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Thread: Project feedback: Bombproof battery-powered LED strip drivers (but not playa-proof)

  1. #1

    Project feedback: Bombproof battery-powered LED strip drivers (but not playa-proof)

    By this point, many of you know the drill: make shiny LED things, take them to Burning Man, discover interesting new failure modes.

    I made five drivers for LED strips and discovered just how dust-proof my switches were not. Here's my guide to how to make portable and grunty LED strip drivers, complete with schematics and lessons learned. Key lesson is just to put everything in a ziploc bag.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Speaking of interesting failure modes, the Too Bright Hat (named coz 400 LEDs) slowly lost battery life over the week. It started lasting all night long, ended up only lasting an hour. Playa dust is conductive and there was enough dust on the exposed parts of the strip that current was leaking from power to ground. The isolation dropped from unmeasurable to about 10k Ohms.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Maybe use a conformal coating in the future?

  3. #3
    On the Hat? Definitely. There's an exposed distribution board and the ends of the strips, all of which pick up dust and need to be protected.

    Not sure how to dust-proof the switches on the strip drivers though, aside from clingfilm or bagging. Finding a small rocker switch is escaping me, as they all seem designed for standard-size panel cut-outs. And then there's the complication that I want something sealed (and ideally illuminated).

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