Beta Board Part 2

These directions are for the original “Gen 1” Cupcade kit. Later generations of the kit are described in their own sections. You probably don't have one of these unless you have a very old kit!
This page is mostly prep work: measuring, cutting and stripping wires, making labels and bits of heat-shrink tube. Doing these steps carefully should make the next steps less troublesome.
Install the male (pin) header on the Pi T-Cobbler.

Make sure the “key” (notch) is on the correct side; it’s marked on the silkscreen. It should face all the pin labels.

Do not install any other pin headers on the Cobbler! We’ll be soldering wires directly later.
Make sure to solder the socket on correctly. The socket goes on the same side as the text and the notch is pointed toward the Adafruit logo.
Assemble the analog thumb joystick. Some of the pins may be a little bent from shipping and need to be nudged into place. The “hat” simply presses into place.

Install a 5-pin header from below.
Make sure all your solder connections are smooth and clean, like tiny Hershey’s Kisses®. There should be no solder balls or bridges, no gaps between pins and their corresponding pads.
A whole mess of wires need to be cut to about six inches long. You don’t need a ruler for this…the ribbon cable is a perfect size. Unplug it from the Pi and PiTFT and use it for reference.

This isn’t rocket surgery, don’t worry if wires aren’t exactly the right length. Six-ish inches is fine!
Cut eight (8) wires about six inches long and strip about 1/4" of insulation from both ends.

24 gauge stranded wire is ideal. A little thicker or thinner is okay, as is solid-core wire…stranded is simply more flexible.

If you have some different colors of wire, you can color-code these. Here we’ve cut two each red and black (for power), and four green (for signals). If you don’t have different colors, that’s okay, we’ll also be labeling them in a bit.
Clip one end off the 4-conductor jumper cable so it's a similar length. Separate the wires a little and strip about 1/4" of insulation.

The wire colors are random; don’t worry if yours don’t match the photo.
Clip the 2-pin plastic plugs off the button quick-connects. You should then have eight (8) wires with a metal spade on one end. Strip a little insulation from the other end.

Something about the composition of these wires is strange and slightly brittle, and you may have trouble with your first couple of tries stripping them. No problem…clip these a little long to start, and if the stripping goes badly, you can trim it off and try again.
Cut the audio cable so it's a little longer than the ribbon cable.

Strip about 1" of the outer jacket only to reveal the three wires inside: two are insulated (red and either white or black) and the third is bare copper.
Strip 1/4" insulation from the two inner wires. Twist the stranded copper wire into a tidy bundle.

Some headphone cables have red and black wires rather than the red and white shown here. This is OK, it all works the same. Red is the right channel, black or white is the left channel, copper is ground.

Arts & Crafts Time!

Labeling the wires will make later steps much, much easier!

How you create these labels is up to you, depending on the materials and tools you have on hand. Ours are low-tech…masking tape and a Sharpie pen…but if you have a spiffy label maker, go to town.
Make 12 labels, something akin to this list:

U (up)
D (down)
L (left)
R (right)
A (primary button)
B (secondary button)
X (joystick horizontal)
Y (joystick vertical)
+ (5V)
(Ground)
¢ (Coin insert)
1P (1 Player Start)

Each label has two symbols written on it, so it’s readable from either side.

X and + look similar enough that you may want to underline them for directional clarity: X and +.
The labels wrap around individual wires, near the connector end. But not yet…don’t just wrap willy-nilly…these each need to go on specific wires!
Four of the white quick-connect wires should be labeled with: A, B, ¢ and 1P. The other four quick-connect wires do not receive labels.

The four conjoined jumper wires should be labeled with: X, Y, + and .

Four of the plain wires should be labeled: U, D, L and R. If following our color scheme, these would be the green wires. The other four plain wires do not receive labels (unless you're using a single color of wire, in which case we’d suggest adding extra + and labels to two wires each.)
Cut some short pieces of heat-shrink tubing. Ten should suffice, about 1/4" long. Keep a little in reserve for a later step.

These will be used to hold wire bundles together, preventing breakage.
This guide was first published on Apr 04, 2014. It was last updated on Apr 04, 2014. This page (Beta Board Part 2) was last updated on Sep 16, 2019.