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Gadget Freak Case #274: An Ugly Electric Christmas Sweater

Gadget Freak Case #274: An Ugly Electric Christmas Sweater

The holiday season is upon us and that means people will be preparing for that most time-honored of traditions — The Ugly Christmas Sweater party. This year you can get a leg up on your competition by building your own. And nothing takes an ugly pattern over the top like making it light up. 

A control board, some Christmas light string, and some all-around craftiness are all that's needed to create this sweater with a selectable lighting pattern. 

This project uses a Christmas tree design, but with enough know-how you can probably fashion the lights into any disgusting pattern you want.  To operate the sweater, turn the master switch to the on position and press the momentary button in the tree stump until the flash sequence is to your liking.

Download the full build instructions here.

Download the control board firmware here.

Want to submit your own project to Gadget Freak? Email us! Be sure to include "Gadget Freak" in the subject line.

As always, Gadget Freak is brought to you by Allied Electronics and Design News. You can recreate David Christianson's gadget using the Allied parts list below.





Amt Parts Description Allied Part #
1 BT1 Battery Holder, 3 AAA, Holder, A.B.S., Spring steel, Nickel Plate, 6 inches long 70182671
1 C1 Capacitor; Ceramic; Cap 0.1 uF; Tol 10%; Vol-Rtg 50 VDC; Radial; X7R; Bulk 70122993
1 C2 Capacitor; Aluminum Electrolytic; Cap 10uF; Vol-Rtg 16V; Radial; nHg 70067785
2 C3, C4 Capacitor; Ceramic; Radial; 22pF; 5%Tolerance; 50V 70079242
8 D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D8 Light Emitting Diode  
1 J1 Modular Jack, RJ25, 6 Position, Right Angle PCB Mount, Cat 3, Black 70042934
4 Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 SS T092 GP XSTR NPN 40V -LEAD FREE 70099744
5 R1, R2, R3, R4, R5 Resistor; Carbon Film; Res 33 Ohms; Pwr-Rtg 0.25 W; Tol 5%; Axial; Cer-Core 70023888
2 R6, R11 Resistor; Carbon Film; Res 47 Kilohms; Pwr-Rtg 0.25 W; Tol 5%; Axial; Cer-Core 70024004
4 R7, R8, R9, R10 Resistor; Carbon Film; Res 1 Kilohms; Pwr-Rtg 0.25 W; Tol 5%; Axial; Cer-Core 70022897
1 SW1 Switch, Tact Pushbutton, Miniature, 12 X 12 mm, PC Mounting Style 70128184
1 U1 18-Pin, 7 KB Flash, 368 RAM, 16 I/O 70045635
1 X1 Crystal; 32.768; + 20 ppm; -0.042 ppm/ degC; 3 ppm /yr (Max.) @25 degC; 12.5 p 70112484

Images via David Christianson

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