Tron Identity disc (yes, another one)


New Member
Hello guys :)

here is a little post about my tron disc prop.
An event is coming an based on favorites movies.
So I decided to build my Tron costume + ID disc.

this ID disc was not built to stay on a desktop but to be used on my costume.
It's completely useless to have something with near 200 leds inside but working only 2 minutes on batteries!

(Who said Data in goonies movie?? flashback: xD)
To do that the power consumption must be as low as possible to have a system working for hours.

the disc was built based on a toy available on ebay and completely disassembled to get the empty shells.
here are its technical specs:

- WS2812B led strips but with limited number to be energy efficient.
- arduino micro microcontroller
- mp3/wav sound module with micro sd and internal speaker (Thanks to Canobi for his help on sound effects)
- lithium ion batteries
- efficient power supply
- fast charge (1h for 80% capacity)
- long use (more than 2 hours in standby mode (standby is in back with inner C ring and outer ring illuminated in white)
- charger included and only a 12v wall adapter is required
- battery gauge to know when it's time to charge it
- vibrating motor for force feedback
- accelerometer
- detects when the disc is attached on the back of the costume to start the sound + light effects (reed sensor)
- keep the function button working to start/stop the spining effect

Electronics is my hobby and job (laser barcode reader and battery manufacturer) so I have access to lot of parts from bin. It's very usefull for me :)
the WS2812B are great but not energy efficient and their quiescent current is near 1mA/pc only to stay off!
so 70 leds = 70mA standby current!
the best way to avoid this quiescent is to have an electronic switch to turn off their power when they are not used.

the power supply is based on two 4.2v 1150mAh lithium ion batteries in series to have sufficient voltage headroom. A buck converter is used to generate the 5v supply line.
the sound module is one available on local supplier but without the arduino library. I will use the one I've make for my Half-life restrooms

The disc is held in place thank to two powerfull neodyum magnets.
unfortunately I have a heart decease and I have a mechanical heart valve. hopefully this one is in tungsten and is not magnetic (hopefully) so I can wear the disc in my back without blocking my heart valve lefleats.

I'm now working on the code but it's near to be finished and I'm working on the costume. the event is this saturday.
- the battery gauge is displayed
- sound and light effect in sync of the sound effect (syren drress sam with the C ring illumination + outer ring). the costume detects the disc too and start the light illumination like in the movie.

here is a selection of pictures from the building step (I have 150 of them xD)

the toy when received


when opened

making some free space :D

that's better!

the outer plastic

the toy ready to be modified

C ring led strip installation





for the outer ring


first test of the led strips

glue the powerful magnets in place with DP100 epoxy

the battery pack from a comercial product I've designed

but the pack is too thick to fit in the shell :/ So I've split it

here is the charger board I've allready designed for other props

discharge capacity test under electronic load: 1.120Ah

speaker installation in the old battery slot of the toy

the mp3/wav player module with its SD card



not too bad :)


final result

installation of the DC charging plug

the arduino micro used to control all the things

an overall view of the disc parts inside the shell

the reed sensor used to start the sound and light effect in sync when the disc is put on my back.
the costume uses the same thing to detect the disc (this is why there's a little magnet near the speaker)


I've taken a smart battery gauge from an old battery pack I've built.
It's very usefull because the gauge measure all the things near the battery and you just have to ask it
"what is the battery remaining power?" and the battery gauge give the answer directly in percents,
or the minutes remaining at the power consumption etc.


the battery interface to put all the pack parameters. I've changed the name to ID DISC xD


the gauge is insulated in kapton tape to save space

the power switch installation. this one is designed for 4Amps @ 30V


another overall view

building the power interface, accelerometer level shifter board


wiring is finished

and a test :)

spoiler! the disc on my back held in place by the magnets. the two wires comes
from the reed sensor to adjust the reed switch magnet position

the battery gaucge display when the disc is charging

beautiful colors xD

and the schematic of the electronic

now some test videos

this one is the near final version with vibrating motor feedback

the battery life is near 5 hours and 45 minutes in standby mode (put on back with C ring an d outer ring illuminted) -> 180mA under 8V
and 2 hours 40 minutes in "disc war" mode with sound and spinning light. -> 370mA under 8V

I think it's a good result for a prop designed to be wear on a costume!

The charger can put the battery to 50% in 30 minutes allowing more than 1H of use!
it's a 1:2 ratio :) (charge/discharge)

coming next: the costume :)
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Thanks :)
Yes, it's the last one from yesterday when I've finished the program to comunicates with the accelerometer :)
it's ready for the event. Now I'm working on the costume electronics
Thanks Nexus :)

here is another spoiler.
it's my EL panel controller for the costume (with 4 hours continuous working battery life).
it's triggered by the disc and the effects will be synchronized to the disc sound.
the first channel is for my feets and next channels are for the panels along the body.
so the powering effect will be: (channels 1 to 6)

feets -> chins + knees -> thighs -> left torso + hips -> right torso + hips (for the flickering effect) -> shoulders + arms + top torso + vertical line torso

the flicckering effect is made to be like in the movie :)
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That is so damn cool. Much respect to you, Genesis. When the next one comes out in a couple years, I am going to have to give myself a crash course in electronics, because you have set the bar and I'll be damned if I'll be happy with just a lights conversion now.
Video is set to private.
strange, a private video can be seen if I give the direct link o_O
edit modified ;)

- - - Updated - - -

View attachment 487844

That is so damn cool. Much respect to you, Genesis. When the next one comes out in a couple years, I am going to have to give myself a crash course in electronics, because you have set the bar and I'll be damned if I'll be happy with just a lights conversion now.
thanks :)
I need a second to pick my jaw off the floor. That electronics work is so awesome, and the whole piece is gorgeous! Well done! Now, if you'll excuse me, I suddenly have an overwhelming desire to watch Tron...
all the things are ready for tomorrow event.
here is the EL final test to be sure all is working fine.

you can see my EL power unit with 3 cells lithium ion battery + EL inverter + microcontroller. It will be stick with velcro tape at the bottom of my back.

On the video I manually start the effec but a sensor is normally connected on my morphsuit and detects the disc.
If the suit is allready powered up and you try to put the disc on my back the suit immediately turn off and make another power up effect automatically.
If the suit was off, the effect starts automatically when the disc is in place and the suit turn off if the disc is removed (except if I hold the button in my hand when I remove the disc, I've added this option by software)

the switch is in my hand. I have two leds near it to indicates if the disc is in place (help for me when I put it on my back alone) and for the battery
gauge (long red + blink of the blue led each 10% of battery power
) the battery gauge is displayed when I turn on the unit on the video (red - red - yellow - yellow- green green green etc...)

with lights

in the dark


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And Voila! a final test of the Tron Identity disc with the shells closed.
Ready for this evening :)
I'm using a magnet to start the message and loading effect. (I'm searching the right position)

I hope to get some pictures of me with my suit and disc ;)
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It's based on arduino so anyone can build it (and some other discs projects here are great too :) )
I will make another topic about the costume soon.
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