Can't believe how quickly time is going, work has been busy recently so I haven't had as much time to dedicate as I would have liked.


I got most of the jacket pieced together, but unfortunately I then went to get the zip. Recently we've moved house to a new town so I can't get to my normal haberdashery, so instead I went around all the places I could think of in Gloucester to get the zip for the main body of my jacket... after trying hobbycraft, who only sell general purpose zips (nothing over about 40cm long) I then enquired about other places that might sell then in the area, which turns out to only be the market who are only open Monday to Fridays in working hours! This is really inconvenient for people who work, so I now need to arrange a trip one weekend back to the old store, but I haven't really got the time at the moment as it'll be a couple hours driving + time in the store and parking + traffic which is a nightmare at weekends.


Due to the time constraints of the project I've unfortunately had to buy a sports jacket which I'm currently attaching the components too, then there is a final bit of coding to do and I should be ready to test it all out properly.

It's been quite hard to sort out and test the code with croc clipping the components as there is only so far that is feasible before there are too many connections to ensure are connected and not touching each other, so once it's all on the jacket I'll post more regular demonstrations of it all working.


The plan is to continue finishing my jacket when I've got time again, and then swap over the components to it, or make the current jacket the roller skating jacket and then get another set of components to make the hand made jacket into something more apt for ice skating, as gps isn't required for ice skating but it might be nice to have some LEDs change depending on speed and acceleration etc!

I'll make sure I continue to update the blog with details on both jackets.


The jacket I've now got is this one,



it's from Matalan and cost about £16, which is quite good as it seems reasonably well made and has a nice weight to the fabric. Not too hot, but should be warm enough for going out in the current autumn weather.


I then put my wrist guards on.


I don't use them indoors or ice skating, but I don't trust myself to not fall over the kerbs, potholes or random rubbish lying on the pavements when outside! I use to use a pair of cheap small guards, and although I hadn't yet needed them I had a couple close calls (re-balanced just before I fell) which made me realise I don't really want to end up injured, so I went a bit over the top and got a pair of Doc Meter's Flexmeter's which after a reasonable amount of research seem to be one of the best type I could get.



So with the guards on I could then trace the edges with a chalk marker to show the area where the LEDs needed to be put, as I want them on the flat top surface where they will be easy to see:DSCF1001_web.jpeg


I then tacked the LEDs on to the sleeve, so I could check the positioning:




I've put the compass/accelerometer in the middle of the compass display, as I want the direction to be accurate and this will help the calculations, as the direction I'm looking in will be the direction the compass is pointing in.


I then tacked the colour sensor on as this will be used to program which destination is required into the Flora during startup:


I'm now planning to move this, as although I would be easier to use in this position, it will also be in direct line of damage if I was to fall. It will be on top of the sleeve now.


I've also tacked on the FLORA and the GPS board. The FLORA will be on the chest, in the position of a logo on a normal jacket and the GPS will be on my shoulder so that it has the best reception.



I've now got the LEDs sewn on properly, which took much more time than I was expecting:



I am now attaching the compass and the colour sensor.


Currently I'm having issues fitting all the 'wires' in to the LED circle in the space between the first and last LEDs, I'm currently considering trying to power the LEDs on the 3V3 line used by the colour sensor as this will save on routing another power line through. The NeoPixel page says 3.5V is possible but at a reduced brightness, so I'm hoping that 3.3V will be ok.


I have made sure that whilst sewing I've made my stiches overlap and be quite slack and bubbly, this will hopefully give some stretch to the stiches as I don't want to either restrict the stretch in the jacket or break the stiching due to stretch.

I've also found that the ends of the threads are a bit straggly, so I have ordered some 'stretchy flexible' fabric glue (like I used to use on my wetsuit) to neaten up the underside, and I may also use it to insulate the threads which are close together.




Side note:

In some of the first pictures you may have seen my component storage boxes, these are 0.14 litre really useful boxes which all neatly store in an organiser like this:


I find these really useful for components and sewing supplies, the bottom tray of my sewing box is full of them. They are also great for taking projects in component form to places such as the hackspace and work.