Introduction: Downsize My LED Hula Hoop!
We all started out with a larger diameter LED hoop. As we grow in our flow, our hoop needs to shrink. Here's how I downsized an older LED hula hoop that was in 7/8" tubing with a cuffed connection to a seamless connection in 3/4" tubing. It started at 38" diameter and I downsized it to a 34"
This guide is shared in the spirit of contributing to the Open Source community and helping out fellow hoopers. If you follow these steps in order to offer and charge hoopers for this service; I implore you to in turn contribute some form of knowledge back into the Open Source community. You know what karma is, right? ;-)
Shout out to Lori J. with Glitter Hoopz for allowing me to use her hoop in the guide! <3
*You will need to complete the, 'Quick & Dirty: Negative Terminal Block' tutorial in order to complete this guide.
Step 1: Removing the Cuff and Push Buttons.
Engage each push button and remove external cuff from both sides. Again, engage the push button and pull outwards on the center part of the spring. Stop once you have about 3/4" of the wire exposed. Don't be afraid to pull hard, if needed! Now, snip the wire near the clip. Save the clip. You'll need to clean up the bottom leg before you can reuse it. Remove the tape and hot glue. Do the same for the other side.
Step 2: Remove the Wires and 'fluff'.
Now that both of the push buttons have been removed, the wire can freely be pulled from the tubing. Pick one end and pull it out.
Look over the wire strand and find the extra weights. You'll notice the one pictured is wrapped in white tape. Look for similar objects in your hoop. (They should not have wires protruding from either end. If so, STOP). Remove added weights as you see fit.
I had a decent amount of 'fluff' to remove from this strand.
Step 3: New Tubing Prep and Wire Pull.
Prepare your new tubing.
Tie a long piece of string (weighted on one end) to the end of your wire. I prefer to feed my wire with the LED pointing head first and legs back. Feed the string through your hoop until it falls out of the other end. Be sure to keep the plastic protecting the wire strand with the sides neatly tucked under and smooth during the process. You DO NOT want the strand to twist up while pulling it through!
Keep pulling until you can see the beginning of the wire coming out of the other side. Look at how much wire is protruding from the strand not connected to the wire. This is where you will cut off wire and LED. Depending on the color/design pattern, you will have to decide for yourself exactly how many LED and where you would like to cut and go for it. Oh, the end of the wire you are about to cut, will actually be situated approximately 5 3/4" down inside the tubing. We're making it seamless. ;-)
Additionally, cut the power wire about 3/4" past the last LED leg. Not the negative too. Just one, the positive.
Step 4: Making the Connection Seamless.
Here's where you will use your 'Quick & Dirty: Negative Battery Terminal'.
Take your 'terminal sleeve' and place it into the opening of the tubing. Be sure to leave enough exposed to grip it with.
Insert the battery terminal block that you made into the 'terminal sleeve' and push it back leaving about half of it exposed.
Remove the insulation from the negative wire. Gently twist the wire to give it a little staying power. Wrap the wire around the base of the spring. Slightly lift the spring so you can tuck the wire underneath the bottom ring. You only need a small overlap if you plan to solder it. If you don't want to solder, twist wire tightly before wrapping and be sure to tuck the wire neatly and tightly under the spring base. Don't be intimidated by soldering...you can do it!
Gently push on your spring moving it further back in the 'terminal sleeve'. Leave all of the spring out of the sleeve. Push the sleeve with spring flush to the edge of the tubing.
Step 5: Placement of the Terminal Block.
I have a 'pusher' that's the exact distance I need to push the negative terminal block down inside the tubing in order to make the power connection and leave as minimal of a battery gap as possible. Once you have it in the proper place, drill a hole and add your rivet to secure.
Step 6: Finish It Up
*I will add photos of this step ASAP. 1/12/16
Now, you will need to snip the n/egative wire down and tape off.
Insert your connector piece with the push button hold pre-drilled into the other end of tubing that has wire sticking out.
Take the positive wire and wrap it around the bottom leg of your push button. Not too thick but not too thin, just enough. Soldering is preferable here but if you aren't soldering, make sure the wire is tight to the button leg and use two revolutions of electrical tape to secure.
Insert in the battery, negative side first and push the connector inside the tubing. Press it down as far as it will go without dislodging your push button. Use something to mark your tubing where the head of the push button is.
Separate the ends and drill the hole for your push button. Insert the connector and push button should pop into place connecting the hoop.
Last step, push the connector piece flush and drill a hole to rivet in place.
BAM, you did it!! Now go forth and jam with your head held high; you are AWESOME!!
Does this seem overwhelming to you but you really want your LED hoop downsized? I can do it for you!