This guide is intended to show you how to build the Pendulum Challenge Kit from the Maker Shed. The build involves soldering and should take less than half an hour. This is a good, fun project for beginners that is as fun to build as it is to play.
Before I build something I typically dump out the contents and lay everything out. This makes it easier to find what you're looking for and lets you know if you're missing anything. The pendulum challenge kit has 26 parts including the screw for the battery cover.
Find the IC holder from your parts collection. It's the thing that kind of looks like a microchip but isn't. This is where the microcontroller plugs in. Notice how one end has a little notch in it? This is a directional part and must be inserted notch side up, just like the outline on the PCB.
Next, insert the IC holder notch side up just like the outline. Be sure that all the little legs go into the corresponding little holes!
Now in order to solder the IC holder, you are going to have to turn the PCB over to the back side with the IC holder still in place. If you bend a couple of the legs outward the IC holder won't fall out when you flip the board over. Once you bend the legs out, go ahead and flip over the board and solder the legs to the PCB.
Once all the legs are soldered in place you can clip off the excess with some side snips. You don't have to do this (there isn't much extra there to snip).
Now, obtain the green LED. Not a red LED, the GREEN one. You'll notice that one leg is longer than the other. The long leg is positive. (I remember it as long = more = plus. :) Place this LED into the hole for it in the center of the layout, long leg in the + hole.
Just as with the IC holder, spread the legs of the LED out on the back of the board so you can solder them into place.
Finally, snip off the excess with your handy side snippers. Watch your eyes!
Now, on to buttons! There is a yellow-ish button and a red-ish button. Both are functionally the same so you can use either one you want for start and mode. I used the red-ish button for mode and the yellow-ish one for start. The legs are shaped so they happily snap into place.
Snap in the buttons, turn the board over, and solder away! Again the buttons have short legs so clipping is optional. I clipped mine just for fun. Remember the eye thing?
Since we're making a game, we are going to want it to make some noise. The speaker is round, has two legs, and has a sticker on the top saying something like "remove after washing."
You'll notice the legs are uneven, like the LEDs. Remember what this means? Yep, the longer leg is positive so be sure to put it in the "+" hole, bend the legs a little, solder, and clip. (I'm not going to remind you about the eye thing.)
What good is a game without batteries? Find the battery pack (it's the big black thing with two wires that looks like a battery pack.) Feed the wires up through the bottom of the board through the appropriate hole (red to "Red," black to... you get the idea.)
Loop the wires over and put the shiny, stripped end into the appropriate hole. Gently pull the slack out of the wires until the loop pretty much disappears.
Now turn the board over and solder the wires. Clip off any excess. (I'm done reminding you about your eyes.)
It's time to put in the microcontroller. It looks like a black rectangle with lots of shiny legs. It's probably stuck into a bit of foam so go ahead and pull it out.
Like the IC holder, the microcontroller has a notch at one end. This notch needs to be oriented the same as the notch on the IC holder and the outline on the board.
Unfortunately, the microcontroller isn't going to fit right into the IC holder without bending the legs in a little. This is easiest to do by holding the microcontroller by each end and gently "rocking" the legs against a flat surface like a table. Do this on each side gradually until the legs fit into the IC holder.
Finally, place the microcontroller on top of the IC holder paying UTMOST ATTENTION TO THE DIRECTION OF THE NOTCH! BE SURE IT MATCHES THE DIRECTION OF THE OTHER NOTCHES. I'M SUPER SERIOUS!
Gently press down on the microcontroller (rocking may be necessary) until it is seated into the IC holder.
I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.