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Installing Digital Chest Display.

  1. #1

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds

    Does anyone know what size i should cut my LED's slots? I
    want to cut them out paint the area, then install LED lights
    later.

    Thanks

    Fab

  2. #2

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds

    These are BB's latest estimates:

    The ratios appear to be absolutely correct and you can
    use either the .28" or .3" displays in the same slots with NO PROBLEMS!!!

    Here are BB's dimensions in metric:

    Height of top slot: 4mm.

    Distance between slots: 8mm.

    Height of bottom slot: 8mm.

    Length of slots: 43mm.

  3. #3
    DarthVader1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2003
    From
    Phenix City, AL
    Posts
    2,462

    Installing Digital Chest Display

    For the veterans who had/has Shackman's / Richie's chest display: Two boards, one long ribbon cable, and the battery...
    How did you install yours? I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do it.
    Feel free to share your tips and "tricks". Hope this becomes educational for veterans and new members as well.

    Robert

  4. #4

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display

    I used velcro to attach the display to the back of the armor. I have a cut out in my vest for it to rest in. I attached the other part to the vest on the other side using a safety pin. That was just a fast,simple way to do it but it worked and I haven't bothered changing it. You could sew velcro to the vest and then use another piece of velcro to attach it. I may add an on/off switch though instead of having to unplug the battery all the time.

  5. #5

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds

    Yeah no problem.
    I'll get some components soon, and I'll make some boards.
    If they turn out good, i'll post pics and prices.
    I will guarantee that they will be a poopload cheaper than that!

    Bobo

  6. #6
    DarthVader1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2003
    From
    Phenix City, AL
    Posts
    2,462

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    That sounds pretty good to me. I like the idea, and the addition of the on/off switch...I LOVE IT!!! Now I want to hear from other people to see how they did it.

    Richie, or anyone who has/had this display: if you read this...let us know how, if you have a little "trick" under your sleeve, which in this case: under your armor vest.

    Robert

  7. #7

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    I just figure I'll velcro or tape the display in place and similarly fix the battery and wiring all to the back of the plate, is this a problem for you guys? Does it need to go through the vest to accomodate the battery etc?

    Phil

  8. #8

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds


    Bobo wrote:

    I respect everything you say Vader1, but the circuit is not complicated. Yes, it is more complicated than a regular 2 LED bliking circuit, but it is not *that* much more complicated. The only hard part is organizing the circuit to be clean and make the actual pcb board itself. There is no programming for this circuit, it's all done by transistors and IC chips.
    Just wanted to chime in if I could. Are you talking about the chest LEDs for Boba's suit? If we're talking about the chest LEDs I designed, there IS programming to do. The heart of the circuit is a 16F84 PIC microcontroller. The reason the circuit is so simple, and doesn't involve a dozen or more ICs is because I have a microcontroller running a program to generate the sequence, as well as clock the 4017.

    Quote:
    But I understand the labour is where the price comes in and also some of the circuit components can be pricey, so I do in fact respect RA and any other person who sells these !

    I'm not trying to be hostile or anything, but with all do respect, I believe $100 US is too expensive for this type of circuit. Am I wrong? Could someone prove me otherwise please?
    No need to prove anything (to me anyway). I'm not out to get rich off anyone, and have even given out the schematics freely. Of about 5 people who planned on building their own, I know of only one who has been successful, and he asked several questions along the way. But be warned, if you're not buying parts in bulk (I order enough to do several boards at a time, bringing the price down), you're going to pay a fair amount for parts (especially if you're etching the board). Then comes programming the micro ...

    Also, if you don't know much about electronics, this isn't a good starter circuit. But I do encourage those with experience to give it a try. For those who can do it, I'm glad to have provided a schematic for their use. For those who can't, I'm happy to assemble/sell them. And you'll see that my "hourly fee" for assembling is well below what some electronic circuits run, not to mention less than 1/2 what I make at work.

    Quote:
    I'll try and put a price together on the component's themselves and post it here, then we can judge
    Works for me. Maybe you'll turn up some cheaper sources for me to shop from as well. But if you would, when you come up with a price list, post the part numbers so we can make sure you're getting the correct parts (that's where I'm limited in suppliers, because some of the parts have to be a specific size.

    Thanks,

    ATM
    ShackMan

  9. #9

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    Richie would be the expert (over me anyway) on how to mount them. The only thing I have to add is that the ribbon cable was designed long on purpose, so you could route the control board to the other side of the chest. This (intended reason anyway) was to help balance things out, instead of having both boards on one side of your chest.

