» Cut and strip 2 leads about 12" long. Solder one to
the bare core conductor and the other to the copper tape. Use the proper color leads to designate
the frame (but stripe vs. solid can go either way).
» Test the segment by connecting it to a working
driver (Figure H, previous page). If it lights up,
cover the joint with a piece of heat-shrink tubing.
The blinking eyelid covers different amounts
of the blue iris and pupil, so frames A–C all include
iris and pupil segments, even though these elements don’t move. Where the frames’ segments
represent the same lines in the original drawing,
we mounted them side by side so they wouldn’t
block each other (Figure K).
After mounting all the segments for each frame
(Figure L), bundle the leads together in back and
label them for final connection later.
5. Mount the segments,
frame by frame.
Starting with the common frame, attach all the
segments for each frame to the front of the board,
following the drawing and running the leads out the
back. To minimize the spaghetti in back, pick one
side of the board to carry the leads, and drill pilot
holes on that side where each segment starts.
To hold the segments down and guide them
around curves, we made “staples” out of 28-gauge
steel wire. Drill pilot holes where you want the
staples to sit, run each end of the staple through the
holes, then fit the staple snugly around the lightwire
and fold its ends flat on the backside using needlenose pliers (Figures I and J).
6. Connect the frames to the
driver and sequencer.
The 10-channel sequencer can switch from frame 1
to frame 4, but it doesn’t include an always-on
output, so we connect the common frame leads
to a different box, a cube driver.
Test each lightwire strand again by alligator-clipping its leads to a driver. Although we tested
them before, the soldered connections can break
when the strands are mounted, and it’s easier to
identify and repair individual elements before
they’re connected together.
148 Make: Volume 21