Introduction: LED Inline Skates

I thought this would be a fun idea to try to create.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Pair of in-line skates

NewStyle 5050 RGB LED strip

Consolidated Electronic wire and cable, pick four different colors of your choice so it can be easier to tell them apart when assembling

Electrical tape

Soldering wire

Wire cutters and strippers

Arduino uno and nano with connector cable to write and test codes

2 mini-usb for battery purposes

Hot glue gun

2 9V batteries

Breadboard for testing purposes

2 Protoboard

6 3-pin transistors

6 100-220 ohm resistors

2 5V step-down converters for the Arduino Nano

Step 2: Breadboarding

Transistors and resistors were used to make sure my battery and the light didn't overload the board. The individual LEDs were all connected through a transistor to a main ground line and then to the board. Each individual transistor was then connected to a resistor and then to pins on the Arduino. I used the following pins for each color. This is for coding purposes later on.

Blue-3 Red-5 Green-6

Step 3: Soldering

To attach the Nanos to the protoboard I first had to solder them to the pins that would allow me to unplug at my leisure so that I could change the coding at a later date. The row of female-to-male pins were cut down the length of the nano to save space. Next the transistors were soldered to the resisters and then attached to a colored wire to identify which color it was meant to ground and channel later. Those transistors were all connected to a main grounding wire and then to the ground pin on the protoboard. Next color wire was soldered onto the RGD LED strip. It was a little difficult due to the size and durability of the touch point on the strip. Taping down the area afterwards has no guarantee of insuring against a broken point but it does help. Next take the identifying wire on the transistor-resistor lines and attach them to the correct pins,(mentioned in the previous post). Afterwards coat in hot glue or a resin if the connections are good. The 5V step down converter needs to be attached to the power source clip. Pretty simple task, ground to ground (the black wires), and power to power(red). NOTE: the power wire will need to be pigtailed BEFORE the 5V converter to split the power between the Nano and the LEDs so only the ground wire needs to be covered after the connection is good.

Step 4: The Mini USB


Stripping the cord

The mini USB is used for power purposes. Since we don't want to over load the board we'll be splitting it between the board and the lights. There are 4 wires inside of the USB cord; a power(usually red), ground(usually black), and then two others possibly data lines. They need to be tested to be sure that they are the correct lines. I tested the red and black first and luckily they were the power and ground. These will be connected to the 5V step down converter. The additional wires need to be covered so they don't interfere. If the soldered joints are good then they should be covered as well.

Step 5: Coding

NOTE: I've yet to be able to pass code through to my LEDs. This is just example code.

The original code that I tested on the breadboard comes from the adafruit website, and for some reason would not pass through my Arduino. Since I couldn't figure out what was wrong I decided to go ahead with soldering everything together and coming back later.

Step 6: Attaching to the Skates

The Newstyle 5050 LED strip has an adhesive back that sticks surprisingly well to plastic on the side of the wheels. However I recommend using hot glue to be assured that peeling will not occur. Since I've decided on LEDs on both sides of the skates, there are wires chaining the two strips together. Keeping these wires just long enough to loop around while stuck to the "boot" of the skate minimizes the potential for torn wires. Keeping the wires close to the "boot" is the best method here. As for the protoboard, nano, battery, etc., I suggest creating a small protective container to hold it and protect it from damage. I used cardboard to create a box and then strapped to the boot with tape as a temporary measure. My next thought was to minimize the excess and create a more streamline solution.