chebe: (Teddy)
2017-10-19 12:56 pm

LED'd plush Cthulhu

Choly Knight has a free plush Cthulhu pattern on their website that is totally adorable. (Actually, many cute plushies!) But, maybe, could be a little more terrifying? LEDs, yes, LEDs for eyes!

Also, I want to play with the Gemma M0, which is much like the previous Gemma, but it comes set up with CircuitPython, a derivative of MicroPython. So instead of installing the Arduino IDE and installing all the boards and libraries, it mounts as a USB flash drive, and you just write your python script in any text editor. Save it, unplug, and it will start running it. (Caveat; space is limited so not all libraries are on the Gemma M0. You'll have to copy over a library if it isn't there. Luckily there's lots of documentation. (And the NeoPixel library is already there.))

Labour for the Great Old Ones! )

All hail
Photo by chebegeek

chebe: (WalkSign)
2016-08-15 09:32 pm
Entry tags:

4x4x4 LED Shield

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

chebe: (StepIntoTheLight)
2016-02-19 05:08 pm
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Seasonal Winter Jumper

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

chebe: (BeautyQueen)
2015-08-25 08:08 pm

NeoPixel Tiara

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)
2014-07-30 09:39 am

Neckpiece that Predicts the Weather

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)
2014-04-06 02:12 pm
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All the LEDs; or, Flora/Gemma and SewIOs

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.
chebe: (WalkSign)
2014-02-05 12:40 am
Entry tags:

Seasonal LED kits

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)
2014-01-02 10:46 am
Entry tags:

SEWRGB pixel graphic equalizer video

[ 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)
2013-10-08 02:23 pm

LilyPad accelerometer RGB gauntlets, in progress

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)
2013-06-19 01:20 pm
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Aniomagic Sparkle board ribbon

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.
chebe: (FlowerInHair)
2013-06-13 01:45 pm
Entry tags:

Hanami Kanzashi

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.
chebe: (Default)
2012-07-18 08:04 pm

Dublin Mini Maker Faire 2012

Bear with me, this is going to be a long post.

This Saturday just gone, July 14th, was Dublin's first Mini Maker Faire! It was held in the Science Gallery and on the Physics Lawn of Trinity College. I was there as a part of TOG, the Dublin maker/hacker-space. It was a fantastic day. So many people showed up who already knew a lot and came up with interesting questions and ideas. Some people were just wandering through Trinity like they do every weekend and were a little confounded to find us there. Yet others showed up wearing ESOF lanyards! I'm sad I didn't get to see much of the other makers or exhibits, things were just so hectic! It certainly seemed like everyone was having a good time.

Maker Faire )

TOG's new tshirt )


Arduino IR receiver )

LED matrix top )

Constellation Quilts )

Well, I fairly collapsed with exhaustion about 4pm (missing the after-party and everything), but up until that point it was a great day and I'm already looking forward to next year!
chebe: (LanternReflect)
2012-05-22 04:43 pm
Entry tags:

LumiGram Fibre-Optic Fabric with RGB LED

A reader reminded me of the LumiGram FibreOptic fabric sample I got a while back. I made quite a simple modification to the sample, adding an auto-changing two-leg Red-Green-Blue LED.

The connector is designed to come apart so you can change colours, or packs in case of damage. The plastic tube pulls back onto the battery-pack leads. A small plastic cage comes away in two pieces. (It's used to hold the LED pointing directly onto the ends of the fibre-optic fibres.)

So I just wrapped the legs of my RGB LED in electrical tape, placed it in the register marks of the cage, and held the whole thing together with more tape. (It's a temporary set-up.) Then held a 3V coin-cell battery between the LED legs, and voila.

A look at the connection mechanism. My LED in cage on left, provided LED and sleeve on right.

The RGB LED is rated for 4.5V, and I think here it really would benefit from the extra power. (Surprisingly it's quite a sunny day here.) Otherwise, yeah, kinda nice. Here, have a video.

You can see the colours being produced by the LED on the left, and on the very right at the end of the fabric see how it gets mixed. With a bit more power it would be prettier.

See more... )
chebe: (Default)
2012-03-15 11:43 pm
Entry tags:

LumiGram Fibre-Optic Fabric

My sample from LumiGram arrived!

Show&Tell )

This fabric is very very delicate. You can't really cut it into non-geometric shapes, can't fold it or bend it too much across the grain, or do anything to damage the fibre-optic strands. But as the LumiGram website shows, there are still plenty of things you can do with it. I'm going to try incorporating this sample into a piece of clothing. And if it goes well, maybe come up with a bigger project to do with this stuff. But it'll have to be on a body area that doesn't move too much! Still... pretty...
chebe: (Candles)
2011-12-06 02:05 pm
Entry tags:

Quick hack: Adding LEDs to baubles

My continuing quest to add LEDs to everything is a tough one, dear reader. For example, I'll find myself buying thread on my lunch break, when I stumble across some winter baubles on sale. Cute though they were I couldn't help thinking they'd be cuter if they had LEDs inside them! So I snatched them up and went back to work.

