Student Helmet Project

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by newb1234, May 21, 2016.

  1. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    I am a student and am making a helmet for a class project. I only know basic soldering and am pretty good with computers.

    I would like the helmet to have some cool features like lights and moving parts. More specifically:

    • When you get within 3 feet of the helmet, it turns on EL tape in the left eye and an LED light in the right eye.
    • Two fans in either side of the helmet would turn on
    • Hidden speaker would play one of 3 programmed sentences (I can record the voice).

    The helmet will be hallow and can hold items such as batteries / wires / etc. I would like the battery to last at least a year without being replaced with occasional use.

    Please see attached image to get an idea.

    I don't know enough about electronics to make this happen. Can anyone tell me how I would best set the aforementioned system up? Also, where is the best place to buy the components?

    Thank you in advance for your time.
     
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,771
    1,103
    Welcome to AAC!
    Have you considered how you will detect a person within 3ft of the helmet? PIR? Ultrasonic? Optical? Pressure mat? ......
    How critical is the 3ft value?
    Which sound recorder module will you use?
    Are you set on using fans (they are relatively current-hungry, so will account for a good part of the battery drain)?
    Are you aware EL tape will require a high voltage supply, necessitating a DC-DC converter?
    Is this an Arts, Science, Tech, ..... class project?
     
  3. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    1,425
    363
    As described, this is an intermediate or advanced project.

    I had to chuckle a bit when I saw your illustration with what looked like a single AA battery on the side. I know you said this could have batteries inside though, so no big deal.

    The fans are an interesting element. Are they needed somehow for air flow, a visual motion effect, sound or what? As mentioned by Alec, the answer could have a big effect on energy needs.

    Consider using side glow plastic optical fiber with LEDs instead of electroluminescent wire.

    http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/Sideglow.htm

    Passive infrared (PIR) will probably be the most practical option for sensing.

    For longevity, lithium primary batteries will be a good choice but are somewhat expensive.
     
  4. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    Hi and thank you for the questions... let me address them here:


    Have you considered how you will detect a person within 3ft of the helmet? PIR? Ultrasonic? Optical? Pressure mat? ......
    I don't know the difference between these... but I have seen PIR in my local electronics store, and that's what the guy recommended, so I was going to go with that, but I have no idea what I am doing...

    How critical is the 3ft value?

    Not at all. The helmet will be on display, so id like it to turn on when people walk up to it. It will be in a small hallway. Id like it to not go off prematurely, so I thought 3 ft. would be a good distance, but I am not married to it at all.

    Which sound recorder module will you use?

    I have no idea. I don't know squat about this stuff so was hoping to find some answers to stuff like that here.

    Are you set on using fans (they are relatively current-hungry, so will account for a good part of the battery drain)?
    I am not set on using fans, and thank you for this info, I didn't know that about fans. Id like something to move on the side of the ear though, is there an alternative to a fan you can think of?

    Are you aware EL tape will require a high voltage supply, necessitating a DC-DC converter?
    I did not know that! I am happy to do something else in its place. Do you have any suggestions?

    Is this an Arts, Science, Tech, ..... class project?

    This is a design project, so its art and tech:)

    I hope that helps answer your questions, I am excited to hear your responses! Thanks again for your help.
     
  5. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    Hello KJ6EAD,

    Wow thank you for you input here man, a big help. Let me answer your question:

    The fans are an interesting element. Are they needed somehow for air flow, a visual motion effect, sound or what?
    They are not needed, I just wanted something cool that would move on the side. Do you have any recommendations of something that will be more energy efficient?

    Thanks again for all your other answers, they were a big help... I was wondering if you knew anything about how I should connect / wire all these elements together? Do I need voltage regulation / resistors, etc.? Im not sure how this stuff works...
     
  6. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,771
    1,103
    I'd go with the PIR too.
    If you must have something that moves then an actuator, solenoid or motor will clearly be needed. A small computer fan (which is pretty efficient) might actually be the best option, since the other devices would probably draw more current than a fan. An Arduino or other controller could set a time limit for actuation, to minimise battery drain.
    LEDs behind a coloured diffuser could substitute for the EL tape.
     
  7. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    Awesome thank you a ton for the help Alec... I am looking for specifics on how to set this up... I mean, is it just a matter of connecting all these separate elements to wires? sensor to speaker to fans to LED's? How do speakers / voice projection work? Anyway I appreciate the help. I hope its not to much trouble.
     
  8. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,771
    1,103
    Before you plan how to connect things up you need to do some research to identify a suitable PIR sensor, voice recorder, speaker, amplifier etc and where you can get them at an acceptable price (including shipping). You will also need datasheets for those things so that their voltage/current/pinout spec is known. Happy hunting.
     
  9. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    Awesome, thank you Alec... So I have no idea what I am doing... I dont even know what I am looking for. For example, when you mentioned an "amplifier" I had no idea that would be required. So I was hoping someone on this thread, could answer the quesitons you just posed... In other words:

    1) what do I need?
    2) where can I get it?
    3) how do I hook it all up?

    If you have any recommendations that would be fantastic man! I thank you again for your help and responses.
     
  10. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,771
    1,103
    Well, this is your class project, so you need to do the research ;). Search engines such as Google are your friend. Whether or not you need an amplifier depends on the specification of the sound recorder module you select.
     
  11. newb1234

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 21, 2016
    6
    0
    Yeah oddly enough I googled it and found this forum... go figure.
     
Loading...