Picture of Discreet Pants Fly Checker

People are always wondering how it is that I make so many inventive things. This is normal day-to-day stuff for me. I just do it. I don't really know how to do anything else. What is more mind-boggling to me is how everyone else does those other things like clean their homes, feed themselves, and get dressed in the morning. These commonplace tasks that people take for granted I find utterly challenging. While there are so many things that I struggle with, one such task I'm particularly bad with is remembering to zip my fly back up after going to the bathroom.

The Discreet Pants Fly Checker was made with this in mind. Basically, this is a device that lets you discreetly check in public whether or not your pants fly is up. By pressing a button located in the watch pocket of your pants, a small pager motor alerts you to whether or not the zipper is up. Basically, the zipper of the pants was enhanced with two strands of conductive thread which  form a complete circuit when bridged. A small circuit board with a battery, button and motor attached then snaps into the watch pocket. Finally, when the button is pressed, and the zipper is closed, the circuit is completed and the motor vibrates.

How discreet you want to be about pulling your fly back up when it is down is up to you, but at least you do not have to be grabbing your crotch uncertainly all the time. That at least is a drastic improvement.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff
You will need:

(x1) CR2302 battery holder (Radioshack #270-009)
(x1) CR2302 battery (Radioshack #23-802)
(x1) Vibrating pager motor (Radioshack #273-107)
(x1) Tactile switch (Radioshack #275-002)
(x1) 1.75" round PCB (Radioshack #276-004)
(x1) Round tube pen
(x1) Spool of conductive thread
(x1) Pants with watch pocket
(x2) Sewable snaps
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parisusa1 year ago
I agree with Chopper Rob (Jul 30, 2013) :)
chall92 years ago
I had the same problem with a favourite pair of jeans, the zip would work its way down. My solution was to put a 1" split key ring through the hole in the zip pull toggle, which both helps pull up the zip by hooking in my index finger, and the ring is then hooked over the copper button before putting through the button hole. The fly can't open without undoing the top of the jeans first (a sort of chastity belt mod as well).
I hate to admit it, but low tech is often the best solution.
Low tech is best, KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.
One could just attach a spring to it so it zips itself up.
Just keep a good grip on it while taking care of business.
ilpug KomaToast2 years ago
That brings bear-traps to mind.

How about no?
dwream2 years ago
Wonderful! This is almost the ultimate in wearable technology! For those - like me - who do not remember to "discreetly check", how about tweaking your invention to send a text message to the wearer if the zipper remains down more than a few minutes?
raykholo2 years ago
Cool. When I saw the first picture, I though the round PCB was a photocell, and I go to myself, "This guy has a photocell behind his fly to check if light will get through?

Good thing that wasn't it.
angelabchua2 years ago
Bravo. Bravo!
randofo (author)  angelabchua2 years ago
relaxing2 years ago
This is without question the single most practical e-textiles project I have ever seen.
DGerman2 years ago
Well thought out. Especially with snaps. Nice presentation. Now replace the switch with an LM555, 2 resistors and a capacitor and have it check every 30 seconds for you!
see http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/LM555.html
srilyk DGerman2 years ago
Pretty awesome idea but then you'll start getting ghost vibrations like your phone provide ;)
oldanalyst2 years ago
This is a fun project and I am tempted to try it but it falls into the Rube Goldberg approach to doing things. A very simple fly checker is either your eyes or your hands. No batteries required.
tig1 oldanalyst2 years ago
Ya I had high praise for the effort, buuuuuuut "Rube Goldberg" did flash to mind, and how about using,Arduino, or a pc with quad core CPU 16 gig ram an bluetooth to and nex gen robotics to keep your violin case shut........ or maybe just a pair of button fly LEE's... but whats the fun in that :)
tn. oldanalyst2 years ago
unless you suffer social anxiety which basically results in paralysis - you're afraid your zipper is down, but if someone sees you checking they might think you're a pervert. the resulting situation is the donkey dilemma (positioned exactly equal between two bales of hay, the donkey was unable to make a decision and starved to death).
Treknology2 years ago
An interesting idea but, like Winston Churchill, I don't have to worry about a dead bird falling out of the nest.
K4nyix2 years ago
Great idea, made me laugh a bit because of this simple ingenuity. On the other hand, I'd have rigged the thing so that it vibrates when the fly is down only, such as if you press the button on accident, or you've got something compressing your pocket (may it be your little nephew on your lap or rush hour in the metro) it doesn't buzz incomfortably.
Tin Man2 years ago
Could be worth building it into a custom belt-buckle.
When the zipper is done-up, (bar is at the top), a 2.5mm plug attached to the bar by a short length of cord plugs into the bottom of the belt buckle. The trousers are then washable without forgetting to take buzzer from pocket.
As someone said, the problem is, you still have to remember to check.   So how about this:

