After all that (and then some) I still needed to make a physical printed circuit board. That meant more fun with KiCad, which I do like pretty well.  I spent a lot of time hunting down component parts and footprints and such - definitely on my faves list.  But I somehow managed to produce something that OSH Park could manufacture:

I'm sure some layout guys are busily sharpening their knives and I know there's much, much, much I don't know. My defense:

I came,

I saw,

I hacked,

Deal.  ;-)

One particular challenge was placement of the connectors to which the NeoPixel rings attach. I had to bumble around in Eagle enough to understand how the power and data connectors were placed in its coordinate frame and then translate that into KiCad's. I still have bruises on my scalp from standing on my head (and in the end I had to pretty much just guess on the additional ring-24 power and grounds). I whipped up yet another spreadsheet to help me work out the translation:

In the end, I think it came together very well. Madison loves it and keeps it on her desk.  I had a blast, learned a lot along the way, and stretched myself more than a little. I lost count early on of how many hours I put into this but it's been like many other projects over the years - some little nugget I learned here is guaranteed to help in another project later on. 

This guide was first published on Aug 18, 2014. It was last updated on Aug 18, 2014.

This page (Hard Times) was last updated on Aug 17, 2014.

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