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 micro-controller 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

Materials #

Item Qty Used In
Paracord 60" (cut into 5 equal pieces) kit
Silicone Coated Wire 60" (cut into 5 equal pieces) kit
Shrink Tubing 5 (cut in half to make 10) kit
Quilt Clips 10 kit
Conductive Tape 12" (cut into smaller pieces) kit
Multimeter 1 you
(optional) Glue Gun 1 you

Requirements #

Make 4 Clip Probes following Irene’s Instructions Above (using silicone wire instead of copper). 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?

What To Document In Your Weekly #

Use the weekly template to document your explorations of possible connectors and how you went about making a connector with this object.

Turn In #

Turn your documentation into Canvas. Bring all your connectors to class on Monday and then store them in your kit for future use.

Inpsiration: #

Acknowledgements #

Thanks to Irene Posch for this work and for walking me through the process!

Irene Posch and Geraldine Fitzpatrick. 2018. Integrating Textile Materials with Electronic Making: Creating New Tools and Practices. In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ‘18). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 158–165. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173225.3173255