LED costume project

Hi everybody. Little prologue to my upcoming project... I have a friend who is becoming more and more popular singer. She has 2 dancers with her on stage. Now I thought I light up their costumes with different RGB LEDs and LED stripes. And I want to synchronically control them. I thought about using two little Arduinos for costumes and 1 Mega I have for control. For communication I could use something like that: http://cgi.ebay.com/433-MHz-Superregeneration-wireless-Kit-Arduino-MCU-/150572711418?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ed53dfa Would that work somehow? Range? I need maybe 30 meters. Can anybody recommend a battery? Better, if it's flat so we can hide it. It should power Arduinos and LEDs on costumes. Should last 25 minutes and all LEDs are not constantly on. Therefore I also need some LED driver that can run my LEDs. RGB LED stripes use 12V, LED diodes only about 2-3V. I don't want to lose battery power on power conversions so I probably need efficient driver. Maybe some IC can do it with low amper loss. When running probrams I thought to program those slave Arduinos and then execute programs with master. Maybe start ordering stuff from eBay already tomorrow. Want to finish in a month. If You have any suggestions or recommendations about components to use, then fire them here.

Many thanks in advance, Ragnar

I have a better suggestion for RF: Sparkfun MO-SAWR, WRL-08946 TX MO-RX3400, WRL-08950 RX These parts work. In costumes, 8 MHz 3.7V ProMini with LiPo batteries Use boost regulator for 12V for the strips http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/799 Add some kind of open collector driver such as ULN2803 to drive the 12V LEDs, others can be driven direct from arduino pins, or from a shift register if have more to control than the available outputs (D0-D19, with D11/12 needed for for RF)

CrossRoads: I have a better suggestion for RF: Sparkfun MO-SAWR, WRL-08946 TX MO-RX3400, WRL-08950 RX These parts work. In costumes, 8 MHz 3.7V ProMini with LiPo batteries Use boost regulator for 12V for the strips http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/799 Add some kind of open collector driver such as ULN2803 to drive the 12V LEDs, others can be driven direct from arduino pins, or from a shift register if have more to control than the available outputs (D0-D19, with D11/12 needed for for RF)

Thank for the reply. What's the difference between those eBay and Sparkfun radio modules? WRL-08950 is also deprecated. ProMini should do fine if I also use shift register. I actually don't know the number of outputs I need yet. To drive 12V LEDs you mean like: battery -> boost regulator -> ULN2803 -> LED? 2803 was 500mA per channel if I remember correctly. I'm not sure it's enough for a channel.Of course I can also use bigger transistors, right?

Those buggers! The difference are these work and you don't need to wait for weeks for shipping from China. See if you can find them elsewhere then. Here are their datasheets http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/MO-RX3400_RX.pdf http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/MO-SAWR_TX.pdf

LED strips - depends on their needs. If just a string of 5 LEDs in series for instance, then 12V to anode, bottom cathode to current limit resistor to open collector output of ULN2803. High into 2803 makes output go low and lets current flow thru LEDs (typically 20-30mA).

CrossRoads: Those buggers! The difference are these work and you don't need to wait for weeks for shipping from China. See if you can find them elsewhere then. Here are their datasheets http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/MO-RX3400_RX.pdf http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/MO-SAWR_TX.pdf

LED strips - depends on their needs. If just a string of 5 LEDs in series for instance, then 12V to anode, bottom cathode to current limit resistor to open collector output of ULN2803. High into 2803 makes output go low and lets current flow thru LEDs (typically 20-30mA).

I'm located in Estonia and I didn't find those modules in our shops. I still need to order them from somewhere else. I use those You suggested. I don't want to limit with 5 LEDs only. Body, arms, legs covered in LED and then switching different colors. Maybe about 100 LEDs per dancer. I also need to learn that transistor switching system little bit more. I didn't understand much You said about that. :)

This is what I meant about hooking up LEDs.

You can have single transistors like this, or a part like the ULN2803 which has 8 transistors in a nice package.

Yes, I know basic connection rules and I also have some 2803s laying around. I didn't get "High into 2803 makes output go low and lets current flow thru LEDs" I thought if output goes low, then there is no output. But now I understand that it's NPN transistor and it does not drive current but 0V or GND. I connect anode to + and cathode gets + thru transistor. I need to order my LED stripes from eBay and these are probably chinese stuff. Something like http://cgi.ebay.com/5M-500cm-SMD-5050-RGB-150-LED-Strip-IR-Remote-NEW-/320663431929?pt=UK_Gadgets&hash=item4aa907aaf9#ht_4023wt_989 because I didn't find any cheaper stuff. Also I try to find some RGB LED diodes. And where can I buy Arduino ProMini for a good price and shipping in Europe?

In Europe? I don't know. They are made in Italy tho, maybe a place like Farnell? Or Mouser if they distribute in Europe? You can order some ATMEGA328 or 168, 16 MHz crystal, two 22 pF caps, 10k resistor, three 0.1uF (100nF) caps, 10uF cap and just make your own. Buy a duemilanove to use as a programming platform for the rest. Everything else is just connectors.

Just sent query to Farnell's local reseller. Now just need to collect required parts and start building. Or do you have some more good tips for me? :)

Are you going to make up circuit cards, or just wire a couple by hand? If by hand, download a free schematic editor like from www.expresspcb.com to capture design & post here if need help. If you will have PCBs made, download eaglesoft so you can have boards made, will be easier if need/want to use surface mount parts also.

I have been making fencing scoring machines, here is a hand-wired control board for the latest assembled unit PCB is "island of holes", each hole has own solder pad. wirewrap pins are soldered in place, then all connections made with wirewrap. Looks like a bed of nails on the back. You may need something different to make it thinner and more wearable?