Assemble the Badge

Solder Wires to the CPX

Start by adding small wires to the four pins on the Circuit Playground Express that will be our conductive inputs. Thin solid-core wire or magnet wire works well for this. (If using magnet wire, scrape away the wire's enamel coating with sand paper.)

Cut 4 pieces of bare wire about 1 1/2" long. It's easiest to strip one section of wire first and then cut it. Tin one end of each wire.

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Tin the four pins we'll be using on the Circuit Playground Express: A2, A3, A6, A7. Then solder one wire to each pin.

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Attach the Circuit Playground Express

Center the Circuit Playground Express on the badge and check that your wires will reach the foil areas easily without touching each other.

For each pad, use small pliers to bend each wire flat against the sides of the Circuit Playground Express. Then bend each wire outward so that the wires will lay flat against the badge.

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Use strong double sided tape (or a few thin swipes of hot glue) to attach the board to the badge. 

Alternatively, mounting holes are provided on the badge to mount through the power and ground pins on the board. You can use small nuts and bolts or zip ties (two per hole) to attach the board to your badge.

Cut the wires so they don't extend beyond the conductive pad areas.

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Make the Conductive Pads

If you saved the little trapezoidal pieces of protective film from your laser cut badge, you can use them as templates for cutting the foil. Otherwise, print the artwork and cut out the trapezoids for templates. Cut four pieces of foil tape to fit into the four foil areas outlined on the badge.

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Apply the foil tape pieces to the badge, covering the wire pieces you soldered to the Circuit Playground Express. Press the foil firmly onto the badge. I found that the tape did not stick well to the coated plywood from Glowforge. A thin dab of glue can be used to keep the foil down on either side of the wire, but for good conductivity, don't coat the wire with glue.

Attach the Battery

Coin Cell Battery Option:

It's tough to travel with LiPo batteries, so if you’re flying to your convention, you may want to use a coin cell battery holder. Before inserting the batteries, shorten the wires to the JST connector on the holder to about 1 1/2”.

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On the back of the badge, attach the battery pack with double sided tape or hot glue, with the wire pointing toward the bottom of the badge. Feed the JST connector through the hole in the badge and plug it into the Circuit Playground Express. Insert batteries and turn the battery pack switch to on. 

LiPo Battery Option:

If you prefer to use a small LiPo battery, simply plug it into the Circuit Playground Express through the keyhole slot at the bottom of the badge. It’s a good idea to cover your LiPo battery with gaff tape for extra protection out in the wild. To hold the battery in place, use double sided tape or adhesive velcro. Velcro makes it easy to change batteries on the go.

Instead of shortening the wires on a LiPo battery, simply tape the extra length out of the way on the back of the badge.

Your badge is complete! Wear it to conventions, parties, the grocery store... wherever you want to let your maker flag fly!

This guide was first published on Mar 19, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 19, 2018. This page (Assemble the Badge) was last updated on Aug 18, 2019.