2012-Aug-08, Wednesday

Lilypad Holders

2012-Aug-08, Wednesday 12:51 pm
chebe: (OnTheVergeOfSomethingWonderful)
Here's something I meant to talk about months ago. Lilypad microcontrollers are meant to be sewn into projects. Which can be time consuming, and seriously limits their resusability. (Also, I'd be much more willing to wash my e-garment if I could detach the microcontroller first.) So people have been coming up with shields/adapters to make their Lilypad projects more modular.

One that's pretty cool, and uses a 3-D printer, is the Lilypad Holder from mizliz via thingiverse. Namit very kindly printed me up a couple.

They fit the original microcontroller, the Simple Board (although it doesn't use all the holes), and even the XBee shield. The board is kept in place with a magnet glued into the little hole beneath where the board goes.

But, as I was filing out the holes I realised something; the metal snaps point up. Which means either the FTDI header is face down (making it hard to reach and program) or the other components are loose and not connected to the base material. That could be changed by altering the 3-D model to invert the outside ring though, probably.

But then I also realised the wires (wires!?) from the snaps are soldered directly onto the Lilypad pads themselves. Meaning any board you use with this holder is permanently committed. It's still a really cool idea, just doesn't match the way I work.

There are also a couple of nifty soft-circuit ones I came across that seem like great ideas, but a fair amount of work to create; like the Frogr shield, or a soft-holder also from mizliz, but fixing the direction the snaps point.

And, well, it seems that the powers that be were paying attention, because now there exists a Lilypad Microcontroller (Simple Board version) with built-in snaps! The SimpleSnap. It also has a battery attached, which means it must be removed from a project before washing, but that's a small trade-off. And to complement it there is a SimpleSnap Protoboard as well. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on these!
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