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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Adventures In Magnet Wire! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tap Roniart
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There was a request a while back for a 'between the hands' light, one that would glow in a way that didn't scream incandescent, LED, etc.

I thought this was a great project to demonstrate, like a proof of concept, just how "invisible" wires carrying electricity (just 3vdc) could be. Initially, I briefly thought about a single 3mm white (leave RGBs for later!) LED, which run at about 3v and 20ma each. But one light-even if 'throbbing' or strobing, would be a weak restriction, me thinks...

I already have some conductive thread, which is just 10ohms/ft, which would even satisfy the 20ohm current limiting these particular LEDs need. Rather than shrink the files down (you NEED the resolution to see the wire!), I simply shared them publicly on GDrive. The URL for the whole folder is:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0......=sharing

That folder has the following files in it:

20171015_205724.jpg - This is a wide shot of the test rig, showing 23.6ma through 2 LED (on the breadboard) in parallel. Note the conductive thread in the little ziplock, and how thick it is. The whole rig is powered by that blue 18650, which at the time was 3.72v, with a 30ohm resistor on the breadboard for current.

20171015_205821.jpg - A close-up of the 2 wires-no contest! The magnet wire is a lot less noticeable, but more fragile. The thread is not insulated, but you can really tug on it without breaking.

20171015_205851.jpg - The 2x3mm white (diffused) LEDs with the main light out, and the little table light on the right on. Subsequent shots have that turned off.

20171015_205951.jpg - A thin piece of shipping foam in front of the LEDs in total darkness. In a presentation, the foam (if any) would be cut down & hot glued to be as small as possible to cover the LEDs. This really generates seemingly more light than the bare LEDs. A little smoke/fog and... Smile

20171015_210042.jpg - In darkness, no diffusing (foam)

20171015_210130.jpg - Trying to give you an idea of just how small we're talking about! The cutting board is inches, and the chip ruler is both. This is 0.1mm thickness, with enamel insulation. I don't have any black wire like this yet.

20171015_210152.jpg - a close shot of the 2x3mm LEDs at full brightness. They will be lit on assembly by 2 independent channels, so they can flicker, fade, strobe, whatever independently or in sync. I can already see I'll need to experiment with how to arrange the LEDs when soldering so they are tight, yet give full/good coverage in a performance.

20171015_210218.jpg - an LED, with the wire in the shot. I can't imagine a human hair being smaller than this...

The first PoC will have 2 channels (A & B), so that is 2 wires from one end, and a single ground wire out the other. I'll use the trusty workhorse, the Atmel ATTiny85 with a few interrupts on the spare pins, leading to a momentary switch or 2 (no radio yet) to allow on/off and program selection-one for each.

Already I'm seeing the downside of invisibility-fragility. you just can't yank on these thin wires. The thread? Yes-BUT it sacrifices stealth _and_ it is unshielded which, for it's size, is a loss in design efficiency over other approaches.

I can see merits in each, and will have to keep stepping up the diameter of the magnet wire (to decrease fragility), but this also adds stiffness, and the LEDs are super lightweight.

Anyway, just an initial post for feedback, discussion, ridicule! Smile
Tap Roniart

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Dan C
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Thank you for sharing this is a great concept.
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