2. Solder the components.
a. With the rails complete, begin the ties. Prepare
each resistor by cutting the last 1/3 off one of its
lead wires (it doesn’t matter which). With needlenose pliers, curl the cut end of the lead onto itself,
creating a small loop. Prepare each LED by bending
the long lead — the anode (positive) — at a right
angle to the base of the light. Leave the short lead
— the cathode (negative) — straight. Cut the last
¼ off the end of the anode and slip it into the
curled end of the resistor.
Take the pliers and curl the LED anode around
the resistor, locking them together. This makes
soldering easier. Now solder the place where the
2 are joined. Repeat this step until each resistor
has been joined to each LED.
b. Wiring of the switch depends on the switch itself.
Mine has 3 leads, but only 2 are needed to make
the circuit. A 3-lead switch should be tested to see
which 2 leads will make an open/closed circuit.
Now add a few inches of wire to the chosen leads
to make the switch accessible from inside the hoop.
3. Assemble the lights.
a. The 2 wire rails run parallel, one positive and
the other negative. Wire all the components to the
rails by twisting the leads around the sections of
stripped wire. Connect the LED cathodes to the
negative rail and the resistors to the positive rail,
placing your colored LEDs in any pattern desired.
Wire each one, and then, before soldering, press the
rail wires against the battery’s positive and negative
terminals to check that all is in working order. If the
LEDs do not light, check for loose twists and proper
polarity. When each LED lights properly, smile.
b. Carefully solder each component to the rails.
Wrap with electrical tape any exposed areas that
could possibly short out. Now mark each end of
each wire as positive or negative, for later reference.
This step is very important.
4. Create and thread the hoop.
a. Cut the tubing to 10½'. If it’s too tightly coiled,
gently bend it, and if necessary, apply heat from hot
water or a blow dryer to soften it so that it can be
plied into a circle. Very slowly, thread the circuit into
the tube. When I made this hoop, even gentle threading made one of the weaker components break,
requiring a repair with electrical tape. Go slowly, and
use the stiff wire to fish out the ends if there is a snag.
b. Choose one end of the tube for the switch and
battery. The switch will be set at the outside edge of