Once the Lightwire design was worked out, the jacket ended up with 4 separate channels, 1 front, 1 back, and 2 that showed on both sides. To control this, I used a 10 channel sequencer, but only employed 4 channels of it. For power, I used an 8 cell AA battery "brick" (battery holder). Much brighter than a 9V battery. Soldering the wires was no big deal, and hot melt glue was used to seal the wire ends.
I taped the Lightwire clip connections that are buried in the jacket. All the wiring that didn't light up was run between the leather and the lining. This was done by making two 3/4" slits, one in each of the two shoulder pockets to run the excessive wires into. In doing this, I was able to use those slits to do run lead wires out both jacket sleeves, in the front and back of jacket.
David Lyons Lightwire Jacket completed
Finally, a Halloween Lightwire jacket, in time to trick and treat passersby with a walking light show right off the jacket.
CASE HISTORY: TRANSFORMATION OF A LEATHER JACKET
INTO LIGHTWIRE ATTIRE
by David Lyons
San Francisco, Halloween 2008
My Lightwire Halloween costume was a black leather jacket that was purchased at a thrift store for $14. Its particular appeal was that it had neat lines highlighting the way the jacket panels were stitched together, which were obvious points to run the Lightwire by. Even better, the jacket had shoulder pockets which were perfect for the electronics.
The Lightwire colors selected for the jacket were high brightness standard gauge aqua, lime green and white. I laid out how I wanted the wires to go, on a rough sketch of the jacket.
I used safety pins to attach the wire to the jacket as a sort of prototype idea, to see how it was going all fit together. It's pretty hard to push a safety pin through leather, I'm sure it would be much easier with cloth.
To finally attach the Lightwires, I used hot melt glue following the seams along the jacket. That worked quite well for a one night Halloween party, for a more permanent result, I'll stitch the Lightwire on. Now that I see how this concept looks, it's a workable base for building on from here. It'll be interesting to see how the stitching works out.
Design of front of Lightwire Jacket
Design of back of Lightwire Jacket