MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
For some months now I have really wanted to get myself a pair of glowy and fancy LED poi. At first I was going for the pretty expensive but as I hear, extreamly good Aerotechs. But, just recently I started dabbling into the wonders of technology. I've always been kinda interested, but to slow a learner to fully grasp everything, basically that means I'm gonna need alot of help with this.

The conclusion of the topic however, I started designing my own.

Ive still only made concept sketches, based upon what I know and how I think they would work. Now I will explain my design, later on, when I get my scanner running I have some rough concept sketches I can show of the Cyberlights.

There are a few ideas to my approach which I find new, and pretty interesting.

1, The batteries will not be in the head of the poi, nor along the rope/chain or the poi. The batteries (and possibly also the programmable chip will be on the inside of the hand.

2, The cables from the power source/data for the Leds will probably go down between the small gap of the two fingers you hold your poi with.

This way, even if you would make an hard impact with the poi, the batteries wil most likely stay within your pawn. And hopefully it will be a very easy thing to wear... Almost like a glove (actually, mostly similar to some kind of wrap ping around the hand).

Also, the chip will hopefully not be easily damaged. One of the big problems is protecting the Leds... Another problem I feel I will face is how to connect several leds along the poi...

Now for the fun part... Criticicm, ideas, suggestions ??
What are the most recent buzz on what kinda batteries to buy and what hardware to get... Times change, so I want to feel up to date =).

Thanks in advance.

ImbalanceGOLD Member
not different, just not the same
263 posts
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA


Posted:
Congrats on starting a major project, and good luck!

While I'm not exactly an electrical engineer nor likely to build my own LED poi anytime soon, i do have a few ideas/comments for you about your design plan.

I too have been saying for some time that putting the batteries in the hand end of the poi would be a good idea, both for weight resons (for those who prefer lighter poi) and for easy changing (nothing to pull out, unscrew, remove, pull apart etc). Also this would cut down on the whole battery cover coming off or device shutting off from impact problem that so many glow toys have. So the idea is a good one and make sense from many points of view.

However I think you will find that there may be other problems with this design.

First, the chip will still have to be in the head of the poi. ESPECIALLY if you are going to have multiple LEDs, otherwise you'll have a billion wires running up the length of the chain/cord (think, 2 contact points per LED times the number of LEDs...). But this shouldn't really be a big deal, with a proper housing and good soldering you shouldn't have to worry overly much about the chip moving/coming loose etc.

The next issue would be length. MANY MANY spinners prefer MANY MANY different lengths. Electrical wire is not stretchy, nor can you simply add or subtract from it easily (like a chain) by removing/adding bits. So once the poi are made, they are staying the length they are. Thus you will have to make many different lengths.

Also, I rather doubt the wires from battery to head will hold up well after a good session of hyperlooping/tangling. I can imagine the shorts and wire breaks that would happen so often. A possible solution to this is to do some really good twisted/shielded/encased wires, but then this will take away from flexibility of the poi cords.

Another thing to think about is how will you encase the wires? put em through a tube? run em down a chain? a string? put em inside socks? and so on.

Sorry this all sounds negative, I am not bashing your ideas at all and, as I said, have also had the batteries in the hand idea. I simply wanted to give you some counterpoints to think about, design flaws that you can look for some ways around.

I think if you can overcome the wire breaking/shorting issues and somehow make them adjustable lengths (even by wrapping around hand like sock poi) you could have some killer Glow Poi.

Another thing you could add to them, if desired, is lights in the middle of the cord. Since you would have the powerpack in your hand there should be no problem having led up/down the length of the string/cord/chain. This would make for some cool visuals, also this would make it pretty easy to implement an attachment system. For instance you could have little LED encasements with some form of threaded end or a quicklink or something or other that you could attach inline down the poi chain, thus allowing you to pass the power through the attachments and be able to remove pieces to lengthen/shorten the chain. Don't know exactly how you'd get this to work, but it should be feasable to do. I'd love some poi that glowed all the way (or most) down to my hand. And flowers like that would look awsome!

