So here is my challenge. I play an ultimate frisbee pickup game every week (Tuesday at the Harvard commons in Cambridge, MA, at 7PM stop by and play!). We have a great LED frisbee that extends the games into the night, but once it gets really dark telling teams apart becomes challenging. I hit upon the idea of making LED 'throwies' for one's body. Take a little 3v watch battery, tape the leads of the LED on with some electrical tape, and then use a safety pin clip it onto to clothing, and blamo!, you have an LED pin that makes playing ultimate frisbee in the dark surprisingly easy, fun, and colorful.
There are some problems with this. First, it takes a little time to wire up the LEDs. It is a fun group activity to start with, but this is a pickup game so people wander in all of the time to play, and each time this happens someone has to run off to make some more LED pins. It would be awesome if I just had a bag of them ready to go. Second, I have to pull the pins apart after each game. Third, my red and yellow LEDs (blue and green are fine) really need a resistor as they tend to go dull. Finally, I would really like to make these guys a little more robust by fixing the leads on more solidly.
So, with that said, here are some things I could use some ideas on.
1) Cheap toggles. I needs them. I would be willing to toss a few more dollars at these pins if I didn't have to tear them apart each time. Toggle switches would mean I wouldn't have to tear out the battery each time. I am having a really hard time finding cheap small toggles on the inter-tubes. Does anyone know of some good places to look? There is also the added challenge of finding a way to attach the toggle in a mildly robust manner.
2) I am looking to rig these pins up into something a little more sturdy. I was pondering soldering the LEDs to the 3v coin batteries I am using and then super gluing the solder. Is this workable, or should I just break down and buy some battery holders? If battery holders are the answer, again, does anyone know of a cheap place to look?
Finally, does anyone have any other interesting suggestions? I am willing to drop a little money into the project, but I really don't want to be spending 5 dollars per pin. In my ideal world my final product would look like an LED, a battery, and switch mounted on a safety pin in such a manner that if someone sticks it to their shirt and rolls into the ground it doesn't break. Getting all of those things to come together in an even vaguely cost effective manner is proving to be a bit of a challenge. Any ideas would be great!