Make a Led Belt With Ws2812b




Introduction: Make a Led Belt With Ws2812b

About: Just a Geek sharing his life and experiences

Hello my name is Zero and I made a led belt with 2 head lamps and a ws2812b led strip.

I made the belt so I can be seen when I go for walks at night.

The belt has 2 head lamps in the front and the ws2812b led strip goes from the front to the back.

To make the belt I used...

1x Arduino Nano

1x ws2812b led strip

2x icr 18650 3.7V 6.8A rechargeable batteries

1x icr 18650 Battery Holder

1x Pcb

1x Male and female dc barrel jack adapter

2x project boxes

1x 6ft Lashing Strap

2x Holster and Sheath Belt Clips

1x DC to DC Buck Converter

2x Led Head Lamps

1x #10 unc-24 nut

1x #10 unc-24 x 1/2 screw

2x Headers

Other stuff needed

1x power drill

couple Drill bits of various sizes or a saw to cut holes in the project boxes

1x Solder station

1x solder

Cable ties

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Step 1: First Test Circuit to Make Sure It Works

First lets make the circuit to make sure everything works right.

Put Nano on a proto board and the batteries in their holder.

Then hook up power to VIn and ground to Gnd on the Nano or just hook it up to usb.

Now hook led strip power to 5v on Nano, ground to GND and data to D12

And that is the hardware part it is very easy.

Step 2: Time to Program the Nano

Now to upload code to the Nano.

Hook the Nano to your computer and start up the Arduino IDE but make sure to remove the battery if it is still hooked to the circuit.

Now download example code from Adafruit or Pololu to get used to the ws2812b.

I used D12 for data and 60 leds for testing but you should change the code to whatever PWN pin you want and how many leds you are using in your strip.

I modified the Adafruit code to do the theater chase and color wipe at different speeds and colors forever but you can program however you want.

THe code I used is on github.

But you will need to download the Adafruit example code because it uses their library.

I got the color codes from

Takes about a hour and a half to complete one loop of the code.

Step 3: Now for the Solder

When you feel comfortable with the code and circuit.

Move on to soldering onto a pcb.

I added a boost converter between the battery and Nano to make sure the Nano only gets 5.6V on Vin.

I have damaged 3 arduinos because they received too much power got very hot then blew up.

I am no longer taking any changes. I tried just a voltage regulator but that got hot very fast. (149F)

I read the measurements of the power supply with my multimeter and I am getting 8V and the amps are so high my multimeter can’t read it properly. My multimeter can only read up to 10 amps. it flashed 40 amps and said OL then my test leads sparked and the plastic started to melt. So I will just say it will power the circuit for a while without recharging. I switched to a boost converter which gets somewhat hot (100 F) but it’s not burning my finger like the voltage regulator so it works fine for me.

Just solder just like you had it on the protoboard and you will be fine.

My led strip came with a connector with some leads but you can just solder some wire to the led strip and pcb if yours didn’t come one.

When done soldering it is time to put the project in a case.

Step 4: Now for the Enclosures

I used two project boxes

One for the power supply and one for the Nano led driver

For power supply: 2 rechargeable batteries, battery holder, switch, barrel jack male, waist holder, bolt and nut go into the box.

Put the batteries in the holder

Drill a small hole in the box for the positive and negative wire from the battery holder.

Put the battery holder in the box and put the wires thru the hole you made.

I used duck tape on the bottom of the battery holder to keep it from moving in the box. Super glue didn’t work that great.

I then solder a male power plug to the positive and negative wires.

At first I just used a male power plug adapter with screw terminals but the wires kept coming out when I was walking.

Now make a small hole for the bolt on the lid of the box.

Then line up the hole on the waist holder with the hole on the lid and secure it with the blot and nut.

And that it for the power supply.


For led box

The nano, boot converter set to 5.6 volts, led strip male connector, female barrel jack and waist holder, bolt and nut

Put two holes in the box one for the female barrel jack and one for the led strip connector.

The female barrel jack should be soldered to the boost converter and the boost converter should be solder to the pcb with the nano on it before you put it in the box. Also put duck tape on the bottom of the pcb to keep it in place in the box.

Now put the circuit in the box with the female barrel jack and the led strip connector in the holes you made for them.

Now make a small hole for the bolt on the lid of the box.

Then line up the hole on the waist holder with the hole on the lid and secure it with the blot and nut.

And that is the led box.

Now before you attach the power supply, led box , and led strip to the strap make sure it works.

Connect the male barrel jack of the power supply to the female barrel jack of the led box and connect the led strip male and female connections.

If the led strip lights up and your circuit is working correctly put the lids on the project boxes and use quick ties on them if you think they may come off.

Step 5: Now the Belt Itself

The belt is a strap with two led head lamps and the led strip cable tied to it.

Put the head lamps on both sides of the buckle.

The head lamps I use have groves on them were the elastic strap that held the lamps to your head would go.

I just put the strap though the groves of the headlamps to secure them. But you can just put little holes in the strip and quick tie it if your headlamps don’t have the grooves like mine does.

Now put the power supply and the led box on whatever side of the belt you want.

Connect the led strip to the led box and put the belt around your waist and see how far the led strip goes around your waist before it overlaps.

For me it was 48 leds but for you it may be different.

Cut the led strip to the amount of leds that will fit with the power supply, led box, and headlamps.

Use quick tiles to hold the led strip to the belt.

And that is about it for the led belt.

Now shake or jump up and down with the led belt on to see if anything comes lose.

If not, you are done.

If so check your wiring, solder points, and make sure everything that should not move is make so it won’t.

Now walk around to see if anything stop working and fix problems that arise.

It took me around 10 + test runs to get the led belt to work right with me walking at 2 hours at a time.

Alright thanks for reading my first instructable.

If you have any questions just ask. :)

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    3 years ago

    This would be really useful when riding :)