Create Strips

Begin with the 8 strips of pixels that will go on one side of the jacket. Pick a side to start with since they cannot be switched once started. Start with the data line and finish with the ground and power lines, braiding wires, if desired. 

Refer to the circuit diagram as needed. 

Start by connecting the data line between LEDs, ensuring that the arrows all point in the same direction!

Focus on two strips to start.

As the strips are on the jacket, measure the distance between the data out of the upper strip to the data in of the lower strip & cut a piece of thin wire ~1/2" (1.3 cm) longer.

Please be careful using a hot soldering iron to prevent burns. Unplug when not in use.

Complete the data line using pads and wires that have been tinned. Solder the data in to the data out using the wire. Solder the wire to the data in pad on the back of the strips.

When soldering to small copper pads, I find that its easiest to strip about 1/4" of silicone sheathing off the wire, tin the wire, and then trim down the exposed wire to a more appropriate size. The copper pads on the 144 led/meter strips are super tiny and too long of a tinned wire will happily attach itself to whatever surface mounted part is nearby. 

Cut 14 wires long enough for the distance between the ground and power lines of each pixel. On half (7) of the wires, strip and tin both sides as the power wires. On the other half (7), strip and tin just one side as the ground wires.

If using wires of different colors, this method of stripping is not necessary.

Start one pixel section up from the bottom. 

Twist and tin the tips of two power wires to a copper pad marked power.

On the same pixel section, twist and tin two ground wires to a copper pad marked ground.

 

Braid the wires down to the end pixel. Braiding is optional, but really helps with wire management!

Solder the power wire to the copper pad marked power. The power wires will have stripped ends and should be soldered first.

Strip and solder the ground wire to the copper pad marked ground. The ground wires will need to be tinned before soldering.

Continue to solder sections and braided together wires until one side is complete. Take a break!

Repeat for the opposite side. Take another break!

This guide was first published on Aug 07, 2019. It was last updated on Aug 07, 2019. This page (Create Strips) was last updated on Sep 04, 2019.