Instructables



Let's make DIY littleBits! For original circuits, visit littleBits.

I will be adding more steps to this instructable every time I manage to make another DIY littleBit. So come back often and follow this instructable to see new bits tutorials. *Added since initial publication: light trigger* I change the original circuits based on parts availability and my own preferences and ability. I volunteer for the Fresh Air Fund, and my hope is that I can learn enough to offer a free afternoon workshop this summer for the children who visit my town just 45 minutes north of NYC.

The connection method I currently use between bits involves 3 header pins on both the left and right sides and female to female jumper wires. There is no kanban mechanism to prevent miswiring, so the user must be careful when connecting DIY bits. One idea is to use alternating male and female pins on alternating sides with male to female color coded jumper wires (red=+VCC, green=signal, black = GND). If you decide do use alternating male and female pins and jumpers, then the male header pins should be on the left of the bits; this is to prevent dangling live male jumper wires from crossing each other and creating a short circuit.

PARTS: If not stated in each individual step, you will need solder, hot glue, 22 gauge stranded insulated wires, perfboard, male (maybe also female as you like) pins, jumper wires, heat shrink tubing (electrical tape is ugly but will suffice), and a method for labeling your DIY bits. Many bits require an op amp chip, which can get pricey if you are buying them individually from the store. I recommend buying larger quantities of chips from www.digikey.com. The Digikey part number for the LM741 op amp chip is LM741CNNS/NOPB-ND ; at publication time, I was able to buy this chip for $0.70. For labeling bits, I use #6 plastic from the recycling bin (also sold as shrink film by www.grafixarts.com).

Tools required include wire stripper, soldering gun, helping hands, needle nose plyers, hot glue gun, and a method for cutting perfboard (I scored it with a sharp knife and snapped it over a straight edge ruler, but some prefer to use a dremel). The most important tool is a good book; I recommend Timer, Op Amp & Optoelectronic Circuits & Projects by Forrest M. Mims III http://www.forrestmims.com/engineers_mini_notebook.html

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
MakerSylvia4 months ago

I got an account, and this is really cool. I'd love to try and make it sometime! YOU ROCK, Proto-board FTW!

JackANDJude (author)  MakerSylvia4 months ago

Duuuude! I'm so glad you joined. I'm your first follower. ;)

JackANDJude (author) 5 months ago

Here are some photos of our Fresh Air Fund Day celebration. Everyone had a lot of fun building circuits, even without prior experience. Visit www.freshairfund.org to learn more about how to help NYC kids enjoy summer. I'd like to give a big shout out of thanks to littleBits for their generous donation of modules; our visiting kids this summer will certainly ENJOY! A last minute surprise was that RadioShack donated 9 volt batteries - thank you! Finally, thanks to instructables and to all who voted for this 'ible and to our volunteer science teacher for the day, Glenn Simonelli.

littlebits workshop.jpg
mk4841 month ago

Hi Jack and Jude - just love your electronic 'bits' - my kind of style. I've got lots of things to share but ran into problems earlier this week, so am toning down my involvement, but I want to encourage you and jack to keep on being innovative. The simpler you make a project, the more people will probably try it out...

mk484

astral_mage4 months ago

check out dx.com 4 yr connector needs

Huuunksam made it!5 months ago

My FIRST Instructable 'make'!! After I finally found the correct capacitors, it was easy, AND it works ! Thanks!

IMG_3179.jpg
JackANDJude (author)  Huuunksam5 months ago
Nice job with the power bit! I'd love to see more. Thanks for posting!
wcr5 months ago


Hello, I'm starting to make my version, even before seeing your instructable, I started witha basic and already going to do with CI 555, all components are recycled from electronic waste including refrigerator, pulled out of CD roms ... link video:

wcr wcr5 months ago

sorry for typos, I am Brazilian and I used google translator hehe

JackANDJude (author)  wcr5 months ago

Nice. Thank you for sharing! I love that you used recycled components.

Gem]n[6 months ago

Great idea ... I done a few similar myself, for my Breadboard Dev-Board ... I prefer Vero sometimes for small stuff like this ... I also agree with KDSNESTs' post below regarding Forrest Mims III ... and I too was 14yrs old when I started electronics ...

FREE Program for designing and creating Vero Layouts a lot easier ... If you didn't know about this already, it's a fantastic program ...

DIY Layout Creator:
http://code.google.com/p/diy-layout-creator/

halciber6 months ago
This instructable is wonderful. Thank you for making it. I can't wait to try it out.
Raphango6 months ago

My future kids gotta have one of these =D

kdsnest6 months ago

This is a great little ible! It shows organization. I remember in college our bread board systems had a lot of that stuff built in and we tended to take it for granted. But this is a good idea to have several building blocks that will get used over and over in prototyping, why re-invent the wheel each time? I just looked around my desk at work and realized I have a few little-bits of my own floating around (we call the test jigs - to sound smart). I will have to make these!

kdsnest kdsnest6 months ago

P.S. Forrest Mims III is a great resource! I began building his circuits when I was 14 and they put me ahead of my class. He's like the Bill Nye or Don Hebert (Mr. Wizard) of electronics!!

chrischampion6 months ago
I'm thinking you could use RJ11 jacks and short phone cables instead of the three words to make it more kid friendly
JackANDJude (author)  chrischampion6 months ago
Yes. I was toying with that idea, too. If someone tries that or any other connection method, I would love to see it.
the random6 months ago

Beautiful idea, thank you!!!

louis.m6 months ago

This looks like an almost perfect Instructable for starters to get acquainted with electronics. I'm an industrial electronics engineer, but I also started as a tinkerer and I am convinced that this Instrutable will put many people on the right track !

COMPLIMENTS !

JackANDJude (author)  louis.m6 months ago
Thanks, Louis. :)
KRA5H6 months ago

To save having to buy 9 volt batteries, may I suggest an adjustable power supply wall wart. I demonstrate how to connect it to the littleBits power module in my sample rotator Instructable:

http://www.instructables.com/id/littleBits-Sample-...

You might even be able to connect the 9 volt battery clip on the wall wart to your 9 volt battery clip.

CrasheDNBurnT6 months ago

Should come with a seizure warning.

Awesome littleBits Thank you!

geekOmat7 months ago

Love this idea. Well done!

Bendito9997 months ago

mmmm.... Snap Circuits....

Inspires me to try making more diy custom components for everyone's favorite coat-button breadboarding solution.

halamka7 months ago

hook it up to a computer screen.

zonkerharris7 months ago

+1 for the reference to Forrest Mims! He's been writing these good, basic introductions to electronics and circuits for a while, and they are great introductions and instructions! I count 6 books by him within reach on my workbench right now, for ready reference while I'm hacking on hardware.

imperio7 months ago

if we put together many blocks .... we can get to the stars

Ralphxyz7 months ago

How about a 7 segment Led?

Or if you really wan to get involved a clock circuit with display!

Nice instructable thank you.

Ralph

you should make a Little Bits compatible arduino!

JonnySantiago7 months ago
Very good job. It's always funnier diy.
billbillt7 months ago

GENIUS

McClay147 months ago
After checking how expensive the real little bits cost, this got 10X cooler!
Nice 'ible
JackANDJude (author)  McClay147 months ago
Thank you!
hmuhammad17 months ago
wow! these are fun!
JackANDJude (author)  hmuhammad17 months ago
Yes, they are! I'm so glad the folks at littleBits came up with this idea for making simple modular circuits and that they believe in open source hardware.
hmuhammad17 months ago
cant wait the motor controller!