These instructions only cover the electronics, the assembly of the actual housings is not shown here.
The end result is this:
Please read over this guide before starting to follow the instructions as there is some ambiguity sprinkled in throughout the steps.
I've included a complete wiring diagram just in case my instructions don't make sense.
I've created a video series on how to assemble this kit:
Private message me on YouTube if you are interested in purchasing a kit.
Step 1: Bill of Materials
All parts are of the thru-hole variety.
4 PCBs - Available Here (or Private message me)
3 x 16MHz Crystal oscillators
20 x 1k Ohm resistors (preferably the 1/8 Watt type)
6 x 47k Ohm Resistors
5 x 10uF electrolytic Capacitors
5 x 0.1uF ceramic Capacitors
6 x 22pF ceramic Capacitors
20 x Dupont Connector Housing Female 2.54mm 3 pin
65 x Dupont Connector Pin connector (The metal pieces that go inside the housings)
1 x Tactile Pushbutton 6mm x 6mm x 6mm
160 x Straw-Hat 5mm White LEDs
20 x 2n3904 transistor
4 x Single Row 40-Pin 2.54mm Pitch Spacing Right Angle Connector
3 x Max7219/21 LED matrix drivers
1 x 3-C cell Battery holder (4.5V)
1 x 4-AA Battery holder (6v)
4 Foot piece of 50-conductor 28AWG Flat Cable
10 Feet or so of Ethernet cable (you'll need to get the wire out of it)
2 x KF2510-10P (polarized 10-pin connector)
2 x KF2510-2P right angle (polarized 2 pin connector)
3 x KF2510-5P (polarized 5-pin connector)
50 x JST crimp pins
Hot Glue Gun
Two Sets of Pliers
D-sub Crimping Tool (Available at Radioshack)
Step 2: The Main Control Board
Start by soldering the 16Mhz crystal (3rd Picture)
Now We solder the 0.1uF Capacitor (4th Picture)
Having done that, solder the 6mm Tactile Push button (5th Picture)
Once that is done, solder the resistor (6th Picture)
We move on to soldering the 22pF and the 10uF capacitors (7th Picture)
A quick note, make sure to have the stripe on the 10uF capacitor facing to the the left, like in the picture.
If you solder it incorrectly, there is a slight chance that it might explode after some time.
Now we have to solder the 2.54 mm right angle headers.
Start by breaking off a 3 Pin and a 10 Pin section from the large strip of connectors (8th Picture)
Solder the 10 pin connector on the left-most spot (9th Picture)
Flip the board and solder the 3 Pin connector to the top of the other slot. (10th Picture).
You should now have a fully assembled control board.
Step 3: Assembling the Left Chin Piece
Max7219/21 x 2
47k Ohm Resistors x 4
22pf Capcitors x 2
0.1uF Capacitors x 2
10uF Capacitors x2
2.54mm Pitch Right angle connector (you'll need 10 pins)
5mm White Straw Hat LEDs x 56
Guy Manuel Right Chin Piece
Guy Manuel Left Chin Piece
Start by placing the LEDs into the PCBs, make sure to have the polarity correctly (short lead goes to the flat side of the stencil)
(Second, Third Pictures)
Flip the whole PCB over.
Solder all the LEDs.
Trim all the leads.
Once you have all the LEDs soldered, we move onto soldering the Max7219 Chip.
The Max7219 chips go on the BACKSIDE of the PCB. (Seventh Picture)
Make sure your Chip is aligned exactly as it is in the picture, or else the board will not work.
Flip the board over and solder the chip (Eighth picture)
Place the 47k resistors onto the board and solder them.(Ninth Picture)
Now we move into the 10uF capacitor, place it into the backside of the PCB with the Negative leg facing up. (Tenth Picture)
It is important that you position the capacitor so that the grey, negative strip is at the top, it you switch the polarity, you might cause the capacitor to explode when you power the kit on.
Next, solder the 0.1uF ceramic capacitor right next to the 10uF electrolytic. (Eleventh Picture)
The very last thing that needs to be soldered is the 5-pin connector a the bottom of the board.
Break off 5 pins off of the 2.54mm right angle header.
