Color Sensor How To Guide

Dear Ivana,

Here’s some information you will find useful in building the Basic Color Instrument. While littleBits are easy to use, making your own at home is an advanced topic! At the forums there are other like minded people who like to make their own bits and try new things, so you will find yourself at home. :slight_smile:

1) Wiring and assembly guide from Adafruit. :link: Replace the blue Arduino with the littleBits Arduino. They even show you how to solder male header pins to the Adafruit color sensor.

2) You can see in the video of this project how I soldered the male header pins to the extra pinholes on the littleBits Arduino. Just like with the color sensor, I used a breadboard to keep the header pins stationary.

3) A discussion on the forums about how to find and solder wires to the SDA and SCL. You can see there are options, depending on people’s supplies and preferences. I chose to cut and strip one end of a female to female jumper wire and solder to these points with no resistors. I recommend these wires be at least 6 inches long. All the wires I used for the color sensor have female ends.

4) A diagram of the littleBits Arduino module with all the pinholes identified. See where there are six pinholes marked “ICSP”?

LittleBits ICSP:

…GND --> O O <-- RESET

Digital Pin 16 / MOSI --> O O <-- Digital Pin 15 / SCK

…VCC --> O O <-- Digital Pin 14 / MISO

Find a discussion on this topic here: Using the Additional I/Os on the Arduino Bit

5) Another project that uses the color sensor, the Ocular Keytar:

Thanks for visiting the forums, Ivana! Please post your questions and updates with pictures and videos here. Others will learn from your process of discovery! :smile:


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Hi Jude @JackANDJude,
Look where I stumbled upon on the great internet:
On Neuraldump there is some interesting info about soldering connectors on the
Littlebits Arduino and making a large DIY perf board… :smiley:


I like the simplicity of how the bitsnaps are attached - the holes are (mostly) already there!

Adafruit has a similar proto perf board, it’s exactly the shape and configuration as a half-sized solderless breadboard. Well, I have one, so I think I’ll rebuild one of my completed ‘bits’ on one of these and add the bitsnaps this way (even though I have already made a perf board with 2 inputs and an output.)

It’s a really cool idea - thanks for posting this link Alex!

Thanks Chris @chris101,
Another soldering question:…
I plan to add some connectors to my Littlebits W6 Arduino. I mean the additional digital and analog inputs/outputs, the i2c and icsp connections.
What would be the best solution for practical reasons, male or female print connectors ? ( I want to use the same types as used on the “normal” arduinos… :sweat:
The i2c solder pads could be connected with the angled male version I think.

Hiya Alex! (@alexpikkert)

There’s lots of stuff to solder to on the littleBits arduino module! :smiley:

I soldered female headers into all 12 of the holes in the lower section of the arduino bit. I think in the case of the 6 “regular” pins (A2, A3, A4, d10, d11, & d12) this was the right choice. These are essentially the same pin style of those pins on an arduino board such as the Uno.

In retrospect however, using male pins for the ICSP connector in the middle would have been better. Again, that would have been the same as on a regular arduino, and a standard ICSP connector would fit right on it.

As for the I2C pads in the center of the bit, Todd Kurtz has a well done demo of how to add connectors here. I plan to, but have not yet added them.

One further modification allows the bit to take power from the usb connector. Here’s the link to that.

Thanks a lot Chris @chris101 !
I will heat up my soldering iron and start pestering my Arduino !
Recently I bought a large set of sensors and RFID things and an LCD . I am going to see how they work (many of these parts work with i2c and icsp so I will discover this also) and how they can be used with Littlebits…
Lots of things on my agenda… :sweat_smile:

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Yes, cool. Will your collection have any gas sensors by any chance?

I have several display units on the way, all of which do I2C (or TWI, which is the same thing.) It’s called Two Wire Interface, even though in a practical system, you’ll need 3 or 4 wires: Vcc, GND, SDA and SCL. What’s really nice is that the Arduino based Wire library makes using it a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, there is no standard way of hooking up an I2C device, so the circuit needs to be customized for something as simple as wire order. It is rare when two devices are pin-compatible.

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Hi Chris @chris101,
I will definetly try out this TWI interface…
I’ve seen also a lot of conflicting info about adding so called “pullup-resistors” on these SDA and SCL lines.
This also needs some tinkering and investigation…

I have no gas sensors in my sensor package…
only one humidity sensor.
But I’ve seen there are quite a lot of Arduino compatible sensors for all kinds of gas, alcohol, CO2, etc etc…
See this company Kiwi electronics in the Netherlands, selling worldwide:
(scroll down to see them all) :scream:

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The sda and scl lines need to be ‘pulled up’ in order to run at full speed reliably. If there is too much resistance, the line doesn’t notice that it is being pulled up, and if there is too little resistance, then the lines won’t go low when they are supposed to.

I use 4700 ohm resistors on my ‘chronodot’ in my current ‘time bit’, and it seems to function well that way.

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wow! great job.
I am trying to build this project too. Do you mind sharing your program code for reference please?

Thanks @donaldhls94! The code is in the additional files section of this invention page:

I hope you share what you make! :slight_smile:

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