Size does matter!...well with el-wire anyway

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dougaldutch
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Size does matter!...well with el-wire anyway

Post by dougaldutch » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:14 am

Hi

I am looking to create some el-wire necklaces/ chokers for the playa this year as an alternative to the glowstick option of lighting your way. Now I have a kilt and dinner suit all el-ed up but with those projects the size of the invertor wasn't entirely critical. However for these pieces the smaller the invertor the better.

I have two 16inch strands of the angel hair wire knotted and looking not bad, but now need to power it. Have seen a few small invertors out there but was wondering if anyone here had any experience or tips they wouldn't mind sharing. Don't really want the invertor to overpower or weigh down the design more than they have to. Failing that I could always rig a wire down from choker to an invertor clipped to the clothing, less elegant but would keep the design clean and light.

Help?

DougalD

P.S Any good techniques for stripping the smaller wire, the method I use for the larger diameter wire doesn't seem as reliable.
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Post by robotland » Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:13 am

http://www.coolightwest.com/coolightwes ... erters.htm

Cute, ain't it?

For stripping- It sounds counterintuitive, but I've had fine luck with an automatic stripper- It seems to cut ALMOST through the covering and then yank JUST hard enough to pop it off without ripping the inner wires out. If you don't have one, you may want to take a scrap of EL to a hardware store and try it before throwing down 20 clams AT LEAST for a decent stripper. (Insert Joke Here!)

A weird approach that I've been considering is to weave or otherwise integrate a light, flexible power line and modular plug into several vests, shirts, jackets or other garments that are playa-bound, that can then be connected at both ends to beltpack power and necklaces, helmets or other lightups. This approach worked fine for the spacesuit that I built last year, but that was a unique case. Having power switches on your chest and sleeves was kinda neat, though. Excuse me, I have to put more tape on my glasses and adjust my pocket protector. *snort*
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:23 am

Certainly renews meaning to the word "choker". Dutchy: it might be hard to beat the pre-fab necklaces with inverter built-in at the rave stores like www.lightgod.com and they use tiny inverters with little button cell batteries.

You might try cracking into one of those blinky badges discussed over on the "El Wire!" topic for a cheap solution with multi-colors and short lengths of El.

I'm still working on the framing of MiniMan and the double-core el wire looks spiffy, certainly brighter. Do you have any experience with the new single-core extra bright? I see that it is rated for indoor use only... humbug!
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Post by robotland » Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:28 am

I, too, am curious!
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Post by Ranger Genius » Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:31 am

Jelly: I think that indoor use rating is because there's a thinner coating aroud the filaments, which gives it less protection from UV (which will eventually fade the color in the coating and break down the phosphor anyway.
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Post by dougaldutch » Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:22 pm

Thanks for the tips Robotland, that inverter certainly is dinky. Thinking I need something a little more rebost than I can put together so I see they have have complete units for $6.00. Might check those out. Bigger than i hoped but still within the realms of usability.

Actually I found a technique tip for the smaller wire that involves using a lighter to melt the outer coating and a swift but gentle tug to expose the inner core (yes my wording is deliberate). Tried it and once you learn not to burn those innner wires to a glowing ember you are good.

Jellyfish yeah there is no way I can get things to look that neat and proper, think I will try and pretend that it is the rustic look I am trying to create. Hopefully any recipients will be impressed that I managed to construct anything at all that works.

The ultrabright wire from coolightwest I haven't delved into yet, I also have some ultrabright from a british company surelight which is half the diameter useful for kilt work. Will checkout how they compare and get back to you. Seen that double core wire but for the portable projects I am working on thinking it would eat up to much power and be a little unweildly to use. How is the wee man?

Making the necklace/ choker more chunky may balance of the large size of power source..hmmm intersting weekend ahead.

