Introduction: Football Celebration Box (BLE)
During the holiday season, I needed some small projects to keep my mind sharp, so I subscribed to these small kits that offer a nice range of tasks to keep those of us that like to tinker, happy. You can find more about the subscription service at the link below or purchase individual kits that spark your interest.
The first one that arrived was "HackerBox60: Playground", the kit included a Bluefruit Playground with loads of functions, a small LCD board, an SD storage slot, and an audio amplifier. The instructions for the board will walk you through building multiple small projects using the components of the kit. You can find the instructable for the full kit here:
Step 1: My Take on the Project
So after building a good portion of the kit, I decided on a few options for a final build of the kit. I settled on making a Football Celebration box that could be used while watching my favorite football team on Sunday. The functions and components that I selected are below. (Note I switched the audio board out and added a battery pack)
- Circuit Playground Bluefruit - Bluetooth Low Energy
- Adafruit STEMMA Speaker - Plug and Play Audio Amplifier
3 x AAA Battery Holder with On/Off Switch and 2-Pin JST
- Bluetooth Low Energy connection and controller
- Audio playback via an external speaker/audio amplifier
- Neo Pixel strobe
Step 2: The Build
The box that I assembled is pretty simple, 1 by 1 scrap wood and small sections of 1/4 inch plywood. Used acrylic paints to decorate the box in the team colors. I had an old acrylic team helmet logo that used to sit on a base with a led for illumination so it was perfect for this kit. I used the Dremel to cut out a shape to allow the Neo Pixels to light the helmet up while playing sounds.
The battery pack is a simple plug and play with JST connectors and a small on/off switch (cut a small hole in the back pannel so that it can be turned on/off).
The audio amplifier and speaker has a JST connector on the board, I purchased a bulk of 2/3/4 female jack cables from amazon to use in kits such as this. Really makes it easier than trying to hand crimp all of your connections.
For this build, I simply soldered the audio wires directly to the pads on the Playground board. The connectors used are Ground, 3.3v and Audio. For testing a 3 pin female to alligator clips works great before you finalize your connections.
Step 3: Making Things Final
After refining the build and adding small items like a football helmet to cover the speaker hole. I mounted the components with hot glue and affixed the audio amplifier wires to the Playground board.
Step 4: Final Demo
- Left: Slow team color strobe
- Right: Fast team color strobe
- Down: John Madden "Boom" for a tackle
- Up: Field Goal "It's Good"
- 3: Fumble / It's loose
- 4: Tecmo Bowl 1st Down
- 2: Touchdown
- 1: Bills "Shout Song"
Step 5: Programming in Circuit Python
Installed CircuitPython and set it up to interact with the Bulefruit Playground board. Loaded the appropriate modules to the board as well as the required sound files. A good walkthrough of the setting up the board to play audio and strobe the Neo Pixels can be found here:
I modified the python code to play my wave files and changed up the color strobes as needed. Of note, the wave files need to be really small if you are going to use the onboard storage. The Hackerbox kit does include an SD card slot to add to the board but I didn't need to add it to mine. Might be a future addition to add longer sound files. You will need to convert audio files to PCM 16-bit Mono WAV files with a 22Khz sample rate. A tutorial for that conversion can be found here: