Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flight Suit V3

The next version of the LED Flight Suit marches forward with WM, lots of headway on key components:
  • Three 16-channel, 12-bit pwm PCA9685 chips will operate MOSFET's to switch 48 LED strips.
  • Small sot23 smd MOSFETs (or these); the old ones (P16NF06's) were too overkill, too big. Overkill is still good but there's some math this time.
  • RC batteries for more power: peak 14.8V and 12A no problem, but will be <500mA most of the time.
  • Thinner, lighter LED strips with 120 LED's/m.
  • Arm-based remote control with a 1.3" OLED screen, dials/buttons/sliders/TBD.
    • The remote control will hopefully be a second Arduino-based system, a serial peripheral to the main suit system.
  • Multi-band audio analysis with MSGEQ7 or a separate Arduino FFT.
Most importantly WM is coding Arduino!  He already built a complete mode-switching, parameter-adjusting system with a figure diagram on-screen!  

We'll make the suits themselves-- the displays with LED strips-- when we have a working circuit and software: we don't know where everything's going yet.  So for a demo display I'm making a circuit board showing all 48 PCA9685 outputs on LED bars-- old school.  Here's the one I'm scrapping-- got too much rework:

and here's an MSGEQ7's output, from iphone audio, of seven values on a Sure Electronics 24x16 panel:

That display will also help when debugging and building the system.


  1. looks cool..nice project..i liked the graphic on the waves part..looks like an oscillator.. ^_^

    larger led display, more resolution..great start..

  2. Hi Jeff,
    I saw you done a lot of projects.
    Why you don't use pcDuino to do a projects?

    1. pcDuino would be overkill for my projects: ATmega328 and ATmega32u4 work great for me. It's easy (and cheap) to use different *duino form factors, including custom controller boards.

  3. Hello, i'm going to experement with The PCA9685 too. Would it be possible to share your Hardware-Layout and Arduino code with us?

    I'm not sure how to control several of them, because in the Adafruit Lib the PCA is declared only in the setup range and not in the sketch itself => i hope i can see how you solved the Problem.


  4. You got some really cool DIY projects buddy. You should do some tutorial stuff so beginners can learn a thing or two from you.

  5. Really cool! Arduino is becoming more and more powerful. Keep it up

  6. I'm also working on my own light suit Arduino --> 74hc595 shift regs --> mosfet (FQP30N06L) --> 12v RGB LED strips sewn down each pant's legs on both inside and outside seam. I'm planning on using one or more ADXL345 triple axis accelerometers to detect movement and light LEDs as the wearer moves/dances. Future plans include a jacket/shirt and hat.

    I'm thinking about making some DIY PCB boards for the shift reg/mosfets using the SMD versions and as not to have to drill so many holes. A 852d+ SMD hot air rework station is on my wish list.

    1. Anything on this project? Sounds super cool!!

    2. Anything on this project? Sounds super cool!!

  7. Nice blog with lots of projects!