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Beginner question with a twist

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Somnambulo

New Member
I am a visual artist looking to add interactivity to my scupltures but have little experience with wiring so I'm starting small. The first thing I'd like to do is mount a string of LED's into a hollow sculpture and have it powered by a 9-volt battery with an on-off switch. A couple of questions:

Is there a book that would cover a project like this with real world examples and starts off easy? I'm trying to avoid the complex circuit designs until I grasp the real rudimentary stuff, and other book explain what a capacitor is without telling why I would ever need one (or it's buried too far in the book). I'm looking for a quick read..

How do I know what kind of wiring I'll need for this project? The Radio Shack staff in the North Shore area are less than helpful

Do have to solder the wires to the LED's or can I wrap them and then tape them?

Can I secure the wires using electrical tape to the interior of the sculpture, or should I also be using an adhesive of sort to really keep it in place?

Are there fire safety specs for home safety "projects"? I find plenty of stuff about wiring your car or dining room recessed lighting, but I'm not sure they really apply too well here. These scultpures are for sale and I don't want to burn anybody's home down. The interior of the sculptures often are wire armatures surrounded by shellacked cloth and liquid polymer medium. Eventually I may be plugging future ones into the wall when I need extra juice so I'm looking for a basic overview to see what I'm getting myself into. Perhaps this is online somewhere?

Is there a good magazine about how to build the stuff you guys mention on this site, or is kind of work too far out on the fringe?

I'm also an IT consultant with some experience with a soldering iron so I'm hoping that I can grasp whatever you've got for me

I really appreciate any advice you might have.
 

lavenatti

Member
You should be able to find a basic circuit diagram for this online easily. I don't think you you have much to worry about danger-wise. Try your circuit out before you install it. If nothing gets to hot to touch, you're ok.
A small wall-wart power supply should be fine for LED apllications like yours. Places like Jameco sometimes have them for a dollar or two.

Solder everything together, taping it will only cause you problems later.

Radio Shack employees are of no help anywhere, anytime.
 

Gene

New Member
Totally agree. Abandon the battery idea, no one wants something that uses up batteries quickly. A small plug-in power pack will work nicely. How many LEDs are you wanting to use?

Sorry about RS. When they came out with the line, "You've got questions, we've got answers" everyone with a basic knowledge of electronics laughed out loud - you may have heard it - it was loud. :p
 

craigey1

New Member
I'm not trying to pry you away from this forum or anything, but Take a look at the forums over at https://www.bit-tech.net

They mainly deal with computer case modifications, but they also have an electronics section.

Now the thing with people who like to modify their computer cases is that they like to use LED's (especially blue ones). You should be able to find plenty of projects that feature LED's wired in a variety of ways, using power adapters etc.
 
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