Create Your Own Electronic Game Kit




Originally designed for the Maker Faire by Grand Idea Studio, the "Build Your Own Electronic Game Kit" is a custom-created kit intended to introduce you to the world of electronics and soldering. When successfully assembled, the kit becomes a version of the popular memory game, Simon, with a few optional twists. It's available on the MAKE store.

This kit is extremely simple to construct even for beginners! If you need something to practice your soldering on (and get a cool result), get this. To learn the basics of soldering check out this great guide by noahw. Also, here's a good video tutorial from the MAKE blog.

Instructions are conveniently printed on the back of the unit, and most components don't need to go in in specific orientation. (Only the LEDs and IC -- so watch out for those steps). Also there are a couple of modes you can select depending on how you turn the game on.

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Step 1: What You Get and What You Need.

The kit's instructions are printed on the underside, including what you're supposed to get with it. That boils down to:

What you get:
4 LEDs
2 1k ohm Resistors R1, R3 - brown, black, red
2 3.3k ohm Resistors R2, R5 - orange, orange, red
2 330 ohm Resistors R4, R6 - orange, orange, brown
1 0.1 uF Capacitor C1
4 Buttons
1 Switch
1 Battery + Holder
1 IC PIC16LF648A
1 Speaker LS1

You'll need the typical soldering tools
What you need:
Soldering iron

Step 2: IC + C1

The instructions on the kit suggest putting the IC in first, but if you've never soldered anything before, maybe you should do this last. Heat can damage the circuit. The kit's simplicity will probably prevent damage, but if you're not sure just put it on last.

Put the IC in into board with the little U on the IC matching the U on the board. (See photo)

You can bend the prongs back a little back when you put it in so it doesn't fall out, but you'd be better off just holding in place as you solder.

Now do the C1:
Put the C1 into it's spot on the board, and bend the wire's legs back so it doesn't fall out when you turn the board over to solder.

Cut off the excess wire when you're done.

Step 3: Resistors

There are 3 types of resistors, and they're described on the back of the unit.

R1, R3 - brown, black, red
R2, R5 - orange, orange, red
R4, R6 - orange, orange, brown

Put them in and solder them like you did with the C1.

Step 4: LEDs

Now put in the LEDs. Be sure to match up the LEDS with their proper spots.

D1 Red
D2 Blue
D3 Green
D4 Yellow

NOTE: LEDs are polarized so be careful when inserting them. The longer leg of the LED is positive and the shorter is negative. Notice on the PCB that each circle has this straight edge part -- that's the negative direction. So insert the LED with the negative wire closest to the straight edge. (See photo)

Your LEDs might also have a similar straight edge on their bodies (or just a little gap). A couple of mine had either. Line up the straight edge on the LED to the one on the PCB. (See photo)

Step 5: Switch and Buttons

Stick the switch in in any direction you want, and solder it in. You may need to hold it up while you solder one terminal on.

The buttons are easier because they snap on. Give them a push until you hear a click. Solder them in as well.

Step 6: Speaker + Battery

Almost finished.

Put the speaker in. Line up the writing on the speaker so you can read it. After you insert and solder, snip off the excess wire pretty close to the board so the battery can fit. Put the switch in the OFF position.

The battery holder can only go in one way, since it has this little peg that you need to line up with the PCB (check the photo). Take out the battery while soldering.

Step 7: Play!

Excellent! You're done! Insert the battery.

Move the switch to ON, and then press a button to start the game! Notice there are a few different game modes described on the back.

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    18 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    how I can obtain the software of this game.
    this kit isn't available anymore in your store.
    I would be very grateful that you give me the software to build one.
    thank you in advance and waiting for your news, I remain.
    sincerely yours


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Here is a link to making your own SIMON project, with circuit diagram and file for burning your own PIC16F84A microcontroller:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a> and click on the Simon link. <br/><br/>

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    im making an electric game board for my science fair proj and my teacher gave me the materials i need:  small sheet of pegboard, large quantity of paper brads, bell or electrical wire, battery, small socket, bulb, and small pix and cards. first, wats a paper brad??????? second, where do i get all of this?? some1 plzzzzz answer me asap!!!! thanks so much


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hello , I'm trying to make this circuit for my electronics work. I am using a program called Crocodila technology, in the parts libiray I can't find the IC PIC16LF648A is there like any other components that does extacly the same thing? or does any have the program and know where they are? thanks.


