February 7th, 2010
This was a really fun project to work on. Printing, sewing, and soft circuit stuff all rolled into one project! I can’t wait to take Tucker out for a walk wearing it, but right now there is just way too much snow for that to happen.
The LEDs on the hoodie’s pocket light up when it’s dark out and fade back when there is more ambient light. Perfect for evening walks in the winter when it gets dark far too early. The photo resister peaking out of the bottom of the pocket senses the amount of light present and the rest of the circuit reacts from there. There’s a lot going on in that little pocket!
If you’re interested in how it was made, I documented my work on this project in a flickr photo set with lots of notes. It’s much easier to describe in photos. The only part I didn’t take photos of was printing the skull and cloud on the fabric. Those were silk screened on the fabric before any of the sewing started.
Originally I had planned to make the hoodie a little more complex and include a lilypad arduino. As it turns out, a hoodie that fits a ten pound terrier is very small. Luckily I was able to convince one of my officemates, Tom, to do a little soldering for me for an alternate plan.
I used coin cell batteries (two 3V batteries) for this project because of their size and the fact that they would be easier to swap out in a small space. I was hoping that this project was still small enough to get away with using coin cells, but well, maybe not. They definitely work, but they die FAST. So, I’ll be buying a batch for cheap on eBay and then looking into lithium polymer batteries for my next project. Lesson learned.