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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:21 pm

Too right, Dutch, and thanks to Robot and Genious. Let's talk about different little gift el wire projects we could make that people might like. Submitted for your review and participation:

Brass knuckles
Panties
Shoe strings
Pasties
Flask
Belt-hung goblet
Bicycle bell
Dust mask
Goggles
Fake cell phone
Frontal lobe
Stethascope
Fan
Walking Staff
Arm band
Lip balm on an el wire necklace
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Post by diane o'thirst » Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:54 pm

Brass knuckles
Might damage the wire.
Panties
Oooh, nice! Depends on the weather at night, though. If it's like '98 and 75º at midnight, yeah. Or maybe under clear vinyl pants or sarong...
Shoe strings
Tied too tight, the wire might break and then you just have weak plastic shoelaces.
Pasties
Oooh, y'know what? Luminex pasties would rock.
Flask, Belt-hung goblet
Or drinking horn.
Dust mask
The permanent type? Yes, otherwise it probably wouldn't be cost-effective.
Goggles
But of course! :D
Fake cell phone
Don't they light up enough already?
Fan
Ooooh, nice! :D
Walking Staff, Arm band, Lip balm on an el wire necklace
I've seen all of these, excellent applications.

I'd suggest, in the case of weight-bearing items, use some other material to do the utility and embellish it with EL wire, such as the lip-balm-on-a-necklace idea. Support the lip balm with a regular piece of thin-gauge cordage and wrap the wire around it. Those little wires in the EL wire are startlingly delicate and break effortlessly.[/quote]
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:37 am

Thanks, Diane. Good thoughts all. You are right about the delicate little wires. The 5 millimeter diameter el wire is more reliliant, but much less flexible.

Since starting work on MiniMan, I have come to embrace the low cost and light weight of PVC pipe, so there are all kinds of little scraps and curly white shavings beneath my band saw that keep getting swept up and thrown in the garbage. Any thoughts on recyling this stuff for gifting?
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Post by diane o'thirst » Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:43 am

I'm not the biggest fan of PVC myself, since its manufacture process leads to breast cancer, and it turns to hydrochloric acid when it burns. That aside, there are more reliable building materials. I've already gone into the lauds of bamboo elsewhere...

The only thing I can think of is to get some different colours of Krylon Fusions, paint the scraps with it and see what the Muse suggests to you.
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Post by kampkalamazoo » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:20 pm

DougalD, after hearing you use the words "EL wire" and "kilt" together, I doubly look forward to handing you a cold one on the playa....My tartan is Clan Davidson, which looks a little too much like Black Watch to light up nicely without substantial artistic license and I'll gladly observe your design solutions!
I AM making a KICKASS sporran, though- Flourescent green doe's tails with bonfire-cast aluminum.....
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:20 pm

diane o'thirst wrote:I'm not the biggest fan of PVC myself, since its manufacture process leads to breast cancer, and it turns to hydrochloric acid when it burns. That aside, there are more reliable building materials. I've already gone into the lauds of bamboo elsewhere...

The only thing I can think of is to get some different colours of Krylon Fusions, paint the scraps with it and see what the Muse suggests to you.
Bamboo sounds cool. I better stay away from it with the MiniMan project or some yahoo might get the idea to "burn the man" and me with it.

I did not know that about the toxins. What toxic level of hydrochloric acid vapor is hazordous?
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Post by diane o'thirst » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:54 pm

Let's just say that your stomach acid is 50% hydrochloric acid, the other half is water.
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:06 pm

When I was a kid I used to make flash paper by treating toilet tissue with sulpheric and nitric acids. That was some pretty nasty stuff. Hey there's an idea. El wire and flash paper!
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Post by geekster » Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:43 pm

Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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Flash Paper

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:39 am

geekster wrote:That would be nitrocellulose?

http://www.powerlabs.org/chemlabs/nitrocellulose.htm
"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" Thanks Geekster. I admire your broad knowledge base.

After it dried, I used to oxodise it with potasium chlorate. Somewhere on one of these threads I told the story of what happened when I made a "bad batch".

It would be quite possible to build another handheld flash paper launcher canon and deco it with el wire to work off of the same two AA batteries.
What do you think, Dutch?

Here's a link with a cool mini movie if you want to buy some of this stuff:
http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=197
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Post by robotland » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:02 am

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=263

I like to work with flash COTTON- It's a little more manageable and easy to ignite....There's a little rig with a flint-and-wheel sparker and little cup for the flash material that is easily concealed in the hand- With a quick flick of the thumb you produce a fireball! Great looking effect. (I used to do magic professionally, and have often considered updating some of the concepts for use on the playa....)
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Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:18 am

robotland wrote:http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=263

I like to work with flash COTTON- It's a little more manageable and easy to ignite....There's a little rig with a flint-and-wheel sparker and little cup for the flash material that is easily concealed in the hand- With a quick flick of the thumb you produce a fireball! Great looking effect. (I used to do magic professionally, and have often considered updating some of the concepts for use on the playa....)
Thanks, Robot. Spared myself the fumes and ordered some of each. Too bad I did it before I noticed your link to the Penguin supplier with lower prices and free shipping!