Solder it to the backside of the PCB (Twelfth and Thirteenth Pictures)
Step 4: Assembling the Right Chin Piece
Solder all the LEDs, the Max7219/21 Chip, the 47k Ohm Resistors, and 5-pin 2.54 mm connector.
(Sorry for the lack of pictures in this step)
First, Solder the 2-pin Polarized connector.
Next, solder the 16MHz Crystal on the bottom of the Board.
Now solder the 22pF capacitors on the backside of the Board.
The next step is to solder the 10uF capacitor, with the stripe facing to the left. (Second picture)
By the way, this capacitor is polarized, so make sure to get the polarity right.
The last step is to solder the 0.1uF capacitor (Third Picture)
You should now have a fully assembled Right Chin piece.
Step 5: Soldering the Side Lights Pt. 1
White Straw Hat LEDs x 80
Side Light PCB x 1 (contains 16 individual modules)
Two sets of pliers
A soldering Iron
The very first thing you want to do is place all the LEDs into the PCB, DO NOT break up the boards, It will make assembly more difficult. (Second and Third Pictures)
Now, very carefully, flip the PCB with the LEDs over, this is a bit tricky to do.
I usually place a piece of cardboard over the LEDs before I flip to keep the LEDs from flying out.
Now comes the soldering, I usually start by soldering the LEDs at the top and the bottom of the PCB.
Now that the top and bottom LED are soldered, trim the leads.
The next step is to solder the new top and bottom rows.
Trim those leads, solder the very middle row, and trim the middle leads.
Now break apart the boards.
Step 6: Soldering the Side Lights Pt.2
2n3904 Transistors x 16
1k Resistors x16
2.54 mm Right angle headers x 80 pins worth
Now that all the Side Light PCBs are broken apart, its time to solder the other components.
The first thing you want to do is place the 2n3904 Transistor.
Place it so that the flat part of the transistor lines up with the flat part of the printed stencil
(Second and Third Pictures)
Bend the leads apart (Fourth Picture)
Solder the transistor (Fifth Picture)
Try to do this step as quickly as possible to avoid damaging the transistor.
Trim the Leads (Sixth Picture)
Next, bend a 1k resistor into a U-shape (Seventh Picture)
Place the Resistor into PCB (Eighth Picture)
Solder and trim the leads.
Now break up the 2.54 mm right angle header into 16 3-pin sections.
Take a 3-pin right angle connector and place it into the PCB.
Flip the PCB over and solder the connector.
Repeat these steps another 15 times and you should have a full set of Side Lights
Step 7: Making the Main Wiring Harness Pt.1
You will need the following:
24AWG Wire (Ethernet wire works best) x 10 feet or so
50-connector - 28AWG Flat ribbon cable x 5 feet or so
2.54mm crimp connectors x 54
This step is easiest to follow if you use TWO different color wires.
The very first step is to cut up your 24AWG wire into 2.5 inch sections, you will need a total of 28 individual Wires (First Picture)
The next step is to strip each side of the 28 Wires about a quarter inch (Second Picture)
Now you want to take two wires, twist one of the stripped ends together [not both] (Third Picture)
Next, break off all of the 2.54mm Connectors (Fourth Picture)
Load one crimp connector into your D-Sub Crimping tool (Fifth and Sixth Pictures)
Now take your twisted wires, and place the striped into the D-Sub crimping tool (Seventh Picture)
Squeeze the handle and you should get a perfectly crimped wire (Eighth Picture)
Repeat this process to create a of 6-cimp connected 7-wire segment (Ninth Picture)
You'll need 4 sets of the wire harness shown in the Ninth Picture
Step 8: Making the Main Wiring Harness Pt.2
Strip off 1/4 inch off of both sides (Second Picture)
Crimp one 1 Foot long wire to each segment from the previous step (Third Picture)
Now add a crimp connector to the end of each of the SHORTER sections (Bottom Right of the Third picture)
Do this to all 4 pieces of wiring harness. (Fourth Picture)
Now take two flat crimp connectors (The ones you have been using all this time), and take two of the JST Crimp connectors (Fifth Picture).
Crimp the ends of the LONGER wires with those connectors. (Sixth picture)
I've been using two different colored wires, make sure that each color has both a 'Flat' and JST crimp connector.
At this point, you have finished crimping the wires that will carry power to the LED Fans.
