Wear the VibraTabard to hear and feel the sound.
To create the VibraTabard you will need the following:
- 1m x 3mm thick neoprene fabric (at least 1m wide; 1.5m is ideal
- 2m x 5cm wide sew-on velcro
- 1m x 2cm wide sew-on velcro
- 50cm x 5cm wide self-adhesive velcro
- 3m x 5cm wide webbing
- 2m x 2cm wide webbing
- 2 sets of 2cm plastic buckles
- Strong sewing thread and needle
- Sewing scissors
- Tape measure
- 2 x 25w transducers (such as https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-daex58fp-flat-pack-58mm-exciter-25w-8-ohm–295-210 or https://solen.ca/products/speakers/home-speakers/exciters-bass-shakers/daex58fp/ or https://wallofsound.co.uk/p/daex58fp-exciter/)
- Double-stranded speaker cable (such as https://www.parts-express.com/rca-ah18100sr-18-awg-speaker-wire-100-ft–100-130; double the length that you want to site the amplifier from the VibraTabard, plus 1m)
- Crimping set (make sure the set includes Quick Disconnect Female Spade Terminals, which look like this)
- Electrical tape
- Cable tidy coil
- Mini-amplifier (such as https://www.parts-express.com/lepai-lp-2020ti-digital-hi-fi-audio-mini-class-d-stereo-amplifier-with-power-supply–310-300 or https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-dta3116hp-class-d-mini-amplifier-with-headphone-amp-2-x-15w–300-3810)
- Stereo audio cable for connecting a sound source.
NB: The VibraTabard can be worn with the vibrating surface against the chest or the back of the wearer. The transducers can be repositioned to suit the wearer by opening up the sides.
1) Trim the neoprene fabric so it is approximately 3cm wider than the TWICE the desired width, and 5cm longer than the desired length (we made our VibraTabard 0.5m long, using the width of the fabric as its length).
2) Hem the sides by stitching (pin first) 2cm ‘hook’ velcro down one side and ‘loop’ velcro down the other side, tucking the raw neoprene edges underneath the velcro.
NB: Neoprene stitches more easily with a sewing machine if you dampen the fabric first.
NB: If you are using neoprene which is the same colour throughout, make sure you know which is the outer surface, so that all hemming is done on the inner surface. Our neoprene fabric had a black lining, which made it easier.
3) Fold the fabric lengthways, then fold it lengthways again so there are four layers. Use scissors to cut the neckline through the folded side of the fabric halfway up.
4) Open the fabric again and cut out a ‘V’ shape from each layer to create the neckline (start by measuring a vertical slit down each of the four layers so that the neckline is even). Roll the raw neoprene edges under themselves and hem the neckline.
NB: The neckline is easier to stitch by hand.
5) The VibraTabard has an inner and an outer layer of fabric (the transducers sit between the layers). Decide which is going to be the inner layer – for example, there may be one side where the stitching is better. Then pin and stitch the 5cm webbing to the inner surface of the inner layer, running down each side of the neckline and finishing approximately 3cm from each end.
6) On one side of the neckline, pin and stitch two pieces of 5cm webbing across the width of the tabard to join the outer strips of webbing, dividing that side into approximate thirds. This will be where the transducers are attached later.
7) Pin and stitch the 5cm ‘hook’ velcro over all of the webbing on the side where the transducers will be attached.
8) Open up the fabric again and turn over the bottoms and hem these, leaving a 2cm gap for the webbing belt to pass through.
9) Thread the webbing through the bottoms to create a belt, adding the buckles and closers as pictured.
10) Cut the speaker cable into two equal lengths (one for each transducer).
11) Cut the 5cm ‘loop’ self-adhesive velcro to fit the transducers and stick this to the bottom of each one.
12) Crimp a cable to each transducer, making sure you know which strand is the positive and which is the negative (one strand will be marked).
NB: See YouTube for crimping advice as necessary. Also see: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/working-with-wire/how-to-crimp-an-electrical-connector
13) Finish the crimp with electrical tape.
14) Position the transducers on the velcro.
15) Close the VibraTabard using the side velcro, leaving the speaker cables to come out at the bottom of one side.
16) Connect the other ends of the audio cables to the mini-amplifier – trim one cable as necessary.
17) Fit the cable tidy coil.
18) Connect the audio cable ready to plug into a phone or other sound source.
19) Switch on the sound to test the VibraTabard – begin with the volume on its lowest setting and turn up slowly.