Step 1: Get a Hat!
Step 2: What You Will Need
(1) Felt Top Hat
(1) LED Magician (or your an Arduino or your own LED controller)
(72) 3mm, 3v, 20mA LEDs - assorted colors
(12) 47-ohm 1/4watt resistors (I did not have 1/2 watt on hand so I doubled up)
(2) 2xAA Battery Holders
(1) Slide Switch
(1) male/female Deans plug (I did this so i can re-use the LED magician in other projects)
Blue Painters Tape
Several Feet of 1/4-inch wide Copper Tape
Step 3: Measure Twice, Cut Once
Take a strip of paper, wrap it around the hat and marked where it meets. then lay the paper flat on your workbench and make your measurements. Wrap the paper back around the hat and transfer the marks to the blue painters tape.
I taped the top as I originally thought I would put LEDs on top too.
Step 4: Make Your Mark
Step 5: The Scary Part - Make Some Holes
You will also need to pay attention to the legs of the LEDs, one is longer - that is the (+) side, or anode. The shorter side is the (-) cathode side. You want to be sure that you push them through the same way every time. To ensure that I did not make a mistake I only did one row at a time.
Step 6: A Little About the Circuit
You will need to do a little math to figure out your LED arrangement. LEDs are sensitive to to much electric current, so we use resistors to limit the current flowing through them. Considering that I decided to add 72 LEDs to a hat, I did not want to have 72 LEDs and 72 resistors. I decided that it would be more efficient to wire the resistors in parallel. In other words the LEDs would all share a (+) positive electrical connection and a (-) negative electrical connection with one resistor.
Not being the math whiz I once was, I searched the web for an LED calculator for a Parallel circuit and I found exactly that.
There is also several Instructables on the topic. Here is one: https://www.instructables.com/id/LEDs-for-Beginners/step8/Wiring-up-multiple-LEDs-in-parallel/
Step 7: Be Prepared
You will need a a (+) positive and (-) negative copper strip for each row of LEDs. The resistor(s) is soldered on the (-) negative strip and the wire lead for the LED Magician goes on the positive lead. Each lead was bout six inches long.
If you have never soldered before, practice with some scraps. If you are really worried about soldering find a local Maker Space and go visit them during their open days such as " Soldering Sunday."
If you are in New Jersey or New York you can come visit the space I belong to - FUBAR Labs. Every Sunday at 1:30 is Soldering Sunday and you are welcome to come.
Step 8: Get in the Hat
Start with one row and push the LEDs through the hat. Do only one row at a time so you can check your work.
After the LEDS are all through, double check that you have the (+) long leg and the (-) leg all on the same side.
Add the copper strips you prepped. Again, resistor goes on the negative, short, side of the LEDs. Holding the LED firmly on the out side bend the legs apart. The LED should be firmly secure in place. Now you are ready to solder the LED legs to the copper tape.
Work fast with a hot iron. No need to be a perfectionist, you just need a good joint here that will conduct and hold the LED in place.
Step 9: RInse and Repeat
As you add rows remove the tape on the outside. I found that if i was careful with a sharp hobby knife I could get the tape cleanly away without leaving little bits to clean up.
Step 10: Pull a Magician Out of the Hat
The LED MAgician is made by a Maker in Singapore. I have fallen in love with this little device. It is so easy to use, no programming, no complicated setup. Just connect your LEDs and use the 8 buttons to cycle through 32 modes, speed, etc. LED Magician Specs
The hat has enough room that if you have another way to control the LEDs, such as an Arduino, then go for it. Its your hat!
Step 11: Wear Your Hat Proudly!
We have had a lot of fun with this hat. Like I said my son wore it at Geek Create and everyone was loving the hat and taking pictures with him.
Go make some MAGIC!