Now take out 17 3-pin DuPont Plastic housings (Seventh Picture)
Take a crimped pin of one wire set on the SHORTER wires, and place it in the bottom slot in the 3-Pin Connector (Eighth Picture)
Make sure the connection is nice and snug, if it pulls out easily, try rotating the pin 180 degrees, so the that it 'clicks' into place.
This will serve as the Positive power connection to the LED Fans.
Now take another wire segment (make sure they have the same longer wire crimp connectors), and place it into the middle slot (Ninth Picture)
This will serve as the ground connection to the LED Fans.
Continue this process until you have two sets of wiring harness, each set having different crimp connectors on the longer wires. (Tenth Picture)
I couldn't really get a good picture... so I settled on a diagram.
Step 9: Making the Main Wiring Harness Pt.3
The first step is to take your flat 28AWG wire and break it up into 8 2-Conductor sections (First and Second Pictures)
The maximum length of each section is around 2 feet.
Now that you have 8 Sections of wire, take one 2-conductor strip and cut it to around 12 Inches in length. (Third Picture)
Take another section and cut it to 14 Inches in Length.
Take yet another section to 16 Inches in Length.
Continue this pattern until you have 8 2-conductor sections. (Fourth Picture)
You should have the following lengths:
12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 Inches
Now take one end of each section and strip off around 1/4 inch of the insulation. (Fifth Picture)
Twist the Wires together and add a JST crimp connector (Sixth and Seventh Pictures)
Do this to one end of each 2-Conductor section. (Eighth Picture)
Now take the other end of a 2-Conductor section, and splay the wires apart, strip off 1/4 Inch of insulation and crimp on a 'Flat' Crimp connector ( Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Pictures)
Do this to all the sections (Twelfth Picture)
Step 10: Making the Main Wiring Harness Pt.4
We will start with the 10-Slot 2.54mm Connector. (First Picture)
I usually plug this into the Main Control board so that I get the pinout right (Second Picture)
Take one Segment of the wiring harness (The cable we will use for power) Also, make sure you grab the one with the JST connector.
Plug the positive wire (In my case dark green) into the very top of the connector (you might have to rotate the wire 180 degrees in order for the connector to easily snap in, check the Third Picture)
Plug the negative wire into the slot below the first wire. (Second Picture)
Now be begin the process of plugging in the signal wires.
Take the shortest crimped, 2-Conductor section, and plug it into the 3rd Slot from the top (Third Picture)
Now take the second shortest, crimped, 2-Conductor section and plug it into the 4th Slot from the top.
Follow this pattern until you plug the longest 2-Conductor section into the very bottom of the connector.
You should have something that looks like the (Fourth Picture).
Now heat up your hot-glue gun and apply a generous amount where the wires meet the cable (Fifth Picture)
It might also be wise to check that you plugged the wires in correctly into the connector before you hot glue the whole thing.
Here is the tricky part, plugging the flat crimp connectors into the black 3-Pin housings.
The first pair of Flat crimp connectors, connected to the shortest signal wire, you will need to plug into the black 3-pin connector that is connected to the long end of the wire [This is hard to explain, just look at the diagram]
First Connection - (Sixth Picture)
Wiring Diagram - (Seventh Picture)
The last step in assembling the main wiring harness is to connect the final power connector.
Take the Positive wire (Green In my case), and plug it into the bottom of a 3-pin DuPont Connector.
Next, take the Negative wire and plug the crimp connector into the middle of the 3-pin DuPont Connector. (Eighth Picture)
Step 11: Making the Secondary Wiring Harness
Take a quick look at the wiring diagram (Eleventh Picture)
For this step, you will need the following:
2 x 5-Pin 2.54mm Pitch connectors
7 x 1 Foot sections of Ethernet Wire
1 x 2-Pin 2.54mm Pitch connectors
12 x JST crimp pins.
D-sub crimping tool
Start By stripping 5 wires 1/4 Inch on each side.
Add Crimp connectors to both sides of the Wires.
Now take the 5-Pin connectors and loosely connect them to the Chin Boards. (Second Picture)
What you need to do is to make a wiring harness that connects these boards together.
