You know that I work as an electronics technician, however, I also “work” as tecnical service for cosplayers (and artists/designers to lesser degree). I make the complicated/challenging bits that most cosplayers/artists don’t have the tools to do. (who has a mill AND a lathe AND a laser cutter at home?!, just to name a few tools)
As it seems, being an inventive person lands you in or around this kind of position.
It is not an easy way of making money (if any!), especially since all, and I mean ALL, cosplayers tend to procrastinate until deadlines, so it requires a willingness to work long hours, at odd times, and you don’t always get thanked adequately.
But in the end you learn to only pick up projects with real chances of being finished.
I’m not a prop kind of guy, so I only get into it to build things that I wouldn’t normally do, because I hate having bulky bits around, they only gather dust.
An interesting build I did six months ago, was the structure and lighting from these VI gauntlets from League of Legends (wich I don’t play, nor interests me).
You can look the frame in FB, as I’m here to talk about the leds and battery related issues. They don’t even have a microcontroller, just some leds and switches, like stupitools, but awesomer because there’s a pretty girl on it.
A simple pinky actuated switch lights up each glove, and that’s enough:
The knucles are made in two separarate pieces, the lightguides (one sided sanded acrylic so the led light shines as a flat surface and not like a single point source):
Cosplayers have the bad habit of using leds to directly light things, when it’s much more efficient to use scattering:
The chest piece also had a lighted gem:
As I was saying, this gem had it’s own power source. I have to say, is that I HATE using batteries, AA, AAA, 9V…no, really…WHY?!, we have lipos now, more form factors than we can dream of, cheap and practical mini and micro USB chargers for almost nothing (more on that later). That said, we used AA batteries on the gauntlets because cosplayers are lazy…and we ran out of time for anything else.
The thing is I wanted to integrate the charger in the vest, and looked into the TP4056 chip as an easy way to do it.
As much as I wanted to spin my own boards, buying the chip alone was* more expensive than ordering ready made boards from ebay! And since space was not an issue, the refining details I would have added (making the board 1/4 size, components on both sides, low power charging only, as little disipation is avaliable in such a small package), were not enough to overcome the price difference.
All in all, an interesting experience. But remember, working with cosplayers is HARD, and if you think you know it, think twice.
*Not anymore, the chip is like 14 cents per in 10 units package…I might spin some microboards for it…