Conductive thread overview

Syuzi over at Fashioning Technology has posted an excellent overview of the various conductive thread options available:http://www.fashioningtech.com/page/conductive-threadIt's an excellent reference. She promises a posting on fabric soon.

Topic by rachel   |  last reply


alternative to conductive thread.

Ok guys, so i was finishing up a project with my guitar, and i ended up replacing the strings. so i though to myself... what can these be used for. I decided to use them in a project im working on involving a belt, and regular wire would not work well. So, i weaved the guitar string throughout the belt, like you would with conductive thread, and its very very strong, and also flexible. And since its meant to withstand a beating it should last nearly forever. The strings i found to work best are the 3 smallest ones, E B and G, the others are too rigid to bend as much as needed. in the picture that is the third string, so it is more rigid then the first on would be, and i found it to work excellently for what i needed it to.

Topic by adem70 


where to buy inexpensive solderable conductive thread (or fine wire for making my own)?

Anybody know good places to buy fairly inexpensive solderable conductive thread (or thin non-kinking wire for making my own)? I don't intend to use it in a sewing machine, my goal being just flexible without kinking. I'd like a nice selection of metal colors also if possible. The Karl Grimm threads are pretty, but I've no idea how to order some or how much they cost, but I'm guessing expensive.

Topic by aliasjanedoe   |  last reply


clear coated non-kink wire or conductive thread?

I'm hunting for fine, non-kink wire or conductive thread. It needs to be coated since I intend to twist two wires together, stripping the coating where I attach an LED. I like the silver/gold colors of the wire, so I want something clear coated. Or if anybody knows of a coating solution that I could apply to my wire/thread, that would work also. Thanks.

Topic by aliasjanedoe   |  last reply


Has anyone tried conductive fabric or conductive thread with high voltage?

Have you? does it damage it for instance? or is it perfect because hi voltage likes to "crawl" over things 

Question by oliverkellow   |  last reply


Conductive Thread - what's it made of, and how does it work? Answered

Is it just a very, very fine bare metal wire, or does it have some sort of textile fiber core to give it more flexiblity and wear resistance (or is it a textile fiber that has inherent conductive properties itself)? Is it insulated like normal electrical wire? How does it differ from metallic embroidery thread?

Question by Gorfram   |  last reply



Need help to make my shirt vibrate!!!

I have a dream of having a shirt that vibrates when i hug people, i think it will be like a nice surprise when it happens. I have looked around and no body makes anything like this, none i can get at least. i have seen on here how to make little vibrating motors and thread pressure sensors but i have no clue how i would go about combining it all into a shirt. Really need someone to help me make this reality so if you think you can or know someone who can please contact me!

Topic by jaraiza8   |  last reply


If you spill liquid onto a live conductive thread circuit, will it short out? Answered

Will liquid exposure ruin a live conductive textile circuit? How about if it's powered-down? Can you wash (gently, by hand) a garment with a conductive textile circuit in it? What happens if you're wearing one and you get caught out in the rain?

Question by Gorfram   |  last reply


Maker Faire Demo: how to create conductive fabrics

I'll be demonstrating how to make fashionable functional conductive fabrics, thread and yarn at the Maker Faire Craft Booth on Sunday 23 May at 1 p.m.  For more info please see my website. Please come by and say hello!

Topic by Lynne Bruning 


LED questions-- how many on a given battery and resistors with conductive thread?

How do you figure how many LEDs you can use with a given battery, . and why don't you need a resistor when weaving an LED into fabric.. or do you. Is there a diff between using conductive thread and wire in that regard....?

Question by ingamarie   |  last reply


How To Get What You Want

Holy Lo, it's the Mecca of All Things Soft-Tech. Stretch sensors. Knit stretch sensors. Soldering conductive thread. Soldering conductive fabric (why hadn't I thought of that yet?). Fabric switches. Workshops, workshops, workshops! Solar tshirts, piano tshirts, fabric sensors, and, gobs of INSTRUCTABLES from user Plusea and mikamika. WooHoo!Check out stuff you know, stuff you don't know, and stuff you never thought about all in one easy place! How to Get What You Want.Go!Now!Thanks Hannah and Mika!

Topic by scoochmaroo   |  last reply


Open Software for Fashion Prototyping

This has got to be the most exciting thing to come down wearable technology pike! It's a FREE downloadable book about Arduino boards (both "standard" and LilyPad), conductive fabric, resistive thread, soft buttons, LEDs and more!! The eBook is split into three parts covering the basics of hardware, software and the use of the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) in the first part. Part two give examples of using eTextile materials and the Arduino to make first cool projects involving LEDs, Piezo speaker and, the Digital and analog zipper.The third part is dedicated to show how to write programs for the Arduino platform. This all might sound very technical for fashion/clothing designer but dont be afraid, it's easily explained and covers just what's needed for wearable electronics (and not for building an new space station).I cannot wait to get started with this eBook! Finally, all the mysteries I had to ask others to program for me, unravelled! pun intendedDownload yours today. NOW! at Open Softwear

Topic by scoochmaroo   |  last reply


idea for a simple and thin contact based sensor

Hello instructacles, I'm trying to build a simple contact-based set of sensors embedded in card board, paper or thin plastic sheets. I want to make a simple game for my kids that could detect/react to the presence/absence of some random items positionned on such a board? (empty glass bottle of coke, cereal box, shampoo bootle, you name it) Ideally i would use something like those books for kids where they have metallic threads "printed" on think plastic sheets and when you press them, it triggers a music. But i dont know how to print metal basically. don't really know how to get started. I was thinking of sewing conductive thread but i'm not really sure it would work. I have seen many attempts with aluminium foil (ex: https://www.instructables.com/id/Interactive-Art-With-Scratch-and-Makey-Makey/) but those are based on the fact that a human finger touches them (basically it uses the conductivity of skin), whereas in my game i was to use the weight of random objects from the house (in the 50g to 500g range typically) Any idea how i should get started ? thanks fourchu

Topic by fourchu   |  last reply


Soft circuit trouble? Answered

I am having trouble with a project that I am working on.  I have 12 leds in parallel spiraling out from a centre connected by conductive thread, the Led's are yellow and where stripped from a battery powered led xmas light set.  I intend to use the battery holder and on/off switch unit that came with it (2X1.5v batteries and has a 6.8ohm resister) to power the lights.  Unfortunately when I connect the power supply to the lights the first led is bright and it each led following is progressively less bright, the leds at the end are pretty dim.  So this is basically the same circuit that the xmas lights had but with conductive thread instead of wire.  I double checked that there were no loose or crossed threads.  After discovering the problem I checked the details about the conductive thread and it has a resistance of 30ohms/foot.  The length of the thread connecting all of the leds is roughly 1ft.  So I'm guessing the problem is that there is too much resistance in the circuit? Or is there something else I'm doing wrong? Is there any way that I can change this circuit so that it can still run on 3v batteries (2x1.5v)? 

