Materials List: Making Sound-Reactive Clothing

Each group needs:

  • 2 EL wire kits; such as the $10 kit from SparkFun, comes in a variety of colors, each with 3 meters of wire
  • EL sequencer, for $35 from SparkFun
  • lithium ion battery, 2000 mAh, for $13 from SparkFun
  • FTDI basic breakout board, 5V, for $15 from SparkFun
  • USB mini-B cable, such as for $2 from SparkFun
  • DC-to-AC inverter - 3V, for $10 from SparkFun
  • 1 sound detector, for $11 from SparkFun
  • 3 stackable header pins; you’ll need to break off 2 that are 5 pins long (1 for EL sequencer, 1 for sound detector) and break off 1 that is 6 pins long (for FTDI BOB ); such as from the 40 break-away, right-angle male header pins for $2 from SparkFun
  • 5 female-to-female breadboard wires (or regular wire is fine, too), such as from this pack of 100 F/F 6-inch premium jumper wires for $25 from SparkFun
  • (optional) 4 JST connectors for the EL wire, battery and inverter—IF they do not already have connectors; typically, SparkFun products come with connectors; such as a two-wire, black/red JST jumper wire for $1 from SparkFun
  • computer with access to the Arduino programming platform; download software from
  • old belt and old pocket from a jacket or pants, to sew together to make a pouch to house the controlling electronics; ideally, obtain a large pocket from a waterproof jacket that is zippered or otherwise sealable to protect the electronics when worn outdoors in potentially wet weather
  • article(s) of clothing to decorate, such as shirt, tank top, pants, jacket, leggings, etc.
  • 1 needle and strong thread/dental floss OR fabric adhesive
  • 1 piece of packing foam or Styrofoam, at least 3 x 3 x 1-inch, to cut to house the sound detector; see Figure 4
  • safety goggles, one pair per student
  • EL Wire Example Code Handout

Cost note: The estimated expendable cost of ~$21 per group is based on 2 EL wire kits and pins that get soldered onto the boards. The other items are reusable—EL sequencer, FTDI basic, USB cable, etc. Although the soldered pins can be removed, the pins themselves might not be salvageable.

To share with the entire class:

  • soldering iron
  • epoxy that is waterproof; alternative: non-permanent adhesives such as hot glue and electrical tape
  • safety pins
  • scissors
  • insulating material, to coat all exposed final project connections, such as epoxy, hot glue, electrical tape or other insulating material