Glowies, Blinkies, UVies & Other Illuminations

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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Coolight West

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:37 am

Mike at Coolight West was sure helpful to me. He spent extra time with me on the phone to make sure I ordered the right el wire and supplies for the project. I think it helped that I had taken all of our measurements and he was able to log on to our project website so we were on the same "page". His number is 208-861-2187 and the website is www.coolightwest.com

Benjamin at Funhouse Productions / Cool Neon has his new 10-channel "Cat-09" sequencer/chaser for el wire being mass produced in China. He's sold out of the old models he built in-house but is expecting a big first shipment and the price has come down too. Our project is counting on getting one so we are even designing a box to put it in. Here's a link to it:

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.ACC ... /id.192/.f
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:32 am

http://www.elwirecheap.com/index.html

I got some 2AA drivers from these guys, and liked them. I've noticed that no matter where I get my wire from, I'm usually compelled to reinforce any readymade lightups with little dabs of GOOP at high-stress wiring spots. Same with LED tubelights and neon. A broken wire on the Playa is a pain in the butt. I whipped up some onsite EL projects last year, appreciating that the Nevada sun speeds the setting of GOOP used to anchor the wire.
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RouseMouse
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Post by RouseMouse » Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:21 pm

My camp mate had found blinking red leds on the web a couple years ago for cheap .. and we haven't found them since ,.. anyone else know where to cet cheap indvidual solder together blingers ?
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:30 am

http://www.sciplus.com/

Try these guys! While you're there, read some of their ad copy or request a catalog- Really, really funny stuff sometimes.

I have had really good luck pulling stuff out of dumpsters lately- On new construction or remodeling sites, when they get to the electric, look for EXIT signs. They either chuck the old ones or toss the surplus new ones, since I pull them out regularly. The contemporary ones have a strip of six or seven LED "dice", that can be wired up to a battery pack and will run for a heckuva long time. I have one running in my studio, wired so that I can light up all diodes at low intensity (enough to navigate by in the dark) or four at high intensity (too bright to look at). It's been five days now, running on four AA batteries. Lots of things with LEDs can be convinced to light up, and often an existing circuit will assist in longevity. I have a few battery packs and test leads that I poke around on scavenged boards with, noting the reaction. Sort of like "circuit bending", which can render some interesting musical results. (Google it!)

blinky blink blink

beep!
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jbelson
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Post by jbelson » Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:45 am

My illumination project will be going to china town and buying a bunch or white, round paper lanterns. I'll then take marker or a light paint and decorate them as planets and hang a glow stick inside. The different colors will give off the feel of different planets in our solar system. Just got to figure out a way to position them around camp at various levals.
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:42 am

I'll have to look for that!

Bamboo poles would work, and keep with the theme...plus, they pop when you burn 'em!
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joe!!
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HI

Post by joe!! » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:44 am

hi everyone, this is my first post!!
i happend upon this website that sells these hyperbright leds, the same ones that were in those expensive photon lights that were very popular a few years ago... www.besthongkong.com

i've ordered like 400 blue leds from them over the past 2 months. they are located in hong kong, and they have the best prices for leds that i have found. 100 blue leds go for about 14 dollars, and i believe shipping is still free.

joe!!

robotland
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Post by robotland » Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:55 am

Welcome, Joe!! Thanks for the LED link.....their prices ARE amazing. May just have to send 'em some bidness.......
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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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LED Resistor Ratings

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Thu Jul 01, 2004 7:29 am

Hi all. The current on our mutant vehicle is 12 volts. Can anybody recommend the correct ohm and watt rating for resistors to step it down to individual LED voltage? I'm looking forward to complimenting the El Wire with LED "Freckles" Thanks from Sparks, Nevada!
Art cred: Georgie Boy 2011: www.mutantvehicle.com/georgie_boy.htm ; Ein Hammer 2010; Fluffer 2009; Zsu Zsu 2008; U-Me 2007; Mantis 2006; MiniMan and Pikes Of Paranoia 2005; Time Machine Mutant Vehicle 2004. www.MutantVehicle.com

