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Forums > Technical Discussion > Trawling the net for cheap led poi/sticks

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Melemel


Melemel

member
Location: South-west,UK

Total posts: 114
Posted:I am on an LED poi MISSION at the moment. Its getting obsessive. Ive found a supplier for 'streetlights' in the UK (tho you have to order in quantity) Ive used these before - very bright, very good... but the things are so brittle! Has anyone had any luck with protecting them or turning them into proper glow poi? Also come across http://www.biglix.co.uk/
- 7" flashing light sticks. Also really cheap, but wondered if anyone had tried these as poi. Most of these cheap led toys are cool but dont withstand impact..
Hmmm, anyway, if anyone has found anything interesting along these lines - let me know..


Tomorrows World isnt on anymore...Does that mean its tomorrow now?

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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:just wrap them in packaging tape, they'll still shatter, but they'll stay in one peice whist doing sp

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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Melemel


Melemel

member
Location: South-west,UK

Total posts: 114
Posted:Good idea sparkey, and one ive tried. Im thinking more about NOT shattering them at all. Im going to try some sort of plastic tubing round them with some sort of padding to keep the stick held snugly inside. As for the flashing lights sticks - theyre sending me a sample so i will report back!

Tomorrows World isnt on anymore...Does that mean its tomorrow now?

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:try polycarbonate tubing and silicone gel.

Love is the law.

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PoiToi


member


Total posts: 41
Posted:better is clear vinyl tubing (it will flex, not break like the polycarbonate tubing. that's the same stuff that the streetlights are made of.) and silicone gel.

just a word of warning, it willl get heavy.


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Melemel


Melemel

member
Location: South-west,UK

Total posts: 114
Posted:Thanks, yeah - vinyl tubing and silicone gel sounds more like the sort of thing. Any idea where to get this stuff in the UK? I dont even know what silicone gel is. So im guessing you seal the streetlight into the tube with the gel? If so, could you then get it out again to change batteries?

Tomorrows World isnt on anymore...Does that mean its tomorrow now?

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bing!
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

bing!

i beat my inner child
Location: manchester UK

Total posts: 184
Posted:ok this may seem like a totally dumb question but what is a streetlight? im at the moment thinking its a bulb from a lampost on the street. wouldnt u need lots of electricity to light it thus making it dangerous?
hmm
or is it something really simple im jus being stupid?


--the spark what lit the flame which started the fire that burned forever--

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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)


Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA

Total posts: 342
Posted:a thin walled polycarb tube (i.e. electroglow casing) will not shatter anywhere near as easily as streetlights, they are made of thick polycarb molded into a rather poorly designed shape... the thing to remember is thin polycarb will not shatter easily, in cases where other materials will shatter, it will just get a bend mark. i've tried the following with quite good success... tubes of polycarb about the same size as electroglow, with a hole drilled through at top and bottom, with two small metal bars pushed through and cut to size. the top one is also threaded through a swivel which you connect your chains to, and there are endcaps over both ends. there is another small hole cut so that a pen or other object can be inserted to turn on the streetlight. the streetlight is made snug by wrapping it top and bottom with weatherstriping. imagine the structure of an electroglow, but with a rod going through the bottom as well as the top, and a streetlight between them... it works amazingly well.

Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)


Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA

Total posts: 342
Posted:also, a flexible tubing might not be a good idea, as you want something that will not transfer too much force to the streetlight. That implies that is should probably be rigid

Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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Puresock


Puresock

addict
Location: Oxford, UK

Total posts: 406
Posted:Written by: bing!

ok this may seem like a totally dumb question but what is a streetlight? im at the moment thinking its a bulb from a lampost on the street. wouldnt u need lots of electricity to light it thus making it dangerous?
hmm
or is it something really simple im jus being stupid?



http://www.neonhusky.com/JShop/product.php/54/0/
br>
Lookie. All will become clear.


"Take that, math!"

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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)


Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA

Total posts: 342
Posted:made by the company coltronix/coltronics (cant remember spelling)

Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 6554
Posted:Written by: Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

also, a flexible tubing might not be a good idea, as you want something that will not transfer too much force to the streetlight. That implies that is should probably be rigid



Yeah i've been thinking of a similar idea, plugging the ends would be a good suggestion, what's the best way to do this, and what with [to use as plugs and adhesive]?..


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Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)


Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA

Total posts: 342
Posted:buy endcaps, and use glue... preferably of the super variety

Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.

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Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 6554
Posted:ta, yeah i think i'll just go hang around some more hardware stores wink

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AnotherPyro


AnotherPyro

newbie
Location: Sydney

Total posts: 18
Posted:I found some pollycarbonate tube to make a glow staff. It is bulletproof (saw the pics of when they tested it) and costs about $120.00 frown a metre. When I get the staff up and running I'll put up some pics.



