Tech D.I.Y. (http://techdiy.blogspot.com/) encourages mothers to learn about technology with their kids in ways that are simple and fun. The kits and instructions teach electronic crafts and have solid engineering lessons behind them.
Step 1: Super IPod : Materials
- one gray fabric sheet 21" x 12"
- one white felt sheet 5"x 1 1/2"
- one gray felt sheet 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
- ten black felt sheets 2" x 2"
- five purple felt sheets 2" x 2"
- ten conductive fabric sheets 3" x 1/2"($16.25 line/ft)
(You can buy the small size of "Zelf" conductive fabric from Less EMS)
- handmade felt wires
(They are attached to two thin and long conductive pieces of fabric on the felt. You can make the handmade wires by yourself, check "How to make fabric wires".)
- an already hacked mp3 player ($15 COBY mp3 player at J&R)
(This hacked mp3 player consists of a base and the electronics of the mp3 player and it can be detached from the pillowcase because the snaps on the base and the mp3 player allow the mp3 player to separate. You can hack the mp3 player yourself by following instructions "How to hack mp3 player" "How to make detachable mp3 player kit". )
- one super bright LED
(To indicate the mp3 player is on and working, you need one super bright LED. We put this in the mp3 player in the kit.)
- conductive thread($15 per spool)
(Conductive thread can convey current and regular thread won't.)
- regular thread
- a sewing needle
- fabric glue
- a piece of chalk or a pencil
- a pair of scissors
- a multi-meter (to check the continuity of current, optional)
Step 2: Super IPod : How to make IPod pillow case
The first thing we need to do is to cut a pillow cover, a window, a dial, and button signs of the Ipod using templates. You can download the template pdf file in below URL.
Super IPod Template download
2. Sew a pillow cover
Next, we will use white fabric to make a pillow cover. Fold one long side of the fabric in at half an inch then fold in 3 inches more of the side and sew using a blind stitch. Fold in half and sew the top and left inside of the half inch margin except the folded side. Then turn over the case through the folded side.
3. Glue the edge of a window and a dial
We will fold the margin of the fabric pieces for a window and a dial to prevent them from becoming fraying on the edges. Cut a little bit around the edge of the window and dial to smoothly fold the edge. Fold the margin and glue the margin using fabric glue.
4. Attach the gray fabric and signs on the cover
Mark the place where you attach the window and the dial using the template of the Super IPod that we used to cut the fabric in the first step. Attach the gray fabric pieces on the pillow cover using fabric glue. Then attach the signs you already cut on the dial fabric.
For more information, visit TechDIY.org site.
Step 3: Super IPod : How to make soft fabric switch
1. Cut the felt and attach the conducting fabric on it
The first of all, you need to cut ten square pieces of black felt and 5 square pieces of purple felt which are 3"x3". Attached a piece of conductive fabric in the middle of the black fabric using fabric glue. Leave little bit margin when you attach the fabric.
2. Make a hole on the pieces of purple felt
Fold a piece of purple felt diagonally. Cut the middle part of the piece to make a hole which is 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch
3. Glue them together
Glue a piece of black felt and attach with conductive fabric to a piece of purple felt. Then, attach another piece of black felt (which has an opposite side of the conductive fabric wing) to the other side of the purple felt.
How the fabric switch works
When you press the switch through the hole of the middle part of the felt or fabric, the conductive fabric on the outside is connected and makes a path for flowing electricity. So, the electricity can flow from a side of conductive fabric to the other side of conductive fabric. This is the same way a regular switch works.
Tip: Testing the switch
If you have a multi-meter, you can check to see if the switch is working. When you press the switch, you should see the result of connection.
Step 4: Super IPod : How to hack MP3 player
COBY Mp3 player ($12.99 at J&R)
Thin wire ($3.99 at RadioShack)
A small size of screwdriver
1. Prepare 12 thin wires, each 7 inches long, by pulling off the plastic covering from the end of the wires.
2. Unscrew all screws of the mp3 player and open the exterior plastic casing without breaking anything inside. Save the screws to use later.
3. This mp3 player has 5 buttons and one LED indicator. These 5 buttons have 6 functions (Play/Stop, Forward, Backward, Volume up, and Volume down). Look over where you will attach the wires to the five switches and indicator LED on the board. For the switch, you will attach two wires. The wires should be attached diagonally. For the indicator, you need to attach the wires on back of the board, because it is easier to find the lead of the LED.
4. Attach wires using a soldering iron. You need to be careful not to touch any other part of the board. Using a multi-meter, check to see if the switch works or not.
