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>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 $0.6 per ticket ;)</p>
<p>How much did it cost to chrome your helmet?</p>
<p>Well Mathew, you can get the chrome paint at your local AutoZone for around 10 to 20 bucks.</p>
Would you sell a premade visor pet plastic screen? I don't own a drill press
<p>I don't know if this is what you want but they sell the LED frame here:</p><p>http://www.volpinprops.com/product/thomas-helmet-subvisor-frame-led-holder/</p>
<p>Is it possible to see in it xD</p><p>Just wondering ya know</p>
<p>Hey IF i were to buy the helmet from u how much would u offer it for? 30$???</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>
<p>$400-$500, if you already have most of the tools<br>I'm making right now, still have to get the casting resins though, which are hella expensive</p>
<p>EPIC!! I totally have to make this</p>
<p>I love the design. just one question is it possible instead of the L.E.D light display that you could use a H.U.D type display that shows up on plexyglass instead of the large circut board in front of your face?</p>
<p>Could you upload de code? please </p>
<p>How much $ ?</p>
How much! Gloves and helmet?
How much do you sell them? My 10yr would have a kick with one for Halloween .... Thanks! :)
<p>As far as LED choices, 5mm defused or not?</p>
<p>how do you see out of it?</p>
Is tinting the visor for the Guy Manuel the same process as this one?
Would it be at all possible to get your Arduino sketch? I have the exact same setup as you, but the only code I can find is for text (static and scrolling). I can't find any kind of animations.
Sorry but cant you put The dimension form the mdf??
Your persistence, dedication, and resourcefulness are truly inspiring. I'd like to know what kind of large machinery you have on hand in your shop, if you get a few minutes and wouldn't mind sharing.
Nothing amazing, really.<br><br>&bull; 14&quot; 2hp bandsaw<br>&bull; Scrollsaw<br>&bull; 8x12&quot; lathe (crappy Harbor Freight model, but it gets the job done)<br>&bull; Table router<br>&bull; Drill press<br>&bull; Belt Sander<br>&bull; Vacuumforming machine (home made)<br>&bull; Radial arm saw<br><br>And the requisite hand power tools like orbital sander, assortment of variously dying cordless drills, dremel, soldering irons, circular/jig saws, and a smattering of air tools.
Great tutorial! soon as I get some of these tools, I will start my build. <br>thank you very much, I will continue catch many tips with this tutorial and your blog! <br>I am studying hard the project before starting. <br> <br>I do things like that since I was a kid. But I never managed to get so perfectly because I did not have tools like these. they are hard to find in Brazil. <br> <br>But today I have a more mature mentality. Just do not have the tools hahaha. <br>when starting my project I will take some photos and in the end I would like you they look! maybe its linger. <br>Same I do not understand much English language I do not have many doubts <br>I can think of alternatives so I can do it my way <br>Very many thanks for everything! above all you are a genius craftsman! <br> <br>(sorry for spelling errors)
would you PLEEEEEEESE sell me just the ear piece, i don't have a lathe and I am not a good woodworker.
actually I think I will 3D print it a tech shop
how much did all the supplies cost?
a few hundred, I bought sample sizes of all the smooth-on products. but after you make the mold you can cast as many as you want.
This is extremely intense. I could only dream of doing something 5% as cool.
Very cool!! You did an amazing job on this!! You are exceptionally talented!
You've not only done a great job documenting how you made a Daft Punk helmet, but you've also eloquently shown how it's possible to see through the LEDs.
instead of making the LED matrixes yourself, you could buy 5 of these and use the same program. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/330819034606?lpid=82
So the question is... you can now cast molds of the basic frame, why not offer to sell the basic frame, then others can customize them the way they like? I would love to make on from scratch, but would honestly more than likely mess up somewhere in the process, more than one time as well and would cause me to become angry and give up.... haha. Just my 2 cents.
And oila, they did :P <br>http://www.volpinprops.com/product/daft-punk-thomas-helmet-raw-casting-2/#tab-description
i actually really like that idea i kinda wished he would do that to
I was just thinking, &quot;Sooo, what's he gonna do with the cast now that he made the helmet?&quot;
Can't get over how incredible this is. Definitely don't have the means or tools or money or time for something like this right now (probably never would), but I went ahead and read the entire writeup anyways. Simply astounding. I work in the film industry and am always blown away at what propmakers and set builders are able to accomplish in little to no time at all, but this still blows me away. Fantastic work brotha. <br> <br>On a side note, I expected more &quot;Bobba Fett, rite naow&quot; requests. That's...gotta happen at some point. Too talented not to do it!
This is so freakin' epic! Once I've got some cash I might make one of these for a mate (he's a huge Daft fan) :D Keep up the awesome builds!
That is brilliant. Thankyou for spending the time to document it!
Do you have a tutorial on how to make the other helmet? if not, then is it pretty much the same basic principle?
Damn, dhese two humans are DAMN made a good job and not ones.
Hello! The Autodesk social media team loved your project so much that we included it in a post we created on BuzzFeed. Check out your work featured here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/autodesk/a-donkey-mask-lightsabers-daft-punk-helmet-cybo-b3y4 <br> <br>If you have any questions, please contact me at blake.menezes@autodesk.com <br> <br>Best, <br>Blake Menezes <br>Autodesk Social Media Strategist

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