Experiments in wearable electronic art.

Trench progress

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First 154

Grid for placement of first 154 LEDs

Right now I’m working on the trench coat from multiple angles:

  1. I’ve started mapping out the exact LED locations on the trench
  2. I’m trying to figure out how to power it
  3. I’m modifying the animation software to have all the animations in a single file

On (1), you can see in the picture the locations of the first 154 LEDs. The trench lays pretty flat, which really helps. What doesn’t help is that it is a huge trenchcoat designed for a huge woman, so it has boob-room and belly-room built into its shape. So far that hasn’t caused too much problem, but does make the measurements more challenging.

On (2), I’m still holding out hope that this year I can use manufactured backup batteries to power the suit, instead of wiring together LiPos myself like I did in previous years. I tested one battery backup unit and found it wanting. I need a ton of current on tap for this thing, and backup batteries that can deliver 2A are not gonna cut it. I have a line on a battery that can deliver as much as 4.5A – we’ll see how that tests out.

In the course of those tests I determined that my new LEDs can each draw 52.5mA at maximum brightness. That means at full brightness my suit would draw around 53A at 5V, or 265W. That’s a ton of power. I definitely do not intend to ever run the suit at full power – it would just blind nearby people anyway. Plus, the average current is much lower since most animations don’t have pure white in them.

And on (3), I’ve finished defining the new file format and I hand-created a sample file in Excel. Now I’m modifying Animaker to emit the new format, and making the UI changes that go along with that.

As I add to my LED placement grid I’ll post more pictures and keep a cumulative count.

Author: regenesis

Seattle New Media artist.

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