How much interest is there for a 5-6 foot long glow staff that lights up like a fluro tube for around $300. The Engineer that is helping me make my one said that if there is enough interest to buy the materials in bulk, he could prob make up a batch and sell them at that price. No profit for his business, just to cover the labour cost of making them.



Except for 100mm at the ends, it will be lit from end to end, including the mid section. And it will be rechargable, giving 4-5 hours continuous full brightness. biggrin


Ahhhh Life.......So many wonderful shades of grey.

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*HyperLight
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]

Total posts: 1174
Posted:Those prices sound suspiciously similar to what Aerotech smile

Cake or Death?

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)

Total posts: 1711
Posted:Check out FLOWTOYS- I borrowed a set from Orbit not so long ago when he was in the UK and they're really nice- basically a modular case structure for both poi and staffs containing streetlights.



Worth a look smile


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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:Tried bubblewrap?

smile


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Adya Miriyana
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 6554
Posted:ubblol UCOF..

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Black Gnosis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Black Gnosis

newbie
Location: Caucasia, the land of gringos,...

Total posts: 27
Posted:Im expirementing making my own LED poi...so far my results have been aweful.....too heavy to swing with the ones i get to work and with the prices of parts involed and the time it takes for me to get everything together , i might as well buy the poi from a site....oh well...my next big project with LED's is use a clear PVC tube and put Led's in it and make a nice staff or put glow sticks in it....i got a great "bolt -in" design that uses streatch cord and a series of knots and claps to keep the sticks from moving

more then likely ill go with glow sticks but id rather go with batteries cause they at least can be recharged....

*sigh* its nothing but a trial and error process, but at leasdt im learning and having fun


Vidi, veni, visa....I came, I saw, I did a little shopping....

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*HyperLight
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]

Total posts: 1174
Posted:Sounds like you're doing *something* wrong there Gnosis.. any pics / desciptions of your creations? I might be able to offer some suggestions smile

Cake or Death?

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AnotherPyro


AnotherPyro

newbie
Location: Sydney

Total posts: 18
Posted:I just followed up a lead and found a place that sells polycarbonate tube @ $95.00/3m length. biggrin The more I shop around the cheaper it gets. I think I'll buy 2 lots and make two 5' staves and a set of doubles.

If anyone has any tips on supliers in sydney (plastics, rubber, LED and electrical) that I may not have thought of yet, help me out coz this project is keeping me up at night.


Ahhhh Life.......So many wonderful shades of grey.

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Black Gnosis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Black Gnosis

newbie
Location: Caucasia, the land of gringos,...

Total posts: 27
Posted:I never said i was smart and i never said i wasnt a fire hazard, i ran everythign into a circute board, soldered in of course, on this board waws the LED and the wire leading to the switch w ith a wirte leading to the battery, the circute is compleat using the 2 pol switch

info about parts used

L.E.D.-Typical MCD is 300. Typical wavelength is 430mm. Size is T-1-3/4 or 5mm. Clear lens color. Viewing angle is 24. 30mA (max). Typical Voltage is 5.0, with a maximum voltage of 6.0V. [pulled off of radio shack.com]
and of course i ran it at max voltage at 6v

this ran to a 4 battery holding device with 9v tips and this was intended for quick switching during performances should i be useing near dead batteries.... with this connection i believe the power going to the led was exactly 6v and with the LED overheating and shutting itself off every couple minutes i never again used it, ill admit i dont fully understand electricity...i wanted originally inteded to use a set of led's but i am unaware of how much of a load that will put for requirements... which considering shouldnt be much, but then again i have little money to blow....there was enough air space for venting
i ran it with two led's at one point while i was testing things out but some jack ass came into my room and threw it out the window shattered my battery box and a led] before i could run power into it, i never bothered with the assembly since, but ill try one i get myself a little shop set up in my apartment...


-----led-----switch-
|______battery__|

if any one can recommend a good book on wiring i will highly appretiate that....at least them i stand a chance not to mess up future rigs....


Vidi, veni, visa....I came, I saw, I did a little shopping....

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*HyperLight
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

*HyperLight

old hand
Location: Great Malvern [UK]

Total posts: 1174
Posted:Google is your friend.. A quick search brought me to this link. Now to answer some questions and point some stuff out...

1) The maximum voltage that you mentioned is the physical maximum of the LED - you shouldn't run it at that voltage. You ought to be running it at 5v. From the sounds of things you may well have been running your LED at almost twice the rated voltage!

