Drop into the new year with a blinged out Circuit Playground Express!

This guide will show how to build a simple drop mechanism that mimics the famous Times Square Ball Drop on New Year's Eve in New York City.

Programming this celebrative project is easy using Microsoft MakeCode, a drag and drop interface and language that requires no prior programming experience!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Prerequisite guides

Reading or at least skimming through these guides before beginning will save you some time in the future. You can always refer back to them if you need help!

Adafruit Parts

1 x Circuit Playground Express (CPX)
Circuit Playground Express is a great introduction to electronics and programming
1 x Continuous Rotation Micro Servo - FS90R
Spins the spool with string to move the CPX up and down
1 x USB cable
USB A to Micro-B (Plugs into computer to program the CPX)
1 x Multi-size wire stripper & cutter - 5023
For cutting and stripping wires

Optional but recommended: 

1 x Small Alligator Clip to Male Jumper Wire Bundle - 12 Pieces
Help with testing out code and prototyping project

Tools and Materials

  • Medium to large width corrugated cardboard - need at least 1 sheet sized 22 cm X 14 cm
  • Scrap pieces of cardboard (to make spool and mount)
  • Paper towel or aluminum foil roll center
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Hobby knife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Twine or string
  • Thumb tack
  • Duct tape
  • Glue stick
  • Mini bamboo skewers


  • Cutting mat (for cutting cardboard)
  • Construction paper, glitter glue, foil door curtain (for decorations)
  • Popsicle stick for spreading glitter glue.

This guide was first published on Dec 25, 2018. It was last updated on Dec 25, 2018.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Dec 19, 2018.

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