4x4x4 LED Shield

2016-Aug-15, Monday 09:32 pm
chebe: (WalkSign)
You know the story; you go into Maplins for solder, and you walk out with an LED Cube Shield. (It can't be just me.) Anyway, building one of these yokes seems to have become a kind of rite of passage for the makery sort. So, I made one!

Couple of photos )



Not so straight LED Cube, completed
Photo by chebe



Pretty!
chebe: (StepIntoTheLight)
Three *years* ago I started this project. At a Christmas Jumper Make Night for charity. It seemed like a simple idea; sew up some LEDs with some conductive thread. The first year I only got most of the felt snowflake done. The second year I got the SewIO board wired up. It wasn't until the third year that I managed to complete the circuit. And there are problems, but we'll get to that.

Details )

All in all, except for the faintness of the LEDs, I am happy to declare this project finished.

It was pointed out that most light-up jumpers are so bright that it can hurt to look at the person wearing them, so dimmer, softer, LEDs aren't actually a bad thing. Especially as this kind of jumper is typically worn in winter, in dark pubs. That is a very good point. I just wish it was intentional.



Winter Jumper, modeled
Photo by chebe

NeoPixel Tiara

2015-Aug-25, Tuesday 08:08 pm
chebe: (BeautyQueen)
I love the Adafruit Learn site, particularly the wearables section, there are some really fun ideas in there. And when I saw the NeoPixel Tiara I knew I needed one. I had almost everything already, except the 3d-printed band.

To TOG! We downloaded the thingiverse file (tiaraHolesClose.stl), converted to gcode, and watched the LulzBot Taz print for 50 minutes. *cue montage music* It was a pretty good print, given how fine some of the detailing is, but our process needs tuning as there are artifacts, and the strands are coming apart as I touch them. Still, usable!

LulzBot Taz 3D Printer part way through printing the tiara

Robot minion making me a crown. Finally.
Photo by chebe



On to the assembly! Process details await )

Tiara on top of my head, looking nicely symmetrical, with centre NeoPixel lit up

Finally, my royal position secured
Photo by chebe



And, because the tutorial code has a nice sparkle effect to it, here's a short video.



I am going to wear this everywhere.
chebe: (InADream)
A time not so long ago, in this very land you're standing, some people were known to hang seaweed out to dry. Whenever the moisture in the air reached a certain level the seaweed would rehydrate; warning those around of rain.

Ruling out wearing seaweed around your neck, how can we use this knowledge to help us avoid getting wet? Thusly was the kelp neckpiece born!

Mannequin wearing black tshirt with white Dublin Maker logo, and a green felted kelp piece

Kelp neckpiece at Dublin Maker
Photo by chebe



I have already talked about parts of this project; in getting many LEDs to light up, and then getting the humidity sensor working. But to recap/elaborate;

Wonderful details )

There you have it; a felt neckpiece that warns you it might be about the rain. I began trying to leverage the extra information (temperature and pressure) from the sensor, and fit it onto local historical weather data to more accurately predict rain, but was pulled away from such indulgent pursuits by the need to complete the other pieces.
chebe: (StarryNight)
If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that I have been playing with getting the maximum number of LEDs for the minimum amount of microcontroller that I can. Here's a short summary.

Pictures! Video! Text! )

I have to thank Rob for being very patient in answering all my questions. And also to note that although I'm using the Adafruit wearables, Rob has been using the LilyPad boards (including the Tiny!) with the SewIOs quite successfully. Yay for interoperability! And finally, that they don't have to be regular LEDs, you can connect anything you could normally. I think RGB pixels, and smile.

Seasonal LED kits

2014-Feb-05, Wednesday 12:40 am
chebe: (WalkSign)
At TOGs birthday party (you weren't there?! You missed awesome cake!) rob showed me a new kit he's come up with for February.

Soldering kits )

Completed LED shamrock circuit board, viewed from an angle to highlight the LEDs reflecting in the gloss surface

LED shamrock plaque, angled to show LEDs reflecting
Photo by chebe



*dusts off hands* Back to working out some Arduino problems...
chebe: (AsciiC)
[twitter.com profile] partfusion, who makes the RGB pixels I'm using in a few half-finished projects, has made up a video offering tips using his pixels in a soft graphic equalizer. He goes into more technical detail than I usually do, you might find it interesting.

chebe: (StepIntoTheLight)
Sorry it's been so quiet around here, things have been hectic in the analogue world. And to top it all off I'm running a series of four workshops on the LilyPad in TOG, starting Thursday. More hours in each day would come in handy right about now.

