Star Wars Clone Cosplay – Part 9 – Helmet Electronics


hey robot fans welcome back to the build
today we were gonna do all the electronics for the helmet it’s gonna be
a long one but fun will be had secrets will be revealed so let’s get started
okay first up we have the rom FX module from John May this will give me an
amplified voice along with some pretty cool voice effects out of the box it
looks like this you have the rom FX board a speaker a microphone and a power
supply now I don’t think were going to be using this power supply right now I’m
using a dedicated DC power supply and in the helmet it’ll have its own set of
batteries so we can just get rid of this for now now the kit comes with this
speaker if we test it out thing you can hear it’s very loud but that’s also
because it’s pretty big I don’t think I’m gonna be able to fit this in the
helmet the way I want to what a lot of builders do is they’ll put it in their
chest plate and then run a wire from their head down to their chest I don’t
want to do that in any way I want to keep this helmet 100% self-contained so
I don’t think we’re gonna be able to use these speakers instead we’re going to be
using these much smaller five watt 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel they fit
really nicely behind the hollow please be made back in part four I printed a
little enclosure for them which gives the front a little more surface area to
glue down to the helmet and also gives me the opportunity to insulate the sound
a little bit with some foam I print through this little mic stand here this
holds the mic in the desired configuration while giving me a flat
surface to put some velcro tape on to velcro tape will be the main method of
sticking everything inside of the helmet due to its non permanent strength
feedback is a bit of a concern with this system if any of the sound from the
speaker’s makes its way back into the microphone well that won’t be good
that’s that’s stuck in one – okay look that’s good if there’s no feedback
happening right now and if it’s not feeding back late now it’s probably not
gonna feedback because there’s only gonna be
more carving and more stuff inside the helmet you’ll avoid all the form so it’s
okay right now with all this bouncing around we should be good those books
that’s not feedback that’s actually the wrong effects every time I stop talking
give me a static but now I also want to be able to hear what’s going on around
me while I’m wearing my helmet but I don’t want any clankers sneaking up on
me so I’m going to install an external amplified relay system or simply ears
remember all my secret holes from part 5 well those are the house the cornerstone
of the ears system these little microphones they are really tiny and
they just so happen to fit right into that little recess under the ear I paid
extra special attention to this area during the weathering process so that I
can get it as dark as possible so the microphones would be as invisible as
they can possibly be these mics will replace the slightly larger electret
microphone on this prefab amplifier board and the whole thing will glue onto
the inside of the helmet with a microphone pointing through the hole for
the speaker we will be using these very tiny very thin 2 watt 8 ohm speakers I
printed a little housing for them with a mesh glued on top essentially turning
them into a headphone this will be housed inside of a piece of padding from
the helmet padding kit we’ll be seeing more of later I put the connections from
the amplifier to the speaker on these little DuPont connectors so I can still
detach the ear as necessary for maintenance
these last two ports connect to 5 volts and ground which will give us a full
mono sound system on each ear from what I hear cooling fans are crucial to the
trooping game so I’m going to install these two thin line blower style fans
just above my forehead they are 12 volt DC fans and an interest
of saving some power and adding a little extra comfort I’m wiring these fans up
to a transistor so I can use an Arduino to give them some speed control or just
turn them off completely if I want to these are velcro it into place with some
extra slack in the wiring so I can find that sweet spot for optimal cooling and
D fogging speaking of their do we you know it’s also going to be controlling
our lighting systems one of my favorite sci-fi tropes is the interior helmet
lights that serve no purpose and slightly blind the character but we
could see the actors pretty face we paid millions of dollars to get Matt Damon in
this movie and dammit we’re gonna see his face well yeah I want that in my
helmet too so I’m going to install to neopixels on each one of the cheeks
and since they are individually programmed neopixels I can have a lot of
fun with this lighting it’ll probably only be on 1% of the time if ever but
that 1% of the time is gonna be pretty cool
now all these electronics are going to need some power so let’s talk batteries
after trying out a few different types of batteries and weighing safety
concerns with battery sizes and capacities I decided to use these nickel
metal hydride packs these little 6 volt battery packs are essentially 5 double-a
batteries wired in series I’m going to wire 2 pairs of these in series to give
me 12 volts and then why are those 2 pairs into parallel to combine the
lifespan of the two packs finally i’ve velcroed the packs into place on top of
the helmet and sat back to admire all of my wonderful electronics and oh boy
piece Mealing all this together has made things a bit messy in the back of the
helmet here it still fits and everything is connected properly but yeah I can’t
leave it like this there is no way these wires aren’t going to get pulled out or
sweat on or whatever through the life of the helmet so I think that everything is
now in place and I have a firm idea of what’s going where I need to consolidate
a lot of this onto some proper circuit boards luckily I have a few of these
proto boards on hand these are different than the ones I usually use in that
there are defined strips on the back which can be used to create power buses
this will eliminate the need for those walnuts and a lot of the wiring here’s
my sketch of the proto boards before I start wiring it looks super complicated