This is also a fine example of how you shouldn't make plans before you actually get to have a look inside. Luckily they were indeed hollow, but also glass which I wasn't expecting, and the foil cap turned out to be conductive foil rather than plastic as I'd assumed. Then someone much more knowledgeable in things like this than I pointed out that they weren't tree decorations, but rather dinner place-name holders. Perfect, I mused, for holding fliers, business cards, or 'free cookies here, please take one!' signs. In the end the modifications turned out much simpler than I had been imagining on my way back from lunch. I hope this trend continues!

Instructions )

Add battery, and oooh, pretty!

Short video )
chebe: (StarryNight)
2011-10-13 11:04 am

Lilypad LED Matrix: part 3, with added SparkFun Keypad

Take one Lilypad LED-matrix top (you thought I'd forgotten, hadn't you?), add one SparkFun Wearable Keypad, and voila! You get one fun interactive top!

The devil's in the details )

It's all controlled by the push-button. Initially all LEDs are off.
- Push once; all LEDs are on.
- Push twice; you get the random LED twinkle pattern.
- Push thrice; you get into keypad controllable mode (denoted by the keypad lighting up). You press the centre SparkFun-logo button to clear the board and pick a random starting LED. Then you can use the four directions to draw in lights.
- If you press the push-button a fourth time, you stay in the keypad mode, but the timing changes and the pattern becomes a chase-sequence.
- Pressing the push-button again brings you back to the beginning, with all LEDs off. (But so long as you don't turn off the battery, your pattern is still kept in memory.) Here, have a look.

If you happen to be at Darklight next weekend, come find the tog guys, and you can have a go yourself :)
chebe: (Default)
2011-06-20 02:59 pm
Entry tags:

Synchronous Hackathon Money Bag Challenge at tog

Do I know how to make a wallet or bag? No, but I'm going to make one anyway. Do I intend to use a pattern or instructions of any kind? No, I'm just going to figure it out as I go along. This is what I consider the Synchronous Hackathon Challenges to be about; jumping in and making it up as you go along! This month, the weekend just gone, was the Money Bag Challenge.

I've had the idea to try my hand at making small bags recently, and have been examining the ones already in my possession for ideas on how to construct them, so this Challenge was the kick I needed to get started. But I just can't seem to do just one thing; so as well as making a wallet/bag for the first time, I've added RFID-shielding, and internal LEDs!

Details... )

chebe: (WalkSign)
2011-04-16 06:23 pm
Entry tags:

The MiniPOV3 toy

I got the MiniPOV3 kit from adafruit ages ago, but finally got around to making it up today.

Making it was very straight forward. I turned it on and found a chasing LED pattern. But, well, this is a persistence of vision toy, I want something with persistence! This means reprogramming it. First things first, you'll most likely need a serial-to-usb converter.

I'm running linux, and have the Arduino software installed. As both this and the miniPOV use avrdude I found I already had all the programs listed here installed.

So just download the zip, extract, cd in, and make.

Plug in the miniPOV3 in. dmesg and check where it appears. For me it's /dev/ttyUSB0.

Try to load one of the sample programs, and watch it fail;
make program-minipov

avrdude -p attiny2313 -P com1 -c dasa -U flash:w:minipov.hex
com1: No such file or directory

avrdude done. Thank you.

make: *** [program-minipov] Error 1

Open up the Makefile and change the PORT to the one you're actually using (here I comment out the original);
vim Makefile

#AVRDUDE_PORT = com1 # programmer connected to serial

Then load up the program;
make program-minipov

First time I got this message;
avrdude: safemode: lfuse changed! Was e4, and is now 7f
Would you like this fuse to be changed back? [y/n]

I typed y but I don't know if you should or not. It took a really, really, really long time, so I eventually canceled out, and ran it again. This time it just finished nice and easy.

avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK

avrdude done. Thank you.

I won't spoil it for you, but you may require the help of another person to wave it wildly back and forth until you reach a speed you can read it at. Or, maybe, a camera with a slow shutter setting.

Next, you get to program your own!
chebe: (Candles)
2011-04-06 04:57 pm
Entry tags:

A Study: Starry Light

This project came about basically as culmination of lots of different techniques I wanted to try out;

1; sewing on really slippery, delicate fabrics
2; using the satin-stitch on the sewing machine to couch conductive thread, as seen in the Sparkle-TuTu instructable
3; determining some method/sensor for detecting movement
4; trying out the Aniomagic LED-sequins that had just arrived
5; playing with my new glow-in-the-dark thread
6; utilising an old dreamcatcher that improper storage managed to render into a simple ring
7; trying a new battery holder for the larger 24.5mm rechargeable coin cells

Insomuch as I managed these objectives it was a success. However, the end product doesn't work as I'd hoped, so a final product is further down the line.

I present to you the first prototype of 'Starry Light'. The concept; a night-time wind-chime, that instead of making sounds when moved by the wind, lights up some LEDs.

Construction details and pics )
chebe: (StepIntoTheLight)
2011-03-17 06:09 pm
Entry tags:

Bits and Pieces

It is St Patrick's Day today, so I'm celebrating it in my own rebellious way. By working a bit on projects.

Waffle with a side of pics )