For the PDF version of this article click here

Included Materials: please check that you’ve received all the components needed for the kit in the box.

  1. Item list
    Elf-Kit-Components-with-labels
    • Elf Plush (1)
    • Mini Arduino board by Digispark USB Micro Controller (1)
    • Speaker (1)
    • Coin cell battery holder (1)
    • 3V CR 2032 coin cells (2)
    • LED (3)
    • USB adapter (1)
    • Dupont cables (3)
    • Printed Instruction Sheet
  2. What’s needed from home
    1. Computer: Windows PC or Mac. We prefer you use a laptop instead of a desktop if available

Overview
Jingle bells, Jingle bells! Welcome to world of Internet of Things!Learn to program both software and hardware while making this delightful christmas ornament using the Musical Elf Ornament With LED: Learn 2 Code Kit from KiteCoders™. We will be using open source Arduino hardware and software to build and program this kit.

The Arduino computer program along with the hardware components provided in the kit makes the LED light blink in sync with the music written in the software. As a next you can program your own music or extend the music code to add additional lines of Jingle Bells. All the instructions needed to assemble the kit and program the ornament are included below with the photographs.

Note: this kit is recommended for anyone who is computer savvy and 10 years or older. No prior programming knowledge is required. For younger kids, parent assistance is very helpful. If you run into any trouble visit http://kyte.ws/elfkit-trsht

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  1. Before you begin: we highly recommend that
    1. You view this 5 minute Youtube introduction to Arduino
    2. Download and read this free Arduino Comic, by Jody Culkin. A very simple introduction to Arduino that will help you out during your first days.
  2. Arduino Software Installation: on your computer, visit this webpage: http://store.kitereaders.com/software-installation/
  3. Code For Musical Elf Ornament Kit: visit web page http://kyte.ws/ard-install. Open a new file on Arduino software on your computer, select all the existing on this doc and copy and paste only the code section from the web page
    Note the code is case sensitive and comments on a single line are shown in-line preceded by “//” and block of comments are enclosed within “/*” and “*/”
  4. Upload the code to DigiSpark USB Arduino Micro Controller
    upload-button   1. Click on the upload button on your Arduino software to install your Elf code to the micro controller
    Digispark-plug-device-now 2. When the software says “Plug in device now” connect the micro controller to your computer’s USB port.  If you’re using a Mac computer, please use the included USB adapter to plug the micro controller to your computer
    done-uploading 3. When the computer is done uploading the code, the software should say “Done Uploading” as shown
  5. Assemble the hardware:
    Digispark-USB-Micro-controller Assembled-Elf-Kit-Hardware
    • Take the Digispark USB Arduino micro controller out of the computer
    • Make the all the connections as shown in the photo on the right above and listed below
    • Connect speaker to the micro controller: Connect red wire from the speaker to the Pin 0 and black wire to Pin 1
    • Connect the LED to the micro controller. First, connect wires to the Pin 2 and Pin 3 on the micro controller. Next connect, the long lead from the LED to the wire that is connected to Pin 2. Connect the short lead of the LED to the wire that is connected to the Pin 3.
    • Install batteries in the holder. First take the coin cell batteries out of the packaging. Then open the case of the battery holder and insert the two coin cell batteries with the right polarity as indicated. +ve side of the coin cell goes to the +ve side listed in the battery case and vice versa.
    • Connect the battery holder to the micro controller. The red wire connection on the battery holder goes to the “VIN” pin and the black wire goes to the “GND” pin on the micro controller.
    • Turn on the power by switching the power button on the battery holder. If the code written correctly and connections were made right then you hear “Jingle Bells” music and the LED should blink in sync with the music. If the assembly is not working then you go the trouble shooting page
    Elf-Kit-LED-Insertion Elf-Kit-battery-holder-position
    1. Carefully open up the few stitches on the Elf’s hat – remove some of the felt inside the hat to make space for the assembled hardware
    2. Take out the LED from the assembled hardware and insert it on the top of Elf’s hat as shown on the photo to the left above.
    3. Now take the connect back the LED to the cables as before and insert the rest of the assembled hardware except the battery holder inside the hat as shown in the photo on the right above
    4. Carefully place the assembled hardware in the Elf’s hat
    5. Leave the battery holder outside (hidden behind Elf’s back) so you can turn the ornament on and off
    6. Congratulations!  Now you can hang the ornament on your Christmas tree. Turn on the kit when you want it.
  6. Reference: visit http://kyte.ws/ard-reference for ebooks, video lessons and more.
  7. Troubleshooting: visit our page: http://kyte.ws/elfkit-trsht
  8. Support: If you run into any issue and cannot resolve it after reading our troubleshooting page then you can email us at support at kitereaders.com for further help.
  9. Next Steps: You can add additional lines of Jingle Bells to your code or replace jingle bells with some other music that you like., as long as you have enough memory on the Digispark Arduino. Visit our webpage for more information: http://kyte.ws/extend-elfkit