Daft Punk Thomas Helmet -- Skipped a few chapters

FIREWIRE

Member
One thing im finding it hard to understand is how a line of 8 leds can be controlled via a single wire to the + with them all connected as one line.

I really have a poor grasp on electronics but i would have thought that each led would have to have been wired individually to + where the original led was solderd...

im just totally confused if im honest lol :lol
 

tekparasite

Member
One thing im finding it hard to understand is how a line of 8 leds can be controlled via a single wire to the + with them all connected as one line.

I really have a poor grasp on electronics but i would have thought that each led would have to have been wired individually to + where the original led was solderd...

im just totally confused if im honest lol :lol

I don't think you're alone as I was in that same spot at some point. This is a great video that helps understand the basic wiring for an LED Matrix
YouTube - ‪Circuit Skills: LED Matrix‬‏

Remember, the + go in one direction (say row) while (-) go in the opposite direction (say column). So if you connect your battery on a specific row and column combination, where those two meet is the LED that will be lit. You can only light one LED at a time. So how do you light 2 LEDs at once? Well, you don't. You just light one at a time and toggle back and forth. At a slow rate, you'll see that toggle. However, if you keep increasing the speed at which they toggle, it will come to a point where the toggle will happen faster than your eye/brain can process. At that point, it will appear they're both lit and the magic will happen! :love
 
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tekparasite

Member
For those that wondered placement of the LEDs in the matrix. This was handy to mark my template.
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Now this picture shows the traces that I ran to connect the LEDs within the matrix and to the headers.
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And again, using good 'ol prototype board to create the side lights. The plan is to use a separate LED chaser for the side lights while leaving Arduino do its thing with the SureElectronic driver for the matrix.

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:angry I realized I have ran out of female head connectors.
 

tekparasite

Member
I'll take a brake from the matrix build as I wait for a few components. Now, it's time to work on the side LED boards. Since I'm not really savvy with doing PCBs yet, I'll tackle this with Prototype board :confused

(I will later post a schematic showing the connections as they can get tricky)

Since Volpin is using PCBs which is the "whole Enchilada", I decided to do a "Double Decker" instead :lol .... can you tell I'm hungry?

Anyway, just stay with me...

This is a little trick I used while building the electronics for my Guy Manuel helmet. Basically, I used 2 layers of perf board. The bottom layer will be used to place components that you don't want people to see OR when components are really close to each other.

So, the first bottom layer consists of resistors only. These will later be hidden by the top layer.

5810874628_540b7b7b04.jpg

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After finishing the bottom layer, I then glued these little walls of the same material thickness.
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Like so..
5810875244_269862bf50.jpg



Then it was time to put the top layer while hiding those resistors underneath.

5810875534_08f1dcd206.jpg


Another advantage of this method is that it brings the uncovered LEDs to the front and leaves the LEDs that will later be covered with colors gels behind. Giving them more room to diffuse the light.

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Notice how clean it looks without resistors
5810876032_d56c9a685a.jpg


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All components in place.

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Now for the fun part :confused

Start running traces to connect these components.
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Wow!!! What a MESS..

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I wonder if this will even work...:confused

Using ribbon cable, I made the wire harnesses from the Led chaser to the transistor board to the LED boards.
5810876534_8c2e5d4cd4.jpg


This little guy is the brain power
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Here are the basic components of the side boards. I still need to do another board mirror of the one shown here.
5810311197_bb2496eb5f.jpg


I connected everything and tested the pins with a battery before introducing the chaser and transistor board.
5810312783_7658d34a94.jpg


Then it was time!!!! After some preliminary tests.... this is how I felt (link)

5810312435_37fa306917.jpg


Here's a video of the lights in action...

:love YouTube - ‪Daft Punk - Thomas Bangalter - Helmet Side Boards‬‏


one step closer...
 
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MrPinski

Sr Member
Julio dude, you are truly a master of the craft! I wish I coulp persuade you to make me a set of temple lights for my bucket!!!
 

Volpin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The animations on those look spectacular! I'm just a bit curious about the controller board. This is an 8-channel piece, right? How are you getting so many channels of animation out of that? In your video, it looks like there's at least 14 different illuminated circuits. Is this thing multiplexed in some way?

Also, will these animations be selectable from the arduino, or will they be hardwired into that brain?

Edit: Do you have a part # for those ribbon cable connectors? They look nice and clean.
 

tekparasite

Member
The animations on those look spectacular! I'm just a bit curious about the controller board. This is an 8-channel piece, right? How are you getting so many channels of animation out of that? In your video, it looks like there's at least 14 different illuminated circuits. Is this thing multiplexed in some way?
Yes. It is an 8-channel piece. All I'm doing is splitting the same signal from the chaser to light up multiple LEDs. Obviously, the transistors take care of the switching for me. I made the circuit in such a way, so that it wouldn't look that obvious. Your question tells me that I have succeeded. The channels assigned are basically the top 4 vertical rows and the bottom 4 horizontal rows. Then, I'm re-using the same signals to also light up one or more LEDs as shown below. Notice that when row "A" is supposed to be lit up, I have also connected that circuit to the middle LED. Same goes for row "B" - attaching it to the two outer LEDs in the middle section.