Plug one crimped wire into the Rightmost Slot on both connectors (Third Picture)
Now plug a crimped wire into the Second Rightmost slot on both boards. (Fourth Picture)
Continue this pattern until you have connected all the pins (Fifth Picture)
Now take your last two wires, strip them and add the JST crimp pins to one side of the wire (Sixth and Seventh Pictures)
Next, plug the 2-pin Connector into the right chin piece (Eighth Picture)
Flip the board over and plug one wire into the Leftmost slot (Ninth Picture)
In my case, I am using a solid orange wire.
Lastly, plug the other wire into the Rightmost Slot (Tenth Picture)
You are done with the wiring Harness portion of the assembly.
Step 12: Adding the Battery Packs
1x Main Board
1 x 4AA battery holder with switch
1 x 3 C-Cell battery holder
16 feet of wire (Preferably 4 foot sections of different colors)
Cut the 16 feet of wire into 4 4-foot long sections and strip 1/4 Inches of insulation on both sides (Second Picture)
Connect two wires to the 4 AA battery pack, make sure to solder the connection before insulating the wires with electrical tape. I'm Using the Orange wire as the Positive, and White as the Negative (Third, Fourth, and Fifth Pictures)
Do the same for the 3 C-Cell Battery pack (Sixth and Seventh Pictures)
I'm using the Green Wire as the Positive and White as the Negative.
Now that the wires to the batteries are extended, it is time to solder the those wires to the Main Board,
Connect the wires that come off of the 4 AA battery pack to the connections labeled 6v and GND.
Connect the positive wire to the pad labeled 6V and the Negative to the connection labeled GND.
(In my case, I'm connecting Orange to 6V and White to GND)
Now connect the wires that come off the 3 C-Cell Battery pack to the pads labeled 4.5v and GND.
Connect the Positive wire from the C-Cell pack to the pad labeled 4.5v, connect the Negative wire to the pad labeled GND.
(In my case I'm connecting Green to 4.5v and White to 4.5v)
The final wires that you need so solder come from the Right Chin Piece.
We need to connect the Positive wire to the pad labeled +, and the Negative to the pad labeled GND.
(In my case, I used Orange for my positive and white for the negative)
So now you have everything soldered and ready to go!
Step 13: Final Connections
We will start with the LED Fans.
Take your Main wiring harness and grab a 3-Pin connector with the slits facing up.
Plug it into the LED Fan in such a way that the grey signal cable is directly across from the resistor.
Do this to all the LED Fans.
The last thing you need to plug in is the secondary power connector to the LED fans.
That connector plug into the backside of the Main Board. (Second Picture)
Put batteries into your Battery holders (you'll need 4 AA and 3 C-Cells)
And you should have something that kind of looks like this:
The very last thing you need to do is to put on the plastic color diffuser onto the chin boards.
Take the printed transparency and carefully cut out the Color bars (around the black edge) (third picture)
Now carefully bend the shorter sides at right angles (Fourth Picture)
Take two strips of electrical tape and attach them to the bent sides color diffusers (Fifth Picture)
Place the color diffusers over the assembled chin pieces and bend the electrical tape around the backside of the PCBs (Sixth Picture)
And now you are completely Finished!
Here is the end result:
Step 14: Some Troubleshooting.
I put the batteries in, but nothing happens!
The first thing I would check is the power connections.
Check that the batteries are fully inserted (try wiggling them a bit).
Also check that you have the polarity right, if you flip the Positive and Negative connections on the battery pack, you should see that the Main Control board gets hot, immediately disconnect the power!
For some reason an LED on the Chin pieces stays lit and doesn't go along with the patters!
This has happened to me multiple times, it means that that particular LED is soldered backwards(First Picture)
De-solder it (look up a youtube video on how to de-solder), and solder in a new one.
If you use cheap LEDs (no real reason not to), you have a higher chance of this happening.
For some strange reason the chin patterns start, but then 'stall' midway into the animations!
Change out the 16Mhz Crystal and both of the 22pF capacitors on the Right Chin piece, that should fix it.
I think I completely destroyed a PCB! HELP!!
Not to worry! Send me a private message.
If you send back the Damaged PCB, I can send you a replacement PCB for a small fee.
Alternately, you can ask me to take a look at it and attempt to fix it for you for a small fee.