Tech Jacket


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This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse-Art at the University of South Florida (www.makecourse-art.com).

Our project is a jacket that implements technology to produce a low-tech, punk rock futuristic look reminiscent of the styles seen in the video game Cyberpunk 2077.

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Step 1: Materials

  • Insulated electrical wire
  • Electrical Tape
  • Velcro
  • Hair Dryer
  • Wire Cutters
  • Super Glue
  • Scissors
  • Vinyl wrap
  • Vinyl Film and printer
  • 1/4" screws and hammer
  • Jacket with coat pocket
  • Breadboard
  • 10kOhm Potentiometer
  • LEADLEDS B1248 LED Badge + USB
  • WS2812B RGB LED Strips
  • 3D Printer
  • Clear TPU filament
  • Arduino Uno R3
  • 9V Battery or Power Supply

Step 2: Circuit

The circuit we designed utilizes an Arduino Uno, a 10kOhm potentiometer and a WS2812B LED strip. The potentiometer is an analog input plugged into A0. Its value is read by the Arduino and used to control the LED strip.

Step 3: Code

*The code has been uploaded as a .rar file, must be unzipped*

The function of the code is to control the LED strip using the potentiometer connected to pin A0. The code reads the potentiometer value and uses this to change the colors of the LEDs using threshold values and intervals.

The LED strips use combinations of red, green, and blue lights at different intensities to display a wide range of colors, for example (255, 0, 0) would shine red. The LED strip on the collar (LED_PIN1 at pin 7) uses for loops which allow the LEDs to activate one by one from left to right in one color. These strips are controlled by the potentiometer value, indicated by and saved as sensorValue. If sensorValue is greater than 400, the LEDs flash violet, else if greater than 500 they flash indigo, at 600 blue, at 700 green, at 800 yellow, at 900 orange and at 1000 red. Else, if less than 300, the LEDs will be off (0, 0, 0).

The LED badge is programmed using a text editor. When connected to a PC, the text editor will automatically open, and the stored text can be edited from there.

Step 4: 3D Printed Components

    1. Emblem: Starting with our most ambitious piece, our design includes a custom made flaming tiger emblem that was originally designed to fit the entire back, but was compressed to the size of a patch and placed on the front of the jacket. The design was drawn up and colored in photoshop, then the shape was traced and extruded in Maya, and finally 3D printed using transparent TPU filament. The image itself was printed onto thin vinyl film, then fused to the 3D printed emblem using a hair dryer. This was then centered on a red patch and super glued to the jacket.

    2. Arduino and Battery Housing: This piece was built to house an Arduino as to protect its circuity and help with electrical insulation by isolating the Arduino. There is also a compartment which fits a 9V battery, a second housing was printed without this addition for use with a power supply. This piece was modeled in Inventor, and is based on a rectangular prism that was extruded into. Once printed, the housing is attached to a breadboard using electrical tape or Velcro. After, the Arduino and battery are placed into their respective compartments and wired, requiring no further assembly other than power supply connection when in use.

Step 5: Jacket Assembly

  1. LED Badge: After programming the badge, use the safety pin and magnet to secure it where you would like.
  2. Collar: Place a strip of electrical tape the same length as the led strip at the collars' center horizontally. Now, place the LED strip over the tape and secure firmly. Using scissors, create two slits along the length of the LED strip. Size and cut out a rectangular piece of vinyl, and insert it into both slits. Using the quarter inch screws, hand drill 6 through the fabric and vinyl using a screwdriver. Make sure screws go out the back of the collar. Be sure that two are in the center, and four in the left and right corners. Cut the tips of the screws off using the wire cutters, then flatten the ends using a hammer. Now, run wires from the end of the LED strip to the breadboard using insulated wire and the built in female connectors. Shorten the wires using the wire cutters if necessary. Once complete, use electrical tape to bind the insulated wires to inner zipper flap.
  3. Emblem: Center the emblem on the chest-left side of the jacket and use super glue to bind it to the surface.
  4. Arduino + Housing: Use velcro to secure the breadboard and housing within the coat pocket. Once all proper Arduino connections have been made, place the Arduino into its housing. Finally, insert the 9V battery and connect it to the Arduino.

Step 6: Using the Jacket

To use the jacket, turn the potentiometer to the leftmost setting, and proceed to connect the Arduino to the 9V battery. To change the lights, turn the potentiometer clockwise. To turn them off, turn it all the way counter clockwise.

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