So good luck!

I once learned every move that there was,
Every style, Every technique.
Then I woke up, and forgot it all,
So now I struggle to dream.


squarefishSILVER Member
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
403 posts
Location: the state of flux, Ireland


Posted:
tried the batery in hand idea for a modified stobe-fx poi design,
looks very nice but very rapidly led to wire breakage near handle.

Solved problem by using a "anti-tangle" connector for a telephone handset cable, essentialy this is a swiveling type electrical connector, serves same purpose as swivel on fire poi, preventing twisting of cord/wire/chain.

I would recommend that you follow your own plans and only ask for solutions to specific tech problems, I find this helps me to avoid going down paths already traveled by others, and helps me come up with new and often bonkers crazy ideas.

hope this helps,
keep us posted

MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
 Written by: squarefish


very rapidly led to wire breakage near handle.

Solved problem by using a "anti-tangle" connector for a telephone handset cable, essentialy this is a swiveling type electrical connector, serves same purpose as swivel on fire poi, preventing twisting of cord/wire/chain.




Sounds interesting, don't worry I will ask about specific problems for sure. In the beginning I just want some initial first phase criticism. This sounds fairly nice in itself, but I have an idea that I think would work similarily....

 Written by: Imbalance


I too have been saying for some time that putting the batteries in the hand end of the poi would be a good idea, both for weight resons (for those who prefer lighter poi) and for easy changing (nothing to pull out, unscrew, remove, pull apart etc). Also this would cut down on the whole battery cover coming off or device shutting off from impact problem that so many glow toys have. So the idea is a good one and make sense from many points of view.




I thought it made much sense aswell. One of the potential problems I thought about this morning is wrapping around hand would make the poi, surprisingly smaller and would maybe be difficult to grasp around the chain or whatever I would use.

 Written by: Imbalance


First, the chip will still have to be in the head of the poi. ESPECIALLY if you are going to have multiple LEDs, otherwise you'll have a billion wires running up the length of the chain/cord (think, 2 contact points per LED times the number of LEDs...). But this shouldn't really be a big deal, with a proper housing and good soldering you shouldn't have to worry overly much about the chip moving/coming loose etc.




I completely agree, unless one could design a wireless LED poi.. hehe.

 Written by: Imbalance


The next issue would be length. MANY MANY spinners prefer MANY MANY different lengths. Electrical wire is not stretchy, nor can you simply add or subtract from it easily (like a chain) by removing/adding bits. So once the poi are made, they are staying the length they are. Thus you will have to make many different lengths.




Well. to counter this idea... I was thinking about each LED part woudl be a "hub" where the wires could connect endlessly, with the help of some kind of electrical outlet/inlet design. But ofcourse this would add sigificantly to the risk of something unconnecting. Unless these are made with security in mind.

 Written by: Imbalance


Also, I rather doubt the wires from battery to head will hold up well after a good session of hyperlooping/tangling. I can imagine the shorts and wire breaks that would happen so often. A possible solution to this is to do some really good twisted/shielded/encased wires, but then this will take away from flexibility of the poi cords.




Guess this might be something I need to live with. I will need to come up with a good protection... Unless I can find some flexible cables. I asked my dad, he's somewhat into similar stuff, and he said that there's some kind of wire that's pretty stretchy, but he was sceptic if it would work at all...

 Written by: Imbalance


Another thing to think about is how will you encase the wires? put em through a tube? run em down a chain? a string? put em inside socks? and so on.




A tube becomes pretty restricting, a string has high flexability but is also more easily breakable. And chains are difficult to tangle... But in the end, I think I will go with the chains for my first time around. I don't like to tangle alot when I do poi anyways.

 Written by: Imbalance


Sorry this all sounds negative, I am not bashing your ideas at all and, as I said, have also had the batteries in the hand idea. I simply wanted to give you some counterpoints to think about, design flaws that you can look for some ways around.




I'm used to criticism, and especially when I ask for it. You've been a great help so far... Thank you!