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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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Re: LED Resistor Ratings

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:29 am

Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:Hi all. The current on our mutant vehicle is 12 volts. Can anybody recommend the correct ohm and watt rating for resistors to step it down to individual LED voltage? I'm looking forward to complimenting the El Wire with LED "Freckles" Thanks from Sparks, Nevada!
Wow, am I quoting myself? What an ego! :D Looks like the answer was out there... kind of. They show the different resistor ratings at http://www.besthongkong.com/modules.php ... c72d8dcb24 where I was compelled by the low prices to order 100 of the violet LED's with matching resistors. I suppose you can crank down the ohms for higher brightness and shorter life, yes? I'll start with their recommended 470 ohm resistors and see how they look. Thanks again for this hot source of LED's!
Art cred: Georgie Boy 2011: www.mutantvehicle.com/georgie_boy.htm ; Ein Hammer 2010; Fluffer 2009; Zsu Zsu 2008; U-Me 2007; Mantis 2006; MiniMan and Pikes Of Paranoia 2005; Time Machine Mutant Vehicle 2004. www.MutantVehicle.com

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Re: LED Resistor Ratings

Post by joe!! » Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:38 am

Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:
Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:Hi all. The current on our mutant vehicle is 12 volts. Can anybody recommend the correct ohm and watt rating for resistors to step it down to individual LED voltage? I'm looking forward to complimenting the El Wire with LED "Freckles" Thanks from Sparks, Nevada!
Wow, am I quoting myself? What an ego! :D Looks like the answer was out there... kind of. They show the different resistor ratings at http://www.besthongkong.com/modules.php ... c72d8dcb24 where I was compelled by the low prices to order 100 of the violet LED's with matching resistors. I suppose you can crank down the ohms for higher brightness and shorter life, yes? I'll start with their recommended 470 ohm resistors and see how they look. Thanks again for this hot source of LED's!
yup, you can use resistors with less resistance; but only to a certain point. the blue leds that i got from that store, have a rating at 35mA, but i want to run them at 40mA, so they will be a little brighter. :)

anywho, i used this calculator to figure everything out.
http://www.bit-tech.net/article/68/

careacter
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Post by careacter » Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:50 pm

I checked out that hongkong led site and used google for awhile and came up with no results. eh. ok..ok.. so maybe 15 min research is not enough. call me lazy sometimes :wink:

I'm trying to find a 12v rated LED with the integrated resistors(in bulk).
Maybe with or more than 630mcd .The days are counting down and I need work time hours cut.

any help would greatly be appreciated. thanks : )

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Post by joe!! » Fri Jul 02, 2004 1:08 am

careacter wrote:I checked out that hongkong led site and used google for awhile and came up with no results. eh. ok..ok.. so maybe 15 min research is not enough. call me lazy sometimes :wink:

I'm trying to find a 12v rated LED with the integrated resistors(in bulk).
Maybe with or more than 630mcd .The days are counting down and I need work time hours cut.

any help would greatly be appreciated. thanks : )
did you mean 6300mcd? :)
well one thing that you could do. is put four led's in series, the more you use the less bright they will be. this way you wouldnt need any resistors..... well the diagram on this site http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html has a resistor in it, however it's really just there to smooth out whatever voltage spikes there are. i would use one. :)

did that help?

robotland
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Post by robotland » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:12 am

Me find LED tutorial very helpful. Now me go make blinky lights good. Thanks, Joe!!
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safetythird
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Post by safetythird » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:07 pm

I can vouch for theledlight.com. I ordered a few of their RGB leds and was quite happy with the transaction.

Speaking of glowy, flashy, blinky things ...

Where do you buy your blinky stuff?

Thanks!

