Peggy 2LE

If you don’t know what Peggy 2LE is, take a minute to visit this site.  After my girlfriend bought an LOLShield, I looked into getting one myself when I heard of Peggy 2.0.  I found that their newer, smaller model, Peggy 2LE is a better fit for me.

 

This kit proved to be a worthy test for my soldering skills – not because the parts were difficult to solder, on the contrary, it was laid out very nicely, but because it called for up to 625 LEDs to be soldered.  The LEDs took several hours, spanning several evenings, and I believe I know have developed callouses for holding down an LED firmly to ensure that the LEDs are level.

Peggy 2LE board
clean board

The board itself is a little bigger than a Kindle, and is of high quality – and a little intimidating(take a look at the LED section!).  The directions are printed and included with the package, something that’s a bit rare in most kits I buy.  The instructions are in easy to read big font, with plenty of color pictures to help show which component goes where.

 

Going through the kit contents, there is a ~25 resistor(I had 26) resistor reel… a bit intimidating at first glance.

~25 resistors to be soldered

Speaking of reels…this kit does not come with LEDs.  However, the good folks at EvilMadScience.com offered a free 1000 red LED reel with every purchase.  Ultimately, this sealed the deal(a $27 deal, according to them) – after this ordeal, I’ll end up with several hundred LEDs to add to my inventory.

 

Unfortunately, the assembly time was a bit stressful, and I have forgotten to take pictures of it… so I have ended up with a mere before and after(sort of).  The display works – I would have preferred blue/green/white LEDs, but the I had 1000 red LEDs(a bargain from EvilMadScience.com!)  And after having soldered, checked, and clipped 625 LEDs, I don’t think I’ll be attempting to swap out the LEDs anytime soon(if at all!)  The only thing I have to show for this is the bottom shot of the completed board:

back of completed board

Soldering of the LEDs was very… time consuming, as I checked each placement for;

  1. correct orientation,
  2. placement(try to mount the LED perfectly level with board),
  3. snip each LED leg just above the solder joint for cleanliness and reduce chances of short circuiting.

 

The result product is excellent; the components are laid out in a way that will not get in the way for mod/enhancements(I replaced the 4 jumpers with female headers so I can switch between stock and serial port mode easily), and the pins to the ATmega 328 are available in case I want to add functionality.

Overall, very cool item, but recommended for DIYers who are very patient and good(can produce consistent output) with soldering.

 

Finally, a picture(of one of many) mounds of snipped LED legs produced during assembly of this item;

LED legs... mostly

 

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