2) A little circuit theory. The most important thing here is something called Ohms law, which states

V=IR

V = Voltage
I = Current
R = Resistance

Now imagine the electricity is water. Voltage is like pressure, current is the speed the water is travelling around the circuit, and resistance is juts what it sounds like - the resitance to the flow of water.

Lets start with your battery - a 9v battery to be precise. Imagine it to be a pump - that means there's effectively 9v of pressure in your battery.

Now imagine your LED is a little like a water wheel. If you connect it to the battery, it will dissipate some energy (it will turn). It's designed to turn at a specific rate which is your current - 30mA from your spec above.

Now things get a little more complicated. Imagine that if you just connected a wire (a very big pipe) to your battery, there would be no resistance to the water flow. If that happens, your current (the speed of water) would be really REALLY high as there's nothing to stop it!

If you put an LED in it's place, there's nothing to stop the battery doing the same thing - it will push the poor LED way faster than it should go, and will break it.

What you need is some way to slow the water down to the 30mA we're after. To do this, we'll use a resistor. Imagine the resistor like a really small pipe. If you plug it into our pipeline, and since any water travelling around our little circuit has to go through it, ALL of the water will have to slow down.

Each resistor is a different size (imagine them like different size pipes). If you put a really big resistor (which is effectively a really really small pipe - just to confuse you), the current will be lower. If you put a smaller one in, it'll be higher.

So how do you know how big your resistor should be? It's actually quite easy. Take a look at the LED specs - what it's telling you is that if you limit the current to 30mA, the LED will act like a resistor with a pressure drop of 5v across it. Now we're using a battery (the pump) which is rated at 9v which means we need to take care of the remaining 4v (9v - 5v = 4v). Take a quick look back at Ohm's Law: V=IR ...we know we want 30mA (current ismeasured in Amps so we've got 0.03A), and we know we want 4v. A quick rearrangement of the equation gives R=V/I so R=4v/0.03A. So we want a resistor which is 133Ohms (or close to it).

It's important to note that the resistor absorbs some of the power (measured in Watts) from the pump. When you buy resistors, they will saw how much power they are rated for - typically 0.5W, 0.25W, 0.125W etc.

To calculate power you need P=IV so 0.03A*4v = 0.12W ...so a 0.25W resistor should give you plenty of overhead.

If you don't get any of that, don't be afraid to ask - I only know what I know because I asked lots of people, lots of stupid questions smile


Cake or Death?

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Black Gnosis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Black Gnosis

newbie
Location: Caucasia, the land of gringos,...

Total posts: 27
Posted:Wow i totally understood that, no one sat down and explained the mechanics of electricity like you di to me. my dad just threw numbers and letters at me which i clearly dodged...i figured a resistor might have been a solution but i dont know which type to get, not to mention i wonder what the resistor's heat gonna be like...

i never said i used a 9v to power them, the 9v connector is what i have to switch the battery boxes out quickly, besides the batteries were 4x1.5v....i was running exactly 6v into the thing, i was considering using a variable resistor[a potentiometer] but never got around to doing and finishing this project, mostly because i know my parts and i know how to attach things but i dont undestand them....how ever ill happily learn about how to put these componants to use,

on a more humiliating note, i own a VOM but i dun know how to use it, i just use it to see if the circute will go, and as you can imagin i havent done much wiring, the most i ever done is replace componants withina guitar...i can assemble, not b uild from scratch....which brings me...you knwo where i can find a guide on this stuff other then you? i mean i dont wanna trouble ya too much
and with the granted incoming power being 6v that should be reduced to 5v (5v-6v=1v)
so P=1/0.03a?

how do we determin p? becasue using your info presented 0.03A*1v=.03w?
so in theory would a .25w resistor still be appropreit? , or is there one thats farless resistance?

okay can you explain other parts? ill use your "water" innuendo for what i underrstand about it

the capacitor for example is one that messed with me, i see it as like a little storage tank for this water (uf = ?)
and other then capacitance and shape, whats the difference between a eletrolytic, a ceramic and what a metal film capaciter

a transformer which i still havent the foggiest what it does, but i know its in my guitar stomp boxes and amplifier...maybe magnify wave frequency but i dont understand the q1 q2 q3 thing...

and finally what does a transformer do? i mean i seen them in adapters so im guess it "diverts some water from the flow" i dunno how it works....im like an orc from warhammer 30k, i just wire up things and they seem to work because i think they work....sometimes they dont....maybe after this ill understand better....


Vidi, veni, visa....I came, I saw, I did a little shopping....

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