Light-up Badge with EagLED

Difficulty
Easy
Steps
12

The EagLED has multiple sew tabs around the board for each component, which makes it easy to create wearables with conductive thread!

In this guide, you will learn to use conductive thread to create a light-up badge. We'll also introduce you to some basic sewing techniques and tips for using conductive thread in building circuits. 

Complete this guide to create your own light-up badge with the EagLED.

The parts


For this guide, you'll need:

  • EagLED - Little bird E-Textile Snappable board. The EagLED is our E-textile wearable development board that makes this all possible! We'll be using:
    • The main board
    • We'll be using one of the heart-shaped LEDs
    • The coin cell battery holder and a CR2032 coin cell battery
  •  Alligator test leads 
    • This will only be used in the prototyping process
  • Conductive Thread and a sewing needle
    • We'll then sew the components using conductive thread
  • Fabric of your choice
    • Blue felt fabric is used here to create the badge 
  • Fabric scissors

Step 1  Prototype with alligator clips

On main board of EagLED: 

  • Connect a black alligator clip to GND 
  • Connect another black alligator clip to GND 
  • Connect a red alligator clip to 3.3V 
  • Connect a yellow alligator clip to Pin 10.

On the heart-shaped LED: 

  • Connect the yellow alligator clip from the main EagLED board to '+' on LED
  • Connect one of the black alligator clips to '-'

On the coin cell battery holder:

  • Connect the other black alligator clip to '-' 
  • Connect the red alligator clip from main EagLED board to the coin cell battery holder '+'

Step 2  Arduino sketch


              int heartPin = 10;

void setup()
{
  pinMode(heartPin, OUTPUT);
  Serial.begin(9600);                 //initialize the serial port
}

void loop()                         // run over and over again
{
  digitalWrite(heartPin, HIGH);
  delay (500);
  digitalWrite(heartPin, LOW);
  delay (500);
}

            

Upload this code to the EagLED main board. Then insert a coin cell battery into the holder, and turn the board to 'ON'.

The LED will start blinking!

Step 3  Threading a needle

The prototype is finished and the code has been tested! In this next part of the guide, we'll look at how you can start with sewing the components together with conductive thread.

  • First, cut a long piece of conductive thread, approximately 2 feet long.
  • Push one end of the thread through the eye of the needle, and pull through.

Step 4  Tying knots

Next, tie a knot close to one end of the conductive thread. 

In this example, we'll be creating an overhand knot.

Step 5  Sewing basics

Before we begin with sewing together the components on a cloth badge, let's take a look at some basic sewing tips.

Stitching a component to a piece of cloth is simple. 

  • Poke the threaded needle through from back to front, near the sew tab. 
  • Then run the needle through the sew tab and cloth, before running it from back to front again. 
  • Repeat the process to create three loops around the sew tab.
  • Make three loops each time you connect your thread around an empty sew tab.
  • Next, pierce the needle through the three loops.
  • Then pull the needle and thread almost all the way through. This will create a loop, put the needle through this loop.
  • Let it run through this larger loop to form a finishing knot. 

Step 6  Sewing basics - continued

Next, let's take a look at how to connect two components together:

  • We've created three loops along the '-' sew tab of the heart-shaped LED board. 
  • Pierce the needle through the three loops.
  • Then pull the needle and thread almost all the way through. This will create a loop, put the needle through this loop.
  • Let it run through this larger loop to form a finishing knot. When completing a connection from sew tab to sew tab, you can create a finishing knot as shown.
  • To prevent any accidental electrical shorts, be sure to trim any excess thread after you are done.

Step 7  Complete example

Next, stitch a line from '+' on the coin cell battery holder to '+' on the LED.

Flick the switch to 'ON' position and the LED should now light up.

Once complete, it should look something like this!

Step 8  Connecting main EagLED board to coin cell battery holder

Now, let's get started with sewing up the components for the badge. Instead of simply lighting up when the circuit is closed, the LED on this badge is programmed to blink at a certain rate by using the EagLED main board. 

  • Place the EagLED main board and coin cell battery holder on the back side of the badge.
  • Stitch a line from 'GND' on the main EagLED board to '-' on the coin cell battery holder. 
  • Then sew another line from '3.3V' on the EagLED board to '+' on the coin cell battery holder.
  • Finish your first stitch by tying a finishing knot on the sew tab.
  • Trim any excess conductive thread where the sew tab is.

Step 9  Connecting LED to main EagLED board


  • Stitch a short line from '#10' on the EagLED main board, but this time sewing it through to the front of the badge, where we'll attach the heart-shaped LED board.
  • Attach it to '+' on the LED.

Step 10  Finishing the connections

  • Likewise, sew a short line from 'GND' on the EagLED main board, sewing it through to the front of the badge. 
  • This time, sew it to '-' on the LED.

Step 11  LED blinking

  • Insert a CR2032 coin cell into the coin cell battery holder. 
  • Turn the switch to 'ON' on both the main EagLED board and on the coin cell battery holder.
  • The LED will start to blink!