LilyPad Arduino: The Right Turn Biking Jacket Idea

A journey into the world of the LilyPad Arduino leads me to the Turn Signal Biking Jacket. But my supplies are limited, so what can I make with what I have?

In reading about the LilyPad Arduino and poking around at some projects I can do with it, I find instructions for the turn signal jacket.

Basically, it's a flexible circuit project that is sewn onto a jacket and you can either signal right or signal left using switches sewn onto the cuffs of the jacket, and connected with conductive thread.

The instructions for the turn signal jacket includes a list of supplies.  Some of these are LilyPad parts, some are general supplies for E-Textiles.

The LilyPad Starter Kit has some of these supplies, but not all.  I'm adding my notes next to the part so that you know what I've got and what I don't have.


LilyPad Supplies

  • Lilypad Main Board (I got the LilyPad Simple Board - different.  Fewer terminal points)
  • Lilypad USB Link (There is a connector that came in the box)
  • Mini USB Cable (I hunted around at home, found lots of the wrong cable and ended up at the parts supply store. Got a 6" cable for $19.00)
  • LilyPad power supply (There's a battery that came with the kit)
  • 16 LilyPad LEDs (I received 5 white LEDs and a RGB LED in the kit)
  • Conductive thread (received in the kit)

Other Supplies

  • a digital multimeter with a beeping continuity tester (I found mine!)
  • a garment or a piece of fabric to work on (Check, got a not-so-old green stretch jacket.)
  • a needle or two (Check)
  • a fabric marker or piece of chalk, puffy fabric paint (Will stop at the fabric store)
  • a bottle of fabric glue (Check),
  • a ruler (Check)
  • a pair of scissors (Check)
  • double sided tape (optional but I will get it)
  • a sewing machine (Check - And How!)

I will now say that I considered shopping for more parts (and I will do so sometime) , but I have decided that whatever I make will be from the parts I already have.  This will mean that I must adapt the design a bit.  If I succeed, I will have a garment accessory that, although cool, will be somewhat limited in its' capabilities.  However it turns out (whether it works or not) it will be fun trying, and I've found that I have lots of helpers.


I'm observing that I only have enough parts to make one arrow, and I'm right handed, so I'll be wanting to turn right a lot.  So... what about making just one arrow? I think I'll call it The Right Turn Biking Jacket.

Why is this ok?

  • The learning should be similar (or close to it).
  • I plugged Right Turn Biking Jacket into my favorite search engine, and found only articles/posts related to the Turn Signal Biking Jacket.  Hey, I do believe I have an original idea!
  • It's a teeny incremental change from the original design, so I think I'll be able to do it.
  • And I know that if I get stuck, I can always use my powers and Ask for Help.
  • I know the idea is a bit absurd, but it's funny, isn't it?

I've found a friend who knows electronics and is willing to help.  He explained the multi-meter to me and brought me a few parts to use in my E-Play.

Trish is very excited about her impending visit to the Bay Area Makerfaire in May.

Trish writes as for Patch and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin blog


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »