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.
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Step 1: 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
Step 2: Battery Holder
Solder the battery holder to the 1.75" round PCB, such that the holder itself is on the same side as the copper solder pads.
It may be helpful to tin (apply a small amount of solder to) the pads that you intend to solder to ahead of time.
Note: the attached circuit diagram applies to the next 10 steps.
Step 3: Button
Solder the tactile button swithc to the (designated) top side of the 1.75" round PCB
Step 4: First Snap
Strip the insulation off about 3" of solid core wire.
Pass it through two holes in the circuit from the copper side on through to the back.
Slide the button snap onto these wires so that it lies flat on the backside of the circuit board.
Bend the wires over and pass them through the other mounting holes on the button snap, and then back through the board.
Pull the wire taught.
Solder the wire to both the copper pads and button snap.
Trim away any excess wire.
Step 5: Ground It
Solder the first snap attached to the ground terminal on the battery holder.
Step 6: Second Snap
Attach the other snap in a similar manner to the other edge of the circuit board such that they are about 1.25" apart.
Step 7: Solder
Connect the second snap to one of the terminals on the tactile switch.
Step 8: Trim
Take apart a pen tube and cut a section that is slightly larger than your vibrating motor.
Step 9: Insert
Insert the motor into the pen tube.
Step 10: Glue
Glue the motor into the pen tube while making sure the motor can stil spin.
Once that is dry, then glue the pen tube to the circuit board.
Step 11: Solder the Motor
Solder the motor's ground lead to the switch terminal opposite to the terminal connected to the snap.
Solder the motor's power terminal to the positive terminal on the battery holder.
Step 12: Insert
Insert the battery with the '+' side facing up.
Step 13: First Thread
Cut 3' of conductive thread and fold it over onto itself. Pass the creased end of the thread through the eye of the needle to quadruple the number of threads. Tie the thread ends together with a knot.
Starting from the top, count down six pairs of zipper teeth, and make a stitch in the center of this pair.
With the same length of thread continue stitching between every other set of teeth until you reach the top.
Once at the top, using a running stitch, sew along the pants seam until the thread is over the watch pocket, and then sew down into the pocket.
Leave the thread attached to the needle for sewing the snap base on.
Step 14: Second Thread
Thread another needle with quadruple strands.
Stitch between the opposite set of zipper teeth, while being very carefully to keep the threads from touching or overlapping. If the threads do get close, they can later be tacked apart using a non-conductive thread preferably matching the color of the pants.
Make another conductive thread trace following the seam, and again not touching the other trace.
Finally, stitch this thread down into the watch pocket, also leaving the needle connected.
Step 15: Finish Snaps
Sew the based of the snaps into the watch pocket approximately 1.25" apart.
Step 16: Connect
Insert the circuit board into the watch pocket and snap it into place.
Step 17: Use
Whenever you want to check if your fly is down, simply press the tactile switch. If it does not vibrate, find a discreet place to go to pull your fly back up.