Make a Chameleon Scarf!

Chameleon Scarf

Project based on The Chameleon Scarf project found here:

Kit Includes

You Supply

  • Fabric (use a lightweight white or light grey fabric for best results)
  • Sewing Needle
  • Scissors (the smaller and sharper the better!)
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • USB-Micro USB Cable
  • Computer for loading code onto the Gemma (preloaded with your prefered Arudino IDE)
  • Power (More below)


Sew Your Base Ribbon

***For the following instructions: make sure while sewing that none of your lines cross! Crossing the lines will result in a short.***

  1. Identify where your Neopixels will go on your ribbon base.
  2. Cut and pull away approx. ½ inch of stitching from the data line under each Neopixel
  3. Sew Neopixels to ribbon base with conductive thread. Sew the positive power contact to the positive line, negative to the negative, and two data connections. Make sure you have good contact at all four points.
  4. Seal Neopixel stitches and knots with nail polish.
  5. Using the wiring diagram as a guide, sew the positive line to the ‘Vout’ contact on your Gemma, the data line to the ‘D1’ contact, and the negative line to the ‘GND’ contact.
  6. Continue to follow the wiring diagram to connect the color sensor. Connect the ‘3V’ contact on the Gemma to the ‘3V’ contact on the color sensor, the ‘DO’ contact on the gemma to the ‘SDA’ contact on the color sensor, the ‘A1/D2’ contact to the ‘SCL’ contact, and the ‘GND’ to the ‘GND’

Load Your Code

We’ve stored the code in a pastebin page. Feel free to copy/paste it into your Arduino IDE and modify to your heart’s content!

  1. Now that all of your “wires” are connected, it’s time to load your program! Connect your Gemma to your computer using your USB Cable.
  2. Open your prefered Arduino IDE.
  3. Create a new window and enter the code for the Chameleon Scarf (see below). Save your code as ‘Chameleon Scarf’ or something similar.
  4. Load the code onto the board.
  5. Test your ribbon! Make sure your code is working correctly before disconnecting the board from the computer.
  6. Once your ribbon is working correctly, disconnect the board from the computer.

Finish Your Scarf

  1. Get your fabric ready! If you’re making a ruffled scarf make sure you do that first, before attaching the neopixel ribbon. We recommend making a fabric ‘tube’, then creating ruffles using long basting stitches. For more on sewing the scarf check out :  
  2. Once your scarf is ready, with the fabric tube still inside out, use small stitches to tack both ends of the ribbon to each end of the scarf. We recommend tacking the ribbon down in at least two additional spots to keep it from sliding around too much.
  3. Once your ribbon is tacked in place, carefully turn the tube right side out.
  4. Attach your portable power and enjoy!

How Do I Power My Scarf?

Power is a little tricky, and depends on what is important for you. Either way, consider sewing a small pocket in your scarf for your power. GEMMAs can be powered by an onboard JST connector (popular on battery packs) or by microUSB.

  • While you’re loading code and testing, your data connection doubles as power!
  • AdaFruit carries tiny LiPo rechargeable batteries and USB chargers. These are extremely lightweight, but should be monitored while they are charging.
  • Coin batteries are lightweight, but are not rechargeable. The also limit the scarf to 4 Neopixels and shorter lengths of time due to power usage.
  • Have a small USB backup battery for your phone? Use this with a short USB cable. It’s heavy, but is rechargeable and will last a long time.


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Portable Charger Hack


  1. USB car adapter
  2. Needle nose pliers
  3. Micro Screw Driver
  4. Hammer
  5. 9 volt battery clip
  6. 9 volt battery
  7. Empty mint tin
  8. Electrical tape
  9. Soldering iron and solder
  10. USB charging cord



Take apart the USB car adapter, unscrew micro screw from the back and twist of tip from front. Carefully remove the outside casing, spring, fuse, and pop off curved metal piece. You should be left with the USB board. The square peg opposite the USB port is the positive, the casing of the USB port is the negative.


Take the 9 volt battery connector and tin the ends for easier soldering. The red wire is positive and the black wire is negative.

On the back of the board find were the positive and negative pins are located. Solder the red wire to the positive pin, and the black wire to the negative pin (there are two pins for the negative either will work).


Hold solder against the wire and gently hold the iron there until it melts over the wire holding it to the board. Let it sit for about 15-30 seconds to cool.

