Sparkling fun at our first wearables workshops at Dogpatch Labs

Related event: Wearable Electronics Workshop (Sat 23 Jan 2016)

Wearables Workshop Jan 2015

What a funfilled Saturday, a big thanks to Dogpatch Labs for hosting. For people who are curious, we used Seven Wonders for our tea/coffee and mixed sambo/wrap platters (they were super yummy). A huge shout out to Margaret and Mick. Cheryl couldn't join us due to being sick, wishing her to get well soon.

We shared the day with Code for Ireland who were having a hackathon on Coder Dojo's Zen community platform.

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It was a day of dramatic blue smoke, shocks, being poked by needles, lessons on what not to do when playing with electronics, and that was one person! :-D

Materials

Extras: Crocodile clips for testing, and your fabrics/materials of choice.

Setup, the first few steps before we started into our own little creations:

  1. Installation: Install this first from Arduino - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

  2. Then you need to install the support for Flora - https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-arduino-ide-setup/arduino-1-dot-6-x-ide

  3. Let's get the onboard LED to blink on the Flora - https://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-flora/blink-onboard-led

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  4. Now to get Neopixel's LEDs to light up, we need to install its library first before we can test it - https://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-flora/blink-onboard-neopixel

Notes from the day

There was a question about what an unsigned bit is, and @micktwomey explained via whiteboard.

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Before the sowing starts, it's best to test with crocodile clips (although it takes a wee bit of mastering), here's an illustration of what some of us did via https://learn.adafruit.com/flora-rgb-smart-pixels/hook-up-alligator-clips


TIP: Pre-planning - Draw a circuit and plan what you are connecting before you stitch anything.


So I decided to hook up 2 LEDs with the Flora, with some guidance from Mick as it's different from NeoPixels LED.

It was all going well... then disaster struck... well, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but for someone who doesn't sow, having to take out all the stitches and redo it all again is painstakingly slow for me.

But I finally sowed the thread connecting the right bits to each other:

Behind the scenes

I found this handy guide on connecting a Flora to an LED. Here's another good article with some nice tips (I didn't have a sowing hoop, might get one as it makes things easier to sow).

Here's what I ended up with (after taking out all the stitches as I had one of the LEDs the wrong way round... grr), good attempt and both eyes light up, I ended up making one eye stay on and the other blink.

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BTW, you are probably wondering why there is a pin through the poor panda's head, the LED on the right eye wasn't properly lined up, so it was a way to forcibly line it up to see what it looks like, it's a prototype after all. :-)

Where to buy?

Upcoming Events/Workshops

Coding Grace workshops

Data Visualization Workshop @ The Vaults, Dogpatch Labs

Coming Soon: R, Animation, Unity3D, Python, Make a Game in F#...

Female-friendly events

Dublin Diversity Call for Proposal Workshop @ Zendesk

PyLadies Dublin: Robot Test Framework & Workshop @ AOL

Django Girls Dublin @ RTÉ (Ballsbridge)

Ireland Girl Geek Dinner

Women Who Code Dublin

Final words

As it wasn't a full class, we have packs left over, which would be enough for another small wearables workshop.

I am planning another one in the very near future, if you are interested, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter (via CodingGrace.com or follow @CodingGrace for latest updates.

Any enquiries: contact@codinggrace.com

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