Lights!! Wiring setup, power source... GO!

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Ok guys I'm back and forth which way I want to setup my lighting in my halo3 mkVI foam build.. I have a pretty good plan I think would work real well. Now keeping in mind, I work with 480v all day for my day job so I'm not new to wiring or electronics. I am curious the methods best used as far as lense diffuser techniques to make it look as close to the game as possible. Do you all prefer separate smaller power sources for each individual armor piece or do you prefer wiring up everything on one power supply using plug cables and parallel circuits to the outter extrimedies. I know some guys like using the power banks tapping power off USB cords as well. Rechargeable, even better.

Plan A: I'm leaning towards one 12v power source in the torso using DC jack connectors to connect to outter extrimedy armor leds lights (shoulder plate, pecs, back, knée thighs, and calves like Chief). I have the pre wired 5mm 12v 6000-8000mcd white (for helmet) and blue ( for body) leds sitting in my cart. The helmet will be it's own self contained powered circuit and I like the idea of a chin switch for those. Also maybe 12v is to much brightness for the body, would perhaps 3v be better??

Plan B: probably the simpler method for building out and for the person helping me suit up... separate smaller power sources in each individual limb powering their own leds. Simple, but more switches and batteries, and mounting solutions.

Lense diffuser ideas.. because Im not to keen on cutting holes in my beautiful fresh foam armor, I would like to get this done now before I do any rubber coating or painting incase something needs to be fixed or whatever. Better now then later and not messing up a painted surface. Please, if you're willing, post up some pics of your diffuser methods and what worked best for your build, materials etc!!

I'm still very much in the R&D phase so I'm opened minded. Yes these are simple circuits and not rocket science, but I love when my wiring jobs look clean and that is my goal with this, to look professional.

Thanks in advance!
IMG-20190121-WA0003.jpg
 

Elcorio

Member
Best I can come up with is to use a piece of .20 PETG cut to size and sanded on one side to give it an opaque look. The exterior side would remain smooth. If further diffusion was needed then some of this stuff could be put between the light and the PETG piece:
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Can't help you out with the power supply and wiring as I have absolutely no experience in that, but which ever way you go, I hope you document with pics. I plan to follow along with as you add this set up.

If anyone wants / needs some of that packing foam stuff, I have miles of it on a shelf. My shipping / receiving guy at work saves it for me. Just PM me your address and how much you want and I can drop it in the mail the next day.

Looking forward to seeing what you decide on.
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Best I can come up with is to use a piece of .20 PETG cut to size and sanded on one side to give it an opaque look. The exterior side would remain smooth. If further diffusion was needed then some of this stuff could be put between the light and the PETG piece:
View attachment 265278

Can't help you out with the power supply and wiring as I have absolutely no experience in that, but which ever way you go, I hope you document with pics. I plan to follow along with as you add this set up.

If anyone wants / needs some of that packing foam stuff, I have miles of it on a shelf. My shipping / receiving guy at work saves it for me. Just PM me your address and how much you want and I can drop it in the mail the next day.

Looking forward to seeing what you decide on.
Awesome man that is a very good idea! I will most definitely post pics and materials once I get it all figured out. I have everything in my shopping cart now and about 85% figured out. I was really considering the EL tape also as it looks really cool and can be cut to shapes. Problem is using the noisy inverters amd probably multiple ones at that and also not being able to wire in series to save on wires rat nests. Each EL tape light would have to be on its parallel circuit which kind trashed that idea cause that would be a ton of wires going to each and every very small light
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
So guys.. I just came up with an awesome idea for lense diffusion for the lights specifically for foam builds... standby. Going to do a test run and report back!
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
For diffusion there's a few different approaches that I take that are dependent on the shape and location of the lens. The most common/effective I use are.
  • 3D printed lens, LD29 packing foam, LED, reflective backer, blackout material for inside.
  • PETG sanded with high grit to fog it, LD29 packing foam, LED, reflective backer, material for inside.
The foam is a semi-transparent that's used to scatter light and create a gap between the lens and the light source to match the beam angle of the LED which will reduce hot spots.
DSC_1889.JPG DSC_1890.JPG DSC_1902.JPG

