Friday, October 5, 2007

Textile Arduino

After being inspired by various Arduino projects I have decided to make a wearable LED based art piece, by incorporating traditional textiles used through antiquity, leather, AVR, and LED's. Leah Buechley's work with Textile based micro-controllers is a great inspiration to me. Her line of textile Arduino's called LillyPads have just been released through SparkFun Electronics.

Here are two images of my ATmega168 connected to leather. The horrible solder job is actually deliberate and is intended to act as a stop for the conductive threads attached to the pins of the integrated circuit. After stitching towards the IC come up with the needle from under the IC, wrap the conductive thread around the pin with the solder bead then make a knot. The hold is very secure. (I will post a drawing of how I tie my knots). I chose leather because of its thickness and rigidity. The likelihood of the leather folding over is also minimal which reduces short outs between traces. It is harder to work with and you need special needles, however, these are often inexpensive
and readily available in most art supply stores (ie. Micheal's). The use of an IC socket is recommended for two reasons, first, you can remove your AVR from your project to reflash it using an ISP programmer. Second, you will need to bend some of the sockets pins and use the other unused pins to secure the IC socket to the leather. On the reverse side of the leather you will bend the remaining IC pins. Use an exacto knife to puncture holes through the leather, this will allow for easy socketing of the IC socket onto the leather.

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