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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Dork
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Post by Dork » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:33 pm

They don't blink, but those small Energizer LED headlamps at Target are pretty cool, too. It's a big jump in comfort and battery life over the big clunky one I've been using the last 3 years. The red light does work really well at getting you around in the dark without waking others up as well.

Back to blinkies.. I saw a couple of art cars that had really simple but effective lighting strategies. They used cylinders of thin white fabric to diffuse light sort of light Japanese lanterns with plain old xmas lights underneath. From a distance, they look really cool.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:43 pm

The navy uses red light along inside passage ways and sleeping compartments. Once your eyes are dilated in the dark you can see veery well in red light.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

technopatra
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Post by technopatra » Fri Feb 27, 2004 12:20 am

American Science and Surplus!

I got a couple of super-bright LED book lamps, the small ones with the bendy neck that clips to the edge of your book for something like $4 each. The batteries last just about forever, and they make GREAT antennae.

I also got these little cheapo flowers with white LEDs that hook up to a 9 volt for less than a buck each. But I thin they are out of them.

Their site changes pretty frequently, so if you see something you want, don't assume it'll still be there when you come back later.

robotland
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Post by robotland » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:10 am

A.S.S. Rules! The copy in their catalog is sidesplitting!

Those three-way headlamps (Xenon spot, blue LED flood, red ditto) are really handy- under 20 bucks, and lotsa companies make 'em.

I had to check another Target for blinkies, and came away with weird 4-color LED "trees" that resemble the staring lights at dragstrips, more neon, and some strips of blue LED's designed to mount like neon for undercarraige illumination. DANG they're bright. I bought the smallest pair they made, and I think they'd light up my whole dome! A couple of those babies'd make a killer beacon!
Howdy From Kalamazoo

robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:01 am

New material to add to the list of stuff to make lamps out of:

......bubble wrap.


The best effect is with the bubble-side OUT. You can wrap it into a tube and put in on a flashlight, or make a boxy wire frame and top it off with a solar Malibu....kinda Japanesy Techy lookin'.....
Howdy From Kalamazoo

robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:15 am

I seem to be talking to myself.

Hey, Robotland! I just visited the fishin' department at Gander Mountain- for fifteen bucks you can buy a 12V battery AND wall charger....I forget the amp-hours rating and all that, but I'd imagine it's comparable to the sealed-cell batteries in those cheapie jumper units and half the price. Compatable with solar recharger shown on box but nowhere to be seen in store.....The battery has two terminals on one top-end, and is about the size of the bigger blocks of supermarket cheese. I'll have to take bottles back and check the Bank of Couch for change, and then I'll go buy one and report back.
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precipitate
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Post by precipitate » Wed Mar 17, 2004 3:40 pm

> I just don't think they're prohibited, is all.

They are prohibited, except where they're not. From the survival guide
(http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... scars.html):

Tiki Torches, Candles & Lanterns

Winds pick up without warning and blow things over -- tent fires have
started due to tiki torches, candles and lanterns being blown over in or
around tents. Tiki torches are restricted to The Esplanade, the pedestrian
boulevard at the fron of our city; Villages; in our Center Camp; and
within the two Plazas on 2500' at the 90° and 270° intersections. We are
tentatively allowing their reintroduction only in specific pre-approved
locations along the esplanade. Unattended candles are discouraged and
safe use of lanterns is encouraged.

robotland
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Post by robotland » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:32 am

Regarding Tiki torches on the playa, I stand corrected. Personally, after having to wrangle FIFTY of the especially cheap ones for my sister-in-law's wedding a few years back, I could go forever without seeing another one.
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:04 am

UPDATE ON NEW BATTERY:
....That little deepcycle 12V that I found at Gander Mountain is a 7 amp-hour.
I fitted it into a plastic blackpowder gun box, adding a weathertight wire access and external switch. The result is a portable power center, with storage room for lights and stuff. Another update when I load it with LED's and see how long it'll run......
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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:35 pm

I'm interested in the progress reports...

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:17 am

LaChatNoir wrote:I'm interested in the progress reports...
/
Same here....
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:55 pm

Hello, all...

