Assembly

Plug your LED strips into each other using the included connectors.  

 

Decide which of your strip connections will host your power supply -- use the one closest to the middle of your entire run of LEDs.

 

Use a small screwdriver to connect the red wires to + and the black wires to - on your screw terminal.

Note: if your screw terminal doesn't want to grab the wires, try again with a different screw terminal.  These parts seem to be pretty delicate and I went through a few of them before I found one that grabbed adequately.

Connect the Circuit Playground

Decide where you'd like your Circuit Playground controller to be mounted and measure the distance from that point to the placement of your first LED strip.  Cut four wires to this measurement (plus a couple inches for slack) to connect to the Circuit Playground.  

It's easiest to match the colors on the LED strip connectors, so we're using black, green, yellow, and red.

Solder the four wires to the Circuit Playground:  

  • Black to G
  • Red to VBATT
  • Green to 9
  • Yellow to 6

 

Pro Tip:

Bring the wires in from the back of the Circuit Playground rather than from the front.  This will make the board fit snugly in the case without having the wires in the way.

Thread the other end of the four wires through the hole in the bottom of the 3d printed Circuit Playground case.

 

Settle the Circuit Playground in the case and press down until it clicks.  

Find the very last LED in your series, and cut the male connector off the end of the strip.

 

Slip some heat shrink tubing over the wires and solder the other end of your four color-coded wires to this connector.

You're all wired up!  Time for testing.  Plug in your connector to the very first LED in your series, plug in your power strip and be sure all the lights work.  Press the buttons on the Circuit Playground to cycle the LEDs on/off and through their different modes.

Troubleshooting

If your lights don't come on and act as expected, here are a few things to try:

  1. Make sure the wires going into your screw terminal are still tightly attached.  These like to pull themselves out!
  2. Check to be sure you've connected the Circuit Playground to the "IN" end of the LED strips.  If you're connected to the "out" end you'll need to cut off your connectors and switch everything around.
  3. Be sure your power supply is adequate for the number of LEDs you're driving.  If you're getting a brown-out in part of the strip (the LEDs look dim and the colors are off), you can "inject" power into any of the exposed power wires between the strips by adding more power wires into your screw terminal and connecting the power in several places.

3d Case Assembly

Set the cover inside the lid and use some scotch tape to hold it in place temporarily.

 

Screw the lid onto the base and then adjust the cover until the holes line up perfectly with the Circuit Playground's buttons.

 

Remove the lid and add some hot glue to secure the lid and cover together.  Place the buttons in the holes and carefully screw the lid onto the base.

This is a little trickier than it looks, so take your time!  It's easiest to screw the lid on when the case is upside down so the buttons stay in place.

Last updated on Aug 16, 2017 Published on Aug 16, 2017