Experiments in wearable electronic art.

Best laid plans

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Cable Screwup

Despite my careful planning, an error

During the fabrication of the anthrolume harnesses, boards, cables, and other physical constructs, I’ve been careful. Half of that is to avoid wasting materials. The other half is to avoid wasting time. The third half is to avoid frustration.

I built MiniMe to be a dry-run for all the minutiae of the harnesses. How will the ribbon cable origami work? Where’s pin 1? Which way will the LEDs plug into the IDC sockets? Is the “marked” side of the ribbon forward, or towards me? Are we using conductors 1, 3, 5, and 7 or 2, 4, 6, and 8 on this particular harness? You get the idea. And the production harnesses are exactly like the ones on MiniMe, except four times bigger. All this planning has been spectacularly successful at avoiding time-consuming mistakes.

Until tonight.

I just now discovered that my planned orientation of the header connector on the Arduino is upside down. What was supposed to be a straight-through ribbon tap, only works when plugged in like you see here. So now I’m doing some analysis to see what’s the easiest way to mitigate this. An ugly bit of ribbon-cable origami would do the trick, but I don’t like that bit of imperfection in an otherwise orderly harness. Or I could rewire the Protoshield—a definite pain in my ass. Or maybe there’s some simpler solution. It’s only midnight—I’ve got some time to think about it.

Author: regenesis

Seattle New Media artist.

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