhere in a household instead when they're not needed to power up a Spartan fending of some alien invasion. :D
  18. CommanderPalmer


    Thank you very much for your help! I'll PM you shortly.

    On these steps you've posted - I'm already lost. ;_;
    I'm seriously looking for a solution that is rather... well... easy or well written so someone who doesn't really understand electronics, can do it. o.o But something that is reliable and will last long.
    I have a LOT of space, pretty much the whole shoulder pad, so I can use even 3AA batteries or more - I'd use those 3AA rechargeable batteries which have even up to 2000mAh (I prefer rechargeable batteries)


    Luckily I don't want any moving parts... I'm so sorry but I'm really a newbie and I don't understand electronics (I sucked at physics ;_;)
    USB banks you say? But they are quite big... and you have to make an USB cable to fit and... X_X

    As for a piece of plastic to diffuse the light - no problem with that, I have some stuff for that. My main problem is really the electronics... v_v

    What I seek is something that is reliable and will last long. I'm asking you pretty much to explain stuff step-by-step to an idiot (me) and I'll do my best. I have soldering iron and I'll do my best to make it work. ;_; I just have no idea about how to calculate all the physics stuff like V, Omh, cables, stuff I need and so on. x_X

  19. peterthethinker


    If you are gonna have a batt per shoulder a few AA is better . Might I suggest 4 or 2....... most rechargers work in sets of 2 cells ......

    Its when you run a whole suit power grid the USB batts make Way more sense.

    as for the math. Its super easy..


    assume 20 mA per LED if you are running single or in series bare LEDs ...... else you are gonna need to discribe the LEDs you have and I Can in a jiffy do the math.

  20. CommanderPalmer


    Really, you can call me an idiot. ;_; (I can't make much out of the link, even when the calculator there seems to be so easy v_v)
    I have no LEDs yet or any cables, batteries - nothing yet, kaween offered to help me out to make a to-buy list ^^'
    I can do everything - but my mind just can't comprehend science like physics, chemistry or maths... damn eggheads, lol. ;_;
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2017
  21. thatdecade

    thatdecade Well-Known Member

    For electronics noobs, are ways for you to install lights without wiring anything yourself.
    Go to the dollar store and buy some reading lights. You need one per shoulder.

    Video Tutorial

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2017
    Dirtdives likes this.
  22. sovietpenguin06

    sovietpenguin06 New Member

    So helpful, awsome trick to diffuse the direct light !
    Thanks for sharing this !!! :p

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  23. Sithslayer78


  24. CommanderPalmer


    thatdecade - OMG mate! OMG! why didn't I think of it before?!!? Especially that I'm using a flashlight to mod my Needler! X_X
    It's a perfect solution for non-eggheads! :D \o/
    Thank you very much!

    Also, thank you everyone SO MUCH for your help, especially kaween and I'm sorry, I went with the other solution of buying the flashlights and mod them... ;_;
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2017
  25. Sentri


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