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Flute Gloves Multiple Revisions by ObscureStar Flute Gloves Multiple Revisions by ObscureStar
The evolution of my flute/dance gloves.

1) My first design. This one uses 12V LED strips. One color for all the LEDs, 3 LED per finger. Not particularly efficient. I was using big TIP-120 transistors to switch the LEDs off the 12V power (supplied by a heavy UPS battery in a pack on my hip. It had a power line running up under my shirt and down my sleeve to the left glove and then a data/power line up the sleeve, across the back, and down to the second glove. Really clumsy and awkward and made me look like a suicide bomber. The wiring of the fingers is particularly clumsy. I put the strips in series, running 4-pin wire back to the base of each finger then over to the next. I could have run them in parallel. There's also no PCB. Parts are just soldered to wire and covered in insulating tape. Not a great plan given the potential amps of the battery. Luckily I never BBQd myself.

2) A 5V design using WS2812B LEDs, one per finger. Each LED is individually addressable. This one was built as a prototype to test the 5V system and experiment with moving the mic around. Ultimately this mic position wasn't better acoustically and introduced a new raised feature that was easy to snag on things. It wasn't designed for a second glove to connect with it.

3) Prototype wireless design. Incorporates a 6-axis sensor pack for more dance-related features. Also experimented with moving the mic to an umbilical. Ultimately, decided that I preferred the 3LED per finger of the older design, the umbilical (attached to a piece of armature wire) also ended up feeling pretty awkward. This design is ridiculous. A single arduino chip was now being used to do peak-to-peak waveform analysis off the mic, detect shake and movement off 6-axis, generate the lighting based on those inputs, drive the LED chains, message the other glove over wireless, AND manage the UI (the rotary encoder/momentary switch combo ) Settings on the UI were a great memory game. The button has Click, Double-click, long-click, and very-long-click to activate different states, the rotary encoder to move through available configurations (including the listening range depending on which flute I'm using, max brightness of the LEDs, etc. It even has a flashlight!)

4 (in progress): Improved wireless design. Left and Right hands. Major change is that the UI has been moved to a dedicated UI unit. (Still under design) The switch on 4 selects between master (controlling the other components) and slave (listening to the UI board) as checking the switch status every frame is much cheaper than checking the wifi board every frame. Power couplers have been switched to a standard barrel style for easy quick disconnection. The actual power unit now looks much more like a set of wrist weights but with AA batteries, 6 per unit. I need to pick up some 4-pin nomex connectors to add to the blank spaces on these boards. The LED display unit has been moved to a separate board, giving me more display options. (fingers or arm fets or both) LED unit is still passive which means the UI unit must set the length of the array which is a bit clumsy but reduces complexity on the left hand which is already heavily loaded.

6) Ankle units. These guys are simple. They receive wireless data, output light. The LEDs are WS2812b controlled LEDs in a different form.

Hoping to get through designing the UI unit tonight and pick up the remaining connectors I need as well as the cloth to sew the rest of the costume tomorrow.
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Submitted on
January 6, 2017
Image Size
1.1 MB


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