Small electronics on a costume

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
I am trying to create a costume that looks as though it actually has functioning parts on it. I am struggling to find how to power such things as a Pc cooling tank, fan or other small item while I wear them.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,401
Practically, you are limited to batteries for power supply. Then, your devices are limited to the battery voltage. IF you want to wear it active for very long you are also limited to the mAh capacity of the battery. Design from there... PC cooling fans are typically 12V so unless you can lug a 12V battery around... So, design from the battery out...

And Welcome to AAC!
 

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
Practically, you are limited to batteries for power supply. Then, your devices are limited to the battery voltage. IF you want to wear it active for very long you are also limited to the mAh capacity of the battery. Design from there... PC cooling fans are typically 12V so unless you can lug a 12V battery around... So, design from the battery out...

And Welcome to AAC!
Thanks. It seems so obvious when I say it out loud. Whatever voltage is needed, just find a battery that matches it and go from there.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,401
No, think of your battery as your checking account balance. You can't use more power (time) than the battery can provide. Start from the battery!
 

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
Right. I don't intend to use for long. Just enough time for a quick video and a few pictures. If the fan and cooling tank pump both take 12v, then 2 12v lithium ion battery packs should work, right?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
I am struggling to find how to power such things as a Pc cooling tank, fan or other small item while I wear them.
Use a battery and don't pick things that require significant current - like a fan. It's just for looks, so go for low power things to reduce battery drain.
 

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
Use a battery and don't pick things that require significant current - like a fan. It's just for looks, so go for low power things to reduce battery drain.
Most people seem to just go with LEDs. I wanted to go for something extra, but I am considering just using some lights instead. Almost anything else I found takes way too much current.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
12,871
I wanted to go for something extra, but I am considering just using some lights instead. Almost anything else I found takes way too much current.
Wise choice. A fan operating at speed could present safety issues. You could have some non-functional items.
 

Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,788
There are small DC motors that can preform many tasks- All Electronics, Cat# DCM-498, 3.7V gear reduced with propeller, Electronic Goldmine, 1.5 - 9V, small gearhead motor, dual shaft, 60 RPM @ 60 mA, could add flag waving, spinning disc, etc. , vibrator motors, LED's in action.
There is a recent ref. to the dual shaft motor in the Chat catagory. Found- Home Project, helencferry, 5-13-2021, Post # 4.
 
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Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
I am trying to create a costume that looks as though it actually has functioning parts on it. I am struggling to find how to power such things as a Pc cooling tank, fan or other small item while I wear them.
To be specific, the visual I am going for is an arm mounted laser. The effect I want to achieve is the illusion of a small motor or engine powering it up before it blasts a bright light or beam out of the barrel. If I can pull if off, I would also like to replicate exposed sections of skin where there would be thin tubing, glowing from internal LEDs.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,424
Or if it doesn't really need to be powered by a battery, you could have an power supply out of the picture and run the cable so it doesn't show up in the picture. Then your power and time limits would be pretty high.
 

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
Or if it doesn't really need to be powered by a battery, you could have an power supply out of the picture and run the cable so it doesn't show up in the picture. Then your power and time limits would be pretty high.
That's a good idea. Given that the character is a human with roughly-crafted cybernetic parts, a small amount of exposed wires might actually add to the effect.
 

Thread Starter

Jtron1980

Joined May 22, 2021
7
That's a good idea. Given that the character is a human with roughly-crafted cybernetic parts, a small amount of exposed wires might actually add to the effect.
Do you know if I can cut an EL panel as long as I reseal the cut portion? I know it is not recommended, but is it possible to reseal it to prolong its longevity?
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
1,768
I am trying to create a costume that looks as though it actually has functioning parts on it. I am struggling to find how to power such things as a Pc cooling tank, fan or other small item while I wear them.
Think of the voltage as pressure, and the current as quantity. Batteries are rated in terms of quantity over time- that's what mAh means (or Ah). It means it can deliver that amount of current as a cumulative total of 1 hour- NOT that it can produce that much current constantly for an hour. And usually they deliver that ampacity at lower than peak voltage for the longest amount of time.

If you really want this to work, you should think about making a utility-belt of NiCads or some other rechargeable battery. That distributes the weight, while giving you the ampacity. After that, it's a matter of series and parallel configs and/or boost/buck regulator(s) to set voltages where you want them based on components.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,966
I have a few fans laying around out of computers that don't have three or four wires. They run on lower voltages. Run slower, but still run. And they're small. The whole idea concerns me for its weight, what with the batteries and components. Simple is better in my opinion. A small computer fan running on 6 volts - that's a lot lighter than a 12 volt battery. Options are out there. Experiment.

Cyborg costume?
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,321
Do you know if I can cut an EL panel as long as I reseal the cut portion? I know it is not recommended, but is it possible to reseal it to prolong its longevity?
The simplest trick I know to leave the panel intact, is to apply dark/black material so the uncovered material forms the image you need.
 
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