Breadboards for electronics (no, I never asked why they are named that), are useful platforms to physically experiment with electronic components in connecting them in circuits. The components such as resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, etc. can be plugged into the breadboard according to a circuit design and can easily be modified by moving, adding or removing the parts or short pieces of wire called jumpers. Underneath the breadboard grid is a series of rails to simpify the wire connections. A power supply can be connected to the breadboard to supply power for the circuit.
Inspiration for this project was from having met Instructables member Stasterisk at the World Maker Faire NYC 2010. It was a nice surprise that she recognized us out of the crowd. Maybe because Caitlin and I were both wearing our Robot shirts. It was the first of many encounters throughout the day..."You're Caitlin....and you must be....." Yeah, I get that all the time. Anyway, I had dragged Caitlin to the Maker Faire where everyone was a total stranger, she does know of Goodhart though *sigh*. When we got home, she went online to find out about who we met. Then she read up on Star and her breadboard sweatshirt. Caitlin said "Don't those @#$%^&*! know it's Art?" That was the highlight of her Maker Faire. "Cool!"
So, also having met Lynne Bruning at the Maker Faire and bribing Caitlin to model the Blinking Hand of Righteousness and the blinking i-Hoodie at her e-textile Fashion show, that got me inspired to do my take on wearable electronics. And look, there is a soft circuit contest going on!
I do not have an arduino or any of its variants/offspring. Still a little pricey to get set up.
I do not have any conductive thread. I have this spool of decorative metallic thread from Walmart, but I suspect it isn't the same quality of pricey conductive thread. It was pretty rough running it through the sewing machine when I embroided Caitlin's homemade dentist coat way back when I made the giant toothbrush. The real stuff may be neat to work with but it still has high resistance and still not what I consider mil-spec. It is not weatherproof or spillproof and it is not insulated.
I've got a few more tricks to do with the dollar store bicycle flasher but I wanted something new.
Behold, the Wearable Breadboard of Righteousness. Prototype circuits on the go. Well, maybe not near public transport.
Step 1: Stuff to scavenge
I got a roll shelf liner made from real cork. It has adhesive on the back and is thin enough to be flexible. You might be able to use some that is sold as sheets to line bulletin boards but may be too thick and rigid that it would crack if bent.
Three layers of the cork shelf liner adds up to 1/8th inch thick, enough to pierce and hold the component lead.
Electronic components to use on the breadboard.
I had a battery holder, some LEDs and corresponding resistors.
Search LED calculator on the internet to find a quick tool to figure out the resistor values for your LEDs so they don't burn out prematurely.
Plastic Grid for Needlecraft
Not really sure what this stuff is called but you find it at the craft store to use as a base for making yarn carpets or designs.
Aluminum duct repair tape
The heavy duty waterproof kind has a thicker metal layer...and a stickier industrial mastic adhesive layer.
Check connectivity and voltage in order to troubleshoot the circuit
metal two-part snaps or pin/receiver design to use as connectors
Silicone putty - still trying to find some neato applications for it. I used it to coat the battery plugs or probe ends.
Velcro, duct tape. glue or thread and needle to attach wearable breadboard to garments.
Hoodie or other garment
Garment to attach the breadboard to.
Various other electronics working tools
wire stripper, soldering iron, pliers, scissors...
CAUTION: I soldered a few wires. Know how to operate a soldering iron responsibly. A soldering iron can burn and solder contains lead which will soon be outlawed in the State of California.