 Written by: Imbalance


I think if you can overcome the wire breaking/shorting issues and somehow make them adjustable lengths (even by wrapping around hand like sock poi) you could have some killer Glow Poi.




I think so as well. And I'm sure there's a way to archive this, wether it's within my grasp yet, is still be to uncovered. Most likely not, but I need to start somewhere.

 Written by: Imbalance


Another thing you could add to them, if desired, is lights in the middle of the cord. Since you would have the powerpack in your hand there should be no problem having led up/down the length of the string/cord/chain. This would make for some cool visuals, also this would make it pretty easy to implement an attachment system. For instance you could have little LED encasements with some form of threaded end or a quicklink or something or other that you could attach inline down the poi chain, thus allowing you to pass the power through the attachments and be able to remove pieces to lengthen/shorten the chain. Don't know exactly how you'd get this to work, but it should be feasable to do. I'd love some poi that glowed all the way (or most) down to my hand. And flowers like that would look awsome!

So good luck!




Finally, yes this would loook really cool. I completely agree. If I do follow up on the "hub" based socket connect idea from above. It should be possible to have a very moddable poi. As even chains can be added or subtracted.

Thanks again!

anonomatosGOLD Member
enthusiast
389 posts
Location: Utrecht [NL], Netherlands


Posted:
I don't have much time to comment, but take a look at:
https://polar-lights.org.uk/
(Polarity's project)
or:
https://projectarclight.blogspot.com
(my own, but not much tech-info though)

Good luck designing and constructing!!

"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"


MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
Yeah, been reading up on that the latest weeks. Some damn valuable information, even for a newbie at making LED poi as I am =).

Did you come up with a good way, to make the cables twists and stretch if needed?

anonomatosGOLD Member
enthusiast
389 posts
Location: Utrecht [NL], Netherlands


Posted:
Use multi-core wiring. This stuff is impossible to twist and break, but you can't stretch it! (Wire it around a rope or something so it doesn't stretch much.) Never use single/solid-core wiring when making a 'twistable' design!



Secondly: use glue gun to secure the connections (once everything is on it's place).

Thirdly: use 2 Component Epoxy... I've fallen in love with this stuff. They sell Bison Permanent Repair here in the netherlands and it works awesome. You can even fix holes in boats! WHOAH!



Yeah, I'm fond of a secure design... otherwise I wouldn't have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars and hours developing unbreakable staffs (they are now far more secure than my poi :-( )



^_^



You are making programmable poi btw? Or simpler ones?

"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"


MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
*takes deep breath*...

I'm going to be taking so much water over my head with this but yes... I definietly want it programmable. And honestly, I don't believe in starting out with simple stuff from the beginning.

Especially if it's something that can be learned throughout the process... The path towards something will be more rewarding and more exciting!

So yea.. programmable it is!.. Speaking of which... I'm having a bit of trouble choosing a suitable PIC... I know a place here in sweden who sells the stuff... I would need professional advice tho.. Whilist I could not find the one that seems most popualr around here.

(IN swedish... kretsar = circuits, utgende = output, serien = series, rest should be obvious)

PIC-kretsar
Utgende PIC-kretsar
PIC10F20x
PIC12C50X-serien
PIC12CE519
PIC12C/CE67x-serien
PIC12F629/675
PIC16C5X-serien
PIC16C505
PIC16C67
PIC16C7XX-serien
PIC16C745
PIC16F74
PIC16F628
PIC16F676
PIC16F8X-serien
PIC16F87X-serien
PIC14000-serien
PIC17C4X-serien
PIC18FXX2-serien
PIC18FXX8-serien
PIC18F1220/1320
PIC18F2220/2320
PIC18F4320
PIC18F4550
PIC utvecklingskort
ISP-PRO
PICSTART Plus
PICkit 2 Starter Kit
PICkit FLASH Starter Kit
PICDEM USB
PICDEM-3
MPLAB ICD 2 (In-Circuit Debugger/Programmer)
MPLAB ICE2000 (In-Circuit Emulator)
MBasic Basickompilator

found on www.elfa.se/

And thanks for the advice.. I will definietly look it up.. It sounds like the right way to go!. Thank you so much!

anonomatosGOLD Member
enthusiast
389 posts
Location: Utrecht [NL], Netherlands


Posted:
Hyperlight and I think Polarity too started both with something like a 16F88 controller. Problem is: they need external components (Crystal and caps), and it makes it more complicated than is necessary at the moment!

