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 Helmet electronics questions

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Helmet electronics questions
« on: Dec 28, 2019, 12:15 PM »
I am looking to have a few features to my bucket to make life a little more pleasant, as well as for appearances. I am just trying to figure out best practices and best options for what I am trying to do.

I have the AprilStorms drop bear helmet which features two directional visor fans in the front with a USB connector for power. I am looking to add an additional 2 fans on the rear sides so I can get some circular air movement inside the helmet. Those I know I can buy from etsy or off several vendors on here with USB connectors as well.

I also want to use the exterior audio enhancers so I can hear the exterior better. Currently looking at the Vellman kit.

Lastly, I am looking to add LED lights to the T visor. I have seen a single strip for the top of the visor, but I would like to do a total surrounding light of the visor.

So, 1st assuming everything will be powered by USB connectors, is there a way to consolidate the 3 or 4 different features to a single battery pack without soldering the wires together, or am I going to need different packs for each source?

2nd is there a suggested method to using the Vellman kit for optimal experience? I have seen a few people suggesting the kit but no real explanation for best use.

3rd Is there a best LED strip or system for full visor edge lighting? I have seen the single strip but would really like the glow all the way around. I looked at EL Wire but someone told me they run hot and make an annoying sound.

Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated! I am trying to coordinate everything while in the early prep stages in case I need to make any modifications.

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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #1 on: Dec 29, 2019, 05:29 AM »
Hi, I have a few comments and I hope they are somehow helpful.

1. You can connect more than one fan set to a powerbank. Most of them can provide at least 1 A of current and each set requires approximately 0,3 A (if I remember correctly). The Velleman kit runs on 3 AA batteries, which sums up to 4,5 V. That's why it should also work with 5 V from a powerbank, but I guess you'll need to check if the voltage is stable enough and doesn't cause any interference. I once tried it too, to replace the batteries with a USB plug, but I can't remember the outcome. EL-wires need an inverter to boost the voltage, if you use the correct one, you can connect it to a powerbank, too (but I guess you don't get ready made sets with USB, so modifications are necessary). To achieve an illumination all around your visor you can use more than one LED light kit. One of the ones I offer, needs about 0,3 A when powered via USB. Let's say you'll need 3 for the whole visor, that's 0,9 A in total. All of the devices summed up will need more than 1,5 A so you'll need to check if your powerbank will be able to handle that output. If it doesn't have enough USB ports you can use a splitter cable or USB hub. Keep in mind that you'll have a lot of current draw and a powerbank with only 2000 mAh will last for about one hour.

2. You'll need to place the microphones outside of the helmet or at the bottom edge, for that . I use the set in combination with over ear headphones, which I mounted inside the helmet.

3. This is my personal opinion, but I tried EL-wire once and it was very disappointing. It was too dark and the inverter made a loud buzzing noise, which drove me crazy. But I can't confirm, that it got hot.

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electriFi - Mando Electronics English / German
Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #2 on: Dec 29, 2019, 07:01 PM »
Hi, I have a few comments and I hope they are somehow helpful.

1. You can connect more than one fan set to a powerbank. Most of them can provide at least 1 A of current and each set requires approximately 0,3 A (if I remember correctly). The Velleman kit runs on 3 AA batteries, which sums up to 4,5 V. That's why it should also work with 5 V from a powerbank, but I guess you'll need to check if the voltage is stable enough and doesn't cause any interference. I once tried it too, to replace the batteries with a USB plug, but I can't remember the outcome. EL-wires need an inverter to boost the voltage, if you use the correct one, you can connect it to a powerbank, too (but I guess you don't get ready made sets with USB, so modifications are necessary). To achieve an illumination all around your visor you can use more than one LED light kit. One of the ones I offer, needs about 0,3 A when powered via USB. Let's say you'll need 3 for the whole visor, that's 0,9 A in total. All of the devices summed up will need more than 1,5 A so you'll need to check if your powerbank will be able to handle that output. If it doesn't have enough USB ports you can use a splitter cable or USB hub. Keep in mind that you'll have a lot of current draw and a powerbank with only 2000 mAh will last for about one hour.

