Fashion, Portfolio

LED matrix hoodie

LED hoodie on
For Christmas 2010, Old Navy stocked a bunch of hoodies with headphones built in for $10. I intentionally purchased a white one because I wanted to use it as a diffuser for an LED project. I finally got around to it in the run up to Fuzzyland.

Power jumpers added
The hoodie has a 9 x 9 matrix of WS2812B LEDs: 9 rows of 30/m strips left over from the Tardis. It’s driven by a Teensy 3.1 with a 12000mAh LiPo battery. I sewed the LEDs onto a t-shirt which I then cut the back off of and stitched into the existing seams on the sweatshirt. This technique gives it a completely seamless appearance. When the LEDs are off, it looks like a normal sweatshirt. I unfortunately haven’t had time to write any pattern code for the sweatshirt specifically. From running the Tardis code on it I’ve learned that the patterns that feature a lot of pixels completely off look the best since it makes it harder to tell the extents of the pixel matrix. I added an XBee socket to the controller as well so I could pick up the beat telemetry data from the Fuzzyland system.
I’ve already got some ideas on how to improve the hoodie. When taking the sweatshirt to XOXO, I had the LiPo battery fail on me. I wasn’t running it through any sort of monitoring circuit and I have to use specialized chargers to recharge it. The LiPo voltage of 4.2V or less means I can control the WS2812B LEDs with just 3.3V signaling from the Teensy. This works but is definitely a kludge. If I had used a buffer chip to boost the signal to 5V, I could have used any USB brick to power my hoodie when the LiPo died. From now on, I’ll probably always pull the signal up. I’ve already learned to add a cap and resistor to prevent spikes from destroying the first pixel in a strip. I’ll be rebuilding the controller to use a buffer, 5V, and maybe provisions for a different radio. If I sew another one, I’ll look into adding channels for the LEDs in the fabric itself. I’ll also make the light panel completely removeable.


One thought on “LED matrix hoodie

  1. Pingback: LED Matrix Hoodie by @eliot #WearableWednesday « adafruit industries blog

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