Electronics Assembly

If you're just making one luminary, you can skip most of this page -- the first luminary will use the onboard lights on the Circuit Playground. I'll show wiring up two additional rings for additional lanterns. 

If you want to make more than 5 luminaries, take another look at the Wiring Diagram page of this guide. You'll want to power your LEDs a bit differently than I am doing with my 3 lanterns. 

Open up your ribbon cable wire and find the striped wire. We only need three wires, and this cable comes with four, so we can strip off the wire on the opposite side from the striped wire and save it for another project. (Don't strip off the striped wire -- we'll need that one!)

Decide how far apart you'd like your luminaries spaced. Cut appropriate lengths of ribbon cable to stretch comfortably between luminaries with a bit of slack. Strip the fourth wire from these lengths as well.

Strip a little bit off each of your 3 wires and separate them for about an inch or so. Solder your striped wire to VOUT, the middle wire to A1 and the third wire to G.

The holes on the rings are very tiny, and if you're daisy-chaining rings you'll need a wire going in and a wire going out of the 5V and G holes. The easiest way to achieve this is to strip a little off two separate wires and twist them tightly together before inserting into the holes in the rings.

Twist the end of the striped wire coming from the Circuit Playground together with the striped wire heading to the second NeoPixel ring. Insert the wires into the 5V DC Power hole from the front of the ring. Flip the ring over and solder to the hole on the back of the ring.

This is much easier to manage than trying to solder on the front of the ring, where it's easy to damage the LEDs. 

Repeat with the G connection, using the 3rd wire in the ribbon cable.

The middle wire is your data wire. It should be coming from A1 on your Circuit Playground. Solder it into the Data Input pin. 

Then, solder a wire from the Data Output pin and connect it to the Data Input pin on the next ring in the series, and so forth.

Solder the Power and G wires to the next ring and so on, until all your rings are connected.

Now is a great time to power up your board and make sure everything is working. Plug your board in via USB port or battery (or screw terminal if you've got more than 5 lanterns). Touch pads A2, A3, A4 and A5 and watch the lights change colors. If all the lights aren't coming on, this is a great time to double check your wiring and make sure you've got everything hooked up correctly.

This guide was first published on Nov 27, 2019. It was last updated on Nov 27, 2019. This page (Electronics Assembly) was last updated on Dec 05, 2019.