LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus Hookup Guide

Contributors: MikeGrusin, Gella
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The LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus is a sewable electronics prototyping board that you can use to learn circuits and programming, then break apart to make an interactive fabric or wearable project. In this tutorial we'll introduce the components that make up the ProtoSnap board, and set up the free Arduino software you'll need to reprogram the LilyPad USB Plus at its center. Once you've done this, you'll be able to write and upload your own programs to the board, making it do almost anything you want.

LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus

LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus


At the center of the ProtoSnap Plus is a LilyPad USB Plus microcontroller, pre-wired to LilyPad pieces including a LilyPad Light Sensor, LilyPad Buzzer, LilyPad Button Board, four pairs of colored LilyPad LEDs, and a LilyPad Slide Switch. Because these components are connected together on the ProtoSnap board, you can test out your project ideas before you sew. The ProtoSnap Plus also includes Expansion Ports; these let you use alligator cables to easily connect external sensors and components to the board. After testing out your coding ideas using the attached LilyPad pieces, you can break apart the board and sew them into your project.

Warning: There are known driver issues on older versions of Windows (7 and 8 specifically). We are actively working on the issue and expect to have a resolution soon.

Required Materials

To reprogram and recharge the board, you'll need a micro-B USB cable. This is a common cable used by many devices, so you may already have one. Double check that it is not labeled ‘Power Only’ as these type of cables will not transmit the programming data needed by the LilyPad USB Plus board. If you don't have one you can get one from SparkFun:

USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB Micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB Micro-B Cable - 6"

USB Micro-B Cable - 6"


Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Planning a Wearable Electronics Project

Tips and tricks for brainstorming and creating a wearables project.