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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:37 am

joe!! wrote:
careacter wrote:I checked out that hongkong led site and used google for awhile and came up with no results. eh. ok..ok.. so maybe 15 min research is not enough. call me lazy sometimes :wink:

I'm trying to find a 12v rated LED with the integrated resistors(in bulk).
Maybe with or more than 630mcd .The days are counting down and I need work time hours cut.

any help would greatly be appreciated. thanks : )
did you mean 6300mcd? :)
well one thing that you could do. is put four led's in series, the more you use the less bright they will be. this way you wouldnt need any resistors..... well the diagram on this site http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html has a resistor in it, however it's really just there to smooth out whatever voltage spikes there are. i would use one. :)

did that help?
Go, Joe, Go! Thanks for being here and blinking off with us! :shock:

The time tractor that hauls the mutant vehicle represents the future and is covered with raw, useless circuit boards. There will be important looking tubes and el wire between them, and they will be dotted with the 100 violet LED's grouped in series ciruits of 3 each. and group those into more parallel circuits and control all of them with a 10 channel chaser sequencer kit I built. The overall effect will be rows of LED's chasing forwards or backwards to create the illusion of faster or slower movement of the time travel vehicle.

I used the other calculator http://metku.net/index.html?sect=view&n ... /index_eng linked on your "how to" post to figure out a "squish" resistor to smooth out voltage spikes for each series circuit. It suggested 50 ohms. Does that sound right to you?

The sequencer circuit is easy to build and can be bought from http://www.hobbytron.net/CK156X.html?AI ... ID=1185411 for $34.95 or fully assembled for $42.95 but building it yourself is more fun.
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Strippers

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:44 am

This post is about strippers... got your attention? :wink:

Automatic wire strippers are available cheap on ebay for 3 or 4 bucks and they work superb on quickly stripping the first layers from the ends of el wire.

I still can't find anything better than a utility blade to scrape off the luminescent layer. Any suggestions?
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:02 pm

This burner-owned business is selling ELwire super-cheap until the middle of July. http://www.hovering.com/coolneon/index.html
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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Super prices

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:15 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:This burner-owned business is selling ELwire super-cheap until the middle of July. http://www.hovering.com/coolneon/index.html
"Oh Captian my Captain"... thanks for the tip on that one. You were right about his prices. I missed a few items on my last order with a different supplier and this was a good way to fill in the gaps at a deep discount.

In case you missed it over on the Blinky Things chat, LED's are cheap in bulk at www.BestHongKong.com

Cheers with salt on the rim!
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:57 am

Boy, do I ever like the sound of "The Time Tractor"!
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:43 am

robotland wrote:On new construction or remodeling sites, when they get to the electric, look for EXIT signs. They either chuck the old ones or toss the surplus new ones, since I pull them out regularly. The contemporary ones have a strip of six or seven LED "dice", that can be wired up to a battery pack and will run for a heckuva long time. I have one running in my studio, wired so that I can light up all diodes at low intensity (enough to navigate by in the dark) or four at high intensity (too bright to look at). It's been five days now, running on four AA batteries.
They're STILL running. (quick math break).....12 days, so far. Next, how long at MAX BRIGHT.
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Dork
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EL wire or rope light?

Post by Dork » Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:25 pm

I had origionally planned on using rope light on my art car because it's cheaper and gives less of a stick figure appearance from a distance, but EL wire would use a lot less power and be easier to attach. Can anyone who's used both comment on this?

What equivalent length of 3.2mm EL wire would give roughly the same brightness as 300 feet of rope light?

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Post by dman » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:13 pm

Hmmm, I don't really know from brightness so can't directly answer your question, but tangentially.....

The 24 foot pieces of rope light I picked up a TBox the other day say 0.74 amps apiece.

That is a huge differential from EL wire.

Assuming your rope light is like mine 300 feet would require on the order of 9 amps.

9 amps x 120 volts = 1080 watts, or around 90 amps at 12 volts, depending on how you were thinking of powering things up.

