MickeyTron Lunacy: Homemade El-Wire Costumes


Introduction: MickeyTron Lunacy: Homemade El-Wire Costumes

My partner and I made lighted costumes that mash up Tron: Legacy and Disney Dorkdom.  This video details how the costumes were designed and created with over 200 feet of battery-powered EL-Wire (EL for electroluminescent).

You can see more video, Tron Legacy poster parodies and tons of photos at: http://www.abomibot.com/mickeytron



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    16 Discussions

    hey i really dig u guys, dat ws cool!!! 1 questn - u guys bought a LOT of batteries and diff coloured el wires, where did u guys buy them? Now, i know there are a lot of websites n all but i m workin on a project whr i need a LOT so, cheap please! Thanx! ;-)

    1 reply

    We got all our EL-Wire and controllers from CoolNeon.com and got batteries at a discount store.

    I have measured up to 125V on the 2 contacts of the EL wire. Tying it around your clothes sounds like asking for a nasty electric shock where the wires could be exposed or if they get wet in the rain.

    3 replies

    Well we have worn them in light sprinkles and we yet live so we're good to go so far. I did have one small spark issue on the first generation of these costumes. We secure the thread knots that tie the EL-Wire to the clothing with Hi-Mark, a very strong professional black thread, and we put a dot of super glue on each one to make sure the knot doesn't unravel. One knot in the crotch got too much glue on it and over the course of a night getting on and off rides in Disneyland it sawed its way through the outer plastic coating. I had crotch sparks. But since each piece has its own battery pack I just turned off the pants (and so did my partner so we remained symmetrical) and no one really noticed. The good news is if there is a short the entire run blinks so you know immediately if you have a problem.

    I never thought you could get electrocuted with the EL wire, but I think you have confirmed that it is possible to get an uncomfortable shock or spark from it. The issue of sparks could also involve getting your costume on fire if made from inflammable fabrics.

    Well... to clarify I was not shocked and it was not uncomfortable. The wire flickered and, upon close inspection at a point where hardened thread had penetrated the outer coating, a small isolated spark was visible. I shut that segment off and continued on my way. And while the clothing is cotton I don't believe there was ever any danger. We're talking about a handful of AA batteries, here.

    not bad guys.
    though i can see one idea that you could work with.
    you could always have a cable run so that you dont have to have the bulky batterys on each of the peaces of the costume.
    if propperly measured out you would not have to much ishu with it limiting movement or shouldnt any way.
    you could likely use the socket style cable wich are often used in flashlights or radio's.
    basicly the plug has a female part wich is a round hole with a small flap on one side that is often used for the negitive and a rod in the center for the positive.
    the male part is like a small round rod that has a plastic insolator to keep the senter positive socket from shorting out with the negitive outer sleev.
    i would tell you the plug's name though i dont have any idea on what the name of the plug tuype is.
    you can use to make it so the wiers come loos with a lite tug.
    i used something like it befor on a hand heater i made as a kid.

    1 reply

    Thank you! We liked having a sep battery pack for each piece so the costumes were modular. We can just wear the hats, or shoes or shirt alone, etc. And at night you really don't see the packs or even the clothing at all... just silhouettes and lighted outlines. The plug sounds awesome though! The solder points are, of course, the weakness to this setup... especially on a flexing, sitting, walking body.

    Wow, nice video editing and costume design. That is really cool. Keep up the good work!