5. Make an index for the wire to prevent confusion later. Don't forget to make a positive and negative connection of the LED. Twist the wires of each of switches and the indicator. Place the wires to one side of the board.
6. Attach the top case to the board using screws. Break the white plastic parts of the middle case in half. Attach the other side of the plastic part. You will place the wires on the opposite side. Cover the bottom part of the case.
7. Now youÃ¢â�¬â�¢re done hacking the mp3 player. For the test, you can touch the wires of each switch instead of pushing the button on the mp3 player.
Step 5: Super IPod : How to make detachable MP3 player kit
Already hacked COBY mp3 player(We already made it :-))
Two pieces of black felt (5 inch x 3 inch)
24 set of snaps
Conductive thread ($15 per spool)
(Conductive thread can convey current and regular thread wonâ€™t. )
a sewing needle
small piece of conductive fabric or tape
How to :
1. Prepare two pieces of black felt (5 inch x 3 inch). On one black felt, attach 12 small squares of conductive fabric tape and sew the 12 one-sided snaps on the tape using conductive thread.
2. On the other black piece of felt, attach the 12 small squares of conductive fabric tape in the same place to close the snaps later.
3. On the other side of the black felt, Glue the hacked mp3 player. Twist the ends of the wires and sew them to connect them to the other side of the snaps using conductive thread.
4. Check to see if the snap works or not. Close the two sides of the snaps. If you connect the two snaps of the switch using wire or any conductor, the switch should run the function of the MP3 player.
Step 6: Super IPod : How to make handmade felt wires
Conductive fabric ($16.25 line/ft)
(You can buy the small size of "Zelf"conductive fabric from Less EMS)
Several pieces of felt (1inch x over 10 inch)
a pair of scissors
1. Cut the conductive thread 1/8 inch width.
2. Attach two pieces of conductive thread on the felt separately using fabric glue to make two lines.
When you connect two separate pieces of conductive fabric to make one line on the felt, you need to tie the edge of the pieces together to prevent to loose continuity.
Step 7: Super IPod : How to connect fabric switches to hacked mp3 player
Now you have five soft fabric switches. Mark the position of the switch using the IPod template. Set the position of the switch on the dial inside the pillow and glue the switch using the fabric glue. Now take the mp3 player base, which has 12 snaps on it, and attach it to the bottom using the fabric glue.
2. Attach a red LED, bend its wires, and sew it
To indicate the mp3 player is working, we will attach the LED on the window of the IPod. Make a little hole down the left side of the window and attach the LED using fabric glue. Mark (+) and (-) on the fabric to indicate which is the long leg for the positive connection and which is the short leg for the negative connection. Bend the legs of LED and sew the legs using conductive thread.
3. Connect snaps to switches and sew them together
You have a few handmade felt wires. If you buy the kit, you can find them inside the kit. If you want to make them by yourself, check the "How to make fabric wires". It is very easy to make them with conductive fabric and felt. With these felt wires, connect the snaps to the switches. Cut a little bit in the middle of one side of the felt wires. Sew the divided edge to each conductive fabric wing of the switch. Sew the other side of the wires to snaps on the mp3 player base.
Fellow the illustrated instruction to attach switches and snaps.
Tip: Check the continuity
When you done to connect switch and snaps on the base, you can check the it works or not using multi-meter. When you press the switch connected to the snaps, you should see the result of continuity.
4. Attach mp3 player to the base
Close the snaps of the MP3 player to the base of the MP3 player. The snaps will allow you to detach the mp3 player whenever you want. When you wash the pillowcase you should detach the mp3 player from it.
5. Hook a headphone or speaker to mp3 player
Turn over the pillowcase. Hook a headphone or speaker to an mp3 player. When you press the button, you can see the indicator on the window changes.
Step 8: Super IPod : How to use
Tip: how to control the hacked mp3 player
- Turn on and play
Press the "Play" button in the middle of the dial for more than 3 sec. and you can see the indicator is on. To play music, press the button less than 1 sec. and you will see the indicator is blink. The soft fabric switch is sensitive, so even if you press the button lightly it will work very well.
- Change music
Press the "Â�quot;Â�"Forward" button less than 1 sec. and wait 1 sec to listen to the music.
- Turn off
Press the "Play"button for more than 3 sec. You can see the indicator is turned off.
- Sign of mp3 indicator
When the mp3 player plays music, the indicator should be blinking.
When the mp3 player pauses music, the indicator light will still be on but it will not be blinking.
For more information and buying the "Super IPod"kit, visit TechDIY.org site.