While brainstorming for our Makey Makey Build Night at the Phoenix Asylum, I wasn't coming up with a killer app. That all changed when on a walk with Ms. Zoid. I saw something in the gutter that caught my eye, a video game eraser. AHA! Now I have a project. Since then I have had additional ideas for projects that I will list below, but for now, let's build a Micro-Controller.
Objective: Build a controller that connects to the Makey Makey.
Time Needed: About 3 hours.
Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate.
- Makey Makey Kit
- Pencil Eraser Controller
- Wire - about 12 feet
- 4 Steel Ball Bearings
- 1 Upholstery Tack
- Shrink tube
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- X-acto Knife
- Large Pin
- Wire Clippers
- Sugru Magnetic Helping Hands
In Conclusion: The controller ended up working as I thought it would. It's a bit small for my hands but works better than the 6 bananas I was using before I found the eraser.
Step 1: Building the Micro Controller
- Remove the 5 buttons from the controller.
- Decide where you want the wires to exit the controller.
- Pierce the controller with the large needle.
- Thread the wires through each hole and pull them all the way through each hole.
- Strip each end of the wires (about a 1/4 inch) with your wire stripper.
- Stick the upholstery tack (or small nail) through the big white button.
- Using your X-acto blade, remove a small section of the fire button for your wire to thread through.
- Now loop your wire so that it wraps around the upholstery tack.
- Solder the wire to the tack as clean as possible.
- Snip the upholstery tack as close to the wire as possible. You may need to remove a but of the eraser below the tack to be sure it fits snug.
- Pull the wire so that the fire button slides back into it's original place.
- Test the connection with your Makey Makey to be sure you have a solid connection.
Be sure to test each connection as you go. I used a paint program in the Scratch program as my default tool.
- Bend the end of each wire so you get as much contact with the ball bearing as you can.
- Solder the wire to the ball creating a solid contact.
- Repeat for each wire, testing your contacts as you go.
- Now pull each directional wire until the bearings slide right back into their respective holes.
Ground Wire (earth):
- Locate a place on the back of the controller that you believe your hand will have contact with while playing.
- Strip the wire of the plastic insulator about 1 1/2 inches.
- Pierce the controller and guide the wire through.
- Now make a small hole and stick the end of the ground wire into it creating a flat and clean surface.
Wrapping It Up:
- Grab all of your wires and twist them together.
- Add a piece of shrink tube to hold the wires together to give it a finished look.
- Connect to your Makey Makey and you are ready to get your game on.
This project went pretty smooth and all of my connections remained strong. Other items could be used instead of the bearings (small nails or tacks), but the ball bearings really looked great on the micro controller. The controller would be better suited for smaller hands.
Step 2: Game and Application Links
Here are a handful of great applications that you can use with your new Micro Controller.
You can create your own games using the Scratch website. I've poked around on there and found the interface to be quite intuitive and easy to use. Please let me know what you create and I'll have a go at it.
Step 3: Other Makey Makey Projects From Our Build Night.
We had a great night creating with our Makey Makey kits. As other team members post their Instructables, I will post them on this page.