Meet the components

In this chapter, you'll learn more about each component you have in your box. 

Front display circuit board

This component is Spencer's main visual output device. The circuit board has 144 individually controllable white LEDs.

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs are the most common light-emitting component used on most modern electronics as various status indicators.

"Individually controllable LEDs" means that you can set each and every LED to a different value (on, off).

The LEDs can also be dimmed to 255 different values meaning that you can adjust their brightness.

The black square on the top of the circuit board is an LED driver chip. This chip receives commands from the main processor and takes care of the LEDs by turning them on or off, or dimming their brightness. 

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Main circuit board

This PCB has various different components on it that are all needed for Spencer to be smart:

- ESP32 dual-core processor with built-in WiFi chipset; this component handles all the processing and network communication

- TFA9882 DAC (digital to analog converter) with built-in amplifier; this chip helps your Spencer "talk" by listening to signals from the ESP32 processor and converting it to an analog signal that is sent to the speaker

- Micro USB port - your Spencer gets electrical power through this connector

- 16MB flash memory chip - this chip stores animations and sound files

- Microphone - Spencer hears you using this component

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Acrylic casings

These acrylic casings are not only used to keep everything in place, but they also protect all the components inside. 

There is a protective layer on each of the casings that need to be peeled off before assembling all of them. Feel free to do that a bit later since the plastic layer keeps the casings from being scratched or damaged.

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Micro USB cable

You can connect Spencer to your computer with this USB cable.

Since Spencer doesn't have a battery, it needs to be connected to a power source with this cable all the time.

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Big red button

This component will mark the final step of the assembling - the big red button that goes on Spencer's head.

Be prepared to hit that button every time you want to say something to Spencer. 

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A 5-watt speaker that helps your Spencer talk.

Speakers usually have the number of watts written on them. The bigger and louder the speaker is, the more watts it has.

Speakers have an electromagnetic coil in them that makes the speaker's membrane move when an electrical current is applied. 

The membrane is this wobbly black piece of rubber on the top of the speaker.
When the membrane moves, it makes the air particles move (vibrate). We, humans, perceive these air movements and vibrations as sound. 

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Spencer's arms and legs

These are Spencer's elegant arms and legs. He might complain about them not being long enough to play any sports, but they are quite cool. Don't you think?

Keep in mind that you will also have to peel off the protective layer from these acrylic parts in one of the future steps in the build guide.  

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Bag with small electronic components

This bag contains many bolts and spaces that you'll use for assembling and casing up your Spencer.

Each step will define how many bolts or spacers you'll need, so make sure to get the correct size before assembling.