Unfortunately the video file that I made for the costume contest was two big for Instructables to upload, so I have enclosed the youtube video below:
For this Halloween this year I decided to be Professor Severus Snape from Harry Potter. I have always been a huge Harry Potter fan, but I've never actually done a Harry Potter themed costume before, so I decided to be my favorite Harry Potter, Severus Snape. Online, you can buy real genuine Severus Snape Costumes from Warner Bros, but alas these costumes around $100, this is way too much money for us to spend on a Halloween costume, so we decided to put one together ourself! We searched pictures of Severus Snape online and it appeared that he wheres sort of a nehru jacket and then a graduation robe over that, so we went on eBay and found a nehru jacket and a graduation robe, once we got it all together it looked pretty convincing! After I had my Severus Snape costume together, this great idea popped in my head, since I am so interested in Arduinos and DIY Electronics maybe I could turn my mom into my "Patronus." A patronus is a spell in Harry Potter that they cast to chase these evil beings called dementors away, Patronus spells take the form a blue ghostly looking animal. All the Patronus's are different depending on the person that casts them. Professor Snapes Patronus is a female deer. Using my electronics skills I constructed a "magical" wand that could output Infrared signals when I would push a button. I used an attiny85 and an infrared led to do this. When the wand was all soldered up, I started to construct my mom's costume. I took a clear rain poncho and laid down a RBG LED strip, then I connected it too my arduino mega with a infrared receiver diode and a 12 volt battery pack. After programming my attiny85 on my wand and my arduino mega I was able to click the button on my wand and my moms costume would light up! More specific details on how I made these costumes is listed below!:
Step 1: The Wand!
The wand was I thought was actually the most difficult part of these costumes to make. I searched online for a wand that I could buy that would just output a straight infrared signal when I would press a button. All that I could find was just wands where you wave the wand in a specific pattern and it outputs signal. I wanted just a button press one because programming an arduino for detecting wave motions is a lot more difficult that just sensing a straight code, so, I just decided to modify a wooden wand I already had. I started buy ordering an attiny85 chip online that I could use to program an ir led to output signals. I chose to use an attiny chip because there very small and cheap and they are small enough to fit on the my wooden wand barrel. Once I had ordered the attiny I took an Infrared led and hooked it up with an 100 ohm resistor to pwm pin 1 of the attiny, I also hooked up a push button to pin 4 of the attiny. Next I followed a tutorial and hooked the attiny up to my arduino mega so I could program it. Once everything was wired up, I went to the Arduino IDE on my computer and used a combination of the IRsendDemo sketch provided from Ken Sheriff's IRemote library and code from the GarageLab website to program the attiny to output hexadecimal ir codes when I would press the push button. Once everything was working I soldered all the parts to the attiny and attached it to my wooden wand. The wand does look a little messy but I had a lot of fun making it and it works!
Step 2: The Patronus Costume!
My moms "Patronus" spell was actually a very interesting process to make.
We started by ordering a clear rain poncho online for the base of the costume, cause we thought it would refract the blue light and it would give it a ghostly look. after we had the poncho, I took an Arduino MEGA and infrared receiver diode and connected them together and then ran some code onto the Arduino that could use the receiver to receive the codes coming from the wand I made, the code is enclosed in the GarageLabs link that I put on the wand description, after getting the Arduino prepared, I soldered an N-Channel MOSFET to a 2 meter long RGB LED and then connected it to the Arduino to control. Finally, I pulled the adhesive off the LED strip and layed it down on the rain poncho. The whole costume was powered by a 12v battery pack and a 9v battery. The way that I hid the electronics from sight on the costume was, I made a necklace for my mom out of a sock with the help of my dad, and then I put the electronics in the sock. The final touch to the costume was some white rabbit/deer ears to put on my mom to make her animal like.