but it’s really not the wiring is super tight and tricky but these two boards
will literally replace everything in this mess I decided to color the board
black so when all said and done it’d be hidden a little nicer on the back of the
helmet wiring everything up was a breeze and before I put them back in the helmet
I can give you a rundown of how this all works power is going to come in from the
batteries to this toggle switch here this will be the main hardware switch
for the entire helmet from there goes to this buck converter
I have 12 volts coming in and this board will step that down to 9 volts and
charge this whole rail with a nine volts these nine volts will power the romm
effects voice module and output over to the arduino on the other board up top I
have a rail dedicated to the ears systems they are going to be controlled
directly by the Arduino pin outs and we’ll use this bus to transfer power
over to the other side of the helmet and this sport also handles my
transistors for the ROM affects voice module and the fans the transistor is
basically a switch controlled by a small current the transistor breaks the power
circuit to the fans on the ground side and only after receiving a small current
from the Arduino will it complete the circuit this gives me an on and off
switch for the ROM effects and the fans controlled by the Arduino I can also use
this for speed control on the fans using a PWM signal I can quickly turn the fans
on and off about 50 times per second and if over any given second the fan is on
for 50 percent of the time that would translate to about 50 percent output
from the fan this will essentially give me an off low and high setting for the
fans from this board a few data cables for the ROM effects and fans a nine volt
and ground wire transfer over to the second board through this five volt
step-down which will then power this five volt rail the nine volts from the
first board will power the Arduino through the VIN pin and the 5 volt
step-down will power our lights and communication finally we have all of our
dwee now pin outs here which will go to each component in the helmet and all of
this is communicated through this Bluetooth module inside the helmet I
also printed a cover for that back panel with lines much straighter than my
dremel cuts back in video 3 I was hoping to attach some out blowing fans here but
with the fans on top of this grill my head no longer fits inside so it’ll just
be the cover so this is the part of the video where I get to do one of those
makeover show style reveals so with a flourish we can reveal our new back of
the helmet setup yes this is much better on every single
level there is less wires less mass the voltage readings are better throughout
the whole system and even better yet I can cover most of these boards with some
felt tape since heat isn’t really an issue except for on the Arduino and the
buck converters and that will only make these even more hidden and more cohesive
inside of the helmet now I keep talking about Arduino is controlling things and
adjusting fan speeds so how am I gonna do that when the helmet is on my head
well each clone is fitted with his own comm pad on his right forearm usually
this piece is just agreeing it has no real function but I plan on using mine
as a keyboard to input commands to the Arduino in the helmet the comm pad
itself will be built in a future episode but for now I’ve built this super sexy
temporary breadboard version it has an Arduino Nano which is very small but in
the actual forearm I’m going to use the even smaller Arduino Pro Mini I have six
buttons set up here for now and all this runs through the Bluetooth which sends
the commands to the Arduino in the helmet okay we’re ready to test this out
we have our comm pad here with the Bluetooth module if we were to look
inside the helmet right now you would see that the Arduino is on and the
Bluetooth module is blinking very quickly that means it is looking for its
partner which is sitting right here on the comm pad when we plugged power into
the comm pad we will see this LED come on when the Bluetooth modules are paired
so we’re waiting for this light here ok now that the light is on we know that
the two items are paired and we can start sending communication from this
Arduino to the Arduino in the head so we could start with the ROM effects since
we can hear that right away if I press the wrong effects button we hear the
wrong effects come on inside the helmet can also test out the lights we hit the
helmet light button we should see those blue lights come on very good I also set
up a disco button this is going to be my special lighting effect for right now
all I could think to do was add some crazy seizure inducing disco lights so
those will flash like that that should be a lot of fun to wear and lastly we
can test out the fans I’m not sure if you can hear this so I will put my
microphone inside the helmet and now if I press the fan button you and yeah so this works I couldn’t think
of any reasonable way to show you how the ear system works so you’ll just have
to take my word for it now let’s finally get this helmet fitting on my head
properly I bought this helmet padding system from Amazon along with the rest
of my velcro taped pieces I strategically placed these pads all
around the helmet so the fit is snug and my eyes are properly aligned with the
visor and as it’s becoming tradition in these videos the absolute last step is
to reinstall my macro binoculars put those ear Greeley’s back on and get
ready to wear my fully self-contained you left your clone trooper helmet for
the first time it’s cool all right that’s gonna do it for this video thanks
for tuning in I think I got everything more than nobody wanted to hear let me
turn on my helmet light so you can see me a little better I’m very happy to say
that we are finally going to be moving on to the armor the first video of that
is going to be the arms which will lead into the compound which controls the
helmet of course if you like these videos please take the time to subscribe
check out some of my other projects as always we’re going to finish its
progression shot so I will see you next time Disko

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