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connector question
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connector question

by hartmic3 on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:35 pm

I'm an origami artist and I'm planning a class project that would add LEDs to a paper sculpture.

I found your site(very cool), but I'm lost on how you convert from fabric conductive tape to copper wiring,so the end product could be plugged into a wall socket?

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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:42 pm

One approach would be to use copper foil tape as an interface, then solder your wires to that:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1128

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Re: connector question

by hartmic3 on Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:00 pm

That was my first thought...

But I have to worry about the paper catching fire.

Wouldn't the copper tape heat up when current passes through it??

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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:28 pm

The flash point of paper is about 235C. 60/40 solder melts at around 183C, Lead-free at 217C.
So solder will melt at temperatures lower than the flash-point of most papers. But with lead-free solder, it is getting rather close.

But you can always solder your wires to the copper tape before applying it to the paper.

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Re: connector question

by hartmic3 on Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:44 pm

I'm not worried about solder...

I am worried about the temperature of the copper tape with the energy of a standard 220 flowing through it.

The copper tape isn't insulated and I have to know that it isn't going to heat up.

hartmic3
 
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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:07 pm

Hmmmm. I assumed that you were using a low voltage power supply there.

If you are talking about running 120v AC through conductive fabric tape, then a couple of inches of copper should not be at the top of your list of concerns.

The primary concern would be the potentially lethal hazard of having exposed conductors carrying 120v AC.

You have not specified what you will be powering with the 120v. But if your load is drawing any substantial current, the fabric tape will be heating up far more than the copper tape - due to it's higher resistance.

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Re: connector question

by hartmic3 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:56 am

The end produce will be a paper structure lite by LEDs. Examples a paper dinosaur with LED eyes, a paper lamp lite by many LEDs.

They do not draw a lot of power, I'm worried about the 120.

Is there something that would lower the 120 to a safe amount, so there is no worry?

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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:11 am

Most LEDs operate at 5v or less. We have a selection of 5v power adapters here: https://www.adafruit.com/?q=5v

For the types of projects you describe, LED sequins would be a good choice: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-led-sequins
These will run on 3v-5v and have built-in current limiting, so you don't have to worry about burning them out.

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Re: connector question

by hartmic3 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:50 pm

I have seen plugs like those before but they don't have open wires.

Would I just cut off the connector end to access the wires? If I do how do I know which wire is which(Hot/Ground)?

I need to have the cord that plugs into the wall connect to an on/off switch.

Then have wires run from the switch to the art structure.

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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:24 pm

You can connect this on/off switch to the output of the power supply: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1125
Then connect one of these adapters to the output of the switch: https://www.adafruit.com/product/368
Then you can run wires from the screw-terminals to your your artwork. The positive and negative terminals are marked on the adapter.

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Re: connector question

by hartmic3 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:00 pm

Ok, that is great and all but I'm a teacher...

I can't afford $20+ per student on a single project.

Thanks for the help but your products are out of my price range.

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Re: connector question

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:24 pm

$5.95 worth of copper tape should be sufficient for a few hundred projects.
Any phone charger will work for a power supply.
You can eliminate the adapter if you don't mind cutting and stripping some cables.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.