I decided to build a toy for my son. Buttons lights, the works. I’m far from done.

This thread can be found at toot.cafe includes 89 statuses.

Play tests of the prototype are looking good. Might want to add a clear window to the bottom.

I have no idea how to make a nice box to house this in 🤔 📦

Ok so my rough plans are to stack plywood and use a jigsaw to cut out the middle of the middle pieces. Glue the top and the walls together and use screw feet (or maybe a bolt with an embedded nut) to keep the bottom on.

Once together I can sand the edges round and poly the whole thing (is that better even?)

I dropped the joystick as he has no idea what to do with it and got 5 colors of these from @adafruit@twitter.com adafruit.com/product/3490

Got a 2’x4’ sheet of “interior plywood” it’s half an inch thick. Which means I can get 18 7.5” squares

With 6 panels (including top and bottom) I should have a nice sized box with room to spare

(Please don’t look at my math - I also managed to draw with my pen on my white shirt while shopping)

Drew 8inch lines (easier than 7.5 and gives me wiggle room with sanding) and realized I can’t find my eye protection. Guess I’ll *have* to go to the hardware store today.

And now it’s time to pick up my kid... tomorrow jigsaw I’m coming for you

Considering I’ve never used a jigsaw before this went rather well.

The difference between a sharp blade and a dull one 😅

Good thing I’m sanding everything a ton anyway

Went pretty quick 👌

Rough plan for the center prices, well actual plan I suppose.

I guess my 1.5” bit is dull, no idea where it came from 🤷‍♂️ I hate how my other one screwed up the finish. Maybe I could have taped it / put a scrap under it. Won’t land it so close to the edge next time.

After looking at a YouTube video of my saw I can say the little blade setting that’s supposed to keep it strait vs curves doesn’t match my reality. Need to do more research. (Test cut and half the actual cut)

The cleaner half was cut with the “straight” cut setting. The curved setting maybe does an orbital movement and I bet the damage is my shitty plywood.

I suppose this actually is my worst cut being the first 🤞

Ok I still have to cut the other pieces but I had some errands to run and need to figure out how to cut 30mm holes.

So it took me about 20 minutes to figure out which pieces went together but this 29mm “hole dozer” is as close as I think I’m getting

Looks good but I’m gonna try it out in the morning

Alright it wants a 1/4” pilot hole but let’s just see what it does on some scrap

Well that’s pretty rad

And it fits the 30mm adafruit arcade buttons perfectly 👌

But it tore up the underside pretty badly. Let’s try this again.

I wish I had more scrap, guess I will now 😅

That helped a bunch!

I got advice that I could make a jig to help keep my lines straight. I can at least clamp some scrap in place.

Looks like the guard needs 1.5”

All right I marked up another 8” square but this time with guide marks

The bottom was done with a guide and the right was freehand. It’s a lot more work to use it... this is literally the inside of the toy so while it helps I’m not going to use it.

I also made the starting hole (for the “pocket cut”) with a pice of scrap behind it. I absolutely can put that on the line instead of inside with this method.

Two down, one to go!

All 3 done, time for some measuring for switch placement!

I want 5 buttons with one in the middle. I have a 1” border so that leaves the center hole of each side button 2 1/8” from the sides.

It’s a little squished but I think if I’m able to take down more from the sides when sanding I’ll be happy about it.

First button hole cut! I used @rwaldron@twitter.com’s advice to cut it from both sides 👌

Button test with top plate

I think I want the buttons spaced out further 🤔

Let’s take a break from the bugs and power tools to look at this amazing toy.

It’s got a nice wooden box that appears to be made out of heavily sanded very high quality plywood.

The screws appear to be only for the tower and assortment of doors, the walls and sides glued together. This is a nice wooden box 👌

And of course

I’m not getting wood like this at Home Depot 🤔
Or cuts like that with a jigsaw 🤔

Alright, borrowed an orbital sander and did some light research into sanding. The two things people look out for are how fast material gets removed and how good at not repeating the grit over the same stroke the sander is.

Buying pads for this sander was pretty straightforward. It’s 5 inches, a circle, and a 8 hole Velcro (hook and loop) attachment. 👍

But of course I want to glue it first.

I really wish I could find my other c-clamp

Oh I skipped a step! I made a new top with the buttons a little farther apart. I’m happier with it 👌

It was suggested I could use a table saw. I really could use a table saw for projects like this but maybe if I keep doing them 😅

The orbital sander is great but I do need to use a table saw.

The overlaps are too big to sand down. While the interior box and buttons are aligned the outside is a mess because I used a jigsaw freehand 😅

I finally have a few free hours to get back to this.