I just went on a recon trip to Target on your advice, robotland. I must say I was impressed with the amount of blinky things that I found. Some cools one in camping and automotive as you stated. But some were just in odd spots, too. Like on an end cap where you wouldn’t expect it. Some were clearanced, but most were not. Even so, they were fairly priced. The most expensive LED clippy doodad I saw was $8.00. I second your advice... Blinkies galore...

And they had better prices on incidental camping items than MalWart. What they had was nice quality too, but not as broad a selection. Also had a decent looking hydration pack (though only a 2L reservoir) for around $30 (Quality? Replacement parts availability?). Definitely worth a look, judge for yourself.

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RouseMouse
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lights and blinkies and batteries too

Post by RouseMouse » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:48 pm

target seems cheaper out west .. ours seems to price them at $10.00 each.

Since we have a peddle powered sculpture we used a smaller 12 volt sealed electric bike battery to light it with LEDs on our travels. This is charged with a solar panel during the day at home. Since our camp mate wanted his bike back when we came home, I have since aquired a smaller motorcycle battery for it.

( the following was found at the home despot who also have triangular clip on LED blinkers for cheap)

For camp work and kitchen lights we had 12 volt floresent lights wired to my truck battery with A FUSE AT THE TRUCK :!: and a switch, so they were easy to turn OFF. We charged the truck with the panel about 3 times during the week, though if we were harder on the battery it would have lasted the week and taken a jump when we left, I brought jumper cables just in case.:!:

for general lighting we had the tops of 2 white solar yard lights wired to the top of the (big) main tent so the bulbs showed through the ridge vent to below. This was bright enough for most lighting needs and to get around. It would be nice to switch these to sleep better, but still let them charge in the day.

We were in the darker outskirts of town so the yard and street were lit with solar yard lights on the top of 10 foot 1/2" conduit slipped over 1/2" rebar stakes. (debur the rebar to fit before you bring it)
long winded RouseMouse
http://tda3.com/pics/bman03/bman2003/bman03a.html

robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:16 am

GOTTA love them solar Malibus! I installed one in a frosted plastic party ball and stuck it on a conduit pole, and it looks a LOT like a full moon.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:59 am

robotland wrote:GOTTA love them solar Malibus! I installed one in a frosted plastic party ball and stuck it on a conduit pole, and it looks a LOT like a full moon.


/
Bub, You have'nt seen a full MOON yet{:-)
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:44 am

PLEASE, don't put a light on THAT.
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Mister Jellyfish Mister
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Thumpy Tractor

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:44 pm

Our Mutant Vehicle has a pretty thumpy engine on its garden tractor frame. Do you think the el wire flasher could sequence off of that instead of an audio system?
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

robotland
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Post by robotland » Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:30 am

Yup. They seem to work on a sound-feedback principle, so any input should work. And you'll have the 12V source right there! They make connector boxes with numerous pairs of pos/neg terminals, so you can run several different light effects at the same time....(5 is the most I've seen) You'll just need to remove the male 12V car adapter plug, and replace with battery terminals. Light On!
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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:33 am

There's always this nutty bit of over-the-top backcountry tech hear. Though at $700 I cna't imagine wearing it for anything other than the snickers you'd undoubtedly get from other hikers passing you by....

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/news/article.asp?uan=2394[/url][/quote]

robotland
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Post by robotland » Mon Apr 12, 2004 11:48 am

I'll bet their reps would be embarassed as hell if they knew that BRC has had scads of lightup duds for years, including fully- illuminated geishas on kimonos!
I just saw a Blue Man Group program with a singer in a COMPLETELY ELwire-covered dress- Blinking color stripes that were sequenced with the backdrop and setpieces. Cool.
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robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:22 am

Now I've been devoting some time to lighting up anything and everything that I can- Manger scene figures, Jack'o'lanterns, various plastic containers......I have found that the red LED clusters that are designed to replace automotive signal bulbs are FANTASTIC for lighting things up, thanks to their great intensity and the high degree of scatter that red light bordering on IR has. About six bucks at MallWart. The diode "sticks", with a row of colored LEDs are intense too, but not so good for illuminating a figure as for creating "light wash" effects. I did create an interesting beacon by fastening four of the sticks vertically to a length of PVC with a pointed cap on the top- it rests on a nail set into a pole and acts as a bearing to allow for easy rotation. Add some aluminum vanes, and presto- wind-powered spinny beacon. Still have to tinker with the batteries, but that'll get done within 139 days or so......
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rogue agent
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attaching EL wire to clothes?