Do you think a couple of flash guns could be loaded into the arms of MiniMan without too much danger?
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Post by robotland » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:06 am

Yeah, should be fine....The cotton goes up so fast that you barely feel the heat even if it's right in your hand....Using black powder in the same kind of setup would leave you burnt. You must be thinking of an electrical trigger like a glow-wire or sparker, if they're going to be remotely triggered, right? And you'd have to have multiple "shots" loaded and ready unless you can easily reload between uses.
I've never tried electric spark with guncotton- The handsparkers for "magic use" work on the same fat flints that gas-welding starters use. It's at least feasible that the starter from a barbecue would work, and you could run the wire out to the hands. A glow-wire igniter, available in ready-to-use form as the igniter kit for model rockets, should also work with cotton. It would also fire off small class C fireworks, but I don't have to tell you about the risks inherent in THAT.
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Post by dougaldutch » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:21 am

I leave the thread for one weekend and come back to find we now could be making el-wire fireball cannons, I LIKE IT. My childhood was completely bereft of any such exciting experiments. Well apart from the time with the second hand chemistry set, 2 bored teenagers and a small blue explosion that redecorated my friends kitchen. I still hear about that one when I visit his folks.

kampkalamazoo yeah you can kind of go both ways with the kilts, the sypmpathetic approach so the wire matches as closely as possible the pattern (which I will be doing for my Douglas tartan) and the screw the tartan watch me glow approach (which I will also be doing on my more generic black kilt). Depending on how hard you party in the kilt really dictates how much el-wire you put on it and how much maintence it needs, the festive period was NOT kind on mine.
Love the sporran design, are you modifying or making from scratch, last year I had a day-glo orange sporran that went walk about early on. Figured it would be pretty easy to find, oh for that virgin naivety again. This year....hmmm, we shall see if I can pull some celtic knot type patterns off that I have been thinking about. Will have to hook up and wave our sporrans at innoncent passers-by

So Jellyfish you really are ahead of the game in little el-wire ideas, your playafication is proceeding at near exponential proportions, I'm so jealous. Will definitely have to talk about some of them and if we can collaborate once I am stateside. Have given some thought to the el-wire-ing up some other newbie and figure it has to be done, for their sake and our sanity.

Have gone and ordered the little battery/ invertors from coolightwest.com and thought some UV reactive beads would be sweet to compliment the necklaces. Alas pickings are slim in the craft shops I have visited and online all I can find are those that change colour in UV, rather than doing that bright glow thing; although they might also shine, dont know. Going to make my own beads out of FIMO, should be a fun distraction and if the results are this side of pish its all good.

Cheers

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Flashguns

Post by Silver 2 » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:47 am

I have been thinking about getting one or two of these:
Pyrowizard Electronic Flash Gun™

The performer enters the stage, hands seemingly empty , and then - WHAM! - suddenly a flash is seen streaking out of his hand, erupting into a brilliant ball of fire. Shoots 10 - 15 feet. This fantastic little gun is small enough to conceal in your hand, yet creates an astoundingly large effect. Requires Flash Paper, Flash Cotton, and one AA alkaline battery (not included).
http://www.theatrefx.com/store/commerce ... ld_devices

On the other hand I know I would go broke buying flash cotton and paper.

It ignites using a electric coil powered by the battery.
I like playing with fire.