I had asked my father in law to use his table saw to fix up the sides of the box and make it square. Took him like a minute and a half.

My next step is to sand the edges round and reduce the chance of splintering. This is 10 minutes at 60 grit.

It sucks tbh, the bad edge of the top pice is never not going to splinter. I could fill it with putty and poly over everything but I have a better idea.

At @JSConfUS@twitter.com this year they had NodeArt run by @monteslu@twitter.com @melissanoellea@twitter.com @elginskye@twitter.com and @Rumyra@twitter.com and they had this awesome midi controller box you’d build to control some awesome midi controlled web visualizations.

And I scored a 📦

Unsure if I’m gonna geek out and do this
RT @Rhockelle@twitter.com
Done for now! It’s late but you know..dry-time and distractions. Also got some sweeet new button light combos twitter.com/Rhockelle/status/1

But it’s 1/8th inch birch compared to my 1/2 ply. It’s light, strong and “laser cuts like butter”

RT @monteslu@twitter.com
@reconbot I used 1/8 inch Baltic Birch plywood. Stuff cuts like butter on the laser and is strong.
Large sheets get a little warped in humidity, but works great for nodebots and midi controllers :)

It’s design was from an awesome website makercase.com/ I seriously wish I knew this existed.

So I’ve taped 5 of the sides together

Applied glue to the insides

It’s top has 8 buttons and two dials! I like this. And it’s electronics are designed to be crimped onto the buttons. I need a crumpet.

I also love this glue nozzle, it was much better at applying the glue than my scrap wood.

RT @monteslu@twitter.com
@reconbot I've been lasering stuff for a few years, but only recently found out about Makercase and Baltic Birch.
So many project ideas now.

I need a crimper not a crumpet and I have one 🙌

Work got busy and it got cold out. So yesterday I took the day off and moved my project inside.

I glued some blocks to the sides so I could screw the top on and leave it removable. If (when?) I do this again, this will be the bottom.

Notice one of them looks messed up, I glued it too high and had to learn how to chisel wood to get it down to size. I did not do a good job!

Lets screw these buttons on

And boom! Aint that nice?

I've been fretting how to make all this work and actually be a toy. The Midi controller I'm hacking from @monteslu@twitter.com's workshop at @JSConfUS@twitter.com is USB powered and rad af. Mine needs to be battery powered. So the Leonardo it came with wont cut it.

The board's GPIO is plenty capable, perfect in fact. But the sleep mode isn't. According to the Arduino website sleep mode only affects the ATmega32u4 chip and not other power hungry chips. I don't know if this one has the same issues or not but 🤷‍♂️

I also want to use a battery and I'll need circuits to manage that. There's a better way. Enter the Adafruit Feathers

Each one can manage a lipo battery and can go into a pretty deep sleep. ALL the chips can sleep really deep but not a single board has it's power usage by component so I'll have to do some tests.

A long time ago I hurt my knee and got a cane (I shouldn't have) later I attempted to neopixel up the cane and got this sweet high power battery to fit inside (it didn't).

At 5mA it should last a week, I want sleep mode to last a lot longer, but we'll have to test.

The Toy Box has 8 switches and 8 LEDs, so that's 16 GPIO. It would be rad if I could have 8 pwm out and 8 digital io in. Neither chip has that.

👍 The Feather 32u4 Basic Proto does have 7 PWM pins and 20 total GPIO
👎 The ESP32 Feather has an awesome array of IO but only 14 of them not 16 (Despite Bluetooth and wifi!) 15 if you clip some onboard stuff.

They're also both 3.3 volts and have a 500ma max output from it's onboard regulators. Which means I need to run the LEDs off the battery and control the lights via some other circuitry.

This is where I realize I know oms law and understand a lot about digital communications but I'm a real novice at electronics. What on earth lets me drive these LEDs that I can turn off when the toy isn't in use?

This looks promising adafruit.com/product/1455

Might require a 5v regulator.

8 NPN transistors is what I’m doing. Here’s the test of number one!

I got 3 soldered up with a 470Ω resistor which is bright enough and is better than a 0Ω connection to the battery. I wish I had the spec sheet on these buttons.

I should be able to fit all 8 on this board but I’m unsure how I’ll get the buttons connected. 🤔

14 gpio - 8 output = 6 input when I want 8

Charlie plexing the input with 6 pins should give me at least 9 inputs but I don’t know how that works. Row/Column scanning will do the trick. But I also might look into a i2c IO expander if anyone is shipping those things right now.