BadgerHack

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Contributors: ShawnHymel
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Make Your Badge

Now that you have the Badger kit, let’s make a badge! When we ask you to solder a pin, you will want to keep a few tips in mind (click for larger image):

SparkFun Soldering Tips

If you need a refresher on how to solder, we recommend the How to Solder guide.

1. Solder the 8-pin male header to the LED board

Insert the 8-pin male header into the LED board with the pin ends facing out. Note that the pins are coming out of the top of the board (the side with the LEDs).

Put the male header into the LED board

Flip the board over and solder all the pins.

Solder the male header to the LED board

2. Solder the 8-pin female header to pins 2-9 on the BadgerStick

Insert the 8-pin female header into the holes labeled 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 on the BadgerStick. Make sure that the pins are coming out of the top of the board (the side with all the electronics).

Put the female header into the BadgerStick

Flip the board over, and ensure that only the holes in the white box labeled “LED Array” are used. Solder all 8 pins.

Solder the female header to the BadgerStick

3. Solder the 3-pin female header to the game port on the BadgerStick

Insert the 3-pin female header into the holes labeled TX, GND, RX on the bottom of the board. The header should be coming out of the top of the board.

Put the 3-pin female header into the game port

Flip the board over, and solder all 3 pins.

Solder the 3-pin header to the BadgerStick

4. Solder the the red battery wire to the + battery pin (VBAT)

Poke the red battery wire through the backside of the BadgerStick on the pin labeled VBAT (“+” on the backside).

Red wire through the BadgerStick

Solder the red wire to the hole.

Solder the red wire

5. Solder the black battery wire to the - battery pin (GND)

Poke the black battery wire through the backside of the BadgerStick on the pin labeled GND (“-” on the backside).

Black wire through the BadgerStick

Solder the black wire to the hole.

Solder the black wire

Flip the BadgerStick over, and verify that the red wire is going to the hole labeled ‘+’ on the underside and that the black wire is going to the hole labeled ‘-’.

Battery wires going into the BadgerStick

6. Add batteries

Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screw from the battery pack.

Use a screwdriver to open the battery pack

Open the battery pack cover, and take note of the battery markings in the pack.

Markings in battery pack

Put the batteries in the pack as noted by the markings. The bumped end of the battery is + and the flat end is -.

Batteries in battery pack

Put the battery pack cover back on, and secure it with the screw.

Closed battery pack

7. Connect the LED board to the BadgerStick

Connect the LED board and BadgerStick, by sliding the headers together. Ensure the LEDs and electronics on the BadgerStick are facing the same direction.

Connected LED board to BadgerStick

Flip the boards over, and double-check your solder connections:

  • 8-pin male header soldered to the pins in the white box on the LED board
  • 8-pin female header soldered to the pins in the white box on the BadgerStick labeled “LED Array”
  • 3-pin female header soldered to the pins in the white box on the BadgerStick labeled “Game Port”
  • Red battery wire soldered to + Battery pin
  • Black battery wire soldered to the - Battery pin

Back of completed badge electronics

Before you stick your electronics to the badge, turn on the battery pack to make sure everything is working. Troubleshooting your board will be a lot easier if it’s not adhered to the badge.

8. Affix the components to the badge

Add one piece of double-sided foam tape to the LED board and another piece to the BadgerStick.

Add tape to LED board and BadgerStick

Add another two pieces of foam tape on top of the existing foam tape.

Add another layer of tape

Stick the LED board and BadgerStick to the front of the plastic badge.

Put electronics on badge

Put one more piece of foam tape on the battery pack on the side with the screw.

Tape on the battery pack

Stick the battery pack to the back of the plastic badge. To prevent the wires from hanging out, wrap them around the side of the badge as in the picture.

Battery pack on badge

9. Turn it on

Turn your badge over, and find the little switch on the battery pack. Flip it to “ON.”

Fire it up!

Flip your badge back over. Wait about 3 seconds, and you should see the LED matrix activate!

Light it up!

10. Badger it up!

You are now the proud owner of a SparkFun Badger badge! Attach a lanyard…

Attach a lanyard

…and wear it with pride.

Wearing the Badger