The sensor circuit activates a motor in the waistband which winds up a cord which pulls up the zip automatically ?

Include a switch to turn it off when you undress, and a push button to deactivate it whilst tinkling.

(And a panic button just in case anything gets . . . ah . . . caught.)
vintammy2 years ago
I think this is an excellent idea. I had the embarrassing moment of walking around a tourist destination for about two hours with my fly open. Had it not been for a woman who told me to zip up my fly, I would not have realized. I was totally embarrassed, so I endorse this entirely.
oh no! did i put the battery in the pants fly checker! Nice item though I could have used it today
gulnar2 years ago
You made my day with this i'ble :D
alfeel2 years ago
duuuude that's so complicated, I use a bloody simple keychain ring or a paperclip!
mslaynie alfeel2 years ago
It's not for keeping the zipper zipped. Instead, it's to check to see if you forgot to zip after using the restroom without being obvious and checking out your crotchal area. :D
tn. alfeel2 years ago
which still doesn't address the whole "remembering to use it" issue.
dworley2 years ago
You wrote a lot of words but I know you only made this because you wanted to find a use for that goddamn pocket.
randofo (author)  dworley2 years ago
I used to have a pocket watch that I kept in that pocket. One day I shattered that pocket watch and never found a suitable replacement.
NateHoy dworley2 years ago
You mean the "USB Thumb Drive Pocket"?

Someone needs to make a thumb drive in the shape of a lighter or fob watch. Just sayin'
That is actually a watch pocket. commonly referred to as a "Fifth pocket"
Chopper Rob2 years ago
I just like the idea vibrating pants. (someone had to say it)
makes me wonder if you have an idea for a device that just stops you from being embarrassed by having your zipper down...
It's not a device. It's just called "getting old and not wasting as much time on what other people think". Works great.

While there are some side effects, it sure beats the alternative (not getting old).
tig12 years ago
Gota say I do like it.on several levels , your had a problem, thought out the problem, designed a solution , followed through and built the device that would solve the problem. A vast majority of people have ideas but they never follow through.. that's what separates the Nikola Teslas from the average person. I hate Like hell to quote Edison, I despise the man but he said "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration" and you my friend in my eyes embody that quote.. Brilliant.
Dude, you need to get a girlfriend. She would check it for you and she doesn't need batteries, at least not for that.
kcbaltz2 years ago
Wouldn't some kind of poka yoke (fail proofing, look it up :-) ) for this be better? Something that would prevent you from closing the waistband without also zipping up? Or what about removing the pull tab from the zipper so you have to use the keyring of your car keys to pull the zipper up and down. I don't think you'd forget that you're walking around with your car keys hanging in front :).
mikeasaurus2 years ago
As someone that checks their fly regularly for this exact reason, I support this.
I do a motion like this: Stretch with arms in air, the bring my hand down the abdomen, then casually run the finger under the zipper flap to check. Don't really care if anyone sees. The worst was when I trailed toilet out the back of my pants. Only a night guard at Qualcomm saw me as I went to my car.
jslarve2 years ago
Neat idea. Is this moisture proof? Asking for a friend. :)
kibukun2 years ago
Always wondered what that pocket is for... Hey! You should present this idea to a company. (with a patent on it of course) If you suggest them to start adding the sensor circuit to their jeans with a plug in, you can add a jack to yours and sell them next to the jeans!
Exocetid2 years ago
In your video, you stated the phrase "really awkward." Good grief, I could not have summed this Instructable up better myself. Bravo!
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