Kickstarter Campaign failed – yet a success!

So yesterday the Kicksarter Campaign for the Craftalight ended with only 43% funded. What a pity! But that’s life!

Craftalight closeup
The Craftalight – sewn in a handbag, light up.

Nevertheless we want to thank you all who belive in the Craftalight and supported us. We had a very hard time to spread the word as most media wanted a lots of money for publishing a little post. If we have had the money for a huge media campaign we would not have made a Kicksarter. So special thanks to heise online / Make: germany, for the shootout! Also thanks to electronics-lab for the great article.

Good news for your bags

Open sourcing

The firmware of the Craftalight is already available on GitHub.

The fact that the Craftalight is already fully developed we want to fullfill our promise about open-sourcing the whole of the Craftalight anyway. It’s taking us a few more days to properly package all of the ECAD files (including the footprints etc). 

Even more good news


And that’s not it; for everyone intersted in getting a Craftalight, we are preparing a small production run of 20 to 50 units. If you want one, head over to ASAP (there’s a small discount until end of the month of February). We had to increase the price a little bit because of the reduced quantities (especially the threaded inserts are CRAZY expensive versus what is possible when ordering a few more of them). On the other hand, there is more choice regarding shipping options and with the proper handling of the VAT calculation in our shop non-EU-customers get a 19% “discount” ;)

Btw: We’ll be back on Kickstarter with something totally different soon! If you’d like to sit in the first row, go over to our website and subscribe to the Newsletter, we promise to not spam you!

P.S.: please share the word with friends, handbag addicts you think might be interested and fellow hackers to make this happen :)

Craftalight | Brighten up your (hand)bags | MAKE 100


The story

Yannic and myself were walking home one warm summer night, realizing that it is really hard to find stuff in Timelord-technology-equipped handbags (you know, those bigger on the inside :D) especially when it is dark. We were simply discussing that it’s sometimes difficult to find small things in one’s handbag/backpack and decided to hack a solution to test – the Craftalight was born. Now, approximately half a year later we figured that Kickstarter’s MAKE 100 was the perfect time to share that small solution with the world. We already gained some experience on Kicksarter with our first project the PGCSU.

Who’s the Craftalight for?

You tell us ;) the “out-of-the-box experience” requires only basic sewing skills: you sew it (and the magnet) in your hand-bag and hook it to a power bank. Voilà, you’re pretty much done. Enjoy your brightened-up accessories. For those with no sewing skills you can also use velcro to attach it to your bag.

programming pins
break out pins

But that’s not it: we want you to be able to customize the Craftalight, which is why we will provide full sources (schematics, mechanical drawings, source code etc). Additionally we have broken out the unused pins to pads on the back side of the PCB. 

Finally, for easier mods that don’t require software changes, we added a switched power pad to which you can simply attach any device you want. When the Craftalight switches on, you can draw as much as 500mA from that pad (at the voltage supplied by your power source).

How does the Craftalight work?

The Craftalight is based on a STM8 value-line microcontroller and a Hall-Effect sensor. The Hall-Effect sensor senses the presence of magnetic fields which enables it to detect the presence of a magnet.

How it works

This allows you to make the Craftalight switch on or off using a magnet on the lid of the purse or bag. To allow different setups you can configure whether the Craftalight should switch on in presence or absence of the magnet.

Furthermore to power the Craftalight, you can either use a USB power bank (thar most people already carry in thier bags) or provide 3.3 to 5.5V on two pads on the PCB directly.


  • Hackable: open source hardware and firmware
  • Small and light: 70x20x6.5mm and ~10g
  • Available with white and black PCB solder mask
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Warm white LEDs (3200K) under a frosted acrylic diffusor window
  • Hall-Effect switch to detect when the purse is opened
  • High quality and low stress design components
  • EPDM rubber seal to prevent dust accumulating between the PCB and the acrylic diffusor
  • Sew-able using the holes in the PCB
  • Includes a strong, sew-able magnet
  • for you to tinker: most unused micro-controller pins broken out to soldering pads
  • NEW: power-bank “blip” function for improved compatibility!
cad view

What else can I do with it?

Off the top of our heads you could:

  • use it to light a drawer or a cabinet (stick the magnet to the front panel or door)
  • put it in your glove-box
  • add it to your suitcase
  • use it as a STM8 micro-controller breakout board with white LEDs, low power LDO and Hall-Effect sensor

and may other usecases, too. Just be creative!

pcb rendering
pcb rendering

Let’s talk about technology

The microcontroller and programming

The micro we use is an STM8S003 series controller. (because it’s cheap, good, widely used and we know and like it)

We gave Visual Studio Code with the plugin a shot. It worked rather well and its free, so this is what we will ship for. The compiler being SDCC (Small Device C Compiler) the programming language is SDCC-flavored C. We didn’t use any fancy library, RTOS etc… because the application is rather simple.

