chebe: (OnTheVergeOfSomethingWonderful)
Do you know what's great? Control. The ability to adjust something without having to recode it. Potentiometers. But to use them in a wearable piece more easily they need to be set into a Protoboard. Previously I have set a headphone jack and wearable keypad into small Protoboards. I did notice the newer Protoboards have fewer holes but they still suit our current needs.

Get yourself a 10kOhm through-hole rotary potentiometer with 1mm mounting hole diameter. I went with a snap-in flatted shaft/d knob style, and matching knob. Fit the potentiometer onto the Protoboard. I had to angle the snap-in prongs outwards with pliers (to align with the Protoboard pins) to get it to fit.

Process )



Finished
Photo by chebegeek



Parts;
LilyPad Protoboard Small
Potentiometer
Knob
chebe: (StarryNight)
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 :)

AudioTee

2010-Aug-03, Tuesday 08:20 pm
chebe: (OnTheVergeOfSomethingWonderful)
I like listening to music. I find when navigating the city and its public transport that having portable music is a must. However, when you're subjected to very changeable weather there are often problems with trailing wires, bag straps, jumpers, coats, buttons, zips, and passing umbrellas. Not to mention having wires catch on the most awkward of things even in fine weather. (Which is particularly painful when wearing those wrap-ear headphones.) Every one of my portable CD-players smashed to the ground because of this, and smaller MP3-players have been known to go flying through the air. Wouldn't it be great, I thought to myself, if I could wear my headphones as easily as I wear a tshirt. *grin*

- Headphones break all the time, at one stage I was buying a new pair every two weeks. And sometimes you just want something different. So, I want to make my headphones replaceable, just something I plug into my tshirt. This requires a female stereo audio jack. Okay, but how am I going to attach it to my tshirt? Aha! Finally I've found a use for the Lilypad mini protoboards!
Female audio jack construction... )


- Now, you have your jack to plug your headphones into. I'm going to put this on my shoulder, to keep the wires away from my body, where they have the habit of getting caught on things. But my music player will be somewhere around my hip/waist, in a pocket or bag. Okay, so I need to connect the two together, and I don't want wires... Ah, conductive thread! So, I came up with a design to suit having three trails of conductive thread (sleeve, ring, tip) across my tshirt.
T-shirt design... )


- Okay, this last bit could have been done with conductive thread as well, but I reckon this part will be subjected to a lot of wear-and-tear, and wire comes pre-insulated, which makes our life easier (the small insides of the male audio jack is very likely to result in shorts). And, as long as it's removable the rest should still be washable. This bit, being the plug into our music player.
Male audio jack construction... )


- Done. Now plug in music player, and headphones. And enjoy!
Final product. )


You may want to add some extra things, like an inside pocket to hold your music player if it's small, or a loop of fabric to keep the wires from annoying you. But overall I'm loving this! It's comfortable, much less likely to catch on anything, and there's only a slight drop in volume level. Plus I think it's pretty cool to have audio waves carried through silver-plated thread across your body!
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