chebe: (StarryNight)
[personal profile] chebe
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.

And for the finale, a field test! I like the soft ribbon because it means I can tie it around a bun, a pony-tail, just around my entire head hair-band (or head-band) style. I can even tie it around my neck, or arm, or anything I feel like. I might try weaving it through hair/clothes at some point. I wore it 'off' during the day, but come evening I found myself in a pub that gives away glowsticks, so I figured it'd fit in nicely. Here's a blurry low-light picture.

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.
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