Stop! Wait, no...go!

Finishing up the Halloween projects with SparkFun's own Nate Seidle.

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Yep, that's our CEO.

For those of you who haven't yet put a face to the name, that picture above is Nathan Seidle, Founder and CEO of SparkFun. You might notice that his outfit in this picture is, shall we say, a bit unusual. What's going on here? Well, that is Nate's Halloween Costume - cleverly named "Mixed Signal."

Nate takes a certain level of pride in his Halloween costumes each year (remember the Heartbeat Staight Jacket), and this year was no exception. Nate and his lovely girlfriend Felicia set out to become human stoplights. But they took it a step further - their outfits were synced up wirelessly. When Felicia's costume showed "Stop!," Nate's said, "Go!" There was a certain level of programming that went into this, plus the use of a whole bunch of LEDs, a MOSFET, and a pretty time-intensive build.

The results were pretty awesome. You can imagine the looks Nate and Felicia got walking around Boulder. Check out Nate's tutorial to see how they built the costumes, the programming and design that went into each light, and where, exactly, one finds a sweet yellow jumpsuit.

Comments 19 comments

  • CrashOverride / about 14 years ago / 2

    Preemption device frequency 14.035 +/- .003 Hz secret ... civil engineer says "dont tell anyone".

  • GeorgeGraves / about 14 years ago / 2

    Is that a green light in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

  • noworries / about 14 years ago / 1

    Great costume! One suggestion, to help keep the current through each led within its safe operation spec, it is better to use a resistor for each led. The resistor can be a much lower wattage resistor (1/4 watt would work fine). This results in the current flowing through each led to be shared to a greater degree than if you parallel all the leds. More soldering, I know, but not that tough to build even with point to point wiring.

  • ElegantElectrons / about 14 years ago / 1

    Now all you need to do is incorporate a ultrasonic sensor in front of you and a buzzer. If someone moves closer/further while the light is red, BUZZ.
    Well, with an option to turn it off because that could get incredibly annoying.

  • Calif / about 14 years ago / 1

    It definitely puts you in a different league to see even electronics geeks going to dive bars for fun.

  • benedetoula / about 14 years ago / 1

    Ahaha Brilliant!!!

  • John4 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Love it!

  • graynomad / about 14 years ago / 1

    Felicia, please tell me your middle name isn't Amber :-)

    • feliciawill / about 14 years ago / 1

      nope. but it would have been quite ironic if it was :)

  • SomeGuy123 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Where are the batteries?

    • feliciawill / about 14 years ago / 1

      they are in our pockets! We were able to keep the electronic pretty small. The wires driving the lights are on the inside of the costumes and the battery, wireless, and arduino mini are all tucked away nicely in each of our right pockets.

  • robodude666 / about 14 years ago / 1

    Nate is my hero.

  • N.Poole / about 14 years ago / 1

    Also, did anyone else see just the top of the red light at first and think it was a bowling ball? This is how it went for me:
    "Oh, it's a gentleman with a bowling ball how... Scrolling down whooooooooaaaaaaaahahahaha"

  • eewestcoaster / about 14 years ago / 1


  • N.Poole / about 14 years ago / 1

    ...good heavens... the CEO is a human traffic light...
    The look on his face in the first pic is priceless, btw.
    Also, what's up Felicia? Too good to wear a sweet jumpsuit like your boyfriend?
    Well... I think it's obvious what all of this means:
    We need to get to work developing more jumpsuit-based hardware.

    • feliciawill / about 14 years ago / 2

      Hi Pullcreative! I did loved the jump suit. But sadly finding a yellow one is really hard and we couldn't find any in my size. Also I'm much shorter than Nate, so I needed something that would go down to my knees so that I could fit all the lights.

      • N.Poole / about 14 years ago / 1

        Well as long as deep down in your heart you wanted to wear a jumpsuit, lol :)
        By the way, you win at being a girlfriend... by... being a traffic light...
        ...weird how that works, lol.

  • That's definately an outfit that will stop traffic!
    Also good for later if she's tired of saying "Not tonight; I've got a headache".

  • HA! excellent!

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