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Water Proofing (light up) Fibre-Optic Vest and battery

Mikhail

Jul 27, 2017
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Jul 27, 2017
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Hey guys,

I am a complete noob to electronics. I have a great light up hoodie that works well. The material is fibre-optic linen. It uses PMMA fibers 0.25mm diameter.

It is connected to 1600Mah standard battery. Fabric is similar to this.

https://www.amazon.com/Fiber-Optic-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=J6E871NCZ493QFWTNSNY

https://www.amazon.com/Fiber-Optic-...92062&sr=1-5-catcorr&keywords=light+up+hoodie

I was wondering if anybody can give me some directions on how can I do it.

The plan is for the hoodie to be able to function under water, battery attached. If that is flat out impossible, I don't mind keeping the battery out of the water but that still means the cords have to be protected.

I am very obsessed with this idea! Ready to spend upwards of $1000 on this!
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Jun 25, 2010
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6,514
Not sure how the light is emitted - if it's from a point-source LED then all you have to do is water-proof the area where the LEDs are fitted..... and thereby starts your problems.

Waterproofing isn't easy and most certainly when you're starting from a point where the item in question isn't already designed to be so. Getting a waterproof seal on joints takes some work and may make the final 'modified' device bulky and ugly.

What level of waterproofing are you after - shower proof, submersible?

We'd need to see close up pictures of the electrical areas - the power pack, the LEDs, any wiring etc before committing to any specific suggestions though.
 

Mikhail

Jul 27, 2017
4
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Jul 27, 2017
Messages
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Understood,

The goal is to make it submersible up to 3.3 feet underwater. What happens to the product does not matter. I just want to snap pics underwater once for the project. I also ordered the fibre optic fabric by itself, so I am open to adjusting the design or applying the fabric itself to something like a lifeguard's vest.

Here are the points of concern:

1. light is emitted from several LED bulbs located inside the jacket - it is bunched up together and tied with a tape. I am pretty sure this part can be waterproofed without too many issues.

2. Second point of weakness is the jack and and the battery port. That part will be very tricky to waterproof. I was thinking creating a plastic bubble around the battery and the cable and waterproofing it.

3. Third point of weakness are the tips of the fibres themselves. I am just not sure if they are closed off or are they open (very small). I will find out asap. If they are open - they won't resist being submerged. The whole material will have to be thickly coated with something like epoxy then.
 

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Mikhail

Jul 27, 2017
4
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Jul 27, 2017
Messages
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I found fibre optic products that claim to be 'waterproof' on Ali-Baba. Here are some links. The tech they use might be similar - the power source and wiring are water-proof and the fibre optic maybe thicker and closed at the end.

1. https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...2057.html?spm=a2700.7724838.2017115.35.utd9t6

2. https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...4084.html?spm=a2700.7724838.2017115.83.pvbCVY

3. https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...spm=a2700.7724857.main07.1.2a57c79eQEcaE7&s=p

4. https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...ml?spm=a2700.7724857.main07.12.2a57c79eQEcaE7

5. THIS ONE FEATURES SOME TIPS FOR THE FIBER BUNCHES
https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...?spm=a2700.details.maylikehoz.8.81697ef6uU8xD
 

Audioguru

Sep 24, 2016
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Why worry about waterproofing the parts? The voltage is very low so the leakage current in water will be very low. The LEDs and battery work fine when they are under water. But after many hours they might corrode.
 

Mikhail

Jul 27, 2017
4
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Jul 27, 2017
Messages
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@Audioguru - I need the vest to be able to light up up to 3 feet under water (IP67). The hoodie has survived rain with no problem, but the electronic parts will fail if they come in contact with water. According to the manufacturer.

Luckily the whole system is pretty simple.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
6,514
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The LED fibres are none conductive and 'solid' (AFAIK) so won't allow water ingress.

As Audioguru says, if it's low power and fresh water then the battery system will work for as long as you state you need it to however if the battery pack is of any issue then placing it in an IP67 rated box and using an appropriate gland to exit the cable is straightforward.

For 'improved' underwater use (again, fresh water and limited immersion time) the individual LEDs could be 'potted' in clear epoxy and providing there's not too much flexing where the wire exits the epoxy you will get an extended lifetime of use - no guarantees how much though....
 
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