New idea for chest lights *UPDATE 5/4*

Trooper TK409

Active Hunter
UPDATE 5/4
For those without any photo program, here are the transparencies...
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/transparency.html

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UPDATE 4/29
So, this took about 30 minutes and 8 bucks. And no complex wiring - cool!
lights1.jpg


Here's a video. The bicycle light has 6 different settings, this video only shows 1 of them:
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights1.avi (1.4mb)

Here's what you'll need:
1) printed transparencies from the link below. Do this on any laser printer.
2) Bell Bicycle safety light from WalMart $8 or
http://www.fogdog.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1248706

3) white paper & scissors :D

http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights2.jpg

Remove the cover of the Bell safety light. This reduces it to 1/2" thick. Easy for fitting under your vest or armor.
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights3.jpg

I added a piece of white paper behind the transparencies to help diffuse or evenly disperse the light from the LEDs
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights4.jpg

Place the transparencies behind the slots in your chest armor
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights5.jpg
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/lights6.jpg

Then attach the Bell light behind your vest (you'll need to cut a hole in your vest) for best result.
Low-budget and easy peasy!
(But obviously Shackman's lights would be the coolest)

What do you think? Any suggestions?
- Chris
PS. Thanks to feedback from Brak's, I revised the transparencies file so the numbers are spread out a little more to be more accurate. Also, I included a Photoshop file for those without Adobe Illustrator
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/transparencies.zip


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With all my respect for Shackman and his fantastic chest lights (I wish I had a set of my very own!), this is only a humble attempt at a lowend, do-it-yourself version.

I'm kind of an "accurate from 10 feet away is good enough" kind of guy and I wonder if there's an easier, less expensive way to do chest lights. What if you got several blinking red LEDs (8 or 9) and then printed out one of the displays below on transparency paper? The black would mask the lights and they would just show through the numbers. You may need 2 or 3 layers of transparencies. The LEDs would blink, but because of the black masking, only the letters would appear to blink.

Then you would just make a line of 5 blinking LEDs above for the blinking dashes. The lights could blink at random.

I have a set of LEDs and battery packs that I'm going to try this out with. I have a diagram for wiring he LEDs, but geez I don't know much about that stuff. Here's hoping I don't solder my fingers together!

Here are the display stages. You would pick one for your particular project. Print it on transparency and cut it out.
I'll see if I can round up that wiring diagram.

http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/chestlights.jpg
Do not print this from your browser! Download it to your machine and open it in a photo program (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc) The browser will print it way too big. The photo programs will print them actual size. (300 dpi)
- Chris
 

Chrima

Active Hunter
I was thinking of using this EL kit to make one.

http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=213&item=EL-2502&type=store

It is only $32 bucks or so.

It is pre programmed with 32 sequences and up to 5 different piecies of EL you can light up independently.

Simply put an overlay over the top of the EL, so only the EL shows through the symbol you want to display.

Also since EL is thin, it could fit well underneath the armor
 
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Scratch

New Hunter
Before I got my Shackman lights, I used a jogging LED light that I picked up for less than $5 at The Sports Authority. It blinks in different patterns, has the same width and length (roughly) for the bottom chest slot as Shackman's lights, and can be easily duct-taped to the inside of the armor. You just need dark transparent acetate paper or limo tint to place over the slot, since the lights are fairly bright. For the top slot, I just put a piece of reflective red material I got from an auto parts store (which gave the illusion of generating light).

People loved the jogging LED lights when I first installed them, and I'm sure most people who see your costume (with the exception of TDH members) won't notice that it's not 100% accurate.

But, if you're a stickler for accuracy, Shackman's lights are probably one of the easiest modifications you can make. They can really turn a good costume into a fantastic costume.
 
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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Weird TK409...I was actually doing exactly that, printing out one of the displays on transparency paper. Well I actually was going to print it out then photocopy it onto transparency paper a few times.

I thin it should look pretty darn cool for budget-fetts who still want that killer blinky light effect!
 
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TBone

Active Hunter
I had thought about using EL wire too. I've made several lightsaber blades, and although I'm no expert, I feel pretty confident in using this stuff. You could get a nice effect with it, but only at night. EL is fairly invisible in daylight.

