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25 Oct 2008 - 09:257197
Anyone good at basic electronics?
Hey folks, I'm planning next year's cosplays and one of the ones I was thinking of doing was Lisa Basil from Phoenix Wright 3: Trials and Tribulations.


As you can see, she's got buttons that light up! And I was wondering if any electricity-savvy person here could tell me whether it is actually possible to rig up a set-up like that and have it run off a battery - and if so, what kinda tutorials would I need to look at to figure out how to wire one up? I'm just around the corner from a Homebase so materials aren't a problem ^^

Thankyou in advance for your help!

25 Oct 2008 - 19:037201
hellos i havnt done physics since school, but remember bits, So i thought it a good challenge to do abit of research for you on alternating flashing diodes. ive had a look on the internet for daigrams related to the type of light flashing on your pic. I came across this which you can have a go at modifying, just a basic diagram of what you need and how its set up :


its for making a flashing light in a pumpkin hehe but im sure you have the basic idea of how it would work. From the same is another tutorial on pulsating LEDs, there is abit of reading to do but i think would be more similar to what you want:


But in all i think it might be abit complicated to do, you could always have an experiment, itll be interesting to say how it goes If i come across anything more relevent il post
Good luck !!!

25 Oct 2008 - 20:037202
Hey, for the flashing lights you will want to use LED's and you need to rig them to a program board. If you can get to a maplins they offer self build kits for like £10 (cheap) which come with instructions and only require a small amount of skill to put together then you simply attach the LED's and the whole thing should be able to be powered my a 9v batt. Be aware that if you haven't worked with electronics before it can seem overwhelming but if you take it one step at a time. If you are unsure as someone in the store and they should be able to help you out.

26 Oct 2008 - 00:007206
The last time I see those graphs was in Technology in school. XD

but...still interesting to look up on.

26 Oct 2008 - 15:327213
Thanks a lot for that, guys - there's a Maplins in Liverpool that I could go to next time I'm visiting to get hold of something like that, and I'll check out those tutorials. That was very useful!

30 Oct 2008 - 02:597347
This could be done with a PIC, basically you attach an led to each leg on the PIC and then program the PIC with when to power each leg and how long for, so you could program the lights to flash exactly like that.

I Think the only problem with PIC's is the software and tools to program the PIC might be expensive? I would not know I only ever used them during eletronics class, but it is very very easy to do.

This is the sort of thing you would be looking for to program the PIC, you can probably find cheaper ones though


Last edited by Reser (30 Oct 2008 - 03:05)
30 Oct 2008 - 23:077368
Thanks for the link! It looks like that would be just the thing, although it's a lot of money to spend when I'm not entirely sure I can use it properly :\

But there is this kit here which is a beginner one:


Would that be suitable?

31 Oct 2008 - 04:127374
Quote madmazda86:
Thanks for the link! It looks like that would be just the thing, although it's a lot of money to spend when I'm not entirely sure I can use it properly :\

But there is this kit here which is a beginner one:


Would that be suitable?

Yeah that would work too, however i noticed the 'assembled' one is only slightly cheaper then the one at Maplins which will probably be alot more trustworthy with your money. The one with a picutre of a soldering Iron I would guess requires you to solder it together yourself? which if you are not an expert at eletronics and do not have a soldering Iron would probably be a bit much.

A good way to test electronics would be to also buy a breadboard, this will allow you to connect it all together without any form of physical connection.

The best way to use a PIC is to solder it into a circuit, but for a costume and without access to the stuff required to make your own circuit board you could just as easily sew a special compartment into your costume to hold the PIC, battery and a switch, and make the cicuit with long 'durable' wires. The wires would need to be quite durable since they would get bent alot. You would probably still need to solder the wires onto the PIC's legs/pins though.. any other way would probably not stay attached.

I think the only hard part for someone new to electronics and PICS would be programming the pic and figuring out which pin is which and connecting the leds and battery to the correct Pins.

When I was doing electronics at GCSE, the software we used could do the programming for you, you simply made a flowchart of what you wanted it to do, then looped it around at the end.

for example :

high 1
wait 1 second
low 1
wait 1 second
high 2
wait 1 second
low 2
wait 1 second
high 3
wait 1 second
low 3
loop to start

High and Low meaning on and off respectivly, and each number being the number of the pin on the PIC.

to make it loop you would simply connect a loop from after 'turn led 3 off' to before 'turn led 1 on' and it would loop those commands over and over.

The one you linked to seems to state it comes with beginners tutorials, that could be useful.

The software I used in highschool was called PICAXE and it was so easy to use. It is free apparently and you can download it here


you can see how easy it is from the screenshot, if you did decide to go ahead with it, I could help you with the PICAXE software if you needed it.

You can even load your PICAXE program into 'crocodile clips' software and attach virtual LEDS and a virtual battery and make sure it works before you even purchase any physical hardware.

While looking for crocdile clips i came across another very good program for easily programming PIC's made by people who made crocodile clips.


Anyway I posted a huge wall so I will stop for now xD, going to try get a hold of a copy of crocdile clips and have a play around lol.

Last edited by Reser (31 Oct 2008 - 05:09)
01 Nov 2008 - 08:577391
Wow, thanks - that was really useful, I downloaded the PICAXE software and Yenka were doing their one free as a special thing. And best of all, it's got a chaser circuit already set up so I can mess around and see if I can modify it. Everything else about the costume won't cost too much to make so I think I will have a go at trying to simulate the circuit, and if I can manage it I will order the board and have a go with it for real

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