90 amps from an inverter means you would need at least two 100 Ah batteries (and a 2K inverter) to run 300 feet for about an hour (assuming a 50% discharge limit before recharging).

Or, something like a Honda EU2000 or larger for a generator, with a fuel draw around 1/3 gallon per hour (that's based on my EU3000, not sure about the EU2000 burn rate).

Seems like even if EL wire isn't quite as bright as rope light that the logistics for EL wire are far easier.

That's my $0.02.
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Post by Tancorix » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:34 pm

When I look at the various el wire websites there are several different thicknesses of wire to choose from. Most of the stuff I have over here is 3.2 mm, I was curious what everyone else is using and if anyone has experience with the ultra thin "angel hair" kind? It's only $1 per foot but I'm leery of how well it will hold up on the playa.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:27 pm

My mutant boat uses rope light, because it comes in 48-foot rolls for around $o.50 a foot vs. closer to $2 a foot for EL wire.
Until the middle of July, this guy http://www.hovering.com/coolneon/index.html is selling EL wire around $1 a foot.
This is an important consideration if you need 100's of feet, but power requirements are important too. Rope light needs about 3 watts per foot.
I've seen many people use an inverter to power lots of rope light from their vehicle's battery and alternator, only to have their battery go dead while driving. A 60-amp alternator only makes maybe 15 or 20 amps at idle speed, which is what it sees on the playa. 15 amps x 13.5 volts = about 200 watts, minus some losses through the inverter. That 800 watt inverter, if loaded up, will outrun the alternator's ability to maintain the charge.
My boat already has a Honda generator to run various things, so power isn't a problem. But if you were to buy a nice generator just to run your lights, you'd spend more money than going with the more expensive EL wire that uses very little power.
I think it would take a hell of a lot of EL wire to equal the brightness of 300 feet (800 or 900 watts worth) of rope light.
I find that I don't need my headlight to drive at night with all the rope light on.
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Post by Tiara » Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:05 pm

I was curious what everyone else is using and if anyone has experience with the ultra thin "angel hair" kind?
As the name implies, it's quite thin. It's the material that makes my Tiara glow at night. It holds up to playa conditions as well as the fatter wire. But both fare better when they're attached in such a way as to not be continually bent or pulled at.

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Post by fancy1 » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:02 pm

Dork,
Did a test run of the rope lights here using a large 12v deep cycle battery. Found that by running 40' rope lights and a 40' string of LED lights off the 12v through a 600w inverter, it lasted just under 9 hours. Was hoping for a bit longer...

Fancy
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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:22 pm

40' rope light @ 3 watts/foot = 120 watts, or 10 amps @ 12 volts, not accounting for losses in the inverter and wiring.
10 amps x 9 hours = 90 AH (amp/hours). Say at least 100 AH due to inefficiencies.
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Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:20 am

As a little kid, I would go out to Grandfathers farm. They had a thing they called a din-a-motor. What ever the hell that was. Any way they also had a bank of glass (cased) lead-acid batteries. They would crank the thing up to do the milking, with a little over for an hour of house lights and radio.

So now I get this idea of a bank of batteries. still 12v. more amp.

HuH??

Just a note.

Edison worked for the railroads as a young person. Invented a couple of things for them. What I remember is the glass lead-acid storage batteries that could be dumped out and remanufatured on the spot. My brother an I would follow the work crews around to see what they were diong.
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Dork
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Post by Dork » Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:46 pm

Thanks everyone.. I guess I'll have to rig up a test pattern with each type of look at it from the other end of a field.

The 300 foot number is what we calculated as the most we could power. One 150 ft strand run off a Honda 1000, another 150 flashing half on/off from the alternator.

Rope light is available in 150 ft lengths at 12v so an inverter wouldn't be needed.

As for the thin EL wire, it does fine on the playa as long as you don't abuse it too badly.

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