Connect Pi Cable to Powerboost

Grab the wires from the pi cable and locate wire #2 and #6. Wire #1 is the white colored one. Isolate these two wires and strip the tips off. Secure them to one of the grabbers on the third helping hand Apply some solder to tin them.

Solder wire #2 to the positive pin on the Powerboost. Solder wire #6 to the negative pin on the Powerboost.

Soldered Power

Now we should have power wired up from the Pi Cable to the powerboost 1000c. Wire #2 is actually pin 5V on the Pi, wire and #6 is ground.

Cut extra wires short

Let's go ahead and cut the wires we won't be using short. Be sure to reference the circuit diagram and double, triple check each wires. Trimming these short will helps keep everything tidy and orangized. 

If your making the four button version, DO NOT cut wire #3 and #5!!

Heat Shrink Pi Cable

Speaking of being organized and tidy, adding a piece of heat shrinking tubing to the pi cable wires keeps them together. I didn't actually heat it though (depending on the sizing you may want to apply heat to well, shrink it).

Install Ninjaflex Buttons

Insert the ninjaflex d-pad into the enclosure with the cut out. No special orientation here, its symmetrical so it should just fit. Place the “A” and “B” ninjaflex button set over the two 12mm tactile buttons on the perma-proto. These should have a tight fit.

Install Perma-Proto

OK, grab the PCB and position it over the enclosure. Notice those clips on the inner walls of the enclosure? Those are going to hold the PCB in place. So position and orient the PCB with the appropriate buttons going into the right spots. The PCB needs to be inserted at an angle so that it can fit into place. Insert the PCB  with the “A” and “B” button side going in first - the PCB should go underneath the clip.

Ensure the d-pad is still in place while inserting the perma-proto PCB. Carefully angle it into place. You need to fit the ninjaflex AB buttons into the cutouts, then press down the PCB to fit into place. This takes a little force and finesse. The clips are fairly strong, so you don’t need to be super gentle.

Wire Ground

Let’s connect the Pi Cable to the ground on the Perma-Proto. We can use a single ground wire from the Pi Cable and solder it to the ground rail on the Perma-Proto PCB. You can count and pull on the wires to determine which one to use. Wire #9 on the Pi Cable is associated with a ground connection.

Wire Left Button

Find an available pin on the perma-proto that is linked to the left button. This should be on the opposite pin of the button where we wired ground. Locate wire #7 on the pi cable and position near it the left button. Measure how long it needs to be and cut short - leave a bit of slack so it’s easier to solder. Strip and tin the wire. Then solder the wire to the perma-proto PCB.

Wire Right Button

Now that you did the first button, you’ll be able to do the song and dance easier. Let’s locate wire #11 on the pi cable - this is going to the right button. Just like we did on the left button, measure how long it needs to be, then cut, strip and tin. Solder this one to the one of the available pins in the same row of the right button.

Wire Up Button

Up next, it’s the up button! Locate wire #12 and do the song and dance of measuring, cutting, stripping, tipping and soldering.

Wire Down Button

Locate wire #13 and solder this one to the down button. You know the drill!

Wire A Button

Get wire #15 and connect this one to the “A” button. Double check to see you’re selecting the correct button - orientation might mess with you a little after soldering all those wires.

Wire B button

OK now we should be left with just one wire - Safe to assume its wire #16 which will connect to the “B” button

Wired Perma-Proto to Pi Cable

It’s starting to look finished after soldering all those wires. It’s a good idea to double check all the buttons, pins and wires to ensure everything is correct. If you got any of them mixed, it is possible to remap them in software. But make sure ground is ground and nothing is intersecting (ie, two inputs wired to a single button).

Perma-Proto (Four button layout)

If your making the four button version, you'll need to connect Wire #3 (GPIO 2) to the button you want to be "X". Connect wire #5 (GPIO 3) to the button you'd like to be "Y".

That’s all the soldering for this project. Congratulations, you are now a master solderer! Next up, we need to add the battery and close the enclosure. Almost done!

This guide was first published on May 14, 2015. It was last updated on May 14, 2015. This page (Buttons) was last updated on Apr 20, 2019.