Instructables

LED Light Up Sims PlumbBob Costume (That green pylon above their head)

After years and years of "wanting" to make the green plumbbob from The Sims series, I finally did it! The cool part about the "costume" is that you can wear whatever you want and still be a Sim! I used Dan's instructable, at this link here, in order to get an idea how I wanted to wire the LEDs.

[Final pic]

I was able to leave the light on for about 6 hours straight without changing the 2 9V batteries. A word of caution, this costume is meant to be worn at night, the light is faint when seen in the daylight, see the 2nd pic what happens when a flash is used. I used 3 LEDs and stuck to the typical 350mA current specified by the manufacturer. Adding more current will simply burn them out faster so don't do that =)
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
I pretty much bought everything I needed. I was able to find scraps of wire from an old car alarm, but most of the materials below can be substituted. I'll outline my decisions WHY I chose what I chose, because I did experiment with a few different things first. It's a long list but your mileage may vary and you might luck out!

The Light
3-4 High Powered 1 Watt Green LED's - you can't use normal LED's, they simply aren't bright enough. The ones I purchased were: Luxeon Star LXHL-MM1D. Typically rated at 3.42 forward voltage and 350mA. I think their lumen rating is about 25 lm +/- 10%. A different datasheet (for the same product, weird right?) rated them at 50 lm. I don't have a tester, but I'll stick with the lower figure.

3021 BuckPuck - Purchase the one that fits the mA rating of your LEDs to save costs buying resistors. The buckpuck regulates the current to the LEDs, it provides a constant source of current regardless of the size/voltage of your battery pack.
 -- You might be able to get away with a PowerPuck, a smaller version of the buckpuck, but the max input voltage is 8v. Only good enough for 2 LEDs...
Both can be found either at: Future Electronics (cheaper prices and more selection/product info, but slow shipping) or The LED Light (prices are slightly higher, but shipping was FAST [2day from NV to CA]).

Resistors - depends on which buckpuck you buy

Wire - to solder the LEDs together, and a longer length to run from the light, down the pole, and into your battery pack. This depends on your height!! I used around 24ga

Altoids Tin - To house everything

Electrical Tape or shrink wrap

RadioShack PCB (optional)

SPDT or SPST Switch - Rated at least the voltage of your battery pack

(2) 9V Battery clips - this also depends on the eventual battery pack

Thermal Paste - Helps in cooling. These suckers NEED this

Large Binder Clip - my ghetto heatsink

Smaller Binder Clip - my way of securing the light to the structure

GE Silicone - To waterproof the light

Optics for LEDs - Usually you'd purchase lens holders and lenses for the LEDs but since I wanted the light to be dispersed and not focused, I just left them naked. The viewing angle of the LEDs is 110°

The Structure
3/16" Wood Dowels - or something lightweight and sturdy and cheap! These were 12" long in packs of 20 at my local craft store. Again, depends on your plans

Hot Glue & Gun - to assemble/hold the sticks together

The Covering
I spent a lot of time on this. I ended up using the white parts of plastic bags and just fused them together. Cloth proved to be too grainy, not waterproof (in case it was a rainy Halloween), and a little heavier.

The Pole
You'll need to find something to "wear" the plumbbob. It needs to be lightweight, and substantially sturdy. I tried using wire hanger, but it was too flimsy to hold the plumbbob at a sufficient height. I used a rod from window blinds (the one that opens/closes the slats)


Question: How did you attach the pole to yourself? That's the only issue I'm having trying to figure out my own floating, glowing, Sims PlumbBob.
I made this but instead of using green LEDs I used green cellophane and used a 70 lumen head lamp glued to the bottom of the diamond, then I put it on the spot setting.
To make it glow better I glued green strips of cellophane to the top half, so they were running vertically, that way the light would hit, and reflect/refract whichever you feel like and glow all the way up to the top.
It was a success for halloween, except people thought I was the green lantern half the time.
Image didn't seem to post, here is a link http://i.imgur.com/m4GJC.jpg

mrsayao (author)  thatsgreat23452 years ago
Awesome!! I tried cellophane before too but wasn't satisfied with the glow, but it seems like you worked out the kinks I ran in to. Your costume looks awesome, glad to know I sparked interest! LMAO @ the Green Lantern comments. A lot of my younger cousins didn't know what I was that year either...

It took me awhile to figure it out, I ended up cutting triangles about 3.75-4 inches long with a 7-7.25 inch height and gluing on panes 1 at a time. I triple layered the celophane and it was not looking very god so I stuffed it with tons of celophane and it wasn't working well then I reduced it and then through trial and error found the right amount to hang down.
http://imgur.com/a/tsVu8#0

I was in charge of the camera so I didn't take any outside but here is an album in my bathroom. I forgot about lighting it actually, and was going to use a skinny mag light but didn't leave space for it otherwise I would have glued the dowels to it. That is why there is a dead spot on the bottom because I had to shove my head lamp down there and it was too wide to go to the bottom.

Thanks for the idea though, it was a great success for those that knew I was a Sim. If they didn't know the sims I was either green lantern, a black dragon fish(the ones at the bottom of the ocean that attract things with light like in nemo), and I also go link (legend of zelda).
mrsayao (author)  thatsgreat23452 years ago
Angler fish! Yeah my tut is kind of shoddy, I know. I took pics of everything, but it's just the explaining that gets me, especially when in the end half of it was thrown together just to make it work. Good job!
No the instructable was great, I only really needed the idea and the pattern print out with the hexagon and proper angles on it was what I really needed since I don't have a protractor and didn't feel like doing it digitally.

My only critique is I didn't see how you got it to sit so high above your head and stay still. I used a long, 3/8" wide wood dowel, a wire hanger, and put shirt on I didn't care about, an had a friend duct tape the hell out of it around entire toros( yeah I couldn't breath well haha). It's the only way I could get it to stay.
mrsayao (author)  thatsgreat23452 years ago
Do you have one of it glowing??
Twinmum3 years ago
Being a Sims player, I totally get this. Love it.