Introduction: Christmas Soldering Kit for Arduino

This a soldering kit that will take about an hour for a beginner to build (less if you’re experienced with soldering). It’s designed to plug into a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino. It will take a few minutes to program the Raspberry Pi or Arduino and then the project is ready to show to your friends.

There are three LEDs that can be controlled in whatever sequence you program. There is a small music chip with piezo speaker that will play Jingle Bells when you send it a ‘start’ signal. Then there is a photo-sensor to detect when you pass your hand overhead.

There are small differences between the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino versions. This instructable is for the Arduino version.

Step 1: The Parts You Will Need

Check that you have all parts. A full kit is available from Maker's Corner.

22µF capacitor, red LEDs-3mm (3pcs), 8 pin male header, light dependant resistor, Piezo speaker, 10kΩ resistor, 1.5kΩ resistors (3 pcs), 500Ω resistor, Jingle Bells sound chip, KIT1546 PCB, sticker and some green Link wire.

Step 2: Attach the Sticker

Attach the Sticker so that the noses of the three reindeer line up with the holes for the three LEDs. Trim the sticker as required.

Step 3: Prepare the LEDs

Bend the legs of the LEDs into a ‘U’ shape as shown. Trim the legs and place onto the board. Note the orientation of the LED: flat part is facing up (away from the rectangular pad).

Step 4: Solder the LEDs and LDR

Solder the legs of the LED onto the PCB. In a similar fashion solder the light dependent resistor (LDR) onto the back of the board as shown.

Step 5: Solder the Other Parts

Solder all other parts on top of the board except J1, J2 and U1.

Step 6: Attach the Sound Chip

Assemble the right angle connector and the sound chip as shown.

Solder the right angle connector to the sound chip and mount the whole assembly on the back of the board as shown.

Solder the sound chip to the back of the board as shown. Then trim the pins on the front of the board.

Step 7: Attach the Arduino Connector

Break the 8 pin male header into three parts: 2 pieces of 3 pins and one piece of 2 pins. Solder the 3 male headers to the back of board in the J1 and J2 positions as shown. Note that two positions on J1 have no pins. (These positions are used in the Raspberry Pi version)

Step 8: Attach to the Arduino

Attach the Christmas Soldering Kit to the Ardino ‘Analog’ and ‘Power’ pins as shown below. Be very careful to mount the kit in the correct position.

Step 9: Program the Arduino

Now you are ready to power up the Arduino and load the example sketch. Download the Arduino Sketch from the Maker's Corner

Unzip and save the Arduino Sketch in a convenient place in your computer. Double click the Arduino Sketch to open the IDE. Make sure that your Arduino board and port are selected in the ‘Tools’ menu.

Use the ‘Upload’ button to upload and run the sketch on your Arduino.

The operation of the sketch should be easy to follow, even if you are not an experienced Arduino programmer. Feel free to change the timing and light sequence. You may need to adjust the light level setting. If the setting is too sensitive the music and light show will keep repeating. If it is not sensitive enough then you will not be able to start the sequence with a wave of your hand. Adjust the light level setting by adjusting the value of SetLevel near the top of the sketch.

int SetLevel = 100;        // Light threshold to start the show

If you have any questions or if you would like to give me some feedback feel free to contact me.

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