Glowy eyes/accessories and Smoke tutorial

Archived Thread
Our site is currently being changed over to the new version. Everything you see is currently in read-only mode. Additionally, the layout and UI will not be complete until all sections have been re-enabled, so please ignore any layout issues (or bland-ness) at this time.
#1 Saeru on 11 years ago

If you accessed this thread from my Anti-Form Sora construction thread, you can return to it by heading [URL="http://cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=112833"]this way![/url]
Go there for info on [URL="http://cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=112833"]Sora's shoes[/url], [URL="http://cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=112871"]Sora's wig[/url], or any other questions you might have.
For pictures of the finished Sora outfit, go [URL="http://members.cosplay.com/costume/89557/"]HERE.[/url]

You'll have to bare with me on this post. ^.^ I'm not entirely certain how much detail I should go into, because I don't want to be too confusing. If there is anyone out there particularily interested in pages of notes and electrical schematics, leave a post and I'll go ahead and stick them in here, but for the most part I think that I can explain what I did with very little Engineering terminology.

So I'll begin!

There were two sets of electronic devices on Sora. One was the eyes, which glowed, and the other was a pair of bracelets in my gloves that smoked. Most of the attendies at Acen2007 who saw me did not get to see the smoke, as I had run out of vapor fluid by the time I was running around in the hallways. For this I appologise. I'll try and get that fixed for the future.

Since the most noticable aspect of the electronics was the eyes, I'll begin with them. ^.^

#2 Saeru on 11 years ago

#3 Saeru on 11 years ago

...without catching on fire.

Making a costume with glowing bits is very exciting, don't get me wrong.
But I'm not the first person to use lighting in cosplay. I DID want to be the first to use smoke.
Well, I'm probably not the first. >.> There are little tricks and devices that I'm sure are out there, but I've not ever seen them. I'd like to see them, if you know of any.
For the purposes of this thread, this is what I have discovered and learned and researched, and am continuing to find out more and more each day. ^.^ This is what I did, to make a costume smoke.

[URL="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/204/504087381_2a93c0b868.jpg"]Smoking Reference[/URL]
Because Anti-Form Sora DOES smoke, and mostly from his hands. Its one of the TOTALLY COOL things about him.
(Don't get me wrong. I really don't like Sora. Perhaps that is why Anti-Form is so appealing...if Sora were to get trapped that way, I would be right pleased.)

But anyhow! Onward to the actual doings-of.

What I started with was this:
[URL="http://www.zerotoys.com/newsite/products.htm"]Zero Toys Products[/URL]
These toys are an immense amount of fun. They used to be sold at a local surplus store not far from where I live, but said store had long since sold out of them. So I went looking and voila! A website! To begin with, I ordered two of their mini zero blasters.
[URL="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/504123957_fe3d8b6383.jpg"]Mini Zero Blasters[/URL]
And promptly dismantled them. There is a tiny schematic there, if you can read it. The concept was wonderfully simple and easy to understand: a 4.5 volt power source delivered enough current through a resistor to warm up said resistor, and thanks to the design of said resistor, fluid could be pumped through it, heated up, and vaporized. Hence why it is called a 'vapor generator.' But the small little generators in the mini blasters didn't quite vaporize enough smoke for me, so I bought the biggest thing I could:
[URL="http://www.zerotoys.com/newsite/products/wizardsticknohead.htm"]The Wizard Stick[/URL]
This stick pumped out vapor like mad.

I was lucky enough to obtain two completely untouched 'Wizard Stick' vapor generators from the wonderful men at Zero toys, and so, with the most difficult task accomplished, I set to work on my own design of a completely enclosed system that would allow me to pump the fluid through without looking obvious.