    Just a question: I've always had the thought that you should install the IC last, so that there is less of a chance of destroying the thing. Is this true?

    4 replies

    Correct. It is common practice with these projects to fit the IC Sockets first, fit the rest of the components and before you insert the IC, test the voltages going to the IC Socket. Then insert the IC. In this case however there isn't a socket, which obviously increases the chance of a novice solderer damaging the IC.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    The instructions that come with the kit suggest to install it first. This isn't overly complicated so heat shouldn't destroy the IC. But it's a very good point, and I'll make a note about it.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice as it is to be able to make your own game of Simon, should this really be on Instructables? Isn't this just an advert to get us to pay $40+postage for a handfull of components that cost far less purchased separately?

    In fact, I've got everything required for this "Make" in my parts box, except for the chip.

    Come on, "Make", stick with the spirit of the thing - post the circuit diagram, post the programme for the chip, but leave the adverts for your own website.

    7 replies

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    @kiteman, the schematic is herePDF

    having instructions on instructables is ok, why wouldn't it be? don't you think that instructables wants more people to post their instructions on building things, specifically kits here? one of the most popular instructables is the mintyboost.

    i'd love to see your version of the kit, make one and post it up!


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    "don't you think that instructables wants more people to post their instructions on building things, specifically kits here?"

    I'm afraid I don't. Maybe I've got it wrong, and I assume Eric or Christy will correct me if I am wrong, but IMO the main purpose of this site is for people to share thangs that can be made with little financial outlay, from things lying around the home or shed.

    As for Minty Boost, that was originally posted as an instructable - ladyada gave the circuit, and in the introduction suggested etching your own circuitboard or breadboarding the circuit, no "the instructions are on the back of the unit".

    "one of the most popular instructables is the mintyboost."

    One of them. There are over 3700 Instructables on this site, and by far the vast majority, including those equal or greater in popularity, are non-commercial and not showing how somebody made a kit by doing what it says on the back of the box.

    I assume, pt, that you've done some research, browsed the site, read what others have posted.

    Who else is posting Instructables specifically to boost their own finances?

    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with your magazine producing kits to sell. Feel free. But you have your own website and magazine (which seems good, but I can't afford it) to promote them through.

    I'm sorry if you're offended by my comments, really, I am, but most people don't have their own newstand magazines and commercial websites, so I feel that you are exploiting what for a lot of people is their only route to showing their skills to the world.

    (And since I'm ranting, what exactly would we be paying $40 for? As near as I can work out, the components, chip included, cost around $4.00 - how much does a PCB cost?)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    i'm not offended at all - kiteman, i'm sure eric and anyone else from instructables will say the site is for everyone to document everything, a DIY magazine using the site to document the kits they sell, that's *awesome* i'm sure they'd love every magazine to do that (they make money from page views, i'm pretty sure they're happy with how much traffic we send here on a daily basis).

    we're using instructables to better document our kits, supporting them better, etc. it's in the ***MAKE*** group for our ***MAKE projects*** you can skip ours if you want, but i think we have some fun projects. these are our kits we've had for awhile that i wanted to get documented here.

    i don't think instructables should be limited to projects that are free, they should be whatever documentation that's good. i'd love to see more folks with kits put their documentation here, it's the best web site for that in the world.

    you seem to have a problem with the price of our magazine (usa $29 for the year with our code CMAKE) - it's almost 200 pages per issue, it's a "mook" it's more book-like, it's like getting 4 books a year. but if that's too much, that's ok - we give away a lot too.

    and for the kit, yah - it's $40, cheaper at events - if you can make your own, go for it - but not everyone can, they want to learn how to solder, don't etch PCBs, etc. i think the prices will come down for us over time, at least that's my goal.

    just because you don't like it doesn't mean others do not - i've been a member here from the start :)


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    (Newbie scuttles from old hand... LOL) $29? 200 pages? Crikey, I misread something, somewhere...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    if you want to check out the latest issue i can share out a digital edition (all subscribers get a free digital version online to read) - just email me.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Got it. Converted. Subscribed. (It's going to be a long 4-6 weeks...)