Hardware

To build this project you only need a Circuit Playground Classic or Circuit Playground Express board.  Everything for the project is built into the Circuit Playground board--no assembly necessary!  

The Arduino version of this project can work with either the original Circuit Playground Classic board and its ATMega32u4 processor, or the newer Circuit Playground Express board and its fancier SAMD21 processor.  However the CircuitPython version of this project only works with the Circuit Playground Express board.  If you don't have a Circuit Playground board yet grab the Circuit Playground Express board as it includes the same sensors and outputs but with more memory and processor speed compared to the classic board.

In addition to the Circuit Playground board you'll need a fidget spinner of some sort.  The fidget spinner craze is in full force so check local convenience stores, department stores (Walmart, etc.) and you should be able to find one locally.  Or check Amazon for many, many types of fidget spinners.

Optional LED Backpack

For the Arduino version of this project you can optionally connect a little LED backpack to display the speed of a spinner instead of using Arduino's built in serial monitor.  To add the LED backpack display you'll need these parts:

Once you have your Circuit Playground board be sure to follow its guide to setup the Arduino IDE to program the board:

If you're connecting a display to your Circuit Playground be sure to follow its guide too to learn how to solder the display to its backpack and configure Arduino to use its software library:

Then connect the display to your Circuit Playground as follows:

  • Circuit Playground GND / ground to LED backpack - / ground (black wire).
  • Circuit Playground 3.3V to LED backpack + / voltage input (red wire).
  • Circuit Playground SCL to LED backpack C / clock (yellow wire).
  • Circuit Playground SDA to LED backpack D / data (green wire).

Continue on to learn about installing and running the software sketch for this project.

This guide was first published on Jul 07, 2017. It was last updated on Jul 07, 2017. This page (Hardware) was last updated on Jul 15, 2019.