The Wearable Tech You Need to Make for Exciting Climbs #WearableWednesday #Arduino #Wearabletech
It’s great when a maker is inspired to do a project with a personal tie. That’s why I like this jacket made for climbing by Martijn that I discovered over on Hackaday. He was inspired by a glow-in-the-dark party at his climbing gym (which sounds awesome) and wanted something a little more than just a glow. In this case, the jacket’s WS2812 LEDs respond to different heights of a climb. I thought this would be an easy task using a barometric pressure (altimeter) sensor. However, Martijn outlines the challenges.
The pressure sensor is used to calculate the altitude. This is quite sensitive, so I also created a base station to transmit the reference pressure at ground level. The jacket calculates my current height above the base station and adjusts the color of the jacket accordingly.
The base station use an Arduino Uno and a NRF24L01 for communication. You can see he is using the Arduino Pro Mini for the jacket, which is compact and allows just enough room for the barometric pressure sensor. Velcro allows easy removal so he can re-program easily. I should mention that the jacket was hand-made and Martijn mentions the challenge of using stretch fabric with electronics. Fabric that moves for a physical activity like climbing makes sense, and had he used conductive thread to attach his LEDs there is a good chance it would have broken or puckered the fabric. Instead, he chose to do wire and smartly used longer lengths in wavy patterns that he attached periodically with thread. The extra wire provides just enough give to allow for good reach during climbs.
This is a great use of LEDs and sensing, so make sure you check out Martijn’s project write-up. However, I’m still curious if the altimeter portion of this could have been easier. We have a solid learning guide on our BMP280 Barometric Pressure/Temperature Sensor and I know that the 280 is supposed to be an upgrade to the previous 085, 180 and 183. Maybe the accuracy would be better here. Anyway, this sensor certainly has my mind spinning with possibilities for uses. What would you like to make?
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.