Wiring the Circuit Playground

Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is an awesome prototyping board that can be connected to a range of sensors and can be coded to take input and provide feedback in fun ways.

The pins provide some pretty large holes that are designed to be easy to use with alligator clips and the circular nature makes it hard for the clips to cross over unlike regular pinholes. Soldering is another option for creating a more compact form-factor. However with holes this large, we can do some interesting things.

You might want to be conservative with your projects and reuse the board a bunch of different ways. Soldering, unsoldering and re-soldering a board is no fun especially for a novice. We discovered this cool technique to wrap the wire around the holes:

  1. To start with, solder solid wires to the sensor itself.
  2. Cut the wires about twice the length necessary to get to the opposing hole.
  3. Pass the full length of the wire unstripped through the hole.
  4. Using a wire stripper, strip all possible wire that protrudes from the other side.
    Doing it in segments will make it easy.
  5. Then simply twirl the wire around and back through the hole as many times as possible to create a tight grip.  I used needle-nosed pliers and made sure it was snug all the way through.

Voila, you have a very solid connection to your sensor without the permanency of soldering the actual board and leaving it open to experiment with an endless number of ways.  This solution would be great in a classroom environment where you may want to reuse the actual boards but don’t necessarily want the thing tethered to a clunky breadboard.