Electronics

NeoGeo Watch Build

Middle Earth Meets The Matrix

or Lord of the NeoPixel Rings

 

Finished Piece

Finished Piece

I made the watch over several days because I was busy... and I like to savor my builds! But if you have good experience with soldering, I think you can complete it in 4 hours and a day because when you add the fabric strips (you need those to attach the watch to the band) you have to glue it, preferably with EC600, and that takes a whole 24 hours to dry. 

So here are my tips...

Read through Adafruit tutorial all the way through before you begin. I would make sure you have every single one of the tools and materials that the guide suggests. You WILL need the helping third hand (the one with the alligator clips) and I was really glad that I also had my Panavise Jr. which isn't listed in the materials list.

I would especially pay attention to which side you are soldering the hookup wire. You want the Flora, GPS, Accelerometer and NeoPixel ring to lay on top of each other as tightly as you can so it can get tricky to cut the right length. I started out with rather long wire on the first solders so that I could carefully decide where I needed to cut the wire and trim the cover off of them. 

The wires don't have to be THAT long but I wanted to be EXTRA careful!

The wires don't have to be THAT long but I wanted to be EXTRA careful!

My next tip is to be extra aware of your connections. The connections for the accelerometer/compass are straight forward (GND>GND, SCL>SCL etc) but the GPS and NeoPixel Ring goes like this:

GPS:

  • 3.3V->3.3V
  • TX-> FLORA RX  (!!! TX to RX !!)
  • RX-> FLORA TX (!!! RX to TX !!)
  • GND-> GND

NeoPixel ring:

  • Vcc (power)-> FLORA VBATT
  • IN (Data Input)-> FLORA D6
  • Gnd (ground)-> GND

I saw on the forums that a few people got tripped up on this. SO take a good look at the NeoGeo Watch's Circuit page before every solder as you connect the components.

Using the Panavise made it easier for me to solder up the ring.

Using the Panavise made it easier for me to solder up the ring.

TEST!!!

It's really important that you test all of the connections as you connect one component to another. Because this is such a tight build, you really do not want to have to re-solder something. Now, when all your components are soldered together ....

Upload test sketches and test some more!

Multimeter in background, now testing by uploading sketches.

Multimeter in background, now testing by uploading sketches.

Testing the NeoPixel Ring.

Testing the NeoPixel Ring.

If you have uploaded some of the testing sketches and all is good, then you are ready to attach the watch to the band. For the fabric I used an old shirt and chose the area of the cuff that has double stitching and cut strips from there. Then I followed the directions and glued it with the EC600 and clamped it down like so:

Don't be afraid to put the clamps on...and make sure you leave it be for a full 24 hours!

Don't be afraid to put the clamps on...and make sure you leave it be for a full 24 hours!

Now you are ready to upload all the sketches to program the watch.

Tips for uploading sketches: 

Before anything, go into System Preferences > the Security and Privacy panel. Under 'General', change the selection to allow "downloads from anywhere". Then you'll be able to run the IDE. Otherwise you will get weird error messages like "its damaged and can't be opened" or that something is "corrupted", stuff like that. (Oh don't forget to change your security ba

  1. FLORIFY YOUR IDE 

If you already have the Arduino IDE, I found everything worked easier when I uninstalled it and installed Adafruit's Arduino IDE and used that instead. 

      2. DOWNLOAD all the libraries from the interwebs and upload them to your watch.

This was the order I used, and it was pretty smooth sailing...

  • Adafruit GPS library 
  • Time library 
  • Pololu LSM303 Compass Module library
  • Adafruit NeoPixel library 

        3. UPLOAD the NeoGeo watch code 

  • Go through FLORA Pixel tutorial and do the strand test before anything else.
  • Follow the FLORA GPS tutorial
  • Then calibrate the compass module.

REJOICE YOU ARE NOW LORD OF THE NEOPIXELRINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2014-01-26 08.07.47 1.jpg

Adafruit's forums are fantastic, if you have any issues, go there immediately! Thanks for reading!