Tag Archives: GPS Jacket

Becky Stern builds a NeoPixel ‘punk collar

We’ve covered a number of cyberpunk inspired ensembles in recent months here on Bits & Pieces, including Mell Ell’s cos-play outfit, the NeoGeo watch, Kaleidoscope Eyes and the Flora-powered GPS jacket. Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at a NeoPixel punk collar designed by Adafruit’s Becky Stern that is powered by an Atmel-based GEMMA (ATtiny85 MCU).

“Get your cybergoth on with five color-changing NeoPixels studded onto a leather collar,” Stern wrote in the tutorial’s introduction.

“The tiny GEMMA microcontroller can display endless animations on this fun funky accessory that’s easy to make with a little soldering. The GEMMA and battery live on the outside of the collar, [while] the NeoPixels pierce through the collar to be wired on the inside.”

Becky recommends that Makers kick of the project by connecting all pixels power pins to GEMMA’s Vout, ground to GND and the first data input to GEMMA D1. The data out from each pixel is wired to the data in on the next – and hobbyists can easily add five more pixels for a total of ten.

Next up? Installing the NeoPixel library, connect the NeoPixels to a solderless breadboard, using alligator clips to attach to GEMMA.

“You’ll need to change a few lines in the code regarding the data pin (1), type of pixels (RGB vs GRB), and number of pixels (5). From the Tools→Board menu, select Adafruit Gemma 8MHz or Adafruit Trinket 8 MHz as appropriate,” Stern noted. “Connect the USB cable between the computer and Trinket, press the reset button on the board, then click the upload button (right arrow icon) in the Arduino IDE. When the battery is connected, you should get a light show from the LEDs.”

If all the pixels are working, Makers can proceed to the next step: building the collar.

“While the collar is pretty durable, use caution in heavy rainstorms or really sweaty dance parties- remove and power down the collar if the circuit is going to get wet. Store your collar in the round, and don’t shove it in your bag or it might get twisted or crushed, which could break the circuit,” added Stern.

Interested in learning more about building a NeoPixel ‘punk collar? You can check out Adafruit’s full 
tutorial here.