You may recall that Lucas Morgan made a great EL wire shirt a while back. It looks like this mad tech artist is at it again with a new top hat called “All Seeing Eye”. This is a great example of Adafruit’s NeoPixels — 704 to be exact! Two eyes move around randomly and appear to be staring at passersby. They are almost a bit spooky, like something you would see in a zombie flick (zombies beware!). Actually, Lucas has a love for music fests, so chances are this hat will be on tour.
The project started with a mock-up using the 30 LEDs/meter and then moved off to the 144 LEDs/meter. That’s a lot of bling! One of the issues Lucas faced was finding a hat that was a true cylinder. Apparently most top hats have a slight taper, but he did manage to find a decent one at a costume shop. The next step was aligning the strips, and conveniently there are holes near the LEDs that he was able to pin to help line up the rows. As far as hardware, he used a Tinyduino Microcontroller and a level shifter to convert the power to 5V for the NeoPixels. Not to get all Adafruit here, but the 4 Button Ribbon Cable Input Pad is a really cute way to operate the different animations on the hat. There’s a lot more detail on his blog Enviral Designs, so get ready for some cool pics.
Okay, enough with all the details; you know what’s coming and we’ve got the tutorial all ready for you — the Guggenhat. It’s a hat inspired by the famous Guggenheim Museum with its delightful curves. It will be your own personal billboard, so you can go to your next red carpet event (or graduation) in style. Coil NeoPixels like a pro and have your own original message out there for the world to see.
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