2 - Make Connectors

2. Make Soft-to-Hard Connectors #

One of the main challenges when making electronics embedded in textiles is getting accurate connections to the electronic components. Specifically, getting some material that can hold on tightly to a metal thread in a fabric on one side, and connect to a wire (which connects to a microcontroller or multimeter) on the other side. Irene Posch developed a series of novel connectors to solve this issue by modifying textile connectors (e.g. pins and quilt clips for instance) with conductive materials. In this weekly, make 4 Clip Probes following the instructions below: Irene Posch’s DIY Clip Probe Intructions Test your probes with your multimeter to make sure they work. We’ll use these throughout the semester to test our electronic systems.

Then, make one more probe which, instead of using a quilting clip, uses some other kind of fastener that is metal or can be augmented with conductive tape to link a textile to an electrical system. Ask yourself: what kind of objects come in contact with textiles? how might we attach those objects to wires? what are other ways, besides paracord, we could insulate the wire? When is a connector just a tool vs. a decorative part of the system? Use the weekly template to document your explorations of possible connectors and how you went about making a connector with this object.