Lighting up the Speed Vest

Posted by Erica on Feb 10, 2010 in Electronics, Making |

With the circuit board wired up, the ribbon cable in place, and the electroluminescent wire connected, the Speed Vest was ready for its first end to end test. I used the sample code supplied to have the Arduino run through each of the output pins, lighting up each strand of wire to make sure everything was working properly. I had to modify the code slightly to correspond to my use of different output pins.

One step that made me extremely nervous was connecting the power supply. It provides several hundred volts, and even though the amperage is quite low (and therefore safe), one wants to get the details right. The instructions in the article mentioned red and black wires and where to attach them. Unfortunately, on my power supply they were both black! After a lot of head scratching and playing around with the multimeter, I convinced myself that it was an AC power supply and therefore polarity didn’t matter.

To my gratitude and suprise, the test worked the first time. And in celebration, I posted my first video to YouTube, showing the results. Enjoy!

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