But, I haven't been idle. Remember way back when I made a simple accelerometer glove? Well, I'm working on a more elaborate matching pair now. PartFusion, a guy from the hackerspace, makes some really intense RGB daisy-chainable, sewable, LEDs. Armed with these, Adafruit's NeoPixel library, a couple of accelerometers, LilyPad Simple boards, and LiPo batteries, I had the fixings of something strong enough to help land planes.

I used some material from a free tshirt I acquired at some point, made a couple of armwarmers/gauntlets, with inside lining/pouch for the LilyPad Simple board itself. Some metal snaps and lots of conductive thread sewing later I've one strip done. It's still a work in progress, but I brought them along to one of the CoderDojo sessions, and people seemed to like them. I have a deadline for them, a concert I have tickets for, so hopefully they'll get finished soon.

Few photos )
chebe: (StarryNight)
I was browsing in a craft shop waiting for the teller to finish detailing the extensive curtain service pricing scheme to a customer when I picked up a plain satin hairband. I figured they were bases for making your own headpieces and fascinators, and thought I'd give it a go. At home I pulled out all my supplies, and pretty quickly decided the hairband was too rigid for what I had in mind. I grabbed some velvet ribbon, embroidery thread, few beads, a little elastic, some conductive thread, some LED sequins, an Aniomagic Sparkle board, and a slide switch. (It occurs to me that I have too much stuff just lying around.)

I only wanted a quick project so I mostly followed the simple LED tutorials, adding ten LEDs to my circuit (this board can handle up to twenty). The way you lay out the circuit is interesting. The Sparkle board is the centre piece, with a positive terminal on the top, and a negative on the bottom. You then line up the LEDs alternating terminals; so along the top of the ribbon, from the centre, the Sparkle board is +, the next LED has - top, the next +, then -, +, etc. You sew them all together in rows (i.e. a top row and a bottom row), each connected to one of the tabs on the Sparkle board.







I made an elastic battery holder for as slim a design as possible, and added a switch, because we don't want to be sparkling the whole time. I covered over the back with some satin ribbon and Bondaweb. Then it was just time to slip in the battery and turn it on.

The Sparkle board comes pre-programmed with some fairly nice random-ish patterns. Programming the board is a bit different. It's all done through the web page, with fancy graphical controls, and photodiode uploading through the screen. I haven't quite gotten my head around the control flow, so I haven't given it a go yet.

Action shots )

In summary, I think the Aniomagic boards are particularly nice for people who want a finished piece quickly, and those who don't want to worry about the programming. Their range includes switches and sensors, as well as other boards, if you'd like a little more complexity in your project. But they do seem to be focusing on wearables with that extra touch of elegance, which makes for some nice variety.

Hanami Kanzashi

2013-Jun-13, Thursday 01:45 pm
chebe: (FlowerInHair)
One Saturday (the 6th) in April last I went to Anime Dublin (facebook twitter). I'm but a casual anime fan, and this was my first convention. I was blown away by the costumes! Big (some really really big), elaborate, detailed, high quality materials, utterly beautiful. It didn't matter that I didn't recognise most of them, they in themselves were wonderful. And I'm in awe of the dedication wearing most of them required. (I should tell you about how annoying I find wearing my fairy wings one day...) And everyone was so full of energy!

But I was there for a reason. To show people how to make LED flowers. There was a hanami (cherry blossom) theme to the event, so I stocked up on my pink and white fabrics and even acquired a few pink LEDs. I thought I'd do something even more special though, and set about learning kanzashi (folded fabric flowers). I found this tutorial to be really helpful. There are quite a few variations there that I might try out in future, but for this event I stuck with just this one.

In short, get two colours of fabric (polycotton in my case), starch the life out of it, cut into small squares (I think mine were too small, but I've hundreds now so I'm stuck with them), and then start folding. You make each petal individually, then string them together. Which is by far the trickest part. So tricky in fact that after the first couple of people attempted them at Anime Dublin I decided to abandon the design in favour of the basic flower design. ... which it appears I've never talked about here?! It's just this simple LED soft-circuit in a basic felt-flower design (that you can see here), but I should document it at some point. (In case you haven't noticed, I quite like LED flowers.)



For speed and ease on the day I used the conventional plastic battery holders (instead of the elastic holder), but it left the bottom of the design very bulky. Okay if you're wearing it in your hair and can conceal it, but not the most attractive result.



I'm not the worlds greatest lover of pink, but in these cherry blossoms I do think it works quite well. (I wore it in my hair to a wedding later that day, which just happened to have a cherry blossom theme! I was warned the bride might try to steal it :)



At MakerFaire UK I found a lady selling kits on how to make kanzashi. Her's seem to stick up out of the plane where mine were laying flat (which is the bit that gave me so much trouble). So needless to say I snatched up the kit, and hope to learn how to make these better.
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