What is Needed to Recreate this Electro-Fashion Curtain ProjectThe aim of this project was to use E-Textile Kits, BBC micro:bits and a Klip Halo for BBC microbit, to create a modern curtain design that lights up when the curtains are closed and it is dark, and switches off the LED lights when the curtains are open and there is brightness.
- 2x BBC micro:bits (Board Only)
- Electro-Fashion, Sewable 5mm LED Holder, pack of 10
- 2x 2xAAA Battery Box with Switch and JST Connector
- 2x Klip Halo V2.0 for BBC micro:bit with 2xAA Battery Holder
- Electro-Fashion, Conductive Thread, 250m
- Needle Set
- Electro-Fashion, Magnetic Switch V2.0
- A Piece of Fabric
Things to consider:
- Each cable represents a complete stitch from one end to another.
- When sewing, avoid circuits (stitching) cross, otherwise electricity will not flow and thread might be cut off.
- Fabric will not be washable once the electronics are applied.
- Electronics should be stitched from inside of the fabric to avoid visibility, except the micro:bit as this is needed for light sensing and the LED bulbs. However, if you do not stitch inside the fabric, they can still be coloured by a permanent marker.
- On the page, there will be an ‘on start’ function and a ‘forever’ function, we will use the ‘forever’ function
- Go to the ‘Variables’ section and click ‘Make a Variable’, and type in ‘Light’ then press ‘OK’
- Then go back into ‘Variables’ and select ‘Set Light to 0’ and drag this into the ‘Forever’ function
- Go to the ‘Input’ section and select ‘Light Level’ and drag and drop this in place of ‘0’
- Go to the ‘Logic’ section and select ‘If True then Else’ and drag into the ‘Forever’ function underneath ‘Set Light to Light Level’
- Go back into ‘Logic’ and select ‘If True Then Else’ and drag and drop this into the top half of the existing ‘If True then Else’ section
- Now go to ‘Logic’ and under ‘Comparison’, select 0 = 0 and drag this in place of the first ‘true’ part of the code
- Go to the ‘Advanced’ section and then ‘Pins’ and select ‘Digital read pin P0’ and replace the first ‘0’ part of the coding with this
- Change PO of ‘Digital read pin PO’ to P2 and change the second ‘0’ to 1
- Go to ‘Logic’ and under comparison select ‘0 < 0’ and drag this in place of ‘If True Then’
- Go to the ‘Variables’ section and select ‘Light’ and drag this in place of the first ‘0’ and type in 50 in place of the second ‘0’
- Go to the ‘Pins’ section and select ‘digital write pin P0 to 0’ and drag the same item into the ‘if light < 50 then’ section 5 times then change P0 to P15, P14, P13, P12 and P11 consecutively and change all 5 ‘0’s to 1
- Do the same under both of the ‘else’ sections, except leave the 5 ‘0’s as they are
Checking the Code and Connecting it upAfter the micro:bit has been programmed with MakeCode, place it into the Klip Halo and connect the pins with cables to see if the coding is correct before starting to sew. The connections are as follows, you can also use the images for guidance:
- GND with – LEDs
- 3V with P2 on Klip Halo
- P15/P14/P13/P12/P11 with + LEDs
Incorporating the FabricTo make this an E-Textiles project, after the coding is checked and correct, you can now move on to the fabric you are using to make your project. Start by making marks on your fabric to indicate where your LEDs will be placed so that you can follow the stitching pattern and LED design you created. Then, simply attach your magnet onto your fabric using PVA glue and then stitch the magnet and LEDs on to ensure a secure fixing. The images below show how I stitched the magnet and LEDs onto the fabric. You can also colour the LEDs after they have been stitched using coloured markers to create different effects in your design.
The Finished E-Textiles ProjectWhen the curtains are open and there is light coming through from outdoors or inside, the LEDs are turned off and do not show. When the curtains are partially closed and there is still some brightness in the room, the lights will gradually drop to 0 and the LEDs will turn on. When the curtains are closed completely and the room is dark, the LEDs turn on. A big 'Thank You' to Maria for creating this project and writing this blog for us. If you want to be updated with all of the latest news, sign up to our newsletter here.
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