Wearable Speeder Bikes Are Ready For A Night Out

While Hackaday is about as far from a fashion blog as you can possibly get, we have to admit we’re absolutely loving the [bithead942] Winter 2018 Collection. His wife and daughter recently got to model his latest must have design: wearable Star Wars speeder bikes; and judging by the video after the break they were certainly some of the best dressed at the Thanksgiving parade.

[bithead942] started the build by taking careful measurements of a vintage speeder bike model kit his wife had, which allowed to accurately recreate the iconic look of the vehicles as they were seen in Return of the Jedi . But to do them justice, the final “bikes” would need to be around three meters (ten feet) long, which immediately posed a problem. What kind of material could support itself over that length while still being light enough to wear for extended periods of time?

The answer came, as it often does, from the local hardware store. He found that a combination of Schedule 80 and 40 PVC pipe was a perfect material: strong enough to support the desired dimensions without bending, light enough that the final bike wouldn’t be uncomfortable to wear, easy to bend with heat, and perhaps best of all, cheap and readily available. The PVC frame was then covered with chicken wire and thin flexible foam to give it a filled out look without weighing them down.

Even though he had a strict weight limit on the build, [bithead942] couldn’t help but add in some electronics to complete the effect. The LED festooned control panel allows the ladies to trigger different sound effects from the movie stored on a Adafruit Mini FX Sound Board, which is connected to a 20W Class D amplifier and a pair of 400 watt car stereo speakers. He says the resulting playback was loud enough to hear outside during the parade, and only added a few pounds to the overall build.

These may be the bikes you’re looking for, but they’re definitely not the first we’ve featured on Hackakday. Meanwhile you’d be wise not to underestimate the lowly PVC pipe when designing your next project. From a hacked together drill press for your Dremel to a planetarium for you and your closest dozen or so friends, there’s little you can’t build with this plentiful material.

8 thoughts on “Wearable Speeder Bikes Are Ready For A Night Out

      1. Actually, come to think of it those speakers are probably decently matched to that amplifier, since a 400 watt driver as advertised on ebay or amazon typically comes out to maybe 20 watts RMS :)

        But then again that class D amp probably is 3 watts RMS masquerading as 20. Hey, if it works it works. How these shenanigans aren’t considered false advertising is beyond me. Some shady speaker manufacturer must have had a really creative lawyer once upon a time.

    1. Reminds me of no-name brand PC speakers from the late ’90s. $10 could buy you a pair of “300W” amplified speakers, which upon further inspection would be followed by “PMPO” in the finest of print to qualify the useless measurement.

  1. PVC tubing is sometimes used to make frames for movie screens. It works very well for curved screens, since it will take a small bend, that can be held in place with a supporting framework, similar to what was done with your model Speeder Bikes.

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