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November 20, 2015 AT 4:00 pm

Make Your Clothes Interactive With A Zipper Switch #adafruitWeekendProject


Make your clothing more interactive with this fun and simple Adafruit Zipper Switch tutorial.

Here’s a fun way to make your clothes more interactive– you can turn a zipper into a switch for activating lights, sounds, and more using stainless steel conductive thread.

The switch works like a momentary pushbutton. As the zipper pull travels along the teeth, two pads of conductive thread are bridged, momentarily creating an electrical connection.

This connection can be sensed by a microcontroller like FLORA or GEMMA with an activated interal pullup resistor, or be used in place of a push button in circuits like the TV-B-Gone or audio FX boards.

The zipper switch is not delivering current, and should not be used to drive LEDs– it’s a very weak connection that is only made momentarily and not suitable for more than a few milliamps of current.

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