Question by ChrysN   |  last reply


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In the event of a dispute, an entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the Authorized Account Holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. Failure to respond to a winner announcement, or return any required declarations or releases within fourteen (14) days (or any longer time specified by Sponsor in the applicable winner announcement) or to comply with any of the foregoing may result in disqualification and the selection of an alternate winner. It is Sponsor's policy to assist U.S. government employees in meeting their obligations under their standards of ethical conduct; any prize(s) won in violation of those Standards should not be accepted and should be returned at Sponsor's expense or destroyed. Without limitation, Sponsor shall not be liable for any failure to deliver any prizes due to any winner's failure to accept delivery, to meet any of his or her obligations hereunder or due to the submission of any false, inaccurate or misleading information. Representations. By entering the Contest, each entrant represents and warrants that: (a) the entrant meets all eligibility requirements of the Contest; (b) in entering and participating in the Contest, the entrant has complied and will comply in all respects with these Rules, the Policies, and all applicable statutes, laws (including, without limitation, common law, if applicable), rules and regulations; and (c) the information provided in the entrant's entry, including without limitation all contact information, is true, accurate, and complete in all respects. Assumption of Risk. By taking any action to create an entry for the Contest, each entrant, on his or her own behalf and on behalf of his or her personal representatives, heirs, executors, and assigns, acknowledges and agrees that: (a) ENTRANT AND HIS OR HER PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES, HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AND ASSIGNS HAVE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CREATION OF THE ENTRY, WHICH IS DESIGNED AND CREATED BY THE ENTRANT FOLLOWING HIS OR HER OWN DECISION AND INITIATIVE DEPENDING ON THE WAY, IN HIS OR HER SOLE DISCRETION ENTERANT DECIDES TO CREATE SUCH ENTRY, AND EVEN THOUGH THE CONTEST DOES NOT REQUIRE OR OTHERWISE ENCOURAGE DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR, THERE MAY BE DANGER AND RISK OF BODILY INJURY, DEATH, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE INVOLVED IN CREATING AN ENTRY; (b) THESE RISKS AND DANGERS MAY ARISE FROM FORESEEABLE OR UNFORESEEABLE CAUSES; (c) SUCH ENTRANT AND HIS OR HER PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES, HEIRS, EXECUTORS, AND ASSIGNS ASSUME ALL RISKS AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, PROPERTY DAMAGE, OR OTHER LOSS ARISING OUT OF THE CREATION OF ANY ENTRY, WHETHER CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OR ANY OTHER CAUSE; and (d) Subject to applicable law, such entrant and his or her personal representatives, heirs, executors, and assigns are relinquishing any and all rights he, she, or they now have or may have in the future to sue or take any other action against Sponsor, any Co-Sponsor, the prize manufacturers, any other entities involved in the administration of the Contest, each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives (the "Sponsor Parties") on the basis of any injury, death, damage, or other loss that may be suffered arising from any action taken in the creation of any entry, including but not limited to claims based on allegations of negligence by any of the Sponsor Parties or use of any machinery or materials. Without limitation, Sponsor Parties shall have no liability to any entrant or any other person in the event the entry or any acts or omissions of the entrant violates any of these Rules. Release. To the maximum extent permitted by law, by entering the Contest, each entrant releases and holds harmless the Sponsor Parties from any and all responsibility, liability, damages (including, without limitation, direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, statutory, and other damages), losses, costs, or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to: (a) entry or participation in the Contest, including but not limited to disputes among individuals claiming to have contributed to any winning entry; (b) any violation by the entrant of these Rules, the Policies, or applicable laws; (c) misappropriation, infringement, or other violation of any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, or other legal or contractual right of any person attributable to entrant or any entry submitted by entrant; (d) the acceptance, possession, receipt, or use of any prize or any item purchased with any prize (e.g., if the prize includes a gift card); (e) any entries or votes that have been tampered with or that are misdirected, incomplete, non-conforming, corrupt, lost, late, or ineligible; (f) any problems or technical malfunctions (including but not limited to errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operation or transmission) of any computer, telephone, modem, cable, satellite, network, hardware, online system, server, software, or other equipment or provider, including any incorrect, incomplete, garbled or jumbled information resulting therefrom; (g) any Internet traffic congestion or website accessibility or delays; (h) printing or typographical errors in any Contest-related materials; or (i) any other technical or human error that may occur in connection with the Contest (the "Causes"). If anyone makes any claim against any of the Sponsor Parties arising out of or relating to any of the Causes attributable to the entrant, the entrant will pay for any damages, losses, liabilities, costs, penalties, and expenses, including without limitation attorneys' and experts' fees and costs, incurred in connection with such claim. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, THE SPONSOR PARTIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE CONTEST, HOWSOEVER CAUSED, WHETHER ARISING IN STATUTE, TORT (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE) CONTRACT, OTHER LEGAL THEORY OR OTHERWISE, AND ALL SUCH DAMAGES ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED AND EXCLUDED. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES AND OTHER LIABILITY (INCLUDING INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES) IN WHICH CASE SUCH LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION SHALL APPLY ONLY TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, RULE, STATUTE OR REGULATION IN THE RELEVANT JURISDICTION. NOTHING IN THESE TERMS EXCLUDE LIABILITY FOR FRAUD, OR FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE TO THE EXTENT SUCH EXCLUSION IS PROHIBITED BY APPLICABLE LAW Misconduct. Sponsor reserves the right, in its discretion, to disqualify any entrant who: (a) tampers with the entry or voting process, the operation of the Contest, the Sponsor Site, or affiliated websites; (b) acts in an unsporting or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy or harass another person; or (c) is otherwise in violation of these Rules, the Policies, or any applicable laws. Termination. Sponsor reserves the right to suspend, modify, or terminate the Contest at any time for any reason, in its discretion, including without limitation in the event of fraud, abuse, tampering, technical, administrative, financial, or other difficulties. In such cases, Sponsor will post a notice on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site. Should the Contest terminate prior to selection of the winner, Sponsor will announce an alternate means of awarding the prize on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site. Any entrant may withdraw from the Contest at any time by contacting Sponsor by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in Section B.18 ("Winner's List; Mailing List") specifying the name of this Contest and any other relevant information. Advertising and Marketing. By entering the Contest, and in consideration of Sponsor's potential review and evaluation of his or her entry, each entrant grants to Sponsor the non-exclusive right to use his or her entry as provided in the Policies, including without limitation the provisions of the Terms and Conditions of Use regarding ownership and use of user submissions. