BacKey for MaKey MaKey

Posted on November 22, 2013 in Hardware, Portfolio

As part of my submission for the MaKey MaKey “how-to” contest, I proposed the creation of a simple “backpack” circuit board for the MaKey MaKey that breaks out each of the female header pins to alligator clip holes so that users don’t need to worry about wires falling out or breaking off during use. My ultimate goal is to show that the MaKey MaKey can be used as a great assistive technology tool, which means that it would really benefit from a robust and durable way to connect to all the functions the user could want.

Luckily, this is really easy to do! Since the MaKey MaKey is open-source, I was able to download the schematic and board file and use it as a template for my board. I added pairs of holes that can be clipped onto with alligator clip wires, then routed them to each of the pins of the left and right female headers. Users can now access the following MaKey MaKey functions with alligator clip wires:

  1. Keyboard: W, A, S, D, F, G
  2. Mouse: Move up, down, left, right. Left and right click.

I recommend using four 6-pin (0.1″ pitch) extra long (“stackable”) female headers to allow this board to be stacked onto the back of the MaKey MaKey and still allow for wires to be connected as well. Plain male headers can be used instead, if you don’t want to spring for the female ones.

Source files

Check out renders of the schematic and board design here:

Download the Eagle files and ready-to-fab Gerbers at the following Github repo:

Github repository