Try something like a 16f627(a)/16f628(a)/16f648(a). I'm using a 16F648a MicroChip controller and it offers enough speed and definately enough memory (I'm using it for my staffs and is fast enough for fast strobing and PWM'ing).

Secondly, you need a PIC-programmer. I only have and used a Velleman 8048 kit and it works fine for me. (I bought a second programmer once but I couldn't get it to work!) If you want any info on this subject, contact someone else...

I hope this is of any help, good luck!

"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"


*HyperLightBRONZE Member
old hand
1,174 posts
Location: Great Malvern [UK]


Posted:
I'm always keen to hear about other glow toys being developed... competition makes life interesting smile

Polarity's toys have wires that run up to the handle (he has switches to change programs). I personally think you're going to have difficulty making them reliable using that design - I know polarity has had problems with that, although I think he's mostly got it sorted.

I started with a PIC18F1320 as it's pretty powerful so you don't need to be very good at writing assembly language. You'll be suprised how quickly you pick it up though wink

The first PIC programmer I got was one made by Olimex (have a look on ebay). They're very cheap and will prgram a few different PICs... certainly enough to get started.

I look forward to see what you come up with! Have fun biggrin

Cake or Death?


MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
Where can I find a good supplier of multi-core wires ??. Ok, I feel really newbish now... 1st, im swedish so excuse me for that =). Is it only a technique how to handle the wires ?.

anonomatosGOLD Member
enthusiast
389 posts
Location: Utrecht [NL], Netherlands


Posted:
Go to a electronics/hardware store and ask for wires. When you bend them and they stay bended they aren't good, when they flex back they're ok.

"Dont know how long, this ones gonna take;
I could fail, but Id rather be a fuckup, than a fake"


Brian:-)BRONZE Member
stranger
37 posts
Location: London, United Kingdom


Posted:
Mireneye,
I would recommend that you start off by buying the Microchip PICkit 2 Starter Kit. It is a good programmer, is USB connected and powered, and is cheep. (Don't buy it from Microchip as their minimum charge and delivery costs are rather spitefull. I got mine from Farnell and they have a Swedish website. The 12 (I think.) lessons that come with it will work you through all of the commands. By the time you are half way through you can start writing your own code. My next recommendation would be to sign up on Microchips web site. You are then eligible for free samples. Up to 4 types of pic and 3 of each type twice every 40 days. All delivered free of charge! This rather takes the effort out of choosing the right chip. It also saves you from having to pad out orders to get to the minimum order charge. The kit comes with a 16f690 chip which is quite a high specification. I find that even a very basic 12f509 is adequate for some impressive programs. Good luck.

Brian.

*HyperLightBRONZE Member
old hand
1,174 posts
Location: Great Malvern [UK]


Posted:
Bit of a blast from the past, but did anything come of this? Mireneye, did you give it a go in the end?

Cake or Death?


MireneyeSILVER Member
enthusiast
276 posts
Location: Sweden


Posted:
Well, I started talking to people about it. Started knowing roughly what I was going to need. However like many of my projects I start off this huge rant about things only to fall short on my own knowledge. I mean like "how hard can it be?" + It was something I was planning as a project during summer. That summer was over before it even started it feels like.

I still would really want to try some things out. It would be really cool to try to make a pair. If nothing else, it would be a great learning experiance. We will see how much time I have this upcoming summer. However I highly doubt i'd ever even be close to hyperlight-standard. I would just do it for my self-educational purpuse =) ubblol

Thanks for the concern =)

HOP Newsletter
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more...