Feather & PropMaker Wiring

First we'll solder the on/off switch onto the PropMaker Wing. Strip the ends of the wires and solder to the G and ENABLE pins near the reset button on the PropMaker Wing. 

Next we'll attach the Feather M4 to the PropMaker Wing. Insert all the header pins into the holes on the Feather M4 and solder them in place one by one. Yes, this is scary. It helps to get the ones on the corners soldered in place so the two boards stay put, then you can take your time with all the ones in the middle.

NeoPixel Wiring

Next, we'll wire up the NeoPixel ring. I'm using this 4-strand silicone wire ribbon cable for this part, since it's so much easier to hide wires that are all stuck together and colored black. You've got to pay closer attention to which wire is which, so double-check before you solder!

First, find the striped wire. This will always be your power wire (traditionally colored red). The wire next to it will be our data wire (for IN and OUT pins) and the third wire will be for G. Take the fourth wire and pull it off entirely, since we don't need it for this project.

Cut two lengths of this 3-strand ribbon cable, each about 4-5" long.

Strip a little shielding off all three wires on one end of each section. Solder the two striped wires into PWR, getting both wires carefully into the hole. Then, solder the two middle wires into IN and OUT respectively. Twist the two remaining wires together and solder them both into G.

Trim the ribbon cable connected to the IN side to about 2-3 inches, and trim your 3-pin JST connector to about the same length. Splice red to PWR (striped wire), white to IN (middle wire), and black to GND (remaining wire).

Find the IN end of your NeoPixel strip. This is usually coiled on the outside of the reel, with a female JST connector, but check the direction arrows printed on the strip to be double-sure you have the correct end. It won't work if you solder to the OUT end.

Trim off the JST connector and any additional wires - you'll need just one red, one black, and one white wire. 

Splice the three remaining wires coming from the NeoPixel ring to the wires on the strip in the same order as with the connector: Splice red to PWR (striped wire), white to OUT (middle wire), and black to GND (remaining wire).

Plug your speaker into the mini JST connector on the PropMaker Wing, and the NeoPixel setup into the 3-pin JST connector at the other end. Plug your battery into the 2-pin connector on the Feather M4 and click your on/off switch.  If you've uploaded your code already, the lights should come on and sound will start playing. Shake the PropMaker assembly around to test the different effects.


If your lights don't come on, here are a few things to try:

  • If you're getting sound but no lights, check your NeoPixel wiring. Did you solder from the board to the IN pin on the NeoPixel ring, then from OUT to IN on the NeoPixel strip? If you get it backwards the lights won't work. 
  • Is your battery charged up? This board has onboard charging, so try plugging a USB cable into the board to see if that fixes things.
  • If the lights on your board come on and blink, but you don't get any lights on the NeoPixels or sounds, you may be missing a software library file or you may have uploaded your code incorrectly. Head back to the software page and make sure you didn't miss any steps.
  • If you get light effects but no sounds, make sure you copied the sounds folder onto the board with the .wav files inside. Also try plugging and unplugging your speaker to make sure it's seated correctly.
  • I had trouble with some .wav files crashing 

This guide was first published on Mar 18, 2020. It was last updated on Jul 16, 2024.

This page (Electronics Assembly) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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