For lone LEDs I use a reflective material glued to an opaque foam that's oversized for the hole that the light goes through. For LED strips I line the side walls of the hole with reflective material.
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
For diffusion there's a few different approaches that I take that are dependent on the shape and location of the lens. The most common/effective I use are.
  • 3D printed lens, LD29 packing foam, LED, reflective backer, blackout material for inside.
  • PETG sanded with high grit to fog it, LD29 packing foam, LED, reflective backer, material for inside.
The foam is a semi-transparent that's used to scatter light and create a gap between the lens and the light source to match the beam angle of the LED which will reduce hot spots.
View attachment 265297 View attachment 265298 View attachment 265296

For lone LEDs I use a reflective material glued to an opaque foam that's oversized for the hole that the light goes through. For LED strips I line the side walls of the hole with reflective material.
Awesome man I really appreciate this feed back. I'm doing a mock rub on a spare armor pieve that I have now basically following your second method petg. I really appreciate these ideas and tips. I will put them to use for sure. Being that all the lights on master cheif armors are small and relatively dim, I'll pretty much be doing the single led setup I think. Diffusing the hot spots was my only challenge
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Awesome man I really appreciate this feed back. I'm doing a mock rub on a spare armor pieve that I have now basically following your second method petg. I really appreciate these ideas and tips. I will put them to use for sure. Being that all the lights on master cheif armors are small and relatively dim, I'll pretty much be doing the single led setup I think. Diffusing the hot spots was my only challenge
You probably know that hot glue is awesome for holding electronics in place and it also helps with diffusing in a pinch. What LEDs are you using that are dim or are you intentionally making them dim?
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Example of single LEDs used in the above methods.
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
You probably know that hot glue is awesome for holding electronics in place and it also helps with diffusing in a pinch. What LEDs are you using that are dim or are you intentionally making them dim?
View attachment 265303
Example of single LEDs used in the above methods.
Awesome man. I don't want them to be to dim I just don't want them to be crazy bright and over powering. I'm still torn on whether to do one power source for the body or multiple power sorces in each armor piece that has a light. With that said, I have a pack of pre-wired blue 6k-8k brightness 12v LEDs in my shopping cart and was going to run one 12v power source with Jack cable running to each limb. That way one switch controls all lights and 12v (8aa) should last a really long time with only 12-14 LEDs on a circuit. Helmet circuit will be separate from the body circuit. Yes hot glue I've seen works really well for diffusion and will try that too.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Awesome man. I don't want them to be to dim I just don't want them to be crazy bright and over powering. I'm still torn on whether to do one power source for the body or multiple power sorces in each armor piece that has a light. With that said, I have a pack of pre-wired blue 6k-8k brightness 12v LEDs in my shopping cart and was going to run one 12v power source with Jack cable running to each limb. That way one switch controls all lights and 12v (8aa) should last a really long time with only 12-14 LEDs on a circuit. Helmet circuit will be separate from the body circuit. Yes hot glue I've seen works really well for diffusion and will try that too.
Mine are 3.2Vfwd LEDs and without proper angling and diffusion they're hecking bright, 6k-8k might be in the right range for a H3 build but warm white is probably a better colour choice based on references I've gathered.
CQBArmor.png
I'm a fan of having one rechargeable central power source that's quick to swap out but it has some downsides. The biggest one is the setup time when suiting up, you also likely need a handler to make some of the connections. You also need to consider stress relief on your wiring because friction between your body and the suit will pull on the wires which may decouple solder joins. People also love pulling on armour pieces which will also jostle connections. It's just a balance of how many battery packs you want to add to your armour versus how much of a pain in the butt it is to put everything on.
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Mine are 3.2Vfwd LEDs and without proper angling and diffusion they're hecking bright, 6k-8k might be in the right range for a H3 build but warm white is probably a better colour choice based on references I've gathered.
View attachment 265307
I'm a fan of having one rechargeable central power source that's quick to swap out but it has some downsides. The biggest one is the setup time when suiting up, you also likely need a handler to make some of the connections. You also need to consider stress relief on your wiring because friction between your body and the suit will pull on the wires which may decouple solder joins. People also love pulling on armour pieces which will also jostle connections. It's just a balance of how many battery packs you want to add to your armour versus how much of a pain in the butt it is to put everything on.
Yeah I totally agree with all that. I found some pretty neat DCv 2 conductor jack cable for camera wiring. It's black insulated coated and male/female jack ends are molded in. I think they could be cool to used between armor pieces just of course always run the risk of unplugging but I think I can get it ran well enough where it shouldnt be a problem. Now as far as having a helper put this on, it's already that point with the torso. Haha everything else I can get on easily myself but the torso has to be done by a helper. It snaps together perfectly easy, I really wasnt trying to build it to where I could get on myself. All buckles are contained in the armor and hidden just in interest of staying game accurate. But with that in mind, I think I could run the cables simply enough to where all plugs match up quickly. I'm going that try it that way first then resort to individual power sources in each piece as plan B.
 

