Wiring

Parts

Before we start, make sure you have all the componentst and proper tools to build this project. There's a full list in the overview page. If you haven't already, copy the audio files to the Adafruit Audio FX board. 

Power Wires for Audio FX Board

OK, let's start by preparing some wires for connecting the JST switched breakout to the Adafruit Audio FX board. I suggest using 30AWG silicone cover wires because it's thin, flexible and high quality wire. I used two different colored wire, blue and red, to help tell the connections apart. Cut two pieces, about the length of the audio FX board. Then, use wire strippers to remove some insulation from the tips of each wire. Next, tin the exposed tips by applying a small amount of solder – this will make it easier to connect and prevent the stranded wires from fraying.

Connect Wires to Audio FX

Now that we have our wires, let's connect them to the Adafruit Audio FX board. I suggest securing the board to a panavise jr. or helping third hands – This will keep things steady while we solder. Secure upside down, so the bottom of the board is facing up. Then, apply some solder to the two pads with the negative and positive labels. Now you can heat up the pads with the tup of the soldering iron and stick the wires onto each pad. Blue for negative, red for positive.

Connect Audio FX to Power

Next, connect the wires from the Adafruit Audio FX board to the JST switched breakout. Secure the JST switched board and tin the two GND pins and the SW pin with solder. Now, connect the positive wire to the SW pin and the negative wire to one of the GND pins.

Test Power Circuit

OK, now that we have our JST switched breakout wired to the Adafruit Audio FX board, we should test it out. Grab the JST connector from the 2200mAh battery and plug it into the female JST connector on the JST switched breakout. You should be able to power it on using the tiny on/off switch. The green LED from the FXboard will turn on as soon as you flip the switch. If it's all good, disconnect the battery and set aside. 

Ampilifer Wires

Next up, we'll work on connecting the audio ampilifer to the Adafruit Audio FX board. We'll need a set of wires, four in total, to connect them. Just like we did for the power wires, cut, strip and tin the tips of each wire. They can be the same length. Tip: Bundle wires on one arm of the helping third hands to quickly tin.

Ampilifer Wiring

Once wires are ready, let's go ahead and secure the amplifier to the panavise jr. or helping third hands. Again, I suggest tinning pins before soldering in wires. Then, solder in the four wires to the A+, A–, VIN and GND labeled pins on the amplifier.

Connect Ampilifer to Audio FX

Now we can connect our amplifier to the Adafruit Audio FX board. I suggest tinning the pins on the Audio FX board first – Notice a trend here. Ok, here's the following connections you'll need to make:

  • A+ from Amp to L pin on Audio FX
  • A– from Amp to GND on Audio FX
  • VIN from Amp to VIN on Audio FX
  • GND from Amp to GND on Audio FX

Circuit Checkpoint

Woohoo! Look at the circuit and apprecaite our work :-) So far we have our JST switched breakout and Amplifier wired to our Audio FX board. Check point!

Pushbutton Wires

Our pushbutton is up next! We will need two wires if you're using a regular pushbutton. In this project, my pushbutton has an LED, so I needed four wires.

Depending on your project, you'll need to figure out how long the wires need to be. For the hammer, I needed them to be fairly long – 5 inches was enough. Then, cut, strip, and tin the tips of each wire. After that, tin the leads of the pushbutton by adding some solder.

Wire Pushbutton + LED

A regular pushbutton doesn't require specific polarity, so you can freely choose which lead to be positive and negative. Since my pushbutton has an LED, polarity matters – luckly the LED has a positive and negative label right on the pushbutton. So, depending on your project / pushbutton, wire them accordingly.

Add Resistor to LED

A current limiting resistor is required to prevent the LED from blowing out. I used a 220ohm resistor inline with the wire and the positive lead.

Speaker Wires

Now it's time to work on the speaker. The thin speaker most likely comes with wires already connected. I found they weren't long enough for this project, so I removed them by heating up the pads on the speaker and pulling them off. Since the speaker is being mounted to the head of hammer, the wiring needed to be long enough to reach the Audio FX board in the handle. It ened up being pretty long, like 6-7 inches in length. This will vary from prop to prop, so take some measurements! Remember, it's better to have the wires be too long rather then too short!

Wire Button LED to Power

I didn't think speakers needed specific polarity, but there was a positive and negative symbol printed on the pads, so I followed them accordingly.

OK, now we have our speakers ready to wire into the amp. Before we do however, we'll need to assemble the 3D printed parts. This project is a bit special, because we can't wire all of the components before mounting them to some of the 3D printed parts. This is because if we did, we wouldn't be able to fit the components through the 3D printed rod. So if your prop has similar features, you'll need to think about that.

This guide was first published on Oct 17, 2016. It was last updated on Oct 17, 2016. This page (Wiring) was last updated on Oct 09, 2019.