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, EACH ENTRANT CONSENTS, AND WARRANTS THAT IT HAS OBTAINED THE LEGALLY-BINDING WRITTEN CONSENT OR OTHER LEGALLY BINDING AUTHORIZATION (INCLUDING WITH REGARD TO THE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF COPYRIGHTS IN ALL CREATED CONTENT) OF EVERY CONTRIBUTOR TO THE ENTRY (INDIVIDUALS WHOSE NAME, LIKENESS, PROPERTY, RESULTS AND PROCEEDS APPEAR IN THE ENTRY), TO THE USE BY SPONSOR, ANY CO-SPONSOR, OR ANY THIRD PARTY CHOSEN BY SPONSOR OR ANY CO-SPONSOR, OF ANY AND ALL INFORMATION (INCLUDING PERSONAL INFORMATION), DRAWINGS, TEXT, PHOTOS, IMAGES, VOICES, VIDEOS, OR OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINED IN AN ENTRY OR OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY SUCH ENTRANT RELATED TO THE CONTEST FOR ADVERTISING AND MARKETING PURPOSES. Otherwise, each entrant retains whatever rights it may have in each entry to the extent provided in the Policies. The Sponsor, at its discretion, may require entrants to provide evidence of such written consents or other legally binding authorization. To the maximum extent permitted by law, by accepting a prize, a winner consents on his or her own behalf, to the print and online publication of the winner's user name, stated country of residence and winning entry as part of the official winner's list on the Instructables Site (and to submit this information, along with the winner's first and last name, address, phone, email or other contact information to governmental agencies if required by applicable laws) without additional compensation other than the consideration specified in this Section 15 (Advertising and Marketing) for the entire protection term of the rights concerned and for all methods and means of exploitation. Each entrant and any other contributor whose personal information is being so used by Sponsor may request access to his or her personal information held by Sponsor and that Sponsor correct the data if it is inaccurate or delete the data if Sponsor is not required to retain it by law or for legitimate business purposes. Access, correction, deletion requests or withdrawal of consents can be made by contacting Sponsor by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in Section B.18 ("Winner's List; Mailing List"), however, no consents will apply retroactively to any entrant's personal information used prior to Sponsor's receipt of any consent withdrawal. Other than as set forth herein, Sponsor will treat any personal information supplied by entrants in connection with the Contest in accordance with Sponsor's Privacy Policy, as modified by these Rules. Governing Law; Dispute Resolution. By entering the Contest, entrants agree that these Rules will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of (a) Switzerland if the entrant's principal place of residence is in a country in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, (b) Singapore if the entrant's principal place of residence is in a country in Asia, Oceania or the Asia-Pacific region, (c) Brazil if the entrant's principal place of residence is in Brazil, or (d) the State of California (and, to the extent controlling, the federal laws of the United States) if the entrant's principal place of residence is in a country in the Americas (including the Caribbean) or any other country not specified in this Section 16 (Governing Law; Dispute Resolution); provided, however, that in respect of all claims, actions and disputes brought by any of the Sponsor Parties, these Rules and shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California (and, to the extent controlling, the federal laws of the United States). The laws of such jurisdictions shall govern without reference to the conflicts-of-laws rules thereof. The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act shall not apply to (and are excluded from the laws governing) these Rules. In addition, by entering the Contest, entrants agree that any claim, action or dispute arising under or relating to this Agreement will be brought exclusively in (and the parties will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of) the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Marin, or the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, except that (other than with respect to claims, actions or disputes brought by any of the Sponsor Parties) if the entrant's principal place of residence is in (a) a country in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, any such claim or dispute will be brought exclusively in (and the parties will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of) the courts of Switzerland, or (b) a country in Asia, Oceania or the Asia-Pacific region, any such claim or dispute will be brought exclusively in (and the parties will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of) the courts of Singapore. By entering the Contest, each entrant submits to the jurisdiction of those courts and waives any objection to those courts, whether on the basis of jurisdiction, venue, inconvenience of the forum, or otherwise. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, nothing will prevent any of the Sponsor Parties from bringing an action for infringement of intellectual property rights in any country where such infringement is alleged to occur. Miscellaneous. If any part of these Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or otherwise unenforceable, such part will be modified by such court to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable while preserving to the maximum extent possible the original intent of and the remaining parts of these Rules will remain in full force and effect. Nothing contained herein or in any of the Contest related materials should be construed as an endorsement by Sponsor of any Co-Sponsor, or of Sponsor or any Co-Sponsor of any third party, product, or service. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, Sponsor may decline to process requests that are unreasonable or unreasonably repetitive. Winner's List; Mailing List. The user name(s) and entries of the Contest winner(s) will be posted on the Contest page of the Sponsor Site, within fourteen (14) days of the Deadline. In addition, the names of the winner(s) may be obtained by sending a written request and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the below address (mailed requests must include the words "WINNER'S LIST" and the full name of the Contest prominently in the first line of the address): Instructables 82 2nd St. San Francisco, California 94105 USA   or by contacting Sponsor by email at [service@instructables.com] or by phone at (01-510-473-7626) or by mail at the address identified in above. All requests must include the words "WINNER'S LIST" and the full name of the Contest prominently in the subject line or in the voicemail, as the case may be. All such requests must be received within six (6) months of the Deadline. Sponsor's telephone number for Contest purposes is (01-510-473-7626). Entrants who opt to join Sponsor's electronic mailing list agree to be contacted by email by Sponsor. Requests for removal from Sponsor's mailing list may be made as instructed in any such email, or by sending a written request and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to "Instructables Mailing List" at the above address, by calling the above telephone number, or as otherwise indicated on the Sponsor Site. Residents of Vermont may omit return postage on winner's list and mailing list requests. © 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved. INSTRUCTABLES is a registered trademark or trademark in the United States of Autodesk, Inc. Other brands may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Topic by scoochmaroo 


