Speedy Stars and Stars

This Friday was my first July the 4th in the USA, and I got invited to a starts and stripes themed SF Bike Party. SF Bike Parties happen about 6 times a year, and consist of an evening bike ride to multiple destinations around San Francisco with 50 or so other cyclists, clad in blinking LED galore. The bike party will stop at each destination, turn the sound system high, and have a boogy.

In my excitement of this possibility (bikes + dancing + lots of nice views around SF) I decided to make a stars and stripes themed headband, using the Adafruit kit I had in my Possibilities Box. The only small problem being, was that I had less than 2 hours to make it! (1 hour and 45 mins to be precise!).

Decide I’m gonna make a stars and stripes themed headband -and go for flashing blue, white and red starts. I gather materials, download flora arduino IDE. This doesn’t work the first time, as I hadn’t changed my security setting. Change security settings, and finally manage to download.

Run strand-test example to see if it is working. I then change the code so that runs a red-white-blue fade, and then a red-white-blue flashing cycle.

I want the light to be diffused and find some stuffing left over from a toy monster project. That’ll do.

Find some white fabric to make the stars. I realize at this point that I will not be able to “bag the stars out” (technical term for sewing them inside out and then folding out). I resign to allowing my 1-and-a-fraction-hours creation looking a tad shabby round the edges and cut out my star shapes.

Oh, we are cooking on gas! I find a headband. Meanwhile, fireworks are blasting in all directions about the neighborhood, I start to feel rushed and quickly sew on the Flora. Thank you Adafruit for making this so goddam easy to do with your big conductive pads!

3 shiny stars connected to power.

Ground and power is connected, just need to sew on the data. Quick!

Test the first star, and it works!

Finally got all the starts sewn in, now a quick stitch to secure the Flora.

Oh no, I am 3mins late! But it works! Get headband on head, grab coat, beer, bike, and keys -off we go!

Much later
Big smiles as I cross the Golden Gate bridge, and a dance in Marin. Happy face, sparkly stars.