Struggling with muscle wire

After placing the sheet of plastic with muscle wire on the mirror I made connections out of copper tape, soldering, and jumper wires that ran all the way down the mirror and over the edge to the Squarewear on the back. I am not sure if there was something wrong with the connections or if it was something else. At that point I couldn’t know because my battery died and I wasn’t able to verify what the problem was!

Broken Mirror Mosaic

Now my mirror was a mess of copper tape and soldering that ran from each LED to the back of the mirror. The solution I had come up with for covering this up was a broken mirror mosaic. First I made sure that all the LEDs were working before I covered them up and couldn’t have access to them again. Then I covered all the messy parts with white paper as an initial background. I broke a smaller mirror that I had and started super gluing pieces on top of the paper in a general abstract pattern. At first it looked messy but by the time I was done all of the messy parts were hidden and it looked like the mosaic was actually a part of the mirror. I also put black tape around the edges to cover where the copper tape went around the mirror edges.

Music and Sound Pack or Muscle Wire?

I struggled with muscle wire but I was very proud of my results in the end. In order to activate the muscle wire through touch I took several steps. First I just made sure that my muscle wire was working with my Squarewear. I had already messed around with making a drawing into a touch sensor by following this website: but instead of Arduino I tried to use Squarewear and that worked fine. I just had to change some of the “int” in the code to “#define” for it to work with Squarewear. Combining the touch sensor code with the muscle wire code,however, was quite difficult. I tried working on it on my own and also using Shani’s help in TA hours. We got the code to work except for the minor glitch that after activating it once with touch you would have to turn the Squarewear off and back on to activate it again which completely defeats the purpose. With Audrey’s help with code I was eventually able to get it working the way I wanted. I also decided to incorporate the touch part by painting a hand print onto the mirror out of conductive paint which I was very proud of because I wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate touch onto the mirror!

Combining touch sensor with Music and Sound Pack

I completed the necessary soldering for the Music and Sound Pack that was already mostly finished. I then put in the right code into the Arduino but the sound pack wouldn’t work. I then proceeded to try several different things including testing/formatting the SD card, changing the Arduino, changing the speakers, re-soldering parts and de-soldering parts, and changing the files put into the SD card but it still wouldn’t work. At the moment I am considering another option so that I can incorporate a touch sensor component but I have to find another output besides sound which will most likely be muscle wire. I am really hoping that I will be able to somehow get the sound pack to work properly—this has been the saddest part of my project 😦 😦 😦

I still have to find a way to cover up wires, soldering, and copper tape on the mirror, change the code for the Human Sensor so that the lights stay on longer, and figure out a way to incorporate a touch sensor!!

Placing more LEDs on mirror

The next step was to place the set of LEDs for the Microphone-soundin component. For these I decided to stick with a more geometric pattern which would made connecting the LEDs to the Arduino a lot simpler. I used the same method for these LEDs as for the previous set. In the process of connecting these LEDs Julia made a suggestion that cut the work I had to do in half: instead of soldering along the whole copper tape I just soldered on areas where the conductivity was likely to be lost. This method worked and the microphone-soundin code worked fine with the Arduino and that many lights.

Placing LEDs on mirror

This week I worked on finding a way to put the LEDs on the mirror. There are two sets of LEDs connected to two different components: one for the Human Sensor and one with a Microphone-soundin component. I placed the set of 13 LEDs in a spiral on the mirror. I then used copper tape on top of which I put soldering to create a negative connection for all the LEDs. I then soldered the negative lead of each of the LEDs to this negative path of copper tape which is connected to a jumper wire connected to ground on the Arduino. I then proceeded to create similar connections for the positive leads each of with would go into an output pin on the Arduino.