7-Color Hoop Tutorial
7-color Rechargeable LED Hula Hoop
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Cost of Parts: ~$100
Time to Complete: ~40 hours
In this tutorial we’re going to walk through the steps for building a 7-color LED hula hoop. This is for advanced users that have experience soldering and building hoops. Beginner tutorials for less advanced hoops coming soon. The majority of the time goes into soldering the LEDs together, you can save time by cutting down on the number of LEDs used.
- 24 – 7 Color LEDs
Can be purchased through this site at a discount or at your local Radio Shack.
- 24 – Resistors – 10 ohm
Buy on DigiKey for a cheaper price or at your local Radio Shack.
- LiFePo4 Battery – 600 mAh AA size
Can be purchased from BatterySpace
- LiFePo4 Charger
Also available at BatterySpace
- Polypropylene Tubing – 10 ft at 3/4″ OD and 1 ft at 5/8″ OD
Both can be purchased at McMaster.com, 3/4 inch and 5/8 inch.
- Intercom Wiring – 25 ft
This can be purchased at Radio Shack.
- BEC Male/Female Connector
You can get these at BatterySpace but can probably be find them cheaper elsewhere.
- Electrical Tape – Lots of it
You can find electrical tape at your local hardware store.
- 2 – Tactile Switches
You’ll want to order these from DigiKey, the ones from Radio Shack are very cheap and break easily.
- Connection Jack – 2.1mm ID, 5.5mm OD
These can be found at both DigiKey and at Radio Shack.
- On / Off Switch – 0.5A minimum
These come in a variety of sizes. I’ve found the switches from DigiKey to be more reliable than the ones at Radio Shack.
This image shows many of the parts but is not a comprehensive list nor does it show exact quantities. Click the image to enlarge.
Step 1: Solder LEDs
The first thing you’ll want to do is solder together the LEDs into a chain. For the 7 color LEDs use a needle nose pliers and bend the positive line one direction and the negative lines the other direction. Solder a resistor onto the positive wire. Once the resistor is on, connect up the positive and negative lines to the LED.
Note: A resistor is required when soldering more than 16 7-color LEDs in parallel. The video above was recorded when building a 15 LED hoop which did not require resistors.
Here is how the first three LEDs should be wired. Continue this pattern for all 24 LEDs in the hoop. You’ll be using 4 wires total and at the end, you’ll be able to control every third LED with one of the tactile switches and the rest of the LEDs with the other.
Step 2: Create the Control Panel
This step requires the use of a drill so be very careful! It can be very difficult to fit the parts needed for the control panel into the tubing along with the LEDs. Make sure that you don’t have any excess wiring. I used a coat hanger with a hook on one end to feed the wires through the control panel area. Here is a picture of the completed control panel:
The first component that you’ll want to add to the panel is the on / off switch. *Note* I’m currently looking at other on / off switches. This switch has been resetting the power on heavy impact. A more durable switch would solve this problem. *End Note* Second, add the power jack. Lastly, add the two tactile switches. After Everything was in place tighten all of the bolts and tape over all of the components with clear packing tape to prevent them from wiggling loose.
More information coming soon!