What resistor should I use to complete the circuit with a 3V battery and 10 LEDs?

I have connected 5 green LEDs and 5 red LEDs with 2 ply conductive thread and I am unsure as to what resistor I should use to complete the circuit (with a 3V battery).

Question by Protocal7   |  last reply


eTextile and wearable tech meetup in PDX Friday 12 November

Dorkbot PDX is hosting an eTextile and wearable tech meetup with Lynne Bruning, thats me!, Friday 12 November 6:30 - 9 pm. Please come meet other PDX'ers that get tangled up in conductive thread, lilypads and schemers. Bring your projects for show and tell.  Meet Shannon Henry and see how she made the Skirt of Stars. Get inspired and find a partner to collaborate with for the next eTextile and wearable tech fashion show! When: Friday, November 12th, 2010, 6:30pm to 9pm. Where: bRainSilo Hackerspace, 611 N. Tillamook, Portland, OR 97227 What: A night of wearable electronics and eTextiles I looking forward to seeing you there!

Topic by Lynne Bruning   |  last reply


Tuesday nights - The eTextile Lounge - a global hackerspace

Are you eTextile Curious? Creating your first wearable tech project? Then please join us in The eTextile Lounge  Tuesday 8PM MST log into Lynne's uStream channel to chat with the creators, innovators and trend setters. Ask questions.  Find sources.  Get help.

Topic by Lynne Bruning 


Meet our own lynnebruning in Denver

Come meet award winning wearable artist, textile enchantress, and Maker Lynne Bruning at Denver Makers' May 21st Meeting!Lynne will discuss how to weave conductive cloth and demonstrate how to embed electronics, LilyPads, conductive thread and LEDs into hand woven fabrics.And if you can't make it to Denver, see her at San Francisco's Maker Faire 2009! (really in San Mateo)I cannot wait. She is my hero.Lynne, if you're reading this (which I can only assume you are) how bouts an autograph at Maker Faire?? I'll get you a t-shirt. . . . http://lynnebruning.com

Topic by scoochmaroo   |  last reply


eTextile Lounge: Featured Project for Tuesday 21 June: Touch Glove

Tuesday 21 June 2011 8PM denver time The innovator of the Touch Glove Instructable will talk about her project on the eTextile Lounge. Join us Tuesday's at 8PM on lynne bruning's uStream channel for eTextile tips, tricks and innovations.

Topic by Lynne Bruning 


Scrolling LED Sign on a T-Shirt?

How would I go about making a scrolling LED message with LEDs in a shirt? I found the LilyPad arduino/conductive thread, so I have a start, but I don't really know what size it should be (height wise, I want it to wrap all the way around me). Any ideas?I want it to sort of look like this, but less 'fancy'.http://www.erogear.com/

Topic by agent   |  last reply


Call for Makers, Presenters and Workshopers for The eTextile Lounge at Bay Area Maker Faire 2012

Call for participants in the eTextile Lounge at Bay Area Maker Faire 2012 Have a project to share? Want to give a lecture? How about hosting a workshop? This website gives you more information. or Please contact  Lynne Bruning lynne@lynnebruning.com Ally Seeley allyseeley@gmail.com for all the details

Topic by Lynne Bruning   |  last reply


Soft Circuits Workshop

Saturday, October 10, 12:30-3:00pmreMake lounge - Crocker Galleria 50 Post St., San Francisco$20 materials and refreshments included.Register at http://remakelounge.comSoft circuitry is a great way to take your crafting to another level!Whether you're coming at it as a craftster who wants to add a little extra spark to their creations, or as someone who's handy with a soldering iron and circuitry, but wants to learn more about wearable crafts, this workshop is for you.We take simple circuits and LEDS, and replace the solder and iron with conductive thread. Using simple hand-stitches, you'll learn how to integrate LEDs into your sewing projects.The final results are lightweight, flexible, washable and wearable. The techniques you learn here will open up your crafting to a world of possibility.This workshop will cover the very basics of using conductive thread, and creating a simple circuit between a battery and an LED. We'll be using Becky Stern's example as a tutorial!$20 includes all materials and refreshments. Registration Required.Additional kits will be available for purchase to take home.(Free parking and right next to BART/Muni!)plus it's taught by ME!

Topic by scoochmaroo   |  last reply


Some doubts: Lilypad Arduino, Accelerometers and E-textiles

Hello all! First of all, I'm a brazilian undergraduate Design student, and I'm very new at developing electronic projects (specially with e-textiles). I'm currently working on a malleable hand-held interface for my graduation project, and have been posting its development at this website: http://theinstrumentproject.tumblr.com/ Well, I've come up with the attached simplified schematics (just to communicate my needs and current intentions), and some questions raised from it: About Arduino and the schematic: - Will the raw data of the whole schematic (5 accelerometers to lilypad to bluetooth) be fast enough generated? - a frequency of 10 "readings" per second should be enough for what I intend to do with them. * - How much power will the schematic consume? Are three 20mm coin cell batteries going to do the job? In how much time would they be drown out? * About soft circuits and e-textiles: - What is best to transport data and power through this interface: conductive fabric, conductive thread or even a really thin wire? - It is important that it could be folded, twisted and very resistant through time. - Could you indicate any kind of textile more suitable for this application? - It should be just a little stretchy, and very resistant. - Any ideas of how should I protect the components from damage by rough hand manipulation? - Any advice about sewing the whole application? (*) The main components: - Arduino Main Board: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9266 - Lilypad Accelerometer ADXL335: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9267 - Bluetooth Mate Silver: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10393 Hope someone here can bring me some light to these problems, but any kind of help, opinion or critic is welcome! Thanks!

Topic by lgguts   |  last reply


Is it possible to feel a zap from a watch battery and LED?

Here's the setup: one LED with its leads tied by conductive threads to magnets which stick to a watch battery, in contact with skin for multiple hours.  I had somebody say that this somehow was zapping them (enough to leave a rash).  Is this possible?  I've handled lit LEDs with watch batteries a lot (even underwater) and never felt a thing!  No spark, no zap, no shock, nothing.  So have I just been lucky?  Can this setup actually zap you enough to feel it, or even irritate your skin?  Or was the zapping perhaps an allergic reaction to the nickel magnets which was mistaken for being sparked?

Topic by aliasjanedoe   |  last reply


Come to MITERS!

Hey!If you're around Boston on Friday Nights, come to MITERS, the MIT Electronic Research Society.We have build parties every Friday from 7:30 on, at N52-115.This week, the idea is clothes-hacking. We've got all the supplies, including conductive thread!We're a bunch of students with a penchant for inventionWho run this complete machine shop, EE lab, and creative haven, with lots of space for large projects.Everything goes, from motorcycles to electronic clothing, with a good helping of logic, lasers, microcontrollers and motors.Instructables itself came out of MITERS!Here's our instructables group.Here's our website.Here's our location.

Topic by stasterisk   |  last reply


Major Work Location/position sensor for a cricket bat

My name is NicholasI am in Year 12 at Parkes Christian School and making a major work that i can track where i am hitting a cricket ball on a bat. similar to what hot spot is and to be able to relay the information on the position to a phone via Bluetooth(video to help with what my idea is) At the moment i have ordered a Raspberry pi for the help transmit the data, EeonTex Pressure Sensing Fabric, EeonTex Conductive Fabric. But i dont know what else i would need so i can get the information of the position to a raspberry pi like what types of thread do i or is there some thing else i need as this is my first time making something like this Thanks in advanced

Topic by Nicholasrsk6190 


Instructables Build Night: How to Make Soft Circuits

Instructables held a "themed" build night on Thursday, August 14--the first installment in the new Build Night Series.Rachel taught a brief lesson about soft circuits and conductive threads/fabrics, and participants got to do some pillow anatomy and see the insides of LED vibrating pillows, fabric sensors, and other electronic-fabric creations. Then, everyone tried to build their own soft circuits in whatever style they wanted.Check out the promo video below and, if you're interested and in the SF Bay Area, come to Make your own Mouse Mouse with Christy on September 11 or another upcoming event.The office--aka build night workshop extraordinaire--is located at: 489 Clementina Street, 3rd FloorSan Francisco, CA 94103 We hope to see you there!

