How to Make a Unique ISS Notification Pin #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #Arduino #DIY #NASA

ISS Notification Pin

NASA’s ISS (International Space Station) orbits approximately every 90 min., but most people have no idea it’s right above their heads. That’s why making an ISS pin was the perfect idea for my latest project. Actually the idea came when I first competed in the NASA Space Apps Challenge with my friend Brooks Zurn Rampersad four years ago. Of course back then we envisioned the Orbit Skirt, and since finding connectivity in a small package was tricky, the best we could do was represent an orbit around the bottom of a skirt with LED sequins and a Lilypad Arduino. One of the judges that was wowed was Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He wanted to know when there would be a unisex version. The skirt ended up being one of the most unusual entries that year in Philadelphia garnering third place, and I’ve heard NASA is still telling the story.

NASA ISS Orbit Skirt

Luckily nowadays there are plenty of small microcontrollers available with connectivity, and I ended up choosing the Particle Photon which has WiFi capability. The microcontroller pairs well with Adafruit’s Particle/Spark NeoPixel Ring Kit, making the perfect shape for blinky orbits. The addition of an inexpensive plastic photo button allows for a NASA image of planet Earth, so no 3D printer is needed. The code ties in with the Space channel on IFTTT (If This Then That), a program that allows you to connect IoT devices easily through clickable applets. So, when the pin is in idle it shows a simple white blip representing the ISS, but on an actual flyby the LEDs do rings of blue, white and red, as well as multi-color. Of course there is no guarantee you will see the ISS because all sorts of light and weather conditions can interfere. Also, IFTTT mentions that there could be an hour delay. However, you will soon get a feel for just how frequently the ISS passes over your exact GPS destination, which is truly exciting if you are a space geek like me. So, I hope you NASA lovers will give this ISS Pin a try. I’m sending shout-outs to my classmates at NASA Datanauts, my NASA Space Apps Challenge friends who will be competing at the end of the month, and most of all to Brooks for going where no woman has gone before with orbits—ISS 4ever!!! Oh yeah, and if any of you end up making this project, please do ping me and I’ll make you famous on Jupiter or at least Planet Ada.

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

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, 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.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.