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

*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.digikey.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_noteboo...

Step 1: POWER!

The first thing we need is POWER!!! The original "p1 power" circuit requires a power regulator that Radio Shack does not sell, so instead I bought the 5V regulator which is most commonly used by hobbyists - the LM7805.

Parts list:
1) 9V battery
2) 9V battery snap with red and black wires
3) Perf board cut to 9 x 12 full holes
4) LM7805
5) Capacitors: 0.1uF ceramic disk (code 104), 1.0uF (maybe dipped tantalum), 10uF electrolytic ... Pay attention to polarity and substitute as risk will allow.
6) Resistor: one 330 ohm
7) one small red LED
8) spdt slide switch - a single throw switch may suffice
9) 3 header pins
10) 3 jumper wires

1) Breadboard and test that V and S output 5V.
2) Arrange on perfboard & solder.
3) Test that V and S output 5V.
4) Hot glue any weak connections, including the output pins to the perfboard. I hot glued this bit to a blue 4x6 lego plate, as power is coded blue in littleBits.
5) Great job! You can use this bit to power any projects that require 5V.

<p>I got an account, and this is really cool. I'd love to try and make it sometime! YOU ROCK, Proto-board FTW!</p>
<p>Duuuude! I'm so glad you joined. I'm your first follower. ;) </p>
<p>Here are some photos of our Fresh Air Fund Day celebration. Everyone had a lot of fun building circuits, even without prior experience. Visit <a href="http://www.freshairfund.org" rel="nofollow">www.freshairfund.org</a> 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. </p>
<p>I am a complete n00b and feel pretty dumb, but what do V, S, and G mean? I've looked at a zillion beginner circuitry books and sites to try and understand this, but they all just show two paths from the power (+, -). Is this Voltage? Source? Signal? Ground I've figured out. Thanks for any assistance. (Worst part is that I figured this out and made a little bit last year, but have forgotten how!)</p>
<p>Hi, SyntaxHack! I was a n00b when I first tried this, and I learned a lot since then! Oh, and now littleBits sells their bitSnaps, which means no more jumper wires! :) OK... V is +, S is Signal, G is - ... Post a pic in the comments of the bit you made last year! I'd love to see it. :) </p>
Thanks! I posted a photo here (apparently no way to post a pic in the comments on a phone?) http://wp.me/p1HaRj-j7<br>
<p>link should work now, but here's a photo: </p>
Great work, SyntaxHack! :)
<p>Hi, I am building this and would love to connect these with magnets. How should I do this? Can i just connect the magnets to my outputs?</p>
Hi, SumantG!<br><br>littleBits now sells &quot;Bitsnaps&quot;, which is the BEST way to connect your homemade modules with magnets. http://littlebits.cc/accessories/bitsnaps<br><br>Here's a picture of a module I made with bitsnaps.
<p>Hey, I am making this for a final IGCSE (school) project so I can't buy anything and I have to make this on my own. I was thinking that I could have magnets that just hold the pieces together and then have metal contacts that transmit the current and voltage. What do you think about this?</p>
<p>Sounds interesting. See what wcr did in the comments. He has a couple videos on his YouTube channel showing what he did. Please reply with pics when you do make it! Also, you're welcome to come to discuss.littlebits.cc to show us your work in progress and get feedback! :)</p>
<p>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...</p><p>mk484</p>
<p>check out dx.com 4 yr connector needs</p>
<p>My FIRST Instructable 'make'!! After I finally found the correct capacitors, it was easy, AND it works ! Thanks!</p>
Nice job with the power bit! I'd love to see more. Thanks for posting!
<div><div><div><div><div><div> <br></div></div></div> <br><div><div><div>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:</div></div></div></div></div></div><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LIk_8JnDKPE" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>sorry for typos, I am Brazilian and I used google translator hehe</p>
<p>Nice. Thank you for sharing! I love that you used recycled components. </p>
<p>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 ...<br><br>FREE Program for designing and creating Vero Layouts a lot easier ... If you didn't know about this already, it's a fantastic program ...<br><br>DIY Layout Creator:<br>http://code.google.com/p/diy-layout-creator/</p>
This instructable is wonderful. Thank you for making it. I can't wait to try it out.
<p>My future kids gotta have one of these =D</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>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!!</p>
I'm thinking you could use RJ11 jacks and short phone cables instead of the three words to make it more kid friendly
Yes. I was toying with that idea, too. If someone tries that or any other connection method, I would love to see it.
<p>Beautiful idea, thank you!!!</p>
<p>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 !</p><p> COMPLIMENTS !</p>
Thanks, Louis. :)
<p>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:</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/littleBits-Sample-Rotator/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/littleBits-Sample-...</a></p><p>You might even be able to connect the 9 volt battery clip on the wall wart to your 9 volt battery clip.</p>
<p>Should come with a seizure warning.</p><p>Awesome littleBits Thank you!</p>
<p>Love this idea. Well done!</p>
<p>mmmm.... Snap Circuits.... </p><p>Inspires me to try making more diy custom components for everyone's favorite coat-button breadboarding solution.</p>
<p>hook it up to a computer screen. </p>
<p>+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.</p>
<p>if we put together many blocks .... we can get to the stars</p>
<p>How about a 7 segment Led?</p><p>Or if you really wan to get involved a clock circuit with display!</p><p>Nice instructable thank you.</p><p>Ralph</p>
<p>you should make a Little Bits compatible arduino!</p>
Very good job. It's always funnier diy.
After checking how expensive the real little bits cost, this got 10X cooler!<br>Nice 'ible
Thank you!
wow! these are fun!
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.
cant wait the motor controller!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Jude. I make electronics and crafts. Sometimes I make stuff for me, sometimes it's for my son, Jack.
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