Introduction: Assembling the Mini Mood Light V1 Kit

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The Mini Mood Light is a small interactive and reprogrammable coloured light generator circuit.  The mood light consists of a Texas Instruments MSP430 micro controller connected to two RGB LEDs, four buttons and some supporting components all on a custom circuit board.

A kit with the circuit board and all the required components is available from, along with code and instructions for setting up a suitable Linux development environment.

The process of assembling the Mini Mood Light v1 kit isn't particularly difficult but it can take over 30 minutes depending on your soldering proficiency.

The minimum required tools are a soldering iron, some solder, a side cutters and pliers.  Additional useful tools include a helping hand stand, a multimeter, a soldering iron stand, a solder sucker and some solder wick.

Step 1: Identifying Components

So to start you should unpack and identify each component and sort them into the order that they will be soldered.

One mini mood light v1 circuit board.
One blue diode.
One 47 kilo ohm resistor (yellow, violet, orange, gold).
Two 390 ohm resistors (orange, white, brown, gold).
Four 330 ohm resistors (orange, orange, brown, gold).
One 2200 pico farad ceramic capacitor.
One 0.1 micro farad ceramic capacitor.
Four tactile switches.
One three legged voltage regulator (MCP1702).
Two 2.2 micro farad aluminium capacitors.
Two four legged RGB LEDs.
One Darlington array 16 pin IC and socket (ULN2003A).
One MSP430 MCU 14 pin IC and socket (MSP430G2211).
One 9 volt battery connector.

Step 2: Axial Components

An axial package component consist of a rod of material for the body with a
lead wire at each end.  This type of package is commonly used for resistors and diodes.

The lead wires are bent a few millimeters from the body and inserted into the holes in the circuit board.  The lead wire is then soldered on the opposite side of the board to the body and any excess wire is cut using the side cutters.

The first component to place and solder is D3 the blue diode.  The black band should line up with the white band on the silk screen.

The second component is R7 the 47k ohm resistor.

The next components are R5 and R6 the two 390 ohm resistors.

The next components are R3 and R4 the first two 330 ohm resistors.

The final axial components are R1 and R2 the last two 330 ohm resistors.

Step 3: Radial Components

A radial package component consists of a disc, block, cylinder or other shaped body with two or more leads wires which come out of the body on the same side.  The radial type is commonly used for capacitors, LEDs, transistors.

The lead wires are inserted directly into the holes, soldered, and cutting any excess wire.

The first component to place and solder is C3 the 2200 pico farad capacitor.  This can be identified by the small numbers 222 written on the side.

The second component is C1 the 0.1 micro farad capacitor.  This can be identified by the small numbers 104 written on the side.

The next components are S1, S2, S3, S4 the four tactile switches.  Cut each On the side of the switches are little metal tabs, face each switch so the tabs point in the same direction.

The next component is U3 the voltage regulator.  This component should be inserted so that the ordinations matches the silk screen outline.

The next components are C2 and C4 the two 2.2 micro farad capacitors.  The longer lead wire indicates the positive side of the component which should be inserted into the hole with the plus silk screen symbol.

The next components are D1 and D2 the two RGB LEDs.  The LED has a flat side which should be lined up with the flat side of the silk screen symbol.  The LED leads can also be bent to point forward if you desire.

Step 4: Dual In-line Package and Battery Components

A dual in-line package component consists of a rectangular body with two rows of lead pins.  DIP packages are mostly used for integrated circuits, commonly using a socket to allow the component to be removed for programming or replacement.  Pin one of the component is indicated by a depression or notch and pins increment in counter clockwise direction when viewed from the top of the component.

Taking care to orientate the component correctly the leads are slotted into the relevant holes.  The leads may need to be straightened with pliers so they fit in easily.  First solder opposite corners then solder the remainder in any order.

The next component to place and solder is U1 the Darlington array (ULN2003A) and 16 pin socket.  Align the notch to line up the marking on the silk screen.

The next component is U2 the MSP430 MCU (MSP430G2211) and 14 pin socket.  Align the notch to line up the marking on the silk screen, which is opposite to U1.

The final component to place is B1 the 9 Volt battery clip.  The red wire should be soldered into the hole marked with a plus symbol and the black wire soldered into the other.

Step 5: Operation

The Mini Mood Light v1 is powered from a normal 9 volt battery which should be just clipped into the battery clip.

Once the battery is connected the default code well then sequence through the red, green and blue LEDs.

With the default code pressing each of the buttons causes the corresponding LED to become brighter, red (S4), green (S2), blue (S3) and clear (S10).

To reprogram the micro controller the MSP430 MCU (U2) can be carefully be removed using a flathead screwdriver and inserted into a TI LaunchPad or similar programmer.

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