Step 13: Designing the electronics

For the main electronics, you'll want to familiarize yourself with Arduino, and also with the MAX7219 chips. More information about these can be found here for programming, or here for hardware and schematics.

To conserve space, I chose to work with SMD component ICs and design my own circuitboards in Cadsoft EAGLE PCB layout editor. This program can take some time to get used to, but there is a fairly powerful freeware version available for download. (pic 2)

After you've designed your circuitboards, export the gerber files to be made into boards. My boards were printed at BatchPCB.com. Each of the chips shown here can control one 8x8 matrixed LED array, so if you've got an 8x40 display like the one shown here, make sure to order 5 sets of boards and all components.

Components for your electronics can be bought from Digi-Key. Once all the boards come in, solder the components in place and use a multimeter to check all your connections. (pic 1)

If you're unfamiliar with SMD soldering, the video below is very helpful:

I also decided to add lighting to the ear areas and corners of the visor in my helmet. If you're comfortable plotting out an LED matrix, designing a simple I/O board like this will be a snap! (pics 3-6)

Remember that Arduino boards are designed to run in 3.3 or 5V, so design your boards accordingly. I chose to use an Arduino Yellowjacket (pic 8) (now discontinued, see the replacement RedBack here) as my controller, and a voltage regulator from Pololu to keep everything running the same voltage. (pic 7)