TurboCharizard

RMO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
Yeah I totally agree with all that. I found some pretty neat DCv 2 conductor jack cable for camera wiring. It's black insulated coated and male/female jack ends are molded in. I think they could be cool to used between armor pieces just of course always run the risk of unplugging but I think I can get it ran well enough where it shouldnt be a problem. Now as far as having a helper put this on, it's already that point with the torso. Haha everything else I can get on easily myself but the torso has to be done by a helper. It snaps together perfectly easy, I really wasnt trying to build it to where I could get on myself. All buckles are contained in the armor and hidden just in interest of staying game accurate. But with that in mind, I think I could run the cables simply enough to where all plugs match up quickly. I'm going that try it that way first then resort to individual power sources in each piece as plan B.
Cable runs under your under suit that come out through reinforced holes/slots are the workaround that I use to hide wires. The lines from the thighs meet and run up along the zipper on the spine and then the bicep lighting meets those two at the back of the neck.
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Cable runs under your under suit that come out through reinforced holes/slots are the workaround that I use to hide wires. The lines from the thighs meet and run up along the zipper on the spine and then the bicep lighting meets those two at the back of the neck.
Awesome man, I was actually wondering if some ran the cables under the undersuit cause I was thinking/wondering the same thing. Thanks dude you have been a huge help!
 

zachturner009

Well-Known Member
Hmm I have a cheap solution I used on my reach armor, battery powered xmas wreath lights on each piece that needed it, thighs, chest/back, shoulder, worked dam good and no exposed wires, and they come in blues, red, greens, white, warm white, bright white, all LED of course, and fairly bright, I'll have to post a pic of it!
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
Hmm I have a cheap solution I used on my reach armor, battery powered xmas wreath lights on each piece that needed it, thighs, chest/back, shoulder, worked dam good and no exposed wires, and they come in blues, red, greens, white, warm white, bright white, all LED of course, and fairly bright, I'll have to post a pic of it!
Awesome dude yeah let's see some pics! I'm open to all ideas. I did some diffuser lense testing yesterday.. still tweaking those then I'll post pics as well
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
OK so Im getting pretty close on my spare thigh piece. Used 2 methods. I set the top lense in with shoe goo but it's a little to clear. Set the bottom lense in with hot glue and it's very close. I think I may experiment again but using the packing material/reflective tape/black tape mentioned above. As for cutting the lense hole and setting the lense, I'm now confident I can pull that off easily. Oh these are just a set of dim plug in xmas lights too, nothing special, definitely will go more blue for the suit lights..

20190130_132804.jpg 20190130_132839.jpg 20190130_133206.jpg 20190131_184200.jpg 20190131_184216.jpg
 

ExCeLLuR8

Well-Known Member
That's amazeballs, I think I said that right, Dirtdives enlightened me with an official dictionary, but for real, that diffuser is pretty spot on
Yeah the bottom one is pretty good. I think with the right reflective material behind it, it would be better. There is a slight Hotspot the picture doesn't show, but as a whole it would not be noticeable. I'll get it spot on perfect for the actual suit, I'm on the right track
 
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