Carter’s Halloween Costume

Winkin’, Blinkin’ Shirt

My costume was a shirt with the light of 5 neopixels diffused by white ping pong balls. I downloaded the code with help from Becky to get a random pattern of white lights. The hardest part beyond looking with glassy-eyed wonder at the Arduino code was keeping a steady (and once, a red-hot) hand to solder such a tiny thing repeatedly to 6 different wires per pixel. I had to resolder a few pieces and learned that the energy flow only goes one direction on pixels. The thread I had to sew the neopixels through the tiny holes in the fabric and around the wires was weak so I sewed it many times through creating a wild mass that looked like a bird’s nest…..but it held. Between the sewing and a small amount of hot glue for attaching the ping pong balls, I was sure the costume would fall apart in route to school so I brought plenty of supplies. Much to my amazement, the costume was perfect for the whole evening.

While I picked the costume because I thought it would be cute and doable, I would probably refashion my plush nightlight to be an eyeball and make another 10 or more blinking eyes. I think a multitude of lights would create a more impactful visual show. Also, other than the ball on my back the other lights ran down my arm. I would probably have varied the placement to be in different parts of my trunk too.

Items needed for costume. for the neopixels
one Adafruit Gemma circuit, 3 different colors (for keeping things straight) of many-thread wire, solder, ping pong balls, one cheap long black shirt from Goodwill, battery pack and 3 AA batteries, hot glue, thread.

Circuit diagram

Arduino code – eyeball

Progress pics

Shopping for the shirt at Goodwill with handsome Harry
Inspo eyes
Repeated warnings
Hours soldering in the South Classroom
Lined up
Will it hold?
In the light
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