Daft Punk`s Helmet


Daft Punk`s Helmet
Daft Punk’s Helmet
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Daft Punk’s Helmet
First let me start by saying, this is not a novel project; this was
created modeling the real Daft Punk’s helmet. I am a 10th grade student
with passion for DJ’ing and last Halloween I needed a custom to enter
the High School contest and the helmet came to mind. Also bear in
mind that both of my parents are electrical engineers, hence I was not
alone and I was hoping they would help me build the electronics and so
they did. AND… Our effort paid off, due that we got some quality family
build time and… we WON the contest. This was just a fun little sideproject; nothing that I thought would become popular. There might be
some flaws, but hey, that’s inevitable. If you want an actual helmet, be
sure you want to shell out $250,000 from Daft Punk themselves…
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 2
Daft Punk’s Helmet
I will split the build in two main sections:
1. Building the Helmet
2. Building the Electronics for the Helmet
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 3
Daft Punk’s Helmet
This is what we are going after.
Don’t worry, it’s much easier than it seems 
It is best if you work on this in your garage or someplace where you
don’t mind getting a little messy.
Helmet Build
1. Gather/buy all necessary materials.
2. Start with the card board making the structure to define the new
shape for the helmet’s visor (we used a dish that happened to have
the desired size) then we cut two pieces of the same shape for the
top and bottom of the visor.
3. Then we measured the chin and cut it from the card board.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 4
Daft Punk’s Helmet
4. Once you have all cardboard for the support structure, assemble
them as they appear in this picture. Secure the pieces together and
onto the helmet using a glue gun. Notice that the three transversal
pieces are temporal support; they will be cut off after applying the
fiber glass.
5. Let the glue dry then apply some amount of foam onto the upper
and lower visor. After the foam dries, shape it using the edge of the
cardboard with a knife. (We used foam as filler, using only fiberglass
will make the helmet very heavy).
6. Next, take your scissors and cut off about one-fourth off the bottom
of a soda can.
7. Then glue the bottom of the soda cans onto the sides of the helmet.
8. Cut the fabric that comes with the fiber glass to cover all the card board, this
with the catalytic following the instructions from the manufacturer,
then apply the fiberglass to the helmet, especially to the upper and
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 5
Daft Punk’s Helmet
lower visors (however, avoid the ears). Once the fiberglass dries, you
will need to sand it to add smoothness and evenness. Repeat this
step until you get the desired angle of the visor, using varying grades
of sandpaper.
9. Continue applying fiber glass, let it dry then sand it to achieve the
desired profile.
10. Apply automotive bondo mix according to the manufacturer’s
specs, this is used to fill up any unevenness or flaws left by the fiber
glass process, and start wet/un-wet sanding depending on the sand
paper you be using, you will need to apply bondo  sandrepeat
until you get really close to the desired smoothness, this takes a lot
of elbow grease but it’s fun,you can ask for help...
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 6
Daft Punk’s Helmet
11. Next, apply the chrome paint to the entire helmet, making sure it
has an even coat. Follow up with gloss, for extra shine. (Be sure
however, that your helmet is as smooth as possible)
12. Next, you must then measure the approximate dimensions of
your helmet’s visor hole. Then use these measurements to cut out a
visor out of the clear Plexiglas.
13. Before proceeding, make sure you have completed the electronics
portion, as it is easier to fit the LED’s in the helmet beforehand.
14. Lastly, (Carefully) Use the heat gun to shape the visor in such a
way so that it fits snugly into the visor hole of your helmet.
15. Remove the glass then we will apply the polarizing film.
16. Install back the visor now polarized and you can choose to secure
the visor with the glue gun to the helmet if necessary.
And that’s it! 
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 7
Daft Punk’s Helmet
Ctty Description
1 MSP430 Launchpad
1 MSP430G2553
1 UDN2982
1 STP16DP05
1 500 Ohms Resistor
1 USB battery pack
256 RED 3mm LEDs
1 Fusion Core Board
1 Misc Wire
Part No Cost
$4.35 Allied Electronics
$2.00 Allied Electronics
$2.50 Allied Electronics
$2.00 Allied Electronics
$0.01 Allied Electronics
$20 Allied Electronics
Allied Electronics
$11 Ohmselectronics
This is what we are going after.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 8
Daft Punk’s Helmet
Helmet Electronic’s Build
First some Theory: The helmet features a LCD banner consisting
of 32 columns of 8 leds that is 32x8=256 LEDs, this banner is driven by
the MSP430 Launchpad, this last has 14 generic I/O’s available,
therefore in order to drive as many LED’s and to save power we will use
multiplexing and the Persistence of vision peinciples.
PERSISTENCE OF VISION: is the phenomenon of the eye by which
an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth
of a second on the retina.
The myth of persistence of vision is the belief that
human perception of motion (brain centered) is the result of
persistence of vision (eye centred). The myth was debunked in 1912 by
Wertheimer but persists in many citations in many classic and modern
film-theory texts. A more plausible theory to explain motion perception
(at least on a descriptive level) are two distinct perceptual illusions: phi
phenomenon and beta movement.
A visual form of memory known as iconic memory has been
phenomenon. Although psychologists and physiologists have rejected
the relevance of this theory to film viewership, film academics and
theorists generally have not. Some scientists nowadays consider the
entire theory a myth.
In contrasting persistence of vision theory with phi phenomena, a
critical part of understanding that emerges with these visual
perception phenomena is that the eye is not a camera. In other words
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 9
Daft Punk’s Helmet
vision is not as simple as light registering on a medium, since the brain
has to make sense of the visual data the eye provides and construct a
coherent picture of reality. Joseph Anderson and Barbara Fisher argue
that the phi phenomena privileges a more constructionist approach to
the cinema (David Bordwell, Noël Carroll, Kirsten Thompson), whereas
the persistence of vision privileges a realist approach (André
Bazin, Christian Metz, Jean-Louis Baudry).
The discovery of persistence of vision is attributed to the Roman
poet Lucretius, although he only mentions it in connection with images
seen in a dream. In the modern era, some stroboscopic experiments
performed by Peter Mark Roget in 1824 were also cited as the basis for
the theory
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_of_vision
Multiplexing is sending multiple signals or streams of information
on a carrier at the same time in the form of a single, complex signal and
then recovering the separate signals at the receiving end. In analog
transmission, signals are commonly multiplexed using frequencydivision multiplexing (FDM), in which the carrier bandwidth is divided
into subchannels of different frequency widths, each carrying a signal at
the same time in parallel. In digital transmission, signals are commonly
multiplexed using time-division multiplexing (TDM), in which the
multiple signals are carried over the same channel in alternating time
slots. In some optical fiber networks, multiple signals are carried
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 10
Daft Punk’s Helmet
together as separate wavelengths of light in a multiplexed signal using
dense wavelength division multiplexing(DWDM).
Source: http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/multiplexing
In Plain English: the LED banner/display is comprised of eight
rows of thirty two LEDs, each row (32 bits) is refreshed 32
times per second, it would appear that all the rows (ie all
LEDs) are on at the same time, but that is a trick our eyes
plays to us, only one row is lit at the time but to our eyes it
looks like all them are on, this is due to the Persistive Of
Vision principle, Televisions use the same principle.
What is an LED?
A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source.[1]
LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly
used for other lighting. Introduced as a practical electronic component
in 1962, [2] early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light, but modern
versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet and infrared
wavelengths, with very high brightness.
When a light-emitting diode is forward biased (switched on),
electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device,
releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called
electroluminescence and the color of the light (corresponding to the
energy of the photon) is determined by the energy gap of the
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 11
Daft Punk’s Helmet
semiconductor. LEDs are often small in area (less than 1 mm2), and
integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation
pattern.[3] LEDs present many advantages over incandescent light
sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved
robustness, smaller size, faster switching, and greater durability and
reliability. LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are relatively
expensive and require more precise current and heat management
than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode
Something to remember, this system is configured as Common Anode,
hence Rows have all anodes from that row connected together and
columns have all Cathodes connected together for each column.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 12
Daft Punk’s Helmet
Building the LED ARRAY:
To build the LED array we will need to build a jig, to align the LEDs, the
LED array will be a matrix of LEDs where all cathodes of the LEDs from
each column are connected together and all the anodes from the LEDs
from each row are connected together, that will produce an LED matrix
with 8 row and 32 column connections.
By measuring the window in the helmet we have approximately 8 ½
inches to place the DISPLAY, we will divide that length by 32 and spread
the LEDs. Using the Drill and the 3mm drill bit, we create the jig.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 13
Daft Punk’s Helmet
This is a close up to the rows and columns connections
We first connect the rows then create a special bend to connect the
Now to drive the system we will use serial to parallel shift registers,
these have a serial input, a clock and a latch, and take serial data from
the MSP430 and put it out on the 32 columns, remember we will be
flashing a row of 32 bits at the time, the rows are enabled with an
UDN2982 which is a source driver handled directly by the MCU, this
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 14
Daft Punk’s Helmet
driver has 500mA source capabilities, the STP16DP05 are serial to
parallel LED sink drivers. You could picture the system as below
We used the Launchpad from Texas Instruments
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 15
Daft Punk’s Helmet
And three fifths of the Core Fusion Board by Ohmselectronics
[email protected]
We cut the board on strategic places to keep the Lauchpad foorprint
along with the UDN2982 in a single piece, then we cut the four
STP16DP08 as single pieces, we will use only two of them, as shown.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 16
Daft Punk’s Helmet
The surface mount SOIC packaged ICs are easy to put on with standard
soldering station.
The MSP430G2553 is a DIP so can be just swapped on the Launchpad
This is the final circuit.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 17
Daft Punk’s Helmet
The firmware for the MSP430 was developed by my dad using
CodeComposerStudio (from TI) and C.
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 18
Daft Punk’s Helmet
You should end up looking like this , The WINNER!!
Carlos Flores “Exhul2”
Page 19