Life Blinker is an open source project from Sigma-Designs

DIY info for how to build your own ∞ Arduino-based Life Blinker

Step 1: Gather Materials

The Life Blinker uses extremely basic and common materials and tools:

	item		need	cost 
	alarm wire	2	1.89
        coin cell batt.	1       optional
	8mm red leds	3	1.75
	Arduino   	1	2.52
	my code  	1	free
	3-way switch	1	1.78
	tape		1	0.05
	reflective tape	1	0.15
	battery bank	1	2.11
	magnets		4	0.44
	hot-glue	1	0.25
	laptop		1	existing
	acetone  	1	optional
	scissors	1	existing
	cardboard	1	recycle!

	Other costs
	solder		2inches	consumable
	flux		~	consumable

TIP: Order your Arduini D1 Mini, battery bank, and 3-pin switch from ebay or temu early, the cheaper listings are always slow-boat shipping.

TIP: Be sure to test your LEDs with a coin cell battery.

Step 2: make a budget friendly Printed Circuit Board alternative
Cutout a 4.5inch x 2inch cardboard (or) plastic substrate. Cut one-inch corners off all four sides at 45-degree angles. The resulting shape is an elongated hexagon. Proceed to puncture the cardboard for three equally spaced diode holes. Tape the cardboard with reflective tape and an optional colored border (I used orange painters tape). Push the LEDs through the holes, keeping the polarity for all three in the same orientation.

Step 3: Bend 1 ground wire and 3 hot wires
As shown below, use the alarm wire to tie the grounds together. Route individual wires to the positive/hot leads of the diodes. Making hook shapes will keep the wire in place while the solder joint sets.

Step 4: Solder wires for the LED side
Then Solder 1 ground wire and 3 hot wires. The wires will all be 6-12 inches long and not connected (yet) on one side. Solder the points shown below. You can then trim the excess length of the diode legs when things have cooled down. ATTENTION: test the diodes still work with the coin cell and your new leads. DO NOT proceed to the next step until the diodes have been re-tested.

Step 5: Clean and seal the diode's solder points
Clean the solder points with acetone/nail polish remover (qtips help). Use a generous amount of hot-glue to permanently seal the solder work. Note that our Ardunio will sit on top this later, so aim for complete unsulation of the conductors, and also a relatively level surface.

Step 6: download code to the Arduino board
Download the My Open Source code on github,
and install to the Arduino dev-board. Pins are commented in the code.

Step 7: Solder LEDS and switch to the Arduino board
Now is a good time to solder three loose wires to the switch. Make them as long as you need for your helmet/backpack/bike seat/etc. Solder the switch and LED wires to the pins mentioned in the code comments, which will look like the image below when done. Power on the Arduino and test the functions work. When satisfied, disconnect power and clean flux from the solder with acetone and qtips. Add minimal amounts of hot-glue to wires that may stray BUT leave your other I/O pins serviceable for future expansions (I'm making new features monthly).

Step 8: Play with Magnets
Mark the polarity of your magnets with a metallic sharpie or conservative amount of pencil. Then, hot-glue them to the project. For back-pack mounted applications, a small metal plate or fender washers inside the cloth can work too.

Be safe. Be conspicuous.