An electromagnetic walk

Wearable Antennas

Inspiration for this project came from crystal radio sets and early radio experiments where many of the electronic components at the time were raw or hand crafted. These very basic radios and antennas can receive (without battery) radio signals.

I was also very inspired from the Shipibo Conobo tribe from the Amazonian forest where their embroidery patterns become a sort of path for the shaman to enter in the "invisible world". I wanted in a similar way to create a textile that could sense invisible and inaudible data that surrounds us.

I discovered that some electromagnetic frequencies and natural radio signals can be amplified using a loop antenna and a amplifier without needing demodulation. Using sound as the output, we can hear the electromagnetic frequencies of our environment us which sources are mainly power lines, electronic appliance, led, neons, motors etc..

Antenna’s come in various forms and sizes in order to recieve different wave lengths. For low frequencys, the antennas are basically a coil made of copper spool creating an electro magnetic field. I started to try experiment different knitting techniques to create knitted coils

loop antenna

Different variations and parameters were tested such as:

Knitted coils

knitting antennas swatch #1knitting antanna with copper & wool swatch #2knitting antenna swatch with karl grim copper  # 3

Yarn :

Coils:

Inpiration from basket weaving techniquesspider web coilWoven AntennaFlat spiral coil using embroideryBasket weaving with copper

Fractal Antennas:

sierpinski triangle

Fractal embroidery technique used by the Kutch tribe in India:

Fractal embroidery techniques from Kutch tribe India

I also used some embroidery techniques to test fractal antennas systems where the fractal pattern allows to receive a wider frequency range using less space.

Amplify:

electromagnetismeelectromagentisme of a coil

These waves are picked up at audio frequencies, even though they are electro-magnetic (radio) signals so they need a strong amplification for us to hear them (no demodulation)

An inductive effect happens when with these types of loop antennas come near an electronic device.

After a lot of electronic experiments i made a (cheap) very high gain amplifier based on the LM386 which gave the best results. The control unit connected to the antennas amplifies the EM signal and translates it into sound.

lm386 EMF amplifier circuit shematics

EMF amplifierPCB stencil

PCB layout and electronic specs here

Wearable Antennas:

Wearable antennas made by workshop particpants

Ressources:

http://etextile-summercamp.org/2016/emf/

http://www.vlf.it/

PDF Hand Made electronic Music http://www.nicolascollins.com/texts/originalhackingmanual.pdf

http://apo33.org/electropix4/?p=265 (portable EM detector)

http://www.techlib.com/electronics/vlfwhistle.htm

http://www.instructables.com/id/EMF-Detector-Kit/

http://portal.groupkos.com/index.php?title=Electromagnetic_Coils

http://www.essentialtech.co.nz/content/crystal_sets

http://phys.org/news/2014-02-fractal-wire-patterns-stretchability-electronic.html

http://www.gizmag.com/scavenging-ambient-electromagnetic-energy/19163/

An electromagnetic walk

Antennas

Workshops Textile Electro