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Re: Flashguns

Post by robotland » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:13 pm

Silver 2 wrote:On the other hand I know I would go broke buying flash cotton and paper.
Ain't it the truth!!! I always squandered my black powder, too...For a couple of years it was my magicianly duty to make Santa Claus, AKA our minister, appear in a puff of flashpot -smoke so that he could then distribute gifts....the last year I had "just a little" more powder left in the can, (actually, about three times what I needed) so I emptied it into the pot and proceeded to scorch Santa's tailsection while also filling the chuch commons with brimstone smog. Whenever I get all Christmassy and sentimental, I take out the plastic yard decorations and melt a couple.
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Post by robotland » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:21 pm

dougaldutch wrote: are you modifying or making from scratch, last year I had a day-glo orange sporran that went walk about early on. Figured it would be pretty easy to find, oh for that virgin naivety again. This year....hmmm, we shall see if I can pull some celtic knot type patterns off that I have been thinking about. Will have to hook up and wave our sporrans at innoncent passers-by
All from scratch- I found an amazing array of flourescent fur and feathers for cheap at the sporting goods store, in the fly-tieing section. Really weird, cool stuff, too. You can buy a neon orange "hare's mask", the face and ears of a rabbit. Quite disturbing looking, especially when you add doll's eyes and some EL wire.
I should be getting a package from Utilikilts within the next month or so-My white Workman's, to be dyed forest green. I might skip the tartan concept and work the Dhai crest into the sporran instead, but reserve the right to still steal your concept upon inspection of same....
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Re: Flashguns

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:50 pm

Silver 2 wrote:I have been thinking about getting one or two of these:
Pyrowizard Electronic Flash Gun™

The performer enters the stage, hands seemingly empty , and then - WHAM! - suddenly a flash is seen streaking out of his hand, erupting into a brilliant ball of fire. Shoots 10 - 15 feet. This fantastic little gun is small enough to conceal in your hand, yet creates an astoundingly large effect. Requires Flash Paper, Flash Cotton, and one AA alkaline battery (not included).
http://www.theatrefx.com/store/commerce ... ld_devices

On the other hand I know I would go broke buying flash cotton and paper.

It ignites using a electric coil powered by the battery.
Yep. That's the type I copied and built out of copper pipe, a battery pack, switch, and a mini glow-plug from a hobby store.

You can make your own flash paper too, but it's dangerous. If you can still find the single-feed sheets of toilet paper they used to have in gas station bathrooms, that's the best. Then it's sulpheric and nitric acid, potasium chlorate, and poof! I've seen a couple of websites on how to do it.

Dutch and Robot: You boys are going to do the playa up a treat! What does the Scottsman wear under his kilt?
More El Wire!
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Re: Flashguns

Post by robotland » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:09 am

[quote="Mister Jellyfish Mister
Dutch and Robot: You boys are going to do the playa up a treat! What does the Scottsman wear under his kilt?
More El Wire![/quote]

...I was thinking of LED or neon "ground effect" lights, like the undercarraige of a sports car.....battery pack and controls to be integrated into the sporran.....
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Post by Ranger Genius » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:40 am

Ground effects under the whole kilt would be groovy.
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Re: Flashguns

Post by Mister Jellyfish Mister » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:35 pm

robotland wrote:[quote="Mister Jellyfish Mister
Dutch and Robot: You boys are going to do the playa up a treat! What does the Scottsman wear under his kilt?
More El Wire!
...I was thinking of LED or neon "ground effect" lights, like the undercarraige of a sports car.....battery pack and controls to be integrated into the sporran.....[/quote]

That is an absolutely cool idea. What kind of light source? I used Cold Cathode tubes on the Mutant Vehicle for that but they are fragile. Down-Facing LED's in super bulk from www.BestHongKong.com might do the trick!
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Post by robotland » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:02 am

Yeah, I was leaning towards LED's. I'm heavily into the color green, which is also a common color for closeouts on automotive lighting....If I decide I'm too lazy to buy and wire a bunch of individual diodes I'll GOOP a couple 4" neon tubes or some slightly-altered diode strips "up under there"....Or maybe ONE HUGE NEON TUBE, hanging straight down.....Maybe a slider so I can control the intensity, indicating my level of excitement......
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Post by robotland » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:43 pm

...I have it! A luminex codpiece, and tinfoil lining for the kilt to create a giant reflector.
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Post by dougaldutch » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:40 am

OK Robotland I am truly dazzled and suffering an acute case of kilt jealousy. Right this weekend I am getting down to some serious el-work on mine. I propose a playa kilt off!

Jellyfish the poles of paranoia are excellent, although a little to creepy for me. Good job

Enjoy your weekend everyone

DougalD
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