Topic by joshf   |  last reply


component identification

Hello, I am Trying to find the name of these types of connectors . Any information Would be help full.  The first and second Pics are the Sew on Type DC / AC Power Cord Port ?   The 3erd Pic is a different type of AC power Cord Port ? The 4Th Pic is a 3.5MM Stereo / Headphone Jack Cord Port ? on the Top of the strap  With Sound , Play Pause , Skip Back Buttons . Under the Fabric ?   Any information on How one can Get these types of connector would be vary help full.  I am planning on making a few different types of Projects , I need all the different Types of the connectors ,  When it comes to the stereo Buttons, Can one use the Sew on type of computer chips ?  like the type used with Conductive Thread ?  Or is their a Better Way to accomplish the same goal ? Thanks for your Time ,   

Topic by Paladin_Ace    |  last reply


Nama: a project on design/art/technology.

Hello all! Some time ago I visited this forum and took lots of doubts regarding an ongoing experimental project. I would like to post the results of this work bellow: Nama, my graduation project on design/art/technology. A study about contemporary aspects of language and the sensitization of movement in search of a personal unique creative pulse. http://viraseres.com/nama/ Videos: Interactive Installation: http://vimeo.com/viraseres/nama Experimental interface for movement: http://vimeo.com/viraseres/nama-instrument There's also a recently Instructable of the interface that I made: https://www.instructables.com/id/Nama-Instrument-10/ The full concept and development documentation is available at the website, together with a DIY tutorial of the interface, and the open source files of the generative audiovisual installation. Feel free to send me feedback, critics and opinions. Thank you all for your help!

Topic by lgguts 


Nama: a project on design/art/technology.

Hello all! Some time ago I visited this forum and took lots of doubts regarding an ongoing experimental project. I would like to post the results of this work bellow: Nama, my graduation project on design/art/technology. A study about contemporary aspects of language and the sensitization of movement in search of a personal unique creative pulse. http://viraseres.com/nama/ Videos: Interactive Installation: http://vimeo.com/viraseres/nama Experimental interface for movement: http://vimeo.com/viraseres/nama-instrument There's also a recently Instructable of the interface that I made: https://www.instructables.com/id/Nama-Instrument-10/ The full concept and development documentation is available at the website, together with a DIY tutorial of the interface, and the open source files of the generative audiovisual installation. Feel free to send me feedback, critics and opinions. Thank you all for your help!

Topic by lgguts 


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.-Muffin

Topic by T3h_Muffinator   |  last reply


uStreaming Tuesday night eTextile Hackerspace Meetings

Starting tonight at 8:08PM I'll be hosting the global eTextile hackerspace meetings! Log on to uStream to chat, ask questions and banter ideas with the innovators, trend setters and wide-eyed novices.  Meet your colleagues, see their spaces and share resources.  I'd say help build the 'community'  and find your 'tribe', but that's hippy talk and I'm a scientist at heart. Do it tonight so you can say 'Back in the day when the very first episode aired on uStream we talked about....." because even back then you were so in th eknow. lbruning uStream channel Tuesdays 8:08PM or 20:08 Denver time Calendar of upcoming schedule of giveaways, guests and locations. Tonight we will be starting at the beginning with eTextile paraphernalia you should have in your tool kit, work bench and sewing kit. Watch the video so you'll be prepared to share your ideas tonight. 29 March I'll giveaway a 1 year membership to Instructables Pro! 5 April its Live from New York with Despina and Zack of Studio 5050 Log in - I'll be looking for you!

Topic by Lynne Bruning   |  last reply


Gone! Free Copy of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 Gone!

It's gone! I decided to give it to CaptainMunz. Sketchbook Pro is designed to be used with a graphics tablet, like a Wacom Bamboo, so I think he'll get the best use out of it. Congrats! Original post: I received a free copy of Sketchbook Pro from the Instructables HQ for being the top author, but I don't really have a good use for it. So rather than resell it over craigslist, I'd like to pay it forward by giving it away to a deserving member of the Instructables community. So please write a brief but thoughtful reply or PM about what you would do with a copy of Sketchbook and how it would be a boon to your pursuits. I've never conducted a giveaway before, so I'm going to just take replies for a few days and then take it from there. Once I've decided who to give it to I'll let you know by editing this thread. A DVD case is lightweight, so I think I can ship it pretty far. Does anyone have an idea of how much it would cost to ship from California to say, India? I look forward to hearing from you - cheers!

Topic by LanceMakes 


2008 Instructables and Universal Laser Cutter Contest Finalists

The winner has been announced here!Instructables and [www.ulsinc.com Universal Laser] are happy to announce the 14 finalists in the Laser Cutter Contest. Ten of the finalists were selected by judges at Instructables.com. The other four finalists were the Instructables that had the two highest pageviews or ratings as of Monday morning, Jan. 7.The authors of these Instructables are all in the running to win a VersaLaser worth over $15,000. Now we turn the voting over to you. Click on the "Vote!" buttons below the Instructables to submit your vote and help decide who wins the grand prize. You can vote for more than one Instructable and voting closes Jan. 31. Judge-selected Finalists(in alphabetical order) Autonomous Foosball Table Build a Greenland Kayak Build a Wind Harp! Build yourself a portable home - a mongolian yurt Extreme Business Cards Giant Fresnel Lens Deathray How I built a carbon bike frame at home (and a bamboo frame too) How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time) Laser cutter, start slicing stuff for under 50 dollars Laser Image Projector Ratings and Pageviews Finalists How to Make a TRON Style Lamp: The MADYLIGHT How to build a sit down driving arcade cabinet The Spiral Data Tato -- A Curiously Complex Origami CD Case Blu-Ray Laser Phaser! Second Place The authors of these Instructables win a robot t-shirt and a laser-etched plaque. Listed in alphabetical order. 30 minute USB microscope The Ambience Enhancer Autonomous, Wirelessly Controlled Hovercraft Conductive Glue And Conductive Thread: Make an LED Display and Fabric Circuit That Rolls Up. Cool Wave Ring Dollar Store Parabolic Mic Handcut inlay A Home Power Plant - Wind Power Generator Revised How to Make a Color-Changing Lighted Faux Fur Scarf How to make a pair of Angel Wings How to Make an OAWR (Obstacle Avoiding Walking Robot) Make DIY Vanilla Extract "Quicksilver" Retro-Future Scooter from appliances and scrap metal Solid Wood Digital Clock The Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more! Squishy Breast Stress Relief Toy TiggerBot II Robot Tube Amp Rebuild (and Mod) U-Disp - The Digg (tm) display (Open Source)Wooden Gear ClockThank you to all the judges: ewilhelm, jesse.hensel, PT, randofo, intoon, canida, noahw, stasterisk, fungus amungus, lebowski, T3h_Muffinator, and bofthem.