What I came up with is this:
[URL="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/224/505406469_86ff9a7a35.jpg"]Bracelet Schematic![/URL]

To start out with, I needed a circular frame of the correct diameter to fit into my glove. A small rubbermaid lid ended up being perfect, so I cut it to the correct shape and started drilling holes as per my schematic. I chopped up the top to fit my switch into, and made sure that the holes were alligned to the generator.
[URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensui/504123959/"]Assembling...[/URL]

Using two watercolor tubes, I drilled a hole through the top just big enough for a 1/16th(Inner Diameter) tube to be stuck through. I then glued said tube into the lid, and stuck the other end onto the vapor generator.
[URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensui/504123967/"]Further assembling...[/URL]

I made a small pouch for a 9v battery to fit into, and sewed it onto the actual bracelet. The bracelet itself is made out of two layers: a thick sheet of heat-absorbing mylar, covered in flame-resistant fabric. I wanted to make certain that the generator, which(living up to its name) produced a LOT of heat, didn't get too close to my skin. Many, many more holes were drilled into the edges of the frame so that it could be sewn onto the bracelet, and wires were cut down to be glued in place. Since I didn't have access to a soldering gun (and also since I dislike soldering guns for the same reason I dislike hot-glue guns) I purchased a small tube of 'wire glue,' which is inexpensive and effective at sticking wire connections together.

When all was said and done, it looked a lot like what I had intended:
[URL="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/193/504123973_5333cd997b.jpg"]Finished Bracelet-Side View[/URL]
[URL="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/200/504096838_2945df8ae3.jpg"]Finished Bracelet-Top View[/URL]

There is one setback throughout this process that I would like to note, and that is the battery. For some reason which I am not entirely certain(I must be a pretty pathetic engineer), three 3v lithium batteries in series would not pull enough current to heat up the generator. I would have much prefered to use them, as they took up SIGNIFICANTLY less space in the design, but since they just didn't work, there was nothing I could do.
ANOTHER thing to note, is that the larger vapor generator from the Wizard Stick has a max tolerance of 9v across it and 1A through it (the actual resistance of the generator is very small). This means that if you purchase a GOOD 9v battery(such as energizer or Duracell), you end up with a too-efficient battery that gives TOO much power and blows out the circuit. You have to get a crappy generic 9v battery that is really around 8.7v, if you want to be on the safe side. ^.^

Another thing to note is that the vapor generators are extremely delicate, and break easily, which is why there is a protective frame around them. I have noticed, however, that even after breaking they will continue to function.

To anyone that might try this, I do recommend EXTREME caution, but it is possible, and it is a VERY cool effect. ^.^

#4 Saeru on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Alex Evangelou;1887077]Cool project. Final product looks sweet. I think it actually looks so much better with the mask than it ever would without it, just hides everything so well.

I think I'm one of the few (maybe only?) electrical engineer who will read this so don't worry about the explanations lol.

I'm curious to hear about the smoke now. (Which you are currently writing)[/QUOTE]

I certainly wasn't expecting the first person to post to be an electrical engineer. ^.^ But I'm very glad you approve. The smoke tutorial is now up!

#5 Crazy Flower on 11 years ago

I'm an EE student, I will admit your capacitor explanation made me laugh. (Try putting that into ohm's law!)

I'm really interested in the fog/smoke, because the effect would be awesome!

What about a shoe tutorial with the clown shoes?

#6 Saeru on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Crazy Flower;1887277]I'm an EE student, I will admit your capacitor explanation made me laugh. (Try putting that into ohm's law!)

I'm really interested in the fog/smoke, because the effect would be awesome!

What about a shoe tutorial with the clown shoes?[/QUOTE]

If you click the very topmost link, it takes you to a shoe tutorial. ^.^ I'll make sure to put that in, thanks!

#7 Saeru on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Alex Evangelou;1887714]



Some places that carry them:
[URL="http://www.battlepacks.com"]http://www.battlepacks.com[/URL]
[URL="http://www.bphobbies.com"]http://www.bphobbies.com[/URL]
[URL="http://www.towerhobbies.com"]http://www.towerhobbies.com[/URL]

You might want to look into this as they are rechargable and would be cheaper/easier in the long run but you would need a lithium charger.

Though one other thing to note about lithium batteries is fully charged they have a voltage of about 3.4v so three of them in series would be 10.2v which is probably more than what you wanted for the vaporizer.

