LED-shirt v2.0 on its way!

Hey Instructablonians!

So after thinking about it for a while, I realized that my original Beating Heart T-shirt was a bit.... restrictive... as to what you could display on your glorious torso. As a result, I decided to embark on a journey to make a fully programmable 14X7 LED array display on a t-shit, which I call LED-shirt v2.0! Also, since I was making this portable and re-programmable, I figured that you should be able to go everywhere and still have some nerd "bling", so I included a charlieplexed LED binary clock.

I drew up the schematic on eagle, routed the board, etched it, drilled it, stuffed it, programmed the binary clock, then soldered ALL of the crimp beads onto all 91 LEDs and female header (it's got to be detachable). I tried sewing some of the LEDs on via a sewing machine, but I bought the wrong thickness conductive thread, and the machine kept jamming. Then I tried by hand, and it just takes too long v_v.
(I'm using Leah Buechley's method)

I'm going to order the thinner thread and find someone with a sewing machine they're willing to lend me. Until then, I have this awesome blue binary clock that I can carry around with me!

Oh, it's atmega168-based, runs @ 12MHz, and as of now runs off of 3 AA's, but I have plans to make it LI-ion compatible.

Also, I have to thank Zach for the idea to make the 14X7 matrix - it's really a demi-charlieplexed 7x7 array.

Oh, and if you were wondering, that's an aluminum rod w/ a captive ring next to the battery pack. I love lathes.


Picture of LED-shirt v2.0 on its way!
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LinuxH4x0r9 years ago
Sweet! smd? *cowers in fear*
T3h_Muffinator (author)  LinuxH4x0r9 years ago
don't cower! SMD is your friend!

..... although, I did brick the mega the first time I tried this out.... now I've got a cool coaster, though!

I did the SMD by hand, with a standard iron =)
I hate smd. Obviosly your iron has a better tip than the one I have now (need to find a good one)
I've done *really* fine-pitch (I believe the pins were 6mils apart) with a chisel tip.

The trick? Don't worry about bridging, use a liberal amount of solder, and even more solder wick after ;-)

My dad's (mine is 1200 miles away in MN) is completely rounded over
T3h_Muffinator (author)  LinuxH4x0r9 years ago
Do you have a grinder/file/sandpaper?
Its already been ground down too far, besides i don't need to do smd
T3h_Muffinator (author)  LinuxH4x0r9 years ago
agh - fair enough v_v
T3h_Muffinator (author)  zachninme9 years ago
My trick is..... don't actually heat the pins (at first)! I make my traces really thin going to the SMD pads, but they widen after a bit. If you heat the traces, not the pads, it's REALLY easy. After you're done applying the solder, just wipe off your tip and heat the pins, to make sure you have a good connection.
If I understand correctly, you tin the pads, lay the piece down, then apply heat, so there isn't enough solder to bridge. I do that too, but sometimes the pins don't want to coroporate.
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