Graduation Gown VU Meter


[ricosgoo] wanted a way to stand out at his graduation. We think he succeeded with his graduation gown VU meter. After putting the circuit together at the last minute, he made a mounting harness out of duct tape. The electronics hang like a sash, placing the bulk under his arm where it won’t show through his gown. He mounted a mike towards the neck line so it reacts best to his voice. It was a hit, apparently strangers would come up and make noise just to see the meter go off.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

7 thoughts on “Graduation Gown VU Meter

  1. As much as I think this is an awesome hack. I really hope he doesn’t become the next sudo-terrorist. At my graduation ceremony last year we were all searched (thoroughly) and were warned not to bring cell phones or electronic devices in. My school was not what you would consider a violent school. I am sure it was just to prevent students bringing cell phones in and texting during the ceremony.
    I would hate for him to be caught with a wires and duct tape strapped around his chest and attached to his gown.
    Besides that I think this is an awesome hack, I think Ill be making some of these and putting them on my walls.

  2. Note to ricosgoo: Jump wires go on the _OTHER_SIDE_ of the veroboard! That way they’re a lot easier to solder, your board looks a lot neater, and having one side almost flat makes for much easier mounting (if you’re pressed for space, you can even use double-sided tape).

    Yep, the LM3914 is a godsend for bargraphs. SO much easier than homebrewing a comparator array or coding your own on a pic.

  3. Sweet I’m on Hackaday! I love this site, there’s always something interesting.

    @w00tb0t: I understand your concern about the duct tape and blinking lights, especially with people’s paranoia these days. I graduated from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona. UAT loves that kind of stuff so I knew I would be in the clear. If I had thought anyone would be worried I would have probably got an “OK” from someone ahead of time. UAT actually used to advertise on Hackaday as “”. Not sure if they still do. If you are into networking/security/webDesign/gameDesign/robotics/forensics then I would suggest you check their main site @

    @EdZ: Yea, for some reason jumping the wires on the bottom of the board seemed like a good idea at the time. Why? I don’t remember. I guess it’s just because I wanted to have access to the potentiometer and I wanted to be able to remove the ICs if I needed too later. I didn’t want to end up having wires get in the way. Thinking back, though, it would have been easier to just solder them on the top. There would have been a lot less wire melting!

    @will: If by “useless” you mean “has no real purpose other than to make people think ‘oh cool!'”, then I agree with you lol. I did it just to do something different, and as I said on the curious inventor site I was going to do it anyway in shirt form. Graduation was really just the motivation I needed to get this project done.

    There are a lot more details on my blog along with some other projects I’ve done @ . Unfortunately, due to an iptables mishap, the site is down right now. I should have it back up when I get into the datacenter either tomorrow or the next day.

    Thanks for showing interest!

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