I created Care Coat to help my mom and other mastectomy patients get portable pain relief. The Care Coat costs less than $20.00 US to make. I'm making the plans and directions open source so that people can make their own Care Coat to help themselves or someone they care about. As with any electrical project be sure to make safety first.
IEEE Article about India Glennon & Care Coat, 2015
The IEEE wrote an article about the Care Coat. You can read it here.
I appreciate the support the IEEE gave me and the Care Coat.
India Glennon Google Science Fair Entry, 2015
I entered the Care Coat in the 2015 Google Science Fair. I was proud to be an entrant among some incredibly talented engineers, scientists and makers. You can read the entry here.
Open Source Plans
Make your own Care Coat using these plans.
First I went to a website called adafruit.com. This website that sells components to build things.
On that website I bought 3 things:
1. 2 4 x AA Battery Holder with On/Off Switch ($2.95 each) www.adafruit.com/products/830
2. 2 JST- PH Battery Extension Cables - 500mm ($1.95 each) www.adafruit.com/products/1131
3. 2 Electric Heating Pads - 10cm x 5cm ($3.95 each) www.adafruit.com/products/1481
You will also need:
A fleece or coat (non plastic) w/ inside pockets
Self stick, heavy duty, washable, velcro 1 ½ inch - (you can find this at a local craft store)
8 x AA Battery
Once you have all your materials we will get started!
First check that your heated pads aren't ripped or torn.
Then strip the wires to a length that fits your coat. I striped it to about 3 inches from the pad because the extension wires are pretty long. Do this to both pads, (my pad looks a bit different from yours, it already has the velcro on the back, but don’t worry we will get to that part.)
Then take your extension cords and pull off the white cap that is on them. Do this to both cords. You will use these for connecting the pad to the battery pack.
Once you have finished with the electrical cords, grab your battery pack and make sure it is striped. If it isn't, make sure to strip them yourself.
Now you are going to take your electrical cord and battery pack and wrap the wires together.
Black to Black and Red to Red. Once you have connected the wires, cover the bare wire with electrical tape. Do this to both sides.
After you’re done connecting the battery pack and the extension cord together, you’re going to connect the end of the extension cord and the pad together. Black to Black and Red to Red. Do this to both sides. Once again put electrical tape over the bare wire.
Now that you have finished connecting all of the wires we can start putting the coat together.
If your coat does not have inside pockets, it’s okay. Grab some extra cloth and sew it inside of the coat to make a inside pocket.
Take the velcro and peel the back off and stick it to the top and bottom of the pad. Do this to both pads.
Then take another piece of velcro and line it up inside near the upper chest of the coat. See the pink arrows.
After the velcro is in, put the battery pack (with the batteries inside) in the inside pocket and stick the heated pad to the coat where you applied your velcro strips.
Be sure to remove all of the components before washing the coat or getting it wet. If the velcro begins to come off off the coat you can remove it and add new strips.
You may need to periodically replace the electrical tape or upgrade to connection covers that can be heat-shrunk on.