2. You'll need to place the microphones outside of the helmet or at the bottom edge, for that . I use the set in combination with over ear headphones, which I mounted inside the helmet.

3. This is my personal opinion, but I tried EL-wire once and it was very disappointing. It was too dark and the inverter made a loud buzzing noise, which drove me crazy. But I can't confirm, that it got hot.

That was actually incredibly helpful. I already knew I was going to have to get a larger battery pack for the USB. I was figuring 5,000mAh minimum for power size, and maybe an extra for quick swapping a charged in one if needed.

Sounds like it would be really difficult to convert the Vellman over to a USB connector, as i'm not quite an electrician, so I guess i'll need a AA battery pack in my helmet as well until I can sort out all of the electrical wiring.

Okay, so LED strip it is. I don't need some random buzzing in my ear all day. That being said, if I was to purchase 3 that are all USB connectors, would it be better to splice them into a single USB wire to connect into the battery, or instead use a USB hub? Assuming that I would have 3 LED wires, 1 connector for the visor fans, and 1 connector for the rear fans?

The fans I was looking to wire into the back are what eqdizzle is selling, which are similar to what is installed already by AprilStorms. So if I have those 4 fans, and the 3 LED strips around the visor, is a 5V, 2.4amp battery back enough to handle it all with 5,000mAh? For a quick example I pulled up the Belkin Pocket Power 5,000mAh charger (https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Durable-Portable-Charger-Battery/dp/B071RXZ2BN) or is there a different pack you would suggest?

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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #3 on: Jan 04, 2020, 07:43 AM »
I'm glad that the info was helpful.

I tested the USB power solution for the velleman kit again and it just gives you loud noise. As I mentioned, you would need to filter the voltage from any oscillation, which is nothing, that I would consider an easy solution (a capacitor helps, but doesn't fix the problem completely). If it's possible to use the battery box, I'd recommend to do so.

I would use an USB hub, if I had that many USB devices. It would allow you to easily rearrange or replace single items. This way you could also disable single items, if they don't come with a switch.

As I estimated before, the total current would be about 1,5 A. Any powerbank for currents rated above will work (some with more than one port may have different ratings for each port).
I guess the capacity of 5000 mAh refers to the cells and not the powerbank. Depending on the efficiency of the converter, you should have a realistic capacity of about 3500 mAh, which will last for about 2,5 h. In case of a full day troop that would mean, that you'll need to have at least three powerbanks.

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electriFi - Mando Electronics English / German

Vorpal


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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #4 on: Jan 05, 2020, 01:01 AM »
I use the velleman kit. I did swap out the mics that came with it for 3mm diameter mics. I then drilled a 3mm hole in the helmet to come out under the wedge of the right earcap to hide it from the view. lucky for my the grove in the left earcap was a little over 3mm wide so I drilled there and painted the grove black to hide the mic.
 I then made sure I had the left and right mic connect to the correct port and bobs your uncle I have full directional hearing. I love it I can hear better with the bucket on then off. I've cough people trying to sneak up on me by the rustle of there cloths :) 

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ti his kov'nyn

LStarrunner


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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #5 on: Feb 04, 2020, 08:18 PM »
When you talk about the Velleman kit, do you mean this?

https://www.amazon.com/Velleman-MK136-Super-Stereo-Ear/dp/B004NVVTU2

« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2020, 08:27 PM by LStarrunner » Logged
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Druj Jes


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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #6 on: Feb 04, 2020, 09:44 PM »
That's the one.  I have it in both of my buckets too. 

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LStarrunner


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Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #7 on: Feb 06, 2020, 08:31 PM »
I will add it to the Someday Add This list. Thanks!

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Leira

Re: Helmet electronics questions
« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2020, 04:07 PM »
 :maul:
I use the velleman kit. I did swap out the mics that came with it for 3mm diameter mics.

I got my Velleman together and the mics that come with it are not good enough. Which mics did you pick up? Do you think that circuit will accept a lower impedance mic?

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