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2023/05/17 Party LED Outfit Version 5.5: Flexible P15 LED Strings, LED Fanny Pack, Rez Inspired LED Goggles, LED Laces and LED Shoes
π 2023-05-17 01:01 in Arduino, Clubbing, Electronics
Version 5 was a bit upgrade with my P2 run rPi run RGB Panels for a resolution of 128x192 per side. The oldest part of the outfit at this point were actually the Neopixel strips I've had for about 5 years, and despite being more reliable WS2813B with backup data line, the PCB traces would break and the chips solder points would eventually break too. The amount of time I've spent fixing and replacing LED strips is more than I'm willing to talk about, but there was just no good alternative, until now.
In the past, flexible LED strands with wires between each pixel did not have enough density, maybe one pixel every 5cm, which was not acceptable for my use. And after many years of waiting, a company finally made P15 flexible strands, one LED every 1.5cm, which looks much better and is even a bit more dense than my previous strips that were P16.6.
Here there are: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256804447608449.html . Update, don't buy these, they are shit and broke within hours. See at the bottom

While I was at it, I added a small programmable 16x32 panel to my fanny pack, because why not (the existing fanny packs didn't have sufficient storage, so I ended up decking out mine), and here is the end result:




I have no idea how reliable the strips will be, and unfortunatley they are WS2811 without the backup data path that WS2813 had, but time will tell. I'm bringing it to EDC and we'll see what happens :)
Update: these broke within hours, they were crap.

Version 6.5.1: Ray Wu Strips

Update #1: after the terrible failures of the first strip from the first vendor (the internal wires broke almost instantly), I picked this new one from Ray Wu: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805296356090.html

It ended up being more solid, but the flexing and occasional pulling on the bare strips that were attached with safety pins (I didn't want to glue or sew because it would then be unwashable), eventually caused the strips to fail, although it was more slowly. It worked for 4 festivals in Europe and required some resoldering, but it was not terrible. Still, it wasn't a long term solution either.

Version 6.5.2: Full LED Tubing Protection

So, I tried one more way to do it, this time I put the LED strings inside water tubing of the exact right diameter (fishing them in was a bit tricky), hot glued them on each side, especially the side they are soldered to RC servo connectors which I use for all the electrical wiring.
The next challenge was how to fasten this, and clothes safety pins didn't do the trick, so I used rolls of velcro cut to the right size, and the glue is so good that I was able to glue the velcro strips directly to the fabric. If somehow it won't hold, I'll superglue it. End result looks like this:



This is now going to burning man, I hope it will hold, especially with lots of biking :)


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