TL;DR: I need to reduce the number of wires my setup is using. What would be the best way? A Voltage Divider?
I'm working on a project to design gloves that produce a lightshow effect for a Scarlet Witch costume. Each glove contains 3 flex sensors, values read and used analog via analogRead, and 2 RGB LED strips that will flash different colors. Each strip has 2 LED's on it, in series. I am not using the green channel on it, so I have 2 strips each with essentially 2 red LED's in series and 2 blue LED's in series. It's actually from an adafruit RGB led strip: https://learn.adafruit.com/rgb-led-strips/ where I desoldered the last LED in the series of 3 and jumped the connections so it only used two. I didn't need the 3rd LED, and it reduced the power needed from 12v down to where it can use a 9v battery.
So as I'm calculating, each glove will need 9 wires going to it. One is +3.3v or +5v as it will be running off an Arduino Pro Mini, I have both 3.3v and 5v available.
1: +3.3v or 5v 2: Bend sensor 1 3: Bend sensor 2 4: Bend sensor 3 5: +9v for LEDs 6: PWM for Red on Strip 1 7: PWM for Blue on Strip 1 8: PWM for Red on Strip 2 9: PWM for Blue on Strip 2
Every set of wires I have access to without heat shrinking stuff is 2, 4, or 8 wires. All of the connectors I have that will allow the gloves to be easily detached are 8 wire pins as well.
My problem is I'm trying to remove one of the 9 wires. One way to do that would run the flex sensors with 9v, and reduce the voltage back at the arduino. Would a resistor based voltage divider work? It would only be powered while the gloves are on, which will be at worst a 10% duty cycle (show them off for 30 seconds, walk around for a few minutes, etc). But would that work where I need to read a variable value? (The more the fingers flex, the light brightness and and pulse speed changes).
Is there a better way to do it? Everything I've ever read about voltage dividers with resistors is "just don't do it".
Or given what I mentioned above about the circuit, can anyone think of an ingenious way to consolidate one of the wires? The gloves are tight, fingerless leather gloves. There is VERY LITTLE room in them, otherwise I'd put the arduino in the gloves themselves, but the MOSFET's (or even transistors if I went that way) take up entirely too much room. Hence the 'power pack'.
Worst case I can take the flex sensor off the wrist (that turns the gloves on when your wrist is pulled back/up, like how spider-man bends his wrist when shooting webs) and turn the gloves on/off with a finger movement, but I'd rather not have to both program that, as well as having the gloves turn on accidentally if a finger twitches :)