    As far as the power switch, the reason I left that out is because in the initial run, while many were giving me design ideas, there was a lot of variation in how/where they wanted a switch. So, I left it as-is, so each user could add a switch as needed. All you have to do is splice into one of the power wires (one, not both).

    Good luck,

    ATM
    ShackMan

  10. #10

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds


    Bobo wrote:

    I'm not trying to be hostile or anything, but with all do respect, I believe $100 US is too expensive for this type of circuit. Am I wrong? Could someone prove me otherwise please?
    After re-reading whatI typed, I wanted to address this question. When the circuit was first designed, other engineers I asked (who have designed and sold items) as well as the few who were "dying" to get this circuit, all suggested a price of $200 - 250. This was to cover parts, assembly, and development costs. This is what the engineers said was based on standard mark-up ratios, and what the buyers said they'd be willing to pay. To me, THAT seemed a bit high, and I figured the cheaper I could offer it, the more people could enjoy it.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you/everyone know what the "suggested" price was. Hopefully none of this comes across wrong. I'm not trying to sound defensive at all. Like I said, if I didn't want others trying to build their own, I wouldn't have provided the schematics. I know several other designers who haven't done that ... I just thought I'd be different.

    Thanks,

    ATM
    ShackMan

  11. #11

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds

    Ok, here is a quick list of components according to your schems Shackman:

    BTW, these are Canadian prices!

    C1: 100uF = $0.50
    C2: 0.1uF = $0.83
    C3: 22pF = $0.83
    U3: 7805 +5V = $0.89
    U4: PIC 16F84 = $9.50 (most expensive component )
    DISP1-5: 7 Segment 0.3" = $2.24
    R12: 10Kohm = $0.40
    R13: 4.7Kohm = $0.40
    R14-20: 220ohm = $3.00
    Q6-10: 2N7000 N-Channel MOSFET = still looking for price
    R1-10: 330ohm = $3.50
    R11: 4.7Kohm = $0.40
    D1-20: Rect. LED's = $9.00
    Q1-5: 2N7000 N-Channel MOSFET = still looking for price
    U1: 4017 Decade Counter/Divider = $1.50

    Total So Far: $32.99 CDN ~= $22.87 USD (not including the transistors yet)

    Also, the little ribbon cable, and other parts like the pcb that would be etched are not included, but just for example, a 3"x5" pcb copper board is $3.49 CDN.

    All prices above take into account the quantity of each component needed for one setup of the chest LED display.
    I just called the store I always goto, but they ran out of the MOSFET's so I'll call another place soon.

    Anyways, lemme know what you guys think!
    Shackman, I'd gladly help you out with components if these are cheaper, just contact me: bartekk@golden.net we can talk aight?

    BTW Shackman, I appreciate the fact that you posted the schems!!!

    Ciao!
    Bobo

  12. #12

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    I'll have mine soon, so I can figure it out, but what is the average running time for this assembly? What do they run on, is it 9v? How long will it run on an average name-brand battery, has anyone clocked it?

    What's the life for this assembly estimated at? Will it burn out or anything to that effect?

    Just curious
    Phil

  13. #13
    DL44 Blaster's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2002
    From
    The first state
    Posts
    1,935

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    When I do mine,I was planning on doing a variety of things.
    1)Affix red plastic film to light slots on armor from inside
    using carpet tape for strength.

    2)Epoxy 4 x 4/40 thread nuts to the inside of the armor.

    3)Drill out 4 holes on the board,and use 4/40 thread cap screws
    to mount the board to the armor in the corresponding nuts.

    4)Cut out the vest,and sew a pocket on the inside of the vest
    for the switch,and battery.

    It sounds a bit complicated,but I've got it all worked out,and only need my painted armor back to do the installation as I've got all the prep work done.

    Steve


  14. #14

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.


    journeymanprotector wrote:

    I'll have mine soon, so I can figure it out, but what is the average running time for this assembly? What do they run on, is it 9v? How long will it run on an average name-brand battery, has anyone clocked it?
    Hmmm ... I did that back when I first designed them. Of course, that was almost 2 years ago, so I don't recall. Seems that you could make it through a day-long convention if I remember right. Oh, and yes, it's designed to run on a 9V. I did that so those who have other items (such as fans in the helmet) could use just one type of battery throughout.

    Quote:
    What's the life for this assembly estimated at? Will it burn out or anything to that effect?
    Unless you do something drastic to it, they should last longer than the suit will. All of the lights are LEDs, no bulbs involved. LEDs are *practically* (not toally) indestructible when used as intended, as these have been. I only know of one person that has destroyed his lights, and that was by brutal force.

