The CopyMe84A1 kit allows you to build a clone of the classic “Simon Says” electronic game. I’ve tried to keep the build as simple as possible in order to make this kit suitable for beginners.
This kit is fully open source, both software and hardware. Please visit its github page for access to the source code and Kicad files for the HW.
You can buy a complete kit of parts from our store.
The kit contains the following items:
- 1 * CopyMe84A PCB
- 1 * Atmel ATtiny84A Microcontroller (Pre-programmed)
- 1 * 14 pin DIP socket
- 1 * CR2477 Batter holder
- 1 * PCB mounted speaker
- 4 * 10mm LEDs. 1 each of red, blue, yellow & green
- 4 * Push button switches
- 4 * Switch caps. 1 each of red, blue, yellow & green
- 5 * 220 ohm resistors
What you will need
The following is a list of tools that will be required to complete the build:
- A soldering Iron
- Some solder
- A pair of thin nosed pliers
- A pair of side cutters
Optionally, these might make things a bit easier for you:
- Some sort of desk top clamp
- Magnifying glass if you struggle with fine detail
In addition you will need to source a CR2477 or equivalent battery.
How long will it take?
If you’ve got some previous soldering experience this project should take you about 20 minutes. Otherwise, allow a bit more time, and maybe read one of the many excellent online guides available. I recommend this one.
The order of the following steps is the recommended way to build this kit.
Using the thin noise pliers, form each resistor in to a U shape. Try and make the legs about 1cm apart, as shown below.
The placement of the 5 resistors are marked R1, R2, R3, R4 & R5 on the top side of the PCB.
Insert each resistor through the PCB and splay the legs on the underside of the board. This will help keep the resistors in place during soldering. The underside of the board should look like this:
Now solder each end of the 5 resistors. Next use the side cutters to remove the excess lead of each resistor. Be careful to ensure that the leads don’t fly in to your eyes…
Place the 14 pin DIP Socket on the board as shown below. (Note, the “notched end points to the left”)
Now turn the board over and solder all 14 pins of the DIP socket. I find a good technique is to keep one finger on the socket as you rotate the board, and initially solder two pins at opposite ends of the socket. This will keep the socket in place whilst you solder the remaining 12. Then go back and re-flow the original two to ensure a good joint. Also take care not to form a bridge between two adjacent pins.
The battery holder is the only component to go on the underside of the board. You will see an outline of it on the underside of the PCB, insert it as shown below:
Now turn the board over keeping one finger on the holder. Initially solder one pin just to hold it in place. At this point try and ensure that the holder is as parallel to the board as possible, as shown below:
If you’re happy with its placement, solder the remaining pin.
The placement of the 4 LEDs are identified by D1 (Red), D2 (Blue), D3 (Yellow) & D4 (Green).
It’s important to ensure that each LED is inserted the correct way round. If you look at the component outline on the PCB you can see that one pad is square and the other is round, as shown here:
The correct alignment is to ensure that the longer of the two legs goes through the round hole and the shorter leg through the square one. Insert each of the LEDs in to the correct position for its colour. I find a similar technique as we used with the resistors works here. I.e. push the LED through and splay the legs to keep it in position during soldering. Once soldered, use the side cutters to remove the excess leads.
As a sanity check, turn your board over and it should look very similar to this:
Next we will add the switches. To make them easier to fit, I suggest using the thin nose pliers to straighten the 4 legs of each switch prior to fitting them on the board. The diagram below shows a before and after image of the switch legs. With the one of the left showing what you want the legs to look like.
You should find that the switches stay in place when you turn the board over to solder the legs.
Once you’ve completed all 4 switches, turn the board back over. It should look very similar to this:
The final component that needs soldering is the speaker. Its position on the board is identified by the circle outline in the top right corner, with an identifier of “SP1”. As shown here:
If you look at the underside of the speaker, you’ll notice that one of the pins has a “+” symbol next to it, this pin needs to go through the hole at the top, i.e. the one nearest the identifier “SP1”.
Again, when it comes to soldering this component, keep one finger on it as you turn the board over, and initially solder one of the pins, this will keep it in place. Solder the 2nd pin, and if required, re-flow the 1st one.
You can now turn off the soldering iron, as you’ve completed all the tricky steps.
Fit the coloured caps to the switches, being careful to match the colour to the LEDs. Finally, carefully insert the 14 pin Microcontroller in to the socket. You will notice that there’s a notch at the top of the chip, this needs to match the notch in the socket, i.e. face towards the left of the board.
Before inserting the battery it’s always worth having a final check over the board for stray blobs of solder etc. Hopefully your board should look very similar to this:
All that remains is to insert the battery. If all goes well you should be greeted with a small tune. Just press any button to start playing…
- Name comes from using an ATTINY84A mcu at its core, plus not being sure if “Simon Says” is a registered TM… [return]