Materials needed:
  • Silver core fine-gauge solder (.015" diameter used in this tutorial)
  • Solder flux pen
  • Electrical components appropriate to your boards (resistors, capacitors, etc. See more details here)
  • LEDs
  • Circuitboards
Tools needed:
  • Soldering iron
  • Respirator for soldering
<p>Thank you for all the insight on this build. Building this from scratch was very fulfilling,....tough but sooo worth it! Guy Man is next :)</p>
<p>Hi, what an excellent instructable! A mix of electronics and props... A lot of hard work has clearly gone into this project. </p><p>Karl</p>
<p>In oddly crazed digression - say you were to do this for the head/face of a friend and make a mask of them and sneak into a pumpkin patch early in the season and have the pumpkin grow into the mask. Remove the mask and you have the face of your friend as a freak of nature.</p>
<p>why is it punk?? </p><p>Looks like a startrek/pick a sci-fi helmut, but not punk.</p><p>It is quite awesome though!</p>
<p>daft punk is the name of the musician. </p>
<p>AHA, </p><p>I see, I could not imagine how that was &quot;punk&quot; then I did as two suggested and followed tghe links, plus I wiki'd it. The outfit was a gimmick to sell music. Well it worked for KISS why not someone else. </p><p>great work making the thing, but pointless unless you are making a movie, or going to a party, (for a while anyway). I carve and have made quite a number of useless pieces. Chach-ki's (Yiddish for dust collectors)</p><p>Again, wonderfully done</p><p>thanks</p>
<p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daft_Punk">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daft_Punk</a></p>
<p>I'm speechless now! :D Awesome!</p>
<p>What a craftsmanship! This is incredible! Congratulations on it. Maybe I will try it one day. Just astonishing!</p>
<p>Now I just need the dietary supplements to get my head inside comfortably :) Some kind of phat burner.</p>
<p>How much did it cost to chrome your helmet?</p>
<p>I have the same question. Spray painting with &quot;chrome&quot; paint is not the same as chroming.</p>
<p>Well Mathew, you can get the chrome paint at your local AutoZone for around 10 to 20 bucks.</p>
<p>I wish I had received this email 4 months ago lol. I just bought a Thomas one off eBay and a Guy one from Etsy</p>
<p>though I should add these were premade molds that may not fit my head and there's no LEDs.. I wish I had the right money to blow on Volpin's products</p>
<p>Have you had anyone buy one from you yet, volpin? I wish I had the money.</p>
<p>Can you see out of this?</p>
<p>Greatly detailed work, I wish I had the skills to do this project. Do you sell them? If so how much.?</p>
<p>He takes 25k for a fully finished one.</p><p>See my more detailed answer to lukesjette.</p>
<p>oh...WOW! I wish I could afford it, my son would love it. He's been asking me for a daft punk helmet. Again GREAT JOB! Thanks for the reply . </p>
<p>r they for sale</p>
<p>Completely finished one is 25k. Yeah, no joke there. It takes a long time to make one, and the parts and electronics used are really expensive.</p><p>Plus, Harrison Krix (aka Volpin Props) is a professional and likes (also deserves) a good hourly wage.</p><p>Don't believe me? Check out his shop:</p><p><a href="http://www.volpinprops.com/product/completely-finished-daft-punk-helmet-replica/" rel="nofollow">http://www.volpinprops.com/product/completely-finished-daft-punk-helmet-replica/</a></p><p>You can get the slush-cast resin base for much, much less but it's still in the triple digits. Or the blueprints for making your own one for a fiver.</p><p><a href="http://www.volpinprops.com/shop/" rel="nofollow">http://www.volpinprops.com/shop/</a></p><p></p>
<p>The electronics are dirt cheap, are you joking?<br>This whole build can be done for a couple hundred bucks.<br>Maybe a few hundred if you get it professionally chrome plated.</p>
Oh that's a bit much for me ?
<p>Excellent Instructable Job!!!</p>
<p>Holly Cow that sure is a very detailed instructable.. But I like seeing all of the steps and the patients to the detail is very well defined in the casting process... These very same products, helped me out many years ago, when I was doing house painting on the side... Well anyway I had a problem with a ceiling decorative pilaster, that had been broken for many years, and the customer asked if I was able to save it... After doing some checking around the painting community, which hung out in the mornings in the local paint shop...A couple of guys recommended a product some what similar to this, and needless to say I was able to repair the decorative ceiling pilaster with it.... It made me very popular with the clients, and a lot of their friends who had similar problems with their apartment ceilings...! These where old apartment houses that were converted to condo's by it's tenants, and kept me working for a long time and even generated enough business to hire on a couple of helpers, and 2 other painters.... So believe me folks this stuff works wonders... The only thing is I believe if my memory serves me correctly is that the process I used was not as complicated as this product seems to be.. But I'm talking back many years ago as I was paying my way through school, so I could be wrong..! But non the less a great Instructable ...!</p>
<p>Excellent Instructable. You are truly a dedicated and talented craftsman. Thanks.</p>
<p>WOW! Almost too cool to be true ;)</p>
<p>Wow, totally amazing and artistic work.</p>
<p>Harrison! I saw you on tested!</p>
<p>This is really brilliant! favorited!</p>
<p>This is truly incredible! One of the best helmet I ever seen :o</p>
<p>The word Awesome was invented for things like this!</p>
Can you use plexiglass for the visor and still dye it the same way?
<p>That is just ridicuously awesome!</p>
<p>name your price volpin.....</p>
<p>Around $3000</p>
lol dude i could buy like 5000 tickets of his show with that much.<br>I know u r trollin wid me
<p>I guarantee you cant buy a ticket for $1.66 and he's not dude: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daft-Punk-Full-Led-Gold-Chrome-Helmet-Includes-Gloves-Necklace-And-Stand-/191424388473?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item2c91c85d79</p>
<p>That would be $0.6 per ticket ;)</p>
Would you sell a premade visor pet plastic screen? I don't own a drill press
<p>I don't know if this is what you want but they sell the LED frame here:</p><p>http://www.volpinprops.com/product/thomas-helmet-subvisor-frame-led-holder/</p>
<p>Is it possible to see in it xD</p><p>Just wondering ya know</p>
<p>Hey IF i were to buy the helmet from u how much would u offer it for? 30$???</p><p>email me i anyone wants to sell me one of these? syed.ali165@gmail.com mail me!</p>
<p>Are you serious? The supplies alone cost much more than $30. I'd imagine many would sell theirs for at least $750.</p>
<p>Its true! Heres one going for 3000 dollars!</p><p>http://www.ebay.com/itm/Daft-Punk-Full-Led-Gold-Chrome-Helmet-Includes-Gloves-Necklace-And-Stand-/191424388473?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item2c91c85d79</p>
It looks just as good as the real thing!
<p>Hi, I was wondering if you could send more information about the electrical components and wiring. You have a caption that says &quot;see more details here,&quot; but no link. </p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Anyone got an approximate price to build one of these? Thanks a ton! </p>

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