"Punk" Vest for a Festival

Ever seen those punk/metal vests?
The denim ones that are covered in patches and metal studs?

I wanted to make the Rave/Festival version of that.

Heres what I ended up going with:
-Adafruit Huzzah32 - ESP32 Feather Board
-180 LED / 3m Strip of Adafruit Skinny Neopixels WS2812B/SK6812
-Adafruit Electret Microphone Amplifier (MAX9814)
-22AWG wire for power
-26AWG wire for data (Likely a bad idea)
-USB Terminal Block
-USB Power Block

I cut the strip into 9 rows of 20 and used all 180 LEDS. I hot glued the open ends to seal them once everything was soldered and used heat-shrink tubing as well, since sweat was a concern. Once all the strips were assembled and sealed, I superglued them on the inside of the vest in the shoulder region. I used electrical tape to hold the data wires in place to make installation more manageable.

I ran the 5v/Ground/Data wires to a front pocket where I kept the rest of the electronics, and this was the only real problem I had: When I was doing my final tests, the solid LED pattern was glitchy/unstable, and I’m wondering if using such a fine gauge (26AWG) for data could have been the culprit. I ended up cutting the cable down since I had plenty of length and that seemed to help. Maybe the FAQ authors knew something when they suggested a level shifter…

Back + big patch

I couldn’t find any plastic/see-through studs so I ended up making those too!

I found a silicone mold that was meant for cake decorating but it worked pretty well with resin (if you use plenty of mold release). They were easy to break apart with some diagonal cutters. Punching 180 perfectly spaced holes, and supergluing the studs/strips was by far the worst part of this project.

I ended up using my phone as a hotspot and controlling everything that way, but it pretty much turned out perfectly!

Here’s a short clip of it working

Huge shoutout to @mjg1088 for some suggestions early on.