Assemble

Battery Slide Switch

 

To start, we'll first modify our 3xAA battery holder and wire up an slide switch inline with the power.

 

First, we'll carefully cut one of the wires and then extend each side   with a 50mm long wire. Next, we'll connect these two wires to each pin on our slide switch as shown in the picture. 

 

Remember to add heat shrink to each wire connection and the slide switch pins, before soldering!  

Motor wires

 

The slower but stronger motors will require us to solder on their wires. We used male to male jumper cables to make them easy to attach to the terminal block on the Crickit. 

 

Position the motor as shown and then solder the left wire pointing the right side of the motor as shown. This will make it easier to route wires while mounting inside the enclosure. 

Motor bracket

 

The motor will mount on top of the Circuit Playground Express by way of our 3d printed bracket.

 

We used two 25mm long screws to reach from the top of the motor body into our bracket.

 

Align the mounting tab on the motor the center pin on the bracket and then fasten both screws.

 

CPX Brass standoffs

 

First we'll need to fasten the included brass standoffs onto the bottom of the Circuit Playground Express. Attach to the standoffs to the SDA, SCL, END, VOUT, A0 and A1 pads. 

 

Mount Motor to CPX

 

With our motor mounted to the bracket, we'll align the wires on the motor to the opposite side of the USB port on the Circuit Playground Express as shown. 

 

Use four M3x6mm long screws to secure the bracket to the top of the Circuit Playground Express. 

 

 

Mount CPX to Crickit

 

The Crickit secures the CPX by fastening the included screws into the six standoffs on the CPX. Insert the screws from the bottom of the Crickit into the standoffs on the CPX. 

 

 

Motor Terminal 

 

We'll need a screw driver to loosen and then tighten the terminal slot to secure each motor wire. Insert one wire into each of the motor terminals. We used terminal number two.

 

Mount Crickit to enclosure

 

Now we can go ahead a mount the Crickit, CPX and motor assembly into the printed enclosure! Align the mounting holes on the Crickit to the standoffs on the case and use M3x4mm screws to attach.

 

USB panel 

 

Fasten the include screws into the two mounting holes on the outside of the case. Align the USB panel and fasten both screws to mount the panle. Route the cable around the Crickit as shown in the picture. 

 

 

 

 

Note the motor can easily be removed when you need to press the rest button to enter into MakeCode mode. The mounting holes are just large enough to easily pull the motor out without a screw driver.

Slide switch

 

The slide switch mounts to the port opening on the side of the case. Carefully bend back the two metal tabs on the slide switch to help increase or decrease the tolerance fit when mounting inside the port opening.  

 

Battery pack

 

Insert three AA batteries into the pack. Route the cable around the board edges and plug into the Crickit's power input.

USB Cable

 

Now we can plug our USB panel cable into our Circuit Playground Express USB port.   

 

NeoPixel Strip

 

We can optionally add our UV NeoPixel strip after all of the components are mounted. We laid the strip with the LEDs facing towards the inside of the case. This will help evenly illuminate the tracks.

Attach Track

 

Finally we can attach the track to the top of the enclosure. Alignment isn't import, so we can rotate the track base until it tightly snap fits into place.

 

Gear Assemble

 

The last step is is to gently attach the gear into the center of the Marble run.

 

Insert the gear with the slot side into the center of the Marble run. We'll then slightly turn the gear until it slips into the motor shaft.

 

Next place the lock cap part on top of the gear and then finally the turn cap on top to complete the build!

And there we have it, a portable motorized Marble run! This track has a 20 ball bearing capacity but can reliably run about 7 ball bearings without any spills.

Big ups to Tulio Laanen for an awesome design, check out his designs! Def post a make if you’ve made one!

This guide was first published on Sep 05, 2018. It was last updated on Sep 05, 2018. This page (Assemble) was last updated on Jul 15, 2019.