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A DIY LED VU-Meter Necktie!

led-ampli-tie-adafruit

I am never, ever disappointed by Make.  Not in seven years of doing this blog have I ever come across a story on Make that wasn’t the coolest thing I had ever seen, and I read somewhere in the neighborhood of eleventy million blog posts a week.  Well, it might be more in the tennedy million range, but you get the point.  Make is wicked.

Check this out — Maker and awesome duderino Collin Cunningham is sporting a cool LED tie in this video, which also consequently shows you how to make the tie!  It’s a breakaway tie that is modeled on the prison guard-style of tie, velcro in the rear of the neck; there’s also a microphone in the knot that feeds back into the LED controller, giving you a walking VU Meter!  As you can imagine if you know me, mine would be peaked all day long.  This system is built on Adafruit‘s wearable electronics platform called FLORA — from the website:

FLORA is Adafruit’s wearable electronics platform. We designed it from the ground up to provide the best experience for Adafruit’s community of makers, hackers, crafters, artists, designers and engineers. It’s built around the Atmega32u4 chip, which has built-in USB support. No pesky special cables or extra parts for programming, just plug it in and get started making the wearables project of your dreams! Works on Windows and Mac.

The FLORA is extremely beginner-friendly– it is difficult to destroy the FLORA by connecting a battery backwards due to polarized connector and protection diodes. The onboard regulator means that even connecting a 9V battery will not result in damage or tears.

The Ampli-Tie!

This FLORA device is pretty cool!  If you’re a tinkerer like me who loves to solder stuff and blow up all kinds of delicate circuitry because you are an occasional dumbass, this thing is the way to go, with its onboard voltage regulator!  Check this out:

This entire project is pretty much given to the world free at Adafruit’s website (the Adafruit Learning System, which is pretty awesome!); you can make your own Ampli-Tie to wear around the conferences!  Go check out Make, one of the coolest places for nerds on Planet Earth!