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply


Hydrophobic music, dubstep windchimes, Smash Smash Revolution and etc @ Knox Makers Build Night w/ MaKey MaKey!

Wow, what a month at Knox Makers! We were absolutely invaded by MaKey MaKeys at our hackerspace all throughout January. To start us off, we released a freebie project a little early to help out members and guests get some ideas, to drum up local support for our events, and to offer a fun + easy starter project for the other spaces participating: Oversized Music Chest This ended up getting featured in Electronics! It leaves a lot of room to add extra components and tote the MaKey MaKey around, and we turned ours into a musical advertisement for our first Build Night, a mystery hack night about music. Mystery Hack Night: Music! What a blast! Talk about a weird time.. One family brought a theremin and a circuit bending kit for kids; another group brought an amp and speakers, a suitcase of effect pedals and circuit bent instruments, and a 4 channel mixer; we had a random component table for open hacking; an acoustic and broken ukulele was converted into an electronic instrument; we had painters painting music instrument for the MaKey MaKey with conductive paint; there was a table with our hydrophobic drum pad, bananas, an eggplant, flowers, and a grappling hook all controlling a set of browser based drums through the MaKey MaKey; we had members hooking up tactile buttons and levers to MaKey MaKeys; and we closed with the weirdest jam session this side of Alpha Centauri with all the things playing all the sounds at the same time. Mystery Hack Night: Video Game Controllers! This was a fun night, and we had a few new people show up. We tinkered with a platformer adventure game called Fancy Pants Adventure, where we assigned each person one button. At one point, the whole table was controlling the game's protagonist. Somehow, we made it pretty far into the game, considering. A few people commented that this type of exercise seemed like a really useful team building exercise, so we might look at creating some tutorials with this in mind. We also had individuals and small groups testing out their own inventions and games, again revisiting concepts like conductive ink or simple conductive objects. A two person team tinkered around with some simple fighting games that only use one button for each player, there were people playing Tetris and other games with their inventions, and we again offered a random hack table with an assortment of items and components to rummage through. MaKey MaKey Build Night I: When MaKeys Attack.. We had a nice turnout for this event. This was an introduction to the basic concept behind MaKey MaKey, how to remap the beta v1.2 boards using the web remapper, different applications that make a MaKey MaKey naturally awesome to use, and a few sample projects. We opened up the floor to open hacking, and that day our Adafruit group buy had just come in. We were able to add to the random hack table some awesome components, such as: male/male and female/female jumper wires, various diffused LEDs, slow and fast cycling LEDs, conductive thread, flat LED panels, sewable LEDs, tactile buttons, and other items. We wrapped up and one of our newest members stayed late to craft a thin copper wire into a flat copper instrument using a mallet. He ended up using a breadboard with the MaKey MaKey and Wolfram software to write his own music program. As with our other Build Night events this month, we also had people working on side projects in the background which added to the creative energy of the room. For this event, one of our members tested out a Gocupi that managed to draw Rear Admiral Grace Hopper and Albert Einstein on the whiteboard in dry erase marker using continuous lines. MaKey MaKey Build Night II: Big Projects! We had a decent turnout for this event, but mostly the attendees were there for their own big projects unrelated to MaKey MaKey. We got a few MaKey MaKey projects in around good company, though. We had members working on a large geodesic Airolite boat, someone showed up to work on their 3D printer and print out their first scale model of a scanned person, our Facilities Director was able to get some critical inventory done, a couple members mounted new shelves that had been donated that day, and one member's daughter wanted to play around with hydrophobics. We also were able to get electronic musical wind chimes made that work very nicely with the MaKey MaKey, and the same member who tinkered with Wolfram software at the prior event made more progress on some of his own MaKey MaKey ideas. MaKey MaKey Build Night III: Advanced Reprogramming! This was one of the build nights I was most excited about, and we had a nice turnout. We walked members through reprogramming the older MaKey MaKeys using the MaKey MaKey sketch for Arduino IDE. We bested Windows and its infernal resistance to unsigned 3rd party drivers, and we advanced onward. We looked at basic reprogramming of the settings.h key bindings, and we also looked at other Arduino programming such as delay, Keyboard.print, Keyboard.press, Keyboard.release, and some other concepts. A father team duo that are also involved in a local high school robotics club showed up and schooled us a little on Arduino with some tricks they had up their sleeves, another father son duo showed up to experience the MaKey MaKey for the first time together and it seemed to blow their minds, and we talked about the new web remapping tool for the beta v1.2 boards. Mad Science Bingo For one of our educational outreach events, we attended hijacked bingo night at a local senior citizen community center. We let everyone have their bingo fun without interruption, but as bingo concluded we invaded with a MaKey MaKey, our hydrophobic drum pad, fruits and veggies, and some flowers. The senior citizens loved it and have invited us back. At one point, we had three participants record themselves singing into a Scratch program that we mapped to the flowers. The room erupted with laughter when the community center manager went to touch the flowers and they sang at her in her patrons' voices. She even lent her voice to be recorded, which sent the room into mad howls. We also made a chain of about dozen people between ground and the triggers. We didn't really invent anything unique here, but it was a fun bonus event for the community center patrons. We ended up tinkering around a little with hydrophobics and electronics. So far after all our events, we ended up with a few more Build Night projects: Hydrophobic Drum Pad (featured in Science and then Homepaged!) annoy friends with this party game: Wonky Pong Smash Smash Revolution ... black acrylic, conductive paint, and conductive thread Electronic Windchimes sewable Cardboard Feet DDR (featured in Video Games!) We've also set out our MaKey MaKey kits for space use now that our January Build Nights are over with. We have a few members with projects they are still working on at the space, a few projects that are still being documented to upload to Instructables, and a few people batting around their own ideas. If we come up with anything else, we'll be sure and update. A couple "lessons learned" here: Random hack tables are awesome. But.. if they are too chaotic and without the right presentation, these can be intimidating to beginners that may want more direction. Multiple Build Nights rule! But.. it is probably best not to hijack every Saturday of a shared workspace like a hackerspace. This could have been orchestrated a little better (my fault). Overall, this was a blast to participate in. Thanks to Joylabz and Instructables! PS.. with two features and one homepage, that gave us 1 and a half years of Pro. One got used, but we're giving away the remaining year of Pro and 3 months of Pro. The bounty: quick connect projects for MaKey MaKey. Ends 3/1 EST. You know what to do..

