What's in the box?
What's in the box?
You’ve got your MAKERbuino box, awesome! Thank you for supporting our project!
First of all, follow the list of included components below and make sure that you have all the required parts laid out on your table and ready for soldering.
If something from the list is missing, please tell us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Your MAKERbuino was hand packed with love in Croatia by us (humans), and humans make mistakes, so anything’s possible.
MAKERbuino in a box (closed)
List of components
Here you can find a table of your kit’s content. The content of your kit may vary depending on the type you’ve bought (i.e. the kit with tools comes with the required tools and the inventor’s pack has some extra inventor’s components included).
If you cannot name or find every single component, don't worry. We'll cover every component, and its purpose, in the following section after the table of content.
Components table - Part 1
Components table - Part 2
Detailed description of the components
PCB stands for printed circuit board.
Basically, this is a board with some copper traces and some other components like protective paint and insulating material.
Copper layers on the board form traces that connect various MAKERbuino’s electronic components (e.g. they connect the microcontroller to the screen) so that they can work together as an electronic device.
This is equivalent to your PC’s motherboard.
Laser Cut Acrylic Casing
MAKERbuino’s circuitry is protected by a casing made out of laser-cut plastic (they’re made on our CNC laser cutting machine).
The casing consists of 3 pieces (see the picture). Your MAKERbuino’s casing is blue-ish because of the protective peeling, which you’re going to take off later. It’s actually crystal clear beneath. We’ve painted the board red in the picture for better visibility.
One piece is used to protect the front (top) side of your MAKERbuino device and the other two pieces protect MAKERbuino’s back.
Everything is stacked one on another using nuts, bolts and plastic spacers to secure them in place. This style of casing is called “the sandwich design”.
Nuts, bolts, spacers
These basic mechanical components are needed for fixing the screen and the casing to the circuit board.
In the name of the screws, the M3 (or M2), indicates that their shaft’s diameter is 3 mm or 2 mm accordingly.
The rechargeable battery serves as MAKERbuino’s main power supply.
650mAh is more than enough for several hours of intense gaming and powering all sorts of power-hungry expansion modules (like GPS receivers, motors, wifi modules, etc.).
In case you didn’t know, “Li-Po” in the name of the battery indicates its structure and what materials it uses to store electrical energy (Li-Po stands for Lithium Polymer).
It comes with the male JST power connector (the white connector at the end of the red-black cable) that is then connected to the female JST connector soldered directly to the board.
Electronics 101: the positive pole of any electrical power source (+) is usually marked with a red wire. The negative pole of any electrical power source (-) is usually marked with a black wire (in some cases green and brown color is used too).
Female JST connector
This connector is pre-soldered to MAKERbuino’s PCB and is used for connecting the Li-Po battery to the circuit.
These white JST connectors are different from regular connectors in a way that they are anti-reverse. In other words, you cannot swap polarity while connecting the battery. This is important because reverse polarity can damage MAKERbuino’s charging circuit.
Important: the “sandwich”
Some of the above components (PCB, casing, some nuts and bolts, female battery connector, Li-Po battery) might come packed in this sandwich-like form displayed on the picture.
The reason for sending you those components in that form is due to a regulation that doesn’t allow us to send the Li-Po batteries via airmail if they are not embedded in some kind of a “device”.
Before assembling the MAKERbuino, you will have to unscrew the sandwich and release the PCB so that you can solder the components on it.
Electronics 101: never solder or modify a device that is “alive”. In other words, always unplug the battery or some other power supply from the device’s PCB, otherwise, you might make a short circuit with your soldering iron or screwdriver and damage the electronic components.
RS232 Serial UART adapter & the corresponding 6 pin cable
This red Serial adapter board is connected to MAKERbuino’s serial port (top left black female angle connector).
It allows you to program your MAKERbuino directly from your computer and send all sorts of useful data from the computer to the MAKERbuino and vice versa.
The board is connected to the MAKERbuino with a 6-pin rainbow female to male cable.
You won’t need these components in the basic assembly so you can put them aside for now.
SD card (microSD + SD adapter)
The included SD card is used for storing games, programs and other useful data on it (game graphics, music etc.).Thanks to this card, you can load multiple games on your MAKERbuino.
It comes preloaded with lots of fun games downloaded from the games gallery so that you can try it out right after you assemble it.
You might be wondering why the card’s capacity is only 128 MB! Well, this is an 8-bit Gameboy-like gaming device and the programs & games played on it are approximately 30 kB each! Thus,128 MB of space will be more than sufficient for storing plenty of games, programs and useful info.
This neat little speaker fits on the backside of the device and has a special place in the back of the casing.
It plays a crucial role in producing all the beeps, boops and crazy chiptunes you’ll compose in your very own games.