Things are happening so fast that it seems like they're controlled separately, but they're not. I hope that makes sense. :confused

5813500975_416f65ccc2.jpg



Also, will these animations be selectable from the arduino, or will they be hardwired into that brain?
The animations are selectable; however, not through arduino. The chaser has two pins for a momentary button where you can tailor the behavior of the sequences. Via a single momentary button, you can select different patterns, speed of the patterns, whether you want rolling sequences or a single looping sequence, auto shutoff, even dim and bright modes can be selected.
Edit: Do you have a part # for those ribbon cable connectors? They look nice and clean.
Sure. I always get these parts from Pololu.com.
These are the female connectors I use
Pololu - Female Crimp Pins for 0.1" Housings 100-Pack

Then I select the housings based on the number of pins/connectors I'm using. For instance: 1x8
Pololu - 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp Connector Housing: 1x8-Pin 10-Pack

1x2
Pololu - 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp Connector Housing: 1x2-Pin 25-Pack

etc...
The only thing to take note is that these connectors are NON-polarized. So, you have to keep track of orientation / polarity.
 
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tekparasite

Member
... now that my side boards are done. It was time to continue to work on my matrix.

The hardest thing for me was to find a way to do the horizontal traces (anodes) without touching the vertical wires (cathodes). I should have waited and followed Volpin's method of using wax or some type of coating. However, once I figured out a way, it wasn't too bad.

Basically, I used this 30 gauge coated wire.
5765268790_798037fb47.jpg



The goal was to expose enough length of the wire to connect all 8 leds while running pieces of the jacket insulation to use as a barrier. I called these "poodle tails".
It took some practice to get the technique down, but it wasn't really that hard. Here's one poodle tail.

5814203472_6898bbe76e.jpg


So basically, all I had to do was solder a piece of the bare wire to an LED anode, then, slide (with some tweezers) the jacket portion on top of the cathode. Then repeat until the entire strand was in place.

5814203686_e1bc1ddb5f.jpg


l did all the rows, then I connected each row to its header pin above.

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I soldered the wires on the front instead of at the base of the header.
5814203998_1d75ec303f.jpg


I was worried that a group of wires will block some vision, but it really had zero impact on vision.

The blue wires are hardly noticeable.
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There was only 1 LED that failed the continuity test, so I had re-solder that one. 1 out of 256 is not bad at all.

At this point. I can consider my LED matrix complete.

However, I have a big challenge ahead. How in the world am I going to get rid of the LED panels in the SureElectronics board and transfer that data to my matrix? :confused

... more to come.
 
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tekparasite

Member
Quick update...

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That's right. I received my chromed helmet today. I'll be perfectly honest. I think this would have failed Volpin's QA test though.

When I first opened the box, the first thing I saw was the ear domes and said.. "YES!!!!" :love

Then I looked at the bucket and quickly noticed that it had a bluish cloudiness to it. It's sometimes more noticeable than others depending on lighting conditions. :angry

I called my chroming guy and pretty much agreed with me and said there was nothing I can do at this point, but would have a fix for future orders which doesn't improve my situation. He mentioned that it was looking as shiny as it can be, but it was the last step of the process which was adding the clear coat that reacted with humidity giving it that blueish cloudy look.

Unfortunately for me, I only had one shot at this, so I'll have to live with it. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate the job a 7.

5813732679_ffa1ea103b.jpg




Here's a closeup of the ear. If only the entire helmet looked like the ears look, it would have been perfect, but it's all wishful thinking at this point. :unsure


5813732375_2d13c388f4.jpg
 

Grey

Sr Member
It wouldn't be bad if it wern't for the rather jarring contrast between the ears and the rest of the helmet. It still looks good but it would bother me too.
 

Volpin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Unfortunately for me, I only had one shot at this, so I'll have to live with it. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate the job a 7.

Let me know if you'd like a new pull. I'll be doing another run of 10 in July and will be happy to add you to that list.

Also, I think it looks beautiful in the photos, but I can see the slight orangepeel in the sides next to the ears. I know how you feel; my Guy bucket had slight runs in the clearcoat near the corners of the ear surrounds.

Nice to see one of my babies with a coat of chrome! What shop painted it?
 

tekparasite

Member
Let me know if you'd like a new pull. I'll be doing another run of 10 in July and will be happy to add you to that list.

Also, I think it looks beautiful in the photos, but I can see the slight orangepeel in the sides next to the ears. I know how you feel; my Guy bucket had slight runs in the clearcoat near the corners of the ear surrounds.

Nice to see one of my babies with a coat of chrome! What shop painted it?

Thanks Harrison... and YES!! Please keep me in mind when you run the second batch. As a matter of fact, put my name down for 1. Call me crazy, but it just bothers me especially when I know it can look better.

This is the place that did the chroming Coat of Chrome - Don't Paint it Chrome It - Coat of Chrome

The owner is really nice and responsive. He packages the units extremely well and with care, so overall I'm happy with the service. He just had glitch on this one. My Guy helmets came out perfect though.

:thumbsup
 

Exploitted

New Member
Hey I'm currently working on my own Thomas helmet, too. :) Although,

you're much, much more completed than I am. :lol Just wanted to ask if

there is a particular reason almost all of the matricies put into these

helmets are in factors of 8. I would assume it's so you don't have to code

your own Arduino script, but I just wanted to make sure. :confused
 

Teese

Member
Wow! That is beautiful! Hell, if you don't want it anymore, send it my way. i'd be glad to take that off your hands.

Hey Harrison, if I can get on your list for one of your next pulls, let me know.
 

TheNickFox

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
WOW! That thing looks even better with a coat of chrome on it!

I'd love to see a video of you wearing the helmet so I could see how the light kicks off it, and see how the chrome changes the look overall from the raw cast.

Fantastic work so far, can't wait to see it finished.

-Nick
 
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