Topic by smalltortoise 


Graffiti artists replicate The Matrix on Instructables.com--and win $15,000 Universal Laser Cutter!

Instructables and Universal Laser are happy to announce that the incredibly creative Instructable, How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time) has won the Grand Prize in the 2008 Instructables.com and Universal Laser Cutter Contest: a 40-watt VersaLaser laser cutter valued at over $15,000!Grand Prize Winner How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time) How to Enter the Ghetto Matrix (DIY Bullet Time) provides an extremely detailed Instructables tutorial on how to build a cheap, portable special-effects rig to create "bullet-time" animations--a technique, popularized in The Matrix movies, where the audience's point-of-view moves around the scene at normal speed while the action on screen is slowed down."We want to inspire great ideas and provide skills, tools, and shared know-how," Instructables CEO Eric Wilhelm explained. "This project represents exactly what we're trying to achieve with Instructables."The DIY Bullet Time Instructable was created and documented by the Graffiti Research Lab, an open-source urban art and communication collective supported by the Free Art & Technology Lab, a Brooklyn-based non-profit research lab creating work at the intersection of popular culture and the public domain."This will be the cornerstone of our new lab space," said GRL member fi5e. "A whole crew of creative people are really excited to put this thing to use! Thanks for helping us bring the VersaLaser to Brooklyn."The winner was chosen by votes from Instructables users and our panel of expert judges, who reviewed the 14 finalists drawn from a pool of over 600 entries. Congratulations to fi5e and everyone at the GRL - we know you'll really put the VersaLaser to work, and can't wait to see what great things you make! First Prize(in alphabetical order) Autonomous Foosball Table Blu-Ray Laser Phaser! Build a Greenland Kayak Build a Wind Harp! Build yourself a portable home - a mongolian yurt Extreme Business Cards Giant Fresnel Lens Deathray How I built a carbon bike frame at home (and a bamboo frame too) How to Make a TRON Style Lamp: The MADYLIGHT How to build a sit down driving arcade cabinet Laser cutter, start slicing stuff for under 50 dollars Laser Image Projector The Spiral Data Tato -- A Curiously Complex Origami CD Case Second Prize The authors of these Instructables win a robot t-shirt and a laser-etched plaque. Listed in alphabetical order. 30 minute USB microscope The Ambience Enhancer Autonomous, Wirelessly Controlled Hovercraft Conductive Glue And Conductive Thread: Make an LED Display and Fabric Circuit That Rolls Up. Cool Wave Ring Dollar Store Parabolic Mic Handcut inlay A Home Power Plant - Wind Power Generator Revised How to Make a Color-Changing Lighted Faux Fur Scarf How to make a pair of Angel Wings How to Make an OAWR (Obstacle Avoiding Walking Robot) Make DIY Vanilla Extract "Quicksilver" Retro-Future Scooter from appliances and scrap metal Solid Wood Digital Clock The Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more! Squishy Breast Stress Relief Toy TiggerBot II Robot Tube Amp Rebuild (and Mod) U-Disp - The Digg (tm) display (Open Source)Wooden Gear Clock Expert JudgesTo help us judge, we assembled an amazing team of expert designers, engineers, hackers, journalists, scientists, technologists, and other really smart people. They spent hours examining each of the finalists Instructables and helping us make a decision. We'd like to send a huge "Thank You" to each of our incredible judges. We couldn't have done it without you.Violet Blue (author, blogger, podcaster, columnist, and SRL vet)Gareth Branwyn (Contributing Editor, MAKE Magazine)Zoz Brooks (Host, of the upcoming TV Show Prototype This)Joe Brown (Editor, Wired Magazine)Colin Bulthaup (CTO of Potenco, co-founder Squid Labs) David Calkins (Co-founder of RoboGames) Julia Cosgrove (Deputy Editor, ReadyMade Magazine)Chris Csikszentmihalyi (Professor at the MIT Media Lab, Computing Culture Group)Simone Davalos (Co-founder of RoboGames) Lenore Edman (Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)Dan Goldwater (Founder of monkeylectric, co-founder Squid Labs)Saul Griffith (President of Makani Power, co-founder Squid Labs, MacArthur Fellow)Duncan Haberly (Instructables)Matthew Hancher (NASA Researcher in the Intelligent Systems Division)Brian Lam (Editor, Gizmodo)Ed Lewis (Instructables)Jeffrey McGrew (Designer, Because We Can)Chuck Messer (Tackle Design, The Open Prosthetics Project, host of Discovery's Smash Lab)Megan Miller (Editor, PopSci)Jim Newton (Founder of TechShop)Quinn Norton (Journalist)Windell Oskay (Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)David Pescovitz (BoingBoing, Institute for the Future, MAKE Magazine)Cloude Porteus (Instructables)Randy Sarafan (Instructables, Eyebeam Resident)Peter Semmelhack (Founder of Buglabs)Tyghe Trimble (News Editor, Discover Magazine)Noah Weinstein (Instructables)Eric Wilhelm (CEO of Instructables, co-founder Squid Labs)Dan Woods (Associate Publisher, MAKE Magazine) For the full information on how the winners were chosen, click here.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply


Ultrasonic soldering bath

Making a working ultrasonic soldering iron is not as easy as I though it would be.Finding tanrsducer of suitable design and size is even harder.So I thought I start with something easier and share the thoughts here.If you need to solder impossible to solder things then quite often you could get away by wetting the entire area.For example the end of a wire or a lug where it won't matter that you can solder on the bottom as well as the top.Back in my days flux core solder was a rare and very expensive thing to find.So we had a little soldering pot and flux pot instead for working with lots of wires.Dip, dip, done....The pre-soldered wires where then easy to work with and the ramaining flux on then was enough.Doing this for metals like aluminium, stainless steel or even ceramics seems impossible at first sight.China offers cheap ultrasonic transducers including the required driver electronics for very littel money these days, despite the trade wars.The most obvious solution would then be to get a cheap and big enough soldering bath and to attach the transducer to it....Won't work though and if it does then not for long.Problem is firstly the heat transfered to the ceramic parts of the trandsucer and secondly the fact that most of these soldering baths use quite thick steel for the container.Add the that you deal with quite some grams of molten metal and you know where I am going.Building your own ultrasonic soldering bath to solder the impossible with ease!Project costs:40kHz transducer with driver board : about 50 bucks.Thin walled stainless steel bowl ( about 50 to 100ml but go bigger if you like) : about 2 bucks.Leftovers for an enclosure can be wood, plasic or your favourite 3D printer.Ultrasonic horn: About 500 bucks from your favourite engennering company or you need to make it yourself - I prefer the later.Main design considerations for the horn:We need something to keep the heat away from the transducer that also amplifies the power coming from it.That is why we can use a bowl or container that has a small bottom daimeter as the transducer if need be ;)There is a good reason a commercial horn costs a lot of money.They are preferably made from titanium and they need to perform as advertised right from the start.We substitude by using some aluminium round stock and a lathe.It is advisable to leave the transducer as it is!Do not take it apart to mount your horn directly onto the ceramics!Use a long enough set screw or include the required thread on your horn to mount it onto the transducer.If you prefer to use stainless steel doe to the lower heat conductivity then be my guest.The horn should have the same diameter as the mating part of the transducer for a quarter of the wavelength of the transducers frequency in the given material.Please look up how fast sound travels in your choosen material and calculate it properly.Having the lenght of the thick part right is quite cruicial.The thinner part that amplifies our movements should be about a quarter of the diameter of the transducer.For example: if the mating face of the tansducer is 40mm in diameter then the thin part of the horn should be 10mm.The length again is a quarter of the wavelength or the same as the thick part.Where thick meets thin please allow for a 3 to 5mm radius and make sure this area is nice and smothly finnished.Now, length is quite critical here....As we will mount our finnsihed actuator free hanging under the bath we need a feasable way to comapensate for our tolerances by creating our horn without a simulating software. I found that welding a short stub onto the container works best but with aluminum it is harder.I assume most will opt for welding a 6mm soft steel threaded rod onto the container.Either way the container surface must be kept flat for the mating surface of our actuator rod.So it is best to make the stud yourself or to use a suitable replacement - like using some flux and your stick welder for create a makeshift spot welder ;)If you decided on using steel for the horn then of course you can just mill a 10mm piece with a suitable thread and flat mating surface...What you want to end up with is a screw connection that has a flat mating surface and no empty spaces, fine thread prefered.Tuning the horn....The ensclosure is easy to make as a box, so the only thing to worry about is insulation but nothing to affect performance.So I just assume you have it all ready ;)With the horn at one quarter wavelength either end our thin end will be too long unless a short stud is used for a direct fit.So whatever you had to add for the part on your container or bowl need to be removed from he horns thin end.Try to keep the gad for the threaded part as small as possible as it affects the resonace.As things never turn out perfect the first try I prepare some thin steel washers - 100mm outer diameter in case you wonder and stick with the above example.I use a strong neodymium magnet and belt sander to create washers from very thin to slightly thinner ;)Taking off slightly more from the horns end will then allow toadd these washers if required - but please do a try as it is first when you think you got the measurements all right!For an aluminium horn you will of course use aluminium washers here.To do so fill the container with some water and place a sheet of thin alumiium foil on top of the water.Turn it on and within a few seconds you should see holes appearing in the fiol or even small fractures.If nothing but noise happens it is quite certain your rod will be a bit too long.Unscrew and take about one tenth of a mm off the thin end of the horns mating surface to shorten it.Try again with the foil and if no better remove some more material.Once you see some action try adding a layer of aluminium foil between the mating surfaces - screw it tight!The foil won't last long but if the action on the water is far better until it fails you know you took off too much.The washers come into place if the tuning won't work at all.Sometimes you can cut off a little bit again and again but the piece will remain too short ;)Especially if you have an aluminium horn and needed to use a steel screw on the bowl...So once the shortening of the horn fials you add a washer to get slightly above the original length and start replacing the differently thick washer until you find a sweet spot.The tricky part is over, now to solve the heating poblem...Using some glass seal as used on wood fire ovens not olnyl provides good insulation to our enclosure but also prevents the vibrations from spreading too far.As our hardware store won't just give use the little bit we need the rest can be used to insulate our container.Dending on the size and shape of your container I hope you decided to buy a container tha fits your heating element...I found that replacement coils for lab heaters work fine but some small fan heaters also use round heating elements instead if wire spirals.For a custom shape it is quite easy to use a coil of heatin wire rated for your mains voltage and a glass fibre sleeve for insulation.To keep it all in shape just wrap some steel wire over it - over the insulated coils of course.The temperature control can be as fancy as with a microcontroller or as simple as using a dimmer like I did.Most heating elements will go glowing red hot if the mains voltage is not reduced.It makes sense to limit the dimmer's movements accordingly by testing it.Just do it in the dark afeter exposing a small bit of the heating wire from the insulating sleeve.Once you see a faint glow coming dial it back a bit until you can see any glow - that should be the max setting.For a big bath or to save time you can of course crank it up to what the glass insulation can tolerate but be aware that solder can boil over!I do a temperature check either with a touch free IR thermometer of by checking how quickly some rosin boils off.If you need to dip bigger parts you need a higher temperature, so I think a digital or sensor temp control is not really required.Once you found a sweet spot to hold the solder temp long enough without getting too hot or cold just mark it for reference ;)Using the ultrasonic soldering bath correctly.Cavitation is what the work for us, so we only need to activate the ultrasonic part when we need it with a push button or food pedal switch.We do not use any flux or resin!That means if you used the bath for normal soldering and or resin then clean the remains off the surface first.A shiny and clean surface is best but the oxidisation will happen quickly so don't be too disappointed ;)Start by dipping in a clean copper wire.Some solder might stick but it won't look proper.Now dip it in again and while it is in push the button for about 3 seconds.Like magic, if tuned properly your wire is soldered and properly covered to where it was dripped in.Try the same with some slightly sanded or at least clean aluminium wire, but use the button right away for about 5 seconds.The wire should be coated with solder once more.You can try a glass rod or some stainless wire next but I guess the working principle is clear now ;)Not everything will bond with solder, especially not if it is not clean.A piece of glass with your fingerprint on it might just fail and some ceramics will only let the solder stick without actually bonding.You should always check the mechanical strength of your soldered connection before having to rely on it ;)And why would you need such a machine?Well, most people won't have any use for it.Those who do might not be able to afford a commercial model.And there is always those who just want it all...If you know why you need such a thing than you have an alternative now at a fraction of the cost.You only need a lathe or someone who can machine the horn for you.Another benefit is that for smaller containers it is possible to weld a small "bridge" over the top.Should be placed so the bottom is in the solder while top is above it.In many cases you will then be able to use this plate to heat up whatever you need to solder on.Like a glass plate where you would like to solder a wire to.Once up to temp turn the ultrasonic part on and use a normal soldering iron and flux flree solder.Works quite well for these small solar panel kits...Ok, and how far away is our cheap ultrasonic soldering iron?Not that far :)I already have a topic for this though....

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply