At this point all of our circuitry works great on the breadboard. Unfortunately, the breadboard does not fin inside our device. My current task has been determining how to make all the batteries, wires, and light fit and function in the device. I have encountered a couple problems through this process and have come up with several potential solutions for each.
1. We can not fit alkaline batteries with enough voltage into the space we have.
-We could potentially change the lights we are using so that they would require a lower voltage that we could more easily fit. The other components are sort of set, but we have some wiggle room in changing the LEDs. We have looked at using individual LEDs and stringing them together. We could set them in a sort of plate to hold them in place and attach the wiring behind the plate.
-We could use different batteries. We again turned to our trusty friend Zach for advice using lithium ion batteries. He told us to use four 3.7 V AAA Lithium ion batteries connected in series to get 12V. He even showed us what sort of holder we could use and gave us a link to where we might find these things.
(Li-ion Battery Connector suggested by Zach)
2. The wires don’t stay attached to the lights or batteries.
-We tried using every type of adhesive we could find and nothing worked, the wires always came off. So, I did a little research and discovered that the only thing the sticks to silicone is more silicone. We then did several test with silicone to make sure that it would hold the wires to the lights. It doesn’t. If we find no other options, silicone will work well enough, but I’d always worry that the connection would come apart inside the device and the user would be unable to fix it.
-Option two was a fancy little thing Paloma found called Sugru. If you want to learn more about what this material does visit this link: http://sugru.com. This is supposed to be a solid yet flexible material, good for wires. Once it is placed on an object it is not supposed to come off. We intend to test this in the same way we tested the silicone and other adhesives.
(Benefits of Sugru- http://www.solidsmack.com/design/sugru-design-hack-fabrication-material-technology/)
-The last idea I have is to solder the wire to the light. However, the contact point may be too small for this to be effective and removing the silicone in order to access the contact could potential damage the wiring within the lights. We will test this method if the sugru falls through.
Hopefully we will be able to work out these issues in a timely manner so that we can start putting the components all together and watch our device really work. Moving forward from the bread boarding I will work on making changes to the 3D model and re-printing a new case with better buttons and a working locking-mechanism.
Until next time.