Post by rogue agent » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:09 pm

I'm thinking of making some EL-enhanced clothes. Is there any EL-clothing FAQ or similar resource I can refer to? Questions I'm thinking about include:

- how to attach wire
- how to protect wire
- where to place battery pack
- how to do effects like fade-in & -out

RA

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:53 pm

A needle and thread are pretty good for attaching it. Cheap, easy to modify and repair on site. Keep it fairly loose so you aren't putting too much stress on the wire.

Companies that sell wire usually sell a few controllers that blink on and off. I think you can get controllers that blink several strands in sequence. I don't think you can fade EL wire very well - it's either on or off.

Place the battery pack anywhere convenient and relatively hidden. A needle and thread come in handy here as well - make a pocket inside from some fabric scrap.

EL wire can handle a fair amount of abuse. The worst is when it rubs up against something metal or when you're walking and it catches on something. Keep it on the outsides of the clothes where it won't catch on your bike chain and sew it in place every few inches rather than have big unsupported spans that are easily caught up on nearby objects. Make sure you leave enough slack so that you aren't stretching or kinking it badly as you move.

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Mithra
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Post by Mithra » Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:31 am

For some killer examples of El Wire Clothes check out www.enlighted.com. No I'm not trying to sell this stuff. Janet is a burner and very active in the San Diego Burner community. She makes the coolest blinky clothes ever.

Sewing is the best way to go, but you can use a buttoneer on thicker fabric or 3M epoxy, there is a specific one to use. I can get name of it if you'd like.

There are at least two different EL Wire places online that will give you a discount if your a burner. If you have any problems finding them drop me a line. I can also help you out if you need any hints about making playa proof elwire connections.

Mithra

robotland
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Post by robotland » Tue Apr 27, 2004 8:41 am

GOOP adhesive holds well and peels cleanly from EL when it's time to change designs, but will bond to loosely-woven fabrics so a test is advised. For shoes, helmets or non-porous costumery or props it's fantastic.
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scarlet_minnow
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Post by scarlet_minnow » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:00 am

The problem I've found is that if you sew EL wire on clothing, you can't wash it. In my mind, that's a lot of effort for a one-time use item. A better way to work it is to sew tabs onto the clothing every few inches and then thread the EL wire through the tabs. Then you can easily pull the wire out to wash, then thread it through again.
The Buttoneer also works, but only on fabrics with a tight weave. If the weave is too loose, the loops pull through the fabric.
Be who you are and say what you feel... for those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind.

-- Dr. Suess

robotland
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Post by robotland » Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:30 am

Perhaps the EL could be sewn to an overgarment, sort of like a cutaway vest or even a lattice of fabric straps/strips. Another approach that I used in modifying a helmet was to slide the EL into clear vinyl tubing, and at intervals attach large cable holders (Radio Shack) with snaps fitted to the hole for the mounting hardware.....Presto, snap-on ELwire! Great for garments like bike jackets that already have snaps, or put 'em on yourself! (A tip: it helps to reinforce snaps with little squares of leather or plastic, or even washers, to prevent them from tearing out. Works on tarp eyelets, too. If the snaps work a little tightly, file around the rim of the "female" snap to make some slack.)
Howdy From Kalamazoo

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Driveway
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El wire!

Post by Driveway » Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:22 pm

This may not be the best forum for this question, but to heck wid it.
Last year I recall reading about companies that gave deals on el wire to burners. Are they still out there? If so, which ones and do they have websites?

Oh, and does anyone have stories about el wire dealers to avoid, or that they recommend.

man...my hands are shaking I'm getting so excited already. I don't even have my ticket yet...
What is Driveway's Game?

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Tiara
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Post by Tiara » Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:25 pm

I've had nothing but positive experiences working with www.coolneon.com

They've offered "Burner" discounts in the past.

Simply Joel
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Post by Simply Joel » Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:24 pm

www.coolight.com

All your el-wire needs and more...

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