    ATM
    ShackMan

  15. #15

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds


    Bobo wrote:

    BTW, these are Canadian prices!

    C1: 100uF = $0.50
    C2: 0.1uF = $0.83
    C3: 22pF = $0.83
    U3: 7805 +5V = $0.89
    U4: PIC 16F84 = $9.50 (most expensive component )
    DISP1-5: 7 Segment 0.3" = $2.24
    R12: 10Kohm = $0.40
    R13: 4.7Kohm = $0.40
    R14-20: 220ohm = $3.00
    Q6-10: 2N7000 N-Channel MOSFET = still looking for price
    R1-10: 330ohm = $3.50
    R11: 4.7Kohm = $0.40
    D1-20: Rect. LED's = $9.00
    Q1-5: 2N7000 N-Channel MOSFET = still looking for price
    U1: 4017 Decade Counter/Divider = $1.50

    Total So Far: $32.99 CDN ~= $22.87 USD (not including the transistors yet)

    Also, the little ribbon cable, and other parts like the pcb that would be etched are not included, but just for example, a 3"x5" pcb copper board is $3.49 CDN.

    All prices above take into account the quantity of each component needed for one setup of the chest LED display.
    I just called the store I always goto, but they ran out of the MOSFET's so I'll call another place soon.
    Hmmm ... don't know what to make of your prices. Granted, I'm not used to thinking in Canadian currency. But you're getting charged WAY more (comparatively speaking) for some parts, and have WAY cheap prices on others. Hmmm ...

    Other factors which will effect the price are shipping (some companies have minimum orders), the PCBs (I have them etched) run me $8 - 15 each depending on quantity, etc. Also, don't forget to factor in the time to assemble the boards (hand-wiring point-to-point took me about 8 hours for the prototype). Not to mention getting a programmer for the PIC, 2 weeks to learn the PIC assembly language, and a few weeks to work out the code.

    I'd say if you're comfortable with the schematic, go for it! Like I said, I'm glad to see people learn (in this case, about electronics) from something I helped produce. For those who can't, or don't want to, make their own, I'm still happy to do it for them. It helps fill up (or is that take away from) my free time.

    ATM
    ShackMan

  16. #16

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    Cool, very reassuring, thanks Shackman

    Maybe I'll sacrifice a 9v for the good of everyone here I'll see how long it runs. I can't wait to get it installed, really makes the costume 'come alive'

    Phil

  17. #17

    Merged: Re: Chest armor L.E.Ds


    Bobo wrote:

    You know what you could do Shackman? Sell some PIC's that are already programmed for this circuit!
    Good idea ... glad I thought of that a while back.

    All kidding aside, I have sold a few of the programmed micros ($13 programmed/shipped). The main ones looking to get JUST a micro are the ones with my lights, looking to be able to switch between both versions. You change from 2-stage to 3-stage by swapping the micro, which is one reason I went that route ... flexibility.

    As I said above though, of those who have purchased just a programmed micro (or just e-mailed me saying they were going to when they got to that stage), I only know of one person who has completed the lights. There may be others, but the one is all I know of.

    Good luck,


    ATM
    ShackMan

  18. #18

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    Not sure the exact running time on one battery but I used one cheap brand and it lasted a good 8 hours with life still in it.
    If you do test the running time, let us know the time and what battery used

  19. #19

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    I didn't say anythign yesterday, in case I forgot this morning, but I'm doing a running test right now. I'm using a standard RadioShack alkaline battery (23-875). If it goes over 9 hours, I'll have to either back off and continue tomorrow (which won't give you a TRUE continuous run time), or carry it out of here with me.

    I have another 10 LED chaser that runs on a 9V battery. It only lights one at a time (the chest lights have a higher drain), but it lasts a good 3.5 days continuous (>80 hours). I'd take an educated guess and say this one will last a little less than 1/4 of that ... maybe around 20+ hours? Of course, I could be missing something in that guess (for example, this circuit uses a voltage regulator, which is always going to waste energy).

    Anyway, I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

    ATM

  20. #20

    Got mine and WOW!!!

    Thanks a lot for the AWESOME product Shackman!!! These kick major butt and bring the costume to life. If anyone is ever thinking about doing business with Shackman than do it cause this is great stuff. He's also very easy to deal with and actually wants his customers to be happy, can't say that about all sellers. Thanks again and I'm still messing around with how to keep them on my armor. I've already tried a couple ways and I'll see what works best after some more testing. Velcro does seem to do the job rather well.