Once the wires are attached plug the battery in and check the connections. The led should light up.


Take the metal tin and punch a hole in one side big enough for the USB port. Using needle nose pliers open the hole and bend edges back. Using electrical tape secure the USB port to the opening.



All done! You now have a portable USB charger.


Project adapted from Buzzfeed’s Nifty Project: Make Your Own Portable Phone Charger From A Mint Tin

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Hack Saturday: Hacker Potluck BBQ

Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 2-6pm (RSVP)

at Evergreen Shelter at Mendon Ponds

95 Douglas Rd, Honeoye Falls, NY, Rochester, NY

Cost: Free

Donations Always Accepted

Hack Saturday is our guided project workshop we hold every month. This month’s projects are Dry Ice Ice Cream and Solar Ovens and we thought it would be fun to open it up to the hacker/maker community!!!
The ice cream will be on us… to add to the fun let have a little inter-hacker/maker space competition. Make a Solar Oven and we’ll see who comes up with the best design and generates the most heat.

Solar Rules:

  1. the solar oven must be made from scratch no kits please.
  2. solar ovens will be judged on how well they cook a hot dog and maintain a consistent heat.
  3. that is it… happy hacking!

Come share in the sun, have some food, and lets DIY a BBQ.

You Need to Bring:

  • Please bring a dish of your choosing.
  • BYOB, we do have a permit but please keep in mind this is a friends and family event.

We Will Provide:

  • Plates, Napkins, Plasticware.
  • Hot Dogs and Buns

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Open Hack Saturday: Screen Printing

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at 2pm (RSVP)

Cost: Free

Donations Always Accepted

This month’s Hack Saturday is screen printing! If you’ve never screen printed before, this is a great way to learn!

Interested in learning how to make your own screens? Hang out with us on Thursday to learn how to produce your own screen, and discuss the design dos and don’ts of screen printing! Cost to attend is $25, which gets you a finished screen by the end of the night.

You Need to Bring:

  • pre-washed cotton shirts, tote bags or other flat fabric
  • wear clothes you don’t mind if they get ruined. 

We Will Provide:

  • Premade Screens
  • Ink
  • Squeegees

Can’t make it on Saturday? Want to learn more about screen printing check this tutorial out.

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Happy Birthday Ada!


Today would have been Ada Lovelace‘s 200th birthday. She is known as the first computer programmer (at least theoretical programming), sidekick to Charles Babbage, and daughter of Lord Byron. Her notes on the Analytical Engine would go on to inspire Alan Turing and the first modern computer. Her mathematical abilities and tenacious personality, by Victorian England standards, are an inspiration to all women in technology.

Happy Birthday Ada!




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Holiday Hack Saturday

Image from Illuminated Snowflake Ornament Instructable.  
Image from Illuminated Snowflake Ornament Instructable.

This weekend is our special Holiday Hack Saturday!!!

Let’s light up the tree with DIY LED Beaded Snowflakes! Sure beaded snowflakes may be a little old hat but add an LED and you’ve got yourself an eye catching piece of technology. Plus you get to tell your friends and family that you are a pro with a soldering LED circuits. No prior skill needed. All beginners welcome.

Here is the Instructable we’ll using and adding to.

For more details and to RSVP click here.

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Happy Ada Lovelace Day!!!


In honor of our namesake Ada Lovelace we’ll be giving away an AdaSpace Canvas Tote and Gemma NeoPixel kit to a lucky follower. All you need to do is follow us Twitter or Facebook, post and interesting fact about Ada Lovelace with the hashtag #AdaSpaceGiveAway and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win an AdaSpace tote and Gemma NeoPixel Kit. All follows, likes, and posts must be made before 11:59 PM EST on October 14th, 2015.


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Penny Batteries and Soldering Demonstration

20150530_153055 20150530_153102


After our third business meeting, Ada Space President Jaimee Lindvay gave instructions on how to create our own batteries using pennies, zinc washers, aluminum foil, electrical tape, and vinegar. She explained “the zinc has some extra electrons the copper penny is happy to take creating current when completing the circuit with an LED.”  We then tested our batteries and made hypotheses about why some batteries were stronger than others. We discovered that the more layers of pennies and washers that were stacked, the stronger the battery was. Learn how to make your own.
Next, everyone turned to the workbench. Jaimee gave a soldering demonstration and we made wire bracelets for those who wanted them.

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