Jeeze all that from a question in passing :D[/QUOTE]

No, dude! Thats exactly the explanation that I was looking for. I didn't have nearly enough battery experience to understand why the lithiums weren't functioning, but now that you've explained it, I think I'm going to take a look at adapting those into my circuit. o.o
Many thanks!

#8 Saeru on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Alex Evangelou;1887861]Well in that case I'll add a little more for you :toothy:

You said it pulled about 1 amp at 9 volts, this would mean it's roughly 9 ohms of resistance in the generator. The part that may be a problem is that a standard li-poly is about 3.4-3.2 volts when charged. this will give about 10 volts with three. So it will pull 1.1 amps (10volts/9ohms), now this should just cause it to be a little hotter when running but I'm not sure if it's enough to matter much, probably not.

The way rechargable li-poly's are measured is with two main features: the capacity in amp hours and the current capability. So based on the fact you're drawing 1.1 amps out of it you can go from there. So a 1.1 Ah battery (or more likely written 1100 mAh) will last for one hour when fully charged with you drawing 1.1 amps, makes sense huh? Current capability is measured in C's which is in terms of the capacity of the pack. If you have a 500 mAh pack with a 10C capability it will be able to supply up to 5 amps. Now note that if you were to pull 5 amps from it constantly it would drain from fully charged in 6 minutes (1 hour / 10C).

No clue if you knew any of that already but I figured someone would benifit from it. Feel free to pm me or just post any other questions.[/QUOTE]


I've had a difficult time pegging the ohms on it. My multimeter won't get a good fix since its such a small amount, so it could be anywhere between a few ohms and about 50 ohms. If I could get a good peg, it'd help me solve a lot of problems, but since I can't, its been trial and error estimation. x-x
I can't let it run on more than an amp, because at that point it gets much too hot and starts glowing and sputtering and making all sorts of noises that are generally very scary. But I could probably stick a resistor in series with it if I can snag a low enough one to pull a bit less current, and then the lithium's you suggest would be perfect. ^.^
And yes, that was also VERY helpful. ^.^

#9 Ouroboros_Chan on 11 years ago

This is awesome! Very advanced and detailed...I espically love the smoking one :3

#10 Saeru on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Alex Evangelou;1888116]If you want to calculate the resistance of it you can do so by using your multimeter to read both the voltage the battery and the current draw and use ohm's law to calculate it (V = IR ie. R = V/I). Should give you the proper value even for small resistances because the voltages and currents are large enough to measure accurately. ( Do make sure your voltmeter has a setting for measuring 1 Amp though, most will have a seperate terminal you have to put the probe in for doing large current measurements)

Not sure if you know how to measure current with a voltmeter or not so I'll post it for general reference. You need to place the volt meter in series with the battery and the generator. Basically instead of just having a wire go between the two you will have the voltmeter act as the wire, this way the current goes through the voltmeter so it can be measured.[/QUOTE]


*nods* The issue that I'm having is that when connected in a circuit, the voltage/amperage/ohms(whichever I happen to be measuring) fluctuates. I've been able to tune it to -close- to the value, but it won't let me get as exact as I need for calculating this fine a resistance. However, I'm going to be trying again with it as soon as I get the new batteries. I'll post up how it goes. ^.^

#11 Zabuz on 11 years ago

#12 verdatum on 11 years ago

[QUOTE=Alex Evangelou;1887077]
I think I'm one of the few (maybe only?) electrical engineer who will read this
[/QUOTE]

HA! Because we all know EE nerds HATE stuff like anime and cosplay!!!

Funny though, I always sorta assumed you were chem E or Mech E.

#13 Saeru on 11 years ago

#14 Saeru on 11 years ago

Did you get a hold of what you needed, then? ^.^

#15 FaithInDeidara on 11 years ago

do you think, for say, a rave, and your on a buget, you could cut out posterboard and paint it with glow in the dark nailpolish? (my lil sis broke my other one!!)