Hey guys! So, I will be heading to a couple of music festivals this summer. Having a love for LED’s and things that glow, I thought a cool LED project was in order. So, I made some purchases from Adafruit the other day and they have already come in! If you have not checked out their site before, please do so! They have so many awesome products and a phenomenal team behind the company name.
So, I had actually used these shoes before for an LED project. They worked great for a few days, but because of the way that I glued the NeoPixel LED strip to the shoes, they ripped. I didn’t realized that the bending of the shoe could literally rip the strip. So, that happened after a few wears and I was sad. I didn’t come back to the project because I wasn’t that happy with it at the time anyways. They sensor that I built following this YouTube video was pretty janky and didn’t work that great. Now, the idea and design behind this was good – I just don’t think I executed it well.
Fast forward to a few months ago. A friend of mine posted a link on my wall. It was a link to a website called Adafruit. I had no idea what it was at the time. The title of the facebook post was ‘Firewalker LED shoes‘. When I first read it, I thought it was going to be a pair of shoes that had LED’s pre-installed and was good to go. At that point, I wasn’t really interested because I wanted to take a more DIY approach to the project. However, I started reading the DIY guide and realized how terribly wrong I was.
This website sold everything. LED strips, single LED’s, wire, batteries, battery packs, etc. etc. I must have looked at this website for a solid two hours. I watched the Firewalker sneaker video over and over and was so intrigued. I new that I had to give this project a shot. After pricing everything out, i made the decision to hold off for a few months. I wanted to buy a bunch of different parts to try out, and not just the bare minimum amount to get the project going. Just in case there were any faulty parts. I was missing a few essential tools, so I decided to wait until I could afford to splurge.
Well, last week – that is exactly what I did. I placed a giant order with Adafruit and received the parts the next week. Props to Adafruit for packaging and shipping my order on a Saturday afternoon! These are the parts that I purchased (Flora boards were purchased from Amazon because Adafruit did not have them in stock).
Now, I got WAY to excited when all these parts came in. I was supposed to document everything, taking pictures of all the steps and writing up a guide. But I couldn’t. I rushed home from work an immediately tore the shipping boxes around to reveal the parts. I’ve never ran down my basement steps so fast. I grabbed my soldering iron box and cleared some space on a desk upstairs. Immediately got to work.
Following the guide that Becky Stern from Adafruit posted, I got the strips cut, soldered and tested with the Flora boards in about an hour. I found an amazing website called Codebender that allows you to save, upload and export code to your chips. It’s an alternative to the Arudiuno app, and I love it! Lot of great features, and the ability to save these in the cloud and access them anywhere is awesome. One I found the code i liked and tweaked it a little bit, I started gluing and testing.
AND THEN THEY WERE DRY.
I also did my girlfriends shoes!
I had such a fun time with this project. I really enjoyed working with the Adafruit boards – and again props to them for being an awesome company. Great support, awesome products and super speedy shipping! Props to them!
We’ll see you next time! Maybe I’ll do a video tutorial on these…