Steamy Steampunk Cosplay

Yet another Steampunk project on

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The journey of a steamy steampunk cosplay from the basic idea to the wearing ^^

P.S.: All links open in new tabs (unless I forgot to enable that function) ;)

In this project I'm going to publish updates on the process of making a steampunk cosplay, and the accessories that go along with it. I'll mainly focus on the electronics that will be included in the hat and on my left forearm. 

Don't forget to like and/or follow the project if you're interested and want to be notified when I publish a new log ;-)

Progress bar ! : 

c============================================================ɔ 100%

Project done ! I just need to write the last project logs :)


Nixie module Arduino code

ino - 1017.00 bytes - 02/05/2018 at 22:23


  • Nixie Module Update

    Frédéric Druppel02/05/2018 at 22:22 0 comments

    In the previous log, I talked about the basic functions and features of the nixie module. And guess what; it's finished ! Well at least electronically, I might still change some things for aesthetics :3

    (This log will consist of mostly images ^^)

    Here you can see the prototype with the final code programmed. The Arduino program has a few "random();" functions in order to display random numbers on each digit, and to turn the decimal point on and off (pseudo)randomly (code file can be found here).

    And here is a picture of the module when I was testing the connections.

    ...Aaand here are some pictures of the finished module :

    As you can see, I used some plastic foam and zip-ties to hold everything together; and as I said previously, I might change that (although that won't be visible 'cause only the tubes will go through the hat).

    The module runs on 12V, and eats between 10 and 13 milliamps, which is not very much ^^ But I could do better by reducing the Nixie Tube voltage a bit, and desoldering the PWR-Led from the Arduino Nano.

    As always, here's a little GIF to show the thing in action !! :

    Thanks for your attention !! :)

  • Nixie Module

    Frédéric Druppel01/31/2018 at 20:11 0 comments

    Previously, I said I wanted to have one or two nixie tubes on the hat. In my case I'm using a IN-12A, and a IN-12B tube. In order to make the assembly easier (and safer), I used a PCB that included a dedicated nixie driver (in my case, a K155ID1), designed by @M.daSilva.

    Here's a picture of what I'm talking about :

    As you can see, those are two PCBs linked together with breakable tabs (which I left for the sake of simplicity ^^). There's also an area for a transistor and his resistor for some nixie tubes that have a decimal point (like the IN-12B). 

    *One soldering session later*

    Here's what it looks like when assembled (Note that I soldered some "header pins" for the nixie tubes, instead of soldering them directly on the board) :


    And it works too ! 

    As you can see, I'm using an Arduino UNO to give both drivers the BCD signal they need in order to display the desired number. I wired them in parallel for now just for testing, but in the final design I'm going to drive them individually (which gives me 9 wires to work with : 4 for the first digit, 4 for the second one and 1 for the decimal point). 

    I'm also using a HV DC-DC boost converter based around the ever popular MC34063 (this module costs about 10$ on eBay, it's a great module for all kinds of tube-related projects).

    Well, I think that's it for now !! Thanks for your attention :)

    P.S.: Here's a little bonus for the people who reached the end. 

    If you want to hold a nixie tube in a helping-hand-tool-thingy, put a rubber band around the tube a few times, and grab the rubber band with the helping hand tool. That way you have all the pins accessible and you won't cause damage to the tube.

  • A mini fog machine

    Frédéric Druppel01/04/2018 at 13:30 0 comments

    As said in the previous log, I want my hat to have a working chimney.

    For that, I'm going to use a technique I saw on a YouTube video (this one). It consists of a small air pump (+⁄- 6$ on ebay), some tubing, and an e-cig atomizer (+⁄- 1,50$ on ebay). 

    The fog juice I'll be using is a custom made 70/30 glycerin/DI water mix. Why custom ? Just to be sure of what's inside, and to have more flexibility on the behavior of the fog.

    [Images coming relatively soon]

    And some tests later, it works ! (Test at 4V with custom fog juice)

    I changed the original design from the video a bit to make the wiring a bit cleaner, and to find an excuse for using my 3D printer :) I basically made an adapter to go from a large tube to a smaller, with holes so the wires that go to the atomizer can be routed cleanly : 

    That's all folks ! As always, leave a comment if you have a suggestion or idea ^^

  • General Plan & Ideas

    Frédéric Druppel01/04/2018 at 12:59 0 comments

    I've had the idea to make a steampunk cosplay for a while, and with the coming "Made in Asia" here in Belgium, I thought it was a great idea to begin now !

    So, first of all, I want my costume to be kind of classy, kind of impressive, but not over-complicated (as this is the first time I make my own costume, and because it would take too much time and money to add very high details everywhere). That's why I'm going to focus on the hat and my left forearm.

    Let's begin with my left forearm. I was thinking of adding a dozen (or two) xenon flash tubes in series, with a high voltage multiplier (like this one on ebay). Why ? Well, why not ! But more seriously; lightning effects are very visual, but if I have a big, loud spark gap on my forearm, people are going to be afraid, it will be dangerous for others as well as for me, and security isn't going to let me in. With flash tubes, the lightning effect is preserved, but it is way quieter, and much safer (as I can isolate the tubes terminals, and the arks are trapped in glass tubes). You may be thinking that the flash tubes will only make bright light flashs, but that isn't the case, as putting a dozen of them in series only lets small arks pass (because the power supply is very low current).

    Next up, the hat. Oohh yes, the hat. I think I might go crazy on this one. Okay, so, on the hat, I want to have : 

    • Functional switches
    • One or two nixie tubes
    • A real smoke/fog-making chimney 
    • An analog "needle type" meter/gauge 
    • Goggles (because, goggles)

    It may not seem like so, but I'm very excited about this :D

    I'm not going to give more details about the hat, as I probably will add a project log for every element ^^

    So, yeah ! I think that's about it, feel free to suggest any nice ideas !

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