You could even go cheaper. I think ELWIRECHEAP.COM has some small blinkers with about 1' of wire on it for abot $6. The flash speed can be controlled too.

Just another idea - but I'd much rather have Shackman's lights! But I've got to pay Wes for the boots first!
 
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shackman

Active Hunter

Trooper TK409 wrote:

With all my respect for Shackman and his fantastic chest lights (I wish I had a set of my very own!), this is only a humble attempt at a lowend, do-it-yourself version.
First off, I just wanted to say thanks for the respect. ;) Seriously, I'm not offended by anyone wanting to make a do-it-yourself set. Even if you wanted the "high-end" (hey, *I* didn't say it) lights, that's why I freely offered up the schematics for the electronics do-it-yourselfers. :)

Anyway, for anyone that tries this method (or something similar) of making their chest lights, I'd like to see how they turn out. I'm a very "budget-limited" prop collector myself, so I KNOW what it's like. :( Anyway, someone please do this and make a small video if possible. :)

Good luck,


ATM
ShackMan
 
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TBone

Active Hunter

Forced Trekker wrote:

You could even go cheaper. I think ELWIRECHEAP.COM has some small blinkers with about 1' of wire on it for abot $6. The flash speed can be controlled too.
ELWIRECHEAP.COM has this little thing for $13.


Cool neon has this on sale for $10

cool neon's website wrote:

3.3 Foot Funlight- Red (#FL3R)

Only available while supplies last!
1 meter (3.3 feet) of Cool Neon wire in our Standard (2.3mm) diameter attached to our AA Hand-Held Driver (#DAAHH) provides an excellent tool for creativity! The driver comes with a belt-clip and a side switch for continuous on, off, and flash modes. (Powered by 2 AA batteries, not included.) Normally $18.00

media.jpg
Both sets have more than enough wire.

Flat EL would probably be better though IMHO.
 
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Trooper TK409

Active Hunter
Cool idea FT!
I found a bicycle safety light from "Bell" that is just about the size of a credit card - about $8. It doesn't have the 2 rows of lights I'd prefer, but I'll try it.
http://www.fogdog.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1248706

It has 6 different flashing modes and may work pretty good for this low-budget project. I'm not doing this project to sell anything, just a do-it-yourself idea.
I have transparencies printed out and will put them together with the LEDs and the armor tonight. I'll post photos tomorrow.

If you have Illustrator 3 or Photoshop, print these on a transparency, There are several printed on one page in case you need to layer a few to mask the lights...
http://www.TK409.com/images/fett/armor/transparencies.zip


p914572reg.jpg
 
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TBone

Active Hunter
How thick is this thing? It may make your chest plaste stick out too far. Let us know how it turns out.

I'll keep looking at/for the flat EL stuff and see what I can come up with.
 
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Trooper TK409

Active Hunter
With the faceplate removed, it's about 1/2" thick. But if placed under the vest, with a hole cut in the vest (sorry Heidi!) it might appear smoother. Keep us posted on the flat EL.
- Chris


Forced Trekker wrote:

How thick is this thing? It may make your chest plaste stick out too far. Let us know how it turns out.

I'll keep looking at/for the flat EL stuff and see what I can come up with.
 
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bobamaker

Active Hunter
Another great idea Chris. It's allways a bit difficult to source the items you speak of because the shops in the USA are different from the UK. But your idea is certainly a bonus!!

Nice one
BobaMaker
 
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sithlord23

Well-Known Hunter
Sweet work man! I had something like that, but the safety light was a little thicker, and it kinda stabbed my chest when I had it in. But the Bell, looks a little thinner in profile, I will check into it! Awesome work again!
 
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Trooper TK409

Active Hunter
Thanks guys :)
I forgot to a couple details:
The movie and photos above were shot with all the kitchen lights on so it's plenty bright and the LEDs still show up perfectly. Also, the plastic I used for the chest slots window is from the green visor. So even when showing thru green, the LEDs are a nice bright red.
- Chris
 
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Jango Fett Jr

Well-Known Hunter
Great tutorial!

The transparencies have two rows on characters on them. Did you just include them both for us to choose, or what? From your video it looks like you just used one?

Thanks for the awesome tutorial, I'm going to go start mine right away!
 
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