Picture of Rotating LED Marquee Hat
I wanted a hat that lit up around the brim like one of those movie marquee lighting things. It took ages and ages, but I finally managed it! I also attached a pushbutton, so that when you push it, the led rotates faster. Yes the picture does look like multiple LEDs come on at once, but that's just because I am a lousy photographer. In reality, there is just one LED that rotates around the hat. I would like to acknowledge my dad for helping me with the circuit design.
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Step 1: Things you will need.....

- 25 LEDs, I used MCDL-1860UWC-15C from Jameco Electronics but I think that most types of LEDs would work. I used 20 white LEDs and 5 blue LEDs.

- Some sort of hat, I used an old costume top hat but its really up to you. One thing to keep in mind though, is that the hat should be fairly stiff to be able to support the circuit board.

- Perf board, regular and protoboard

- 22 gauge stranded and unstranded wire

- Various soldering tools

- Black thread

- Header and pins for connecting the wires

- Three CD4017 Integrated Circuits

- One 555 timer

- 6.8k, 1k, and 4.7k resistors

-100k potentiometer

- Two 0.1uF ceramic capacitors

- 0.33uF and 10uF electrolytic capacitors

- One 74HCO8N Integrated Circuit

- 9 volt battery

- A SPST switch

Step 2: Cut your Perfboard

Picture of Cut your Perfboard
To be able to sew LEDs onto your hat, you need to solder them onto some perfboard that you can sew to your hat. I cut pieces of perfboard that were four holes long and two holes wide. To cut perfboard, first score the board with a boxcutter on both sides, then snap the board apart. This method worked terribly, so if you know of a better way, please let me know!

Step 3: Cut holes in your hat to fit the LEDs

I wanted just the LEDs showing, not the yellow perfboard so I cut squares in my hat the size of my LEDs. You can use tailors chalk to mark where you want the LEDs to go; mine were about 2cm apart.
megazoic2 years ago
Great job Bananaslug! This looks like a dance party hat. How would you wire this so that there were two LEDs lit up at a time? Maybe going in opposite directions or even better, chasing each other around your hat. I like the way you didn't use a microcontroller (like the arduino lillypad) for such a simple task.
ravenking2 years ago
Wow! This is an incredible hat. I bet this would be fun to wear on New Years Eve. You could add hat and New Years to your tags. :)
danic2 years ago
Wow! I made an almost identical hat to this for a recent skiing trip in Switzerland with an over complicated Arduino circuit, some RGB LEDs and a ratsnest of wires tucked inside. It's great to see it done properly...well done!
Awesome job! Love the fact that you used a 555 for this!