Let’s make a thing …. Together 

Greetings! Since we’re going virtual this year it doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped making our own blinky badges. It just means that this year we will be building them from off the shelf parts instead of custom printed circuit boards. While the event isn’t until late August, I wanted to get a supply list out early so that parts can be ordered from chinese suppliers for the cost savings or if you want to quarantine your supplies before handling them.

This year, there will be 3 options for our DIY badge.
[1] The soldered project. Aside from the supplies outlined below, you will need some basic tools: soldering iron, solder, wire stripper, snips and maybe some solder braid for those oops moments.
[2] A breadboard option. Not as permanent as the soldered project, but there is no soldering required and you still can do all things that you would do with the soldered project.
[3] A virtual product. We’ll be using the electronics simulator feature of tinkercad.com so that you can play with a simulation of the planned build.

No matter which you choose, you will need to download and install the Arduino IDE from [https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software] and/or create an account with tinkercad.com

Let’s start with the things that both the breadboard (hence referred to as BB) and the soldered project (SP) will need:

  1. 7 (seven) 10mm LEDS, yep we’re going to go big and bright
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link
  2. 220 Ω resistors, we need to limit the current for the LEDs
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link
  3. An Arduino nano clone. Arduinos are open source so a clone is fine.  A note about the nano is that they take a Mini USB, like a digital camera, so do be sure you get one with a cable or order a mini usb cable.
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link
  4. A button. This is optional; I’ll be demonstrating how to do multiple patterns but if you want to stick with just one pattern, that’s okay.
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link
  5. If you’re going with a button, it requires a resistor as well: a 10k one to be exact
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link
  6. Lastly we’ll need a bit of wire. The best option I’ve come up with for this is some  male to male jumpers even if you’re not going to BB your set; if you’re doing the soldering project, stripping back the ends of some of the jumpers is worth it to be able to color code things, rather than just buying a spool of wire.
    1. Amazon link
    2. Aliexpress link

So now we come to the final bit: if you are choosing the soldering project you will need these solderable breadboards from [Amazon]. I used the blue ones for the prototype, but feel free to order your favorite color.

Those not wanting to solder, here’s a breadboard set from [Amazon] that includes the jumpers. Or here’s a similar set from [Aliexpress].

*A note about tools*
When I buy tools I follow the Harbor Freight/Wally World rule: if need it, buy a cheap one first. If you only use it just for that project then you are not out a lot for a dust collector, like in my circular saw (a power tool for cutting wood) – I’ve used twice and it was actually cheaper than a daily rental. If you use it for more than the initial project, or enough that it breaks, that’s when you lay down some serious money on a tool. For example when I got into electronics, my first soldering iron was a $10 Radio Shack special. Today I use a much nicer one that I paid a whole lot more for. My first multimeter was a free one from Harbor Freight.

Check back with this page as we get closer to the event for updates and if you’re going to use the aliexpress links for supplies, I recommend you do so by mid-June. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me [chris@dianainitiative.org]