  21. #21

    Re: Got mine and WOW!!!


    vadersfavorite wrote:

    Thanks a lot for the AWESOME product Shackman!!! These kick major butt and bring the costume to life. If anyone is ever thinking about doing business with Shackman than do it cause this is great stuff. He's also very easy to deal with and actually wants his customers to be happy, can't say that about all sellers. Thanks again and I'm still messing around with how to keep them on my armor. I've already tried a couple ways and I'll see what works best after some more testing. Velcro does seem to do the job rather well.
    Thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked them!

    Now, if you can just figure out the "best" way to mount them, we'll have an answer to a question I get a lot (and can't help with).

    ATM
    ShackMan

  22. #22

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    Quick update on the battery life for the FettLights:

    I started the running test yesterday at 8:30 AM. Here it is, 8:30AM the next day, and they're still running fine. The thing to keep in mind is that the "usable" life is a subjective call. I don't consider it useable if the lights are no longer visible in decent room lighting.

    So while I expect this thing to keep running for several more hours (which would be fine in a dimly lit room), I'd say I got a usable life (IMO) of about 20 - 22 hours.

    My "SWAG" (Scientific Wild-A$$ Guess) was pretty close.

    ATM
    ShackMan

  23. #23

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    last night i mounted the lights onto the armor . i first put down a strip of window tint . the same stuff i used on the visor . then i mounted the lights with a hot glue gun .this secured it very well , so now i'm gonna do the same to the other board on the other side . i went to radio shack and got a black project box , some 9 volt battery terminals , grey wire and an on / off button. put it all together and you get a box that holds the battery and an on / off switch that you can run down to your belt pouch and have a grey wire showing , ( like the movie suit ) .

    also , this makes a completlly separate unit so you don't have to cut into shackman's work of art . just put a 9 volt plug thingy at the end of the wire and connect it to the 9 volt cable on the boards .i'll put up a pic soon ...

    later , cory

  24. #24
    b.fett
    Guest

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.

    I haven't yet decided on how I will attach the lights to the armor. The chest LED's didn't line up to the slots on my armor so I had to do some plastic surgery on the chest piece, lol. I used a dremel to cut 2 centimeters or so off the bottom of the lower slot to make it taller. I then had to reduce the width of both slots and did that by cutting some small pieces of plastic, bonding them to the outer corners of both slots the using Bondo and glaze putty to hide the seams. Besides this also gave me another reason to repaint my armor!!! I have some pics but can't post it here because of Yahoo (enough said!), here is a link though to where I have the pics posted. I reduced the image sizes so hope fully the bandwidth will hold! lol

    http://www.geocities.com/sithjedi1/Fett_Armor.html


  25. #25
    DarthVader1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2003
    From
    Phenix City, AL
    Posts
    2,462

    Re: Installing Digital Chest Display.


    BH2372 wrote:

    last night i mounted the lights onto the armor . i first put down a strip of window tint . the same stuff i used on the visor . then i mounted the lights with a hot glue gun .this secured it very well , so now i'm gonna do the same to the other board on the other side . i went to radio shack and got a black project box , some 9 volt battery terminals , grey wire and an on / off button. put it all together and you get a box that holds the battery and an on / off switch that you can run down to your belt pouch and have a grey wire showing , ( like the movie suit ) .

    also , this makes a completlly separate unit so you don't have to cut into shackman's work of art . just put a 9 volt plug thingy at the end of the wire and connect it to the 9 volt cable on the boards .i'll put up a pic soon ...

    later , cory
    Sounds really interesting and I had almost the same idea, and I have my armor with the tinted panel already installed (hot glued to the armor) from one of the Boba Fett lens I have. Instead of hot glue the display to the armor I was thinking about creating my own custom box using pieces of sintra left over from the Jet Pack's closure backing plate. Cutting the panels to size and shape, and then paint it in black so the display will sit snug inside the armor, but with a way that I could also remove the display in case it gets damaged or something, at the same time to protect it from water, sweat and rain.
    About the black box for the batteries and on/off switch, sound really nice too. But I'm confused about the other board...did you say that you're planning to install it in the other side of the armor? Cause my big question is...how you gonna do that without the ribbon showing up? (unless you cut a slit on your vest and that somehow doesn't sounds right. I was thinking about doing so, but in the same side, cutting a slit thru the vest and ending in a pocket in the inside of the vest (facing your chest side) where the other board sits inside with the battery,...but this one sounds complicated!

    Please, share your ideas and keep them coming...your idea sounds the best one yet! I'm probably heading to Radio Shack now...

    Robert

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