As an substiute you could try SDuino, the SDCC integration for STM8 in the Arduino IDE. Alternatively – for a fully fledged debugging experience – you may want to try IAR’s Embedded Workbench for STM8 (they offer a free version). Some code rework may me required when switching compilers.

Moreover, you’ll need a SWIM-compatible programming adapter (for examples an ST-Link v2). If you don’t own one yet, have a look at the rewards in the Kicksarter Campaign.


Lightning and power consumption

The LEDs are rated for 150mA at 3V. On the Craftalight we drive them with 110mA max. This ensures they don’t heat up much which is beneficial to their life-time while they’re still super bright. The LEDs are switched by a single N-Channel MOSFET which is driven by the micro-controller.

MOreover you can dim the LEDs by using PWM (at about 40kHz).

Full on the current consuption is at about 230mA and in the off state the Craftalight draws just around 60uA .

What about the magnet?

In addition, the magnet should not demagnetize / damage my credit card magnet strip, unless you hold the card directly on the magnet for a long period of time. This is because the credit cards (and most other magnet strip cards that are not meant to be re-written often) use high coercivity strips which require powerful magnetic fields to change. As long as your cards stay approx. 2cm / 1 inch away from the magnet they should be a safe.

Alltogether, in our opinion the Craftalight is a super cool gadget for your bags. Me personally I find it very usefull, epecially when I want to find the keys in my handbag. If it’s useful or only a “nice to have ” it’s up to you to decide!

Refreshing Homemade Raspberry Lemonade

Homemade Raspberry Lemonade

Two Days ago we came back home from our wonderful 3 week trip to Eastern Canada, besides the stunning landscape and the open-hearted people we met, we tasted lot of delicious things (Maple Sirup, Chocolatines, Lobster, Beer from regional breweries and Homemade Raspberry Lemonade).

After an hour of hiking around the  confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay river and 1 hour of watching belugas we were looking for something to eat. Locals recommended us the “Le Café Bohème” (should you ever be in Tadoussac, just go there) where we had a very good pizza with salad and a truly remarkable Homemade Raspberry Lemonade. It was delicious! The sourness from the lemons complemented the taste and the sweetness of the raspberries perfectly.

Back home the heat (a whopping 32°C in the shadow) is hitting us very hard – but we remembered the delicious and refreshing lemonade! Thus we made our own Homemade Raspberry Lemonade. And of course we are sharing our recipe with you.

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Another Norwegian sweater – Fair Isle Knitting

blue bonnet

Finally I finished my last Christmas present! Another Norwegian sweater in blue and off-white for Yannic. There is no problem blogging it before Christmas, because he sat the most time right next to me while I was knitting. Plus he chose the pattern for the sweater and from time to time he had to try it on. With the yarn left over I made a matching bonnet. It will also be a Christmas present but not for him.

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Homemade Sourdough Bread

Black Beer Bread

After buying a bread-baking book for naturally leavened bread back in March I finally began baking our own bread. Naturally leavened means that the bread only needs little yeast. The bread rises by the use of a sourdough.So past week I started making the sourdough setup. Mixing flour and water, waiting patiently for the next day to come, adding another bunch of flour and water…

Finally after three days of mixing and waiting my first rye sourdough experiment was successful. At this point I decided to make the Black-Beer-Bread from my baking book. First I prepared the sourdough and the Poolish. After another day waiting I could mix the main dough, let it rise  and start baking at last!!! Voila, it was worth waiting so long. I was rewarded with a wonderful fluffy, good smelling (and tasting) bread with a crunchy crust. Yummy! Continue reading

Norwegian sweater – knitting project plus add-on

Norwegian sweater pattern

I just wanted to show you my latest knitting project. A Norwegian sweater knitted with Fair Isle technique.

It was the first time I used this technique and in retrospect it sounds more complicated than it really is. I was surprised that I finished this sweater that fast (It took me only 4 weeks).

I always purchase one extra ball of each color just to be on the safe side, so had some wool left over and knitted a matching bonnet (the add-on) with the same pattern.

You can get the instructions for free from DROPS Design (drops design model no. 122-2), where you can find the patterns for the matching bonnet, gloves and collar too. You can directly purchase the needed wool on site at Lanade. I ordered exactly the wool and color used in the model, red, grey, and white.


So I am ready for winter but let’s hope the summer stays a while longer.

My sewing and knitting experience

I can’t really say when I started sewing but I think I was about 6 years old when I made my first sewing item with the old sewing machine of my mom. I made little pouches to put lavender in.

Around this time my mom was rediscovering the joy of sewing. In the following years she was teaching me how to sew. Later I wanted to sew my own garments. I can’t remember it exactly but I think I started with a skirt. Just two side seams, an elastic around the waist, and I was done.

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