Power: 0.5W, Impedance: 8Ω, Body dimensions: Ø28 x 4.7mm
Note: speaker’s photos are made by www.tme.eu
ATmega328p-pu microcontroller + 28-pin socket
The ATmega microcomputer (aka. microcontroller) is the brain of the device.
It has CPU, RAM memory, flash memory and almost all the parts needed for executing programs & games and doing all the smart work.
Basically, this is a computer in a chip. The ATmega328’s chip has an astonishing 2kB of RAM and an 8-bit CPU running at 16MHz of frequency - this will bring out the nostalgia and provide you with the authentic old school retro experience.
It comes with a dedicated 28 pin socket for easy microcomputer replacement.
Nokia 5110 LCD screen
The screen module is an LCD screen on a breakout PCB. LCD stands for liquid crystal display. This is a screen that is controlled by the main ATmega microcomputer.
It’s a graphical display so you can manipulate every pixel’s color with a program in the microcomputer.
The complete module is stacked on the main MAKERbuino PCB.
The screen has some magnificent features like high resolution (84×48 pixels monochrome), adjustable LED backlight and great visibility in direct sunlight (the display works in the same way as your calculator’s display – It can also be viewed without the backlight if there is enough light in the room).
TP4056 Li-Po Battery Charger Board
This module is used for charging the rechargeable Li-Po battery.
It’s actually a separate PCB that is stacked and soldered on the main MAKERbuino board.
The most important part of the module is the TP4056 charger integrated circuit (the little black chip on the board).
It’s regulating voltage and current of electricity inputted by the USB port and feeding it to the Li-Po battery.
It has a micro USB port so that you charge your MAKERbuino with the most common mobile phone charging cable.
3.3V Voltage Regulator (MCP1702-3302ET)
This 3-leaded component regulates the voltage from the Li-Po battery to stable 3.3V. We need to do that because the battery’s 3.7V of electricity is just too much for MAKERbuino’s circuitry and would fry the SD card.
Most people say, hey this is a transistor… no, this is not a transistor.
This particular shape of an electronic component is called the TO-92 package and it looks the same as the 2n2222 transistor listed below (the transistor’s creators decided to use the same package).
The only difference between the 2n2222 transistor and this voltage regulator is the text written on the component.
The regulator should have MCP1702-3302ET written on its surface, whilst the transistor will have 2N2222 written on its back. Use a magnifier, if needed, and check carefully if you have the right component.
When soldering the regulator, be extra cautious not to accidentally swap it with the transistor.
2n2222 General Purpose NPN Transistor
The general purpose transistor is used in the part of the MAKERbuino dedicated to producing sound.
The transistor serves as an amplifier that drives the console’s speaker.
As said when describing the regulator above, don’t let the shape of this component trick you, this is not a regulator (mind the tiny “2N2222” or “KSP 2222A – 708” written on it!).
3.5mm headphone connector socket
This is a standard headphone connector socket used on most devices’ audio output channels. You can connect your regular headphones to this connector to hear all the amazing bleeps and bloops your MAKERbuino synthesizes.
Inside this metallic package is a crystal used in MAKERbuino’s microcomputer’s oscillator circuit.
In other words, MAKERbuino’s neat 16MHz of CPU clock is possible thanks to this component.
Standard digital clocks and watches work on the same principle.
IMPORTANT: Text marking on the crystal may vary and sometimes look like this: “16B000”
This is a standard diode.
It’s used in MAKERbuino’s sound circuit.
This is NOT a light emitting diode (LED), it doesn’t light up, it’s used as an essential part of the sound’s circuit amplifier.
3 Pin Toggle Switches (2 pcs)
These 3-leaded standard electromechanical switches are used for turning your MAKERbuino ON and OFF and muting the speaker.
There are three different types of capacitors in your MAKERbuino kit
100uF Electrolytic Capacitors (3 pcs)
These look like small black barrels with two leads but they’re used for filtrating noise and ensuring that MAKERbuino’s circuitry is powered with clean and stable electrical current. These capacitors should have 100uF written on their surface. Unlike other capacitors in the kit, these are polarized - meaning one left is positive and one leg is negative.
Electronics 101: only electrolytic capacitors are polarized and have significantly higher capacity compared to other capacitors.
100nF ceramic capacitors (2 pcs)
The tiny yellowish capacitor with 104 written on it is a 100nF capacitor used for filtration and for digital reset via the serial adapter board.
22pF ceramic capacitors (2 pcs)
These capacitors are used as a part of the 16MHz oscillating circuit along with the previously listed crystal. They look similar to the 100nF capacitors so don’t let that trick you. Recognize them by number 22 (symbolizing that they have the capacity of 22pF) written on their surface.
Pushbuttons & button caps (7 pcs)
Nice and clicky big square push-buttons are pretty self-explanatory. They’re MAKERbuino’sessential input devices used for switching menus, changing programs, playing games… Button caps are just simply attached to the button’s top side and can be changed.