Stalaglite Switch

I wanted to continue with my Stalaglite Cave Blanket, so for this project, I decided to turn one of the stalaglites into a control switch for the entire blanket.  For the purposes of this assignment, I scaled down the blanket into 3 stalaglites and a control switch.

Process

I started by making a conductive pompom using some special, conductive roving and yarn.  After some experimenting, I realized I needed to limit the amount of conductive space, so I made a little shell for the pompom out of felt.

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The arduino is wired using the arrangement for a photoresistor, but in place of the light sensor, the pompom is attached to alligator clips, which act as the resistor in the circuit.

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I velcroed the second alligator clip to the felt shell to keep it in place.  When pressure is applied to the alligator clip, it comes in contact with the conductive pompom, completing the circuit.  This mechanism acts as the switch to turn on and off the stalaglites.

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LED wiring and Pompom squeeze!

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After testing the switch, I placed it inside the stuffed stalaglite cone, and added an indicator for where to press.  Once everything was in place, I sewed a base piece to the stalaglite to keep parts from shifting.

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Code

I made two versions of the code.  During wiring and experimentation, I set my code so that the staglites are on only while the switch is being pressed.  In the final code, the switch acts as an on/off button.

Test Code:

Scroll back up to the top to check out the final!