I have been experimenting with textiles projects that involve electronic elements. Having found a great selection of products available from Kitronik ( a Nottingham based company: kitronik.co.uk) I decided to adapt one of their 'Sound Meter Kits' to create a device that lights up when my phone rings.
I wanted the device to be versatile, so I used press studs (a.k.a. poppers) which are conductive connectors. I can now 'pop' my device onto a variety or surfaces and use corresponding LED beads with press studs to adapt the circuit further.
The concept has a lot of potential to be taken further but you are welcome to follow my steps and create a Light Up device of your own...
You will need:
- Soldering Iron
- Wire Cutters
- A vice (not essential but very useful)
- A prepared piece of fabric (approx 15 x 10 cm)
- Kitronik Sound Meter Kit
- 9v battery
- Head Phone Jack
- Press studs (around 40)
- Conductive thread
- Cotton Thread
- Sewing Needle
- 10 x LED press stud beads (https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-beads-to-pop-onto-your-circuit/)
Step 1: Kitronik Sound Meter Kit
Assemble your Kitronik Sound Meter Kit following the instructions provided with the following exceptions:
- Do not solder the LEDs in place. (see step 2)
- At a later stage the MIC from the kit will be replaced with a headphone jack, however I chose to solder the MIC onto the circuit to confirm that it worked as required. I later removed this component.
Step 2: Add Wires
You will need 20 lengths of wire. These are soldered to the circuit at the points where the LEDs would normally be connected. I have used a variety of colours to make it simper to identify pairs of wires.
I loosely connected LEDs, and attached the battery, to check if the circuit worked. (It did!)
Step 3: Head Phone Jack
The MIC that comes with the kit is great for certain uses, however I decided that I wanted to avoid as much ambient noise as possible by adding a head phone jack into the circuit instead. I therefore de-soldered the mic and soldered in the head phone component.
Ensure that the positive and negative are connected to the right bits of the component before soldering and securing in place.
Step 4: Attach to Fabric
Attach your circuit board to your prepared fabric using cotton thread.
Step 5: Press Studs
Solder half a press stud to each end of wire. These can then be sewn in place on your fabric. They can go anywhere just as long as no metal parts touch in places they shouldn't. I spaced my press studs to match my LED Press Stud Beads (instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-beads-to-pop-onto-your-circuit/ )
Step 6: Options for Your Device...
Because of the press studs it is possible to connect this device to a range of products depending on preference. I created:
- One laser cut wooden wall hanging that had a shelf to hold the phone. I used wire and soldering around the back to attach the press studs and LEDs
- One clutch bag with LED press stud beads. I used conductive thread to sew the press studs to each other creating a continuous circuit.
The possibilities are only limited by time, patience and press stud availability!
I plan to upload a little film of the LEDs lighting up when the phone rings in the near future.