For my 30th Birthday I decided to have a D-Themed costume party, my girlfriend Kylie and I decided that we would go as Daft Punk. The costumes were quite involved to make, but we had lots of fun and they looked great!
We used a lot of resources from the internet, including a great article on how to stitch EL wire into clothes that I found here: http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-add-EL-wire-to-a-coat-or-other-garment/.
I also learned a lot about prototyping boards (particularly the Arduino, and its clone the Seeeduino) and really enjoyed tinkering around with LED Arrays, learning the difference between common cathode and common anode, figuring out how breadboards work, and just generally collecting heaps of post at work from various electronics and EL wire companies.
Here’s a few videos showing the final result, so you can decide whether you want to bother reading any further:
Step 1: Ingredients
Before you start, I’d recommend finding a talented, amazing girlfriend who can sew 100m of fishing wire and 75m of EL wire into two outfits and have the result look just like the Daft Punk originals. You can’t have mine though.
1. Two Pairs of Jeans.
2. Two Jackets.
3. One Black Fabric Dye Pack.
4. 65m of EL Wire, cut to different lengths and pre-soldered to order.
5. Four KL10 Power Packs for the EL Wire.
6. Four 1.5m EL Wire Extension Wires.
7. Four 1-3 EL Wire Splitters.
8. 100m of Fishing Wire.
9. Two Blunt Sewing Needles.
10. One Box of Plasters.
11. Four 9v (PP3) Batteries.
1. Two Black Box WIred Motorcycle Helmets.
2. Two Black Visors (not street legal in the UK).
3. Two 5m Lengths of EL Wire, pre-soldered to order.
4. Two KH4 Battery Packs for the EL Wire.
5. Two Seeeduino (Arduino clone) Prototype Boards.
6. Two Max7221 LED Control Chips.
7. Two Breadboards.
8. Two 8×8 RGB Common Anode (Cathode would have been better) LED Arrays.
9. Two Handfuls of Jumper Wires.
10. Four AA Batteries.
I will upload the code I wrote for the Arduino that controls the LED array so you can use that too if you like. Even if you want to change the display it’s probably easier to start with something that works already.
Step 2: Suppliers
We were lucky that the suppliers we used were great, we ordered everything on-line and turned up in good time and good order.
Note, all the suppliers are UK based, which is great for me living in London, but might not be quite what you’re looking for. They may deliver internationally, but if not I’m sure you can find something that delivers to wherever you are.
EL Wire and Accessories
For EL Wire, extensions, splitters and battery packs we used Surelight http://www.surelight.com/. They’re a friendly bunch based up north somewhere. Sheffield I think.
Surelight sell EL wire either by the metre, or in pre-cut and soldered lengths, which is fantastic if you don’t feel confident cutting and soldering your own wire. (We didn’t).
All the wire we bought was their Super Bright range (2.5mm) in Red (obviously..) and was very high quality. Also they delivered very quickly, within two days from memory.
In pre-cut EL wire lenghts we bought:
4 x 10m (Trousers and Chests, used all of it)
2 x 5m (Helmets, used all of it)
4 x 3m (Sleeves, used 3, one spare)
4 x 1.5m (Gloves, didn’t end up using them in the end, maybe we’ll wire them up for Glastonbury).
For more detail: How To Make Two Daft Punk Outfits with Helmets using Arduino