This was the first CPX electronic sewing project that I created, and it was both a challenging, yet enjoyable experience. The project was an “arc reactor” which was inspired by Iron Man 1. Creating this project was complicated, and there were many times when the complete circuit did not work. However, after the process of revising the original plan, the project was more flexible to work with.
Develop & Plan
The original plan consisted of 6 blue LEDs that would like up when the conductive fabric was touched. The LEDs operated in three groups with 2 LEDs in each. Following this process, I could control the LEDs in separate groups. The plan was to connect GND (ground) pin to both LEDs and connect the positive pins on the LEDs to the other. The dimensions for the felt were chosen to allow adjustability in the sewing process.
Think & Revise
After thinking through the original plan and pre-planning how I would sew these LEDs and the CPX, I found that there would not be enough space to sew on the LEDs + CPX with the conductive fabric. This could lead to intersections of positive and negative conductive. I then decided to shorten the number of LEDs to 4 and move the conductive thread to the bottom of the felt. This way, I could make sure the positives and negatives would not cross over, and that there would be enough space to fit in the conductive fabric. Another change I made was to change the 4th (last) LED to red, in order to signal completion of the circle. Another addition made to the circuit was to make all the inner LEDs in the CPX light up in blue when all the external LEDs did a full rotation. After this, there would be a sound effect while the pixels in the CPX lit up.
The original code did not work when inputted into the prototype, but when the code was edited to make the external LEDs operating individually, it was able to work. I figured out that by editing the code to make digital write pin to high then low, i could make all LEDs light up individually and not have to group them.
Creating the final product was a very enjoyable experience, and throughout this process, I learned a lot of new concepts about pinouts on the CPX, their uses, and how I could utilize them in my project. It was also very interesting to see that you could prototype the circuit to see what would happen when the final circuit was activated. One area in the circuit that did not work was the 3rd LED. This was most likely because I had connected the conductive thread from the voltage pinout to the LED instead of GND. Instead, I could have connected the negative pin on the LED to another GND instead of VOUT (Voltage). Concluding the project, it was very interesting and exciting to see the LEDs light up and resemble the arc reactor that I had seen numerous times.
Here is an interesting video on conductivity, how cathodes and anodes on LED bulbs work. It’s very interesting!