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Plan a good route for the LED wires, from the toe
stop to the control box. Drill a hole in the box for the
LED wires, leaving them about 3" long.
9. Build the control board. I used a small printed
circuit board that came with my plastic project box.
First, I installed a socket for the PIC, and then I built
the circuit around it. Make sure the PIC chip power
is run through the voltage regulator and only gets
5 volts. The solder connections were placed on the
outside of the PC board to make hooking up the
power and LED wires easier.
I connected 47Ω current-limiting resistors to the
LEDs to prolong the battery life. This was bright
enough in a well-lit rink.
Bigclive.com has complete
kits with the circuit boards if you want, but the
board was just a little too big to fit my skates.
10. Find a place for the battery. I installed the
battery next to the heel of the boot between the
boot and plate (Figure I, previous page). I used
velcro to hold it in place. Now, plan where you’ll run
the battery wires, then drill a small hole in the
control box for them. Insert the wire into the box.
11. Solder the battery power wires to the power
148 Make: Volume
H( ; I(
H) ; I)
H* ; I*
switch and the control PCB. Next, wire in the
program and option push-button switches; they are
pins 2 and 3 on the PIC chip (the other side of the
switches are grounded). Next, solder the common
(white) wire for the UFO LED to the battery positive
and then the red, green, and blue LED wires to the
47Ω current-limiting resistors from the field-effect
transistor (FET) outputs (Figure J).
12. Install the translucent jam plug. Turn on the
UFO controller with the power switch. The LED will
start displaying colors. By holding down both the
program and option switches simultaneously for
a short time, you can toggle the PIC between the
standard and FX modes. The option switch will allow
you to slow down or speed up the program mode.
Place the cover on the control box and reassemble
the roller skates by attaching the skate trucks and
wheels (Figure J).
That’s it! Now you’re all set to take your skates to
the rink and trip — er — roll the lights fantastic!
When Dan Bassak isn’t experimenting with LEDs or dodging rink vipers, you can find him tinkering in the kitchen or
tending the organic vegetable garden.