Building a FreedomWing for Gaming & More

ATMakers is proud to have partnered with The AbleGamers Charity and GRA-V Robotics to develop and deploy the first device to allow powerchair users to use the joystick on their chairs as an XBox controller!

Steve Spohn, COO of AbleGamers, has wanted a device that could allow folks to pull up their power chairs and “just start gaming” since he started working in the gaming field.  When he shared the desire with ATMakers founder, Bill Binko, last September, the FreedomWing was born.

Now, FRC Team 5816, GRA-V Robotics in Orlando Florida is building and shipping FreedomWings ready-to-use to AbleGamers so that they can be distributed via grants to people who need them.

You can learn more about the FreedomWing in our announcement video here.

Building Your Own FreedomWing

The designs behind the FreedomWing are all Open Source – that means that anyone with basic soldering ability and perhaps a 3D printer can make their own FreedomWing, or make one for those who need one in their area.   Source and design files for the boards, software, and 3D printed enclosures can all be found at our GitHub Repository.

To walk you through the process, Bill put together this assembly video: check it out for the details and see the write-up below for a bill-of-materials and everything you’ll need to succeed.

What You’ll Need


The build itself doesn’t require any special tools: just what is required for normal through-hole soldering.

  • A good quality Soldering Iron with a medium-to-fine tip
  • Solder (we use Kester 63/37 .020 in the video, but any similar quality solder will work).
  • Flush-Cut Pliers
  • A vise or other way to secure the board (we use a StickVise)
  • A solderless breadboard to hold the headers in place while you work.

Parts (Bill of Materials)

Part Number Description Qty Unit $ Ext. $ Source Links
ATM-FW1-D FreedomWing PCB Board 1 $0 – $5 $0 -$5 PCBWay OR Contact Us
5747840-4 DSub 9 Male Through Hole Jack 1 $3.10 $3.10 Digikey
CF14JT100K (or equiv) 100 kOhms 1/4W Through Hole Resistor Axial 3 $0.10 $0.30 Digikey
CF14JT47K0 (or equiv) 47 kOhms 1/4W Through Hole Resistor Axial 3 $0.10 $0.30 Digikey
SB140TA (or equiv) Diode Schottky 40V 1A Through Hole DO-41 2 $0.22 $0.44 Digikey
1825966-1 (or equiv) Tactile Switch SPST-NO Top Actuated Through Hole 1 $0.19 $0.19 Digikey
2886 (or equiv) Female Feather Headers (Adafruit) 1 $0.95 $0.95 Adafruit Digikey
U3V12F12 Pololu 12V Step-Up Voltage Regulator #2117 1 $4.00 $4.00 Pololu Digikey
Board Total $9.28
Only One of the following boards is required depending on usage (Bluetooth, USB, etc.)
4062 Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Express (PREFFERED) 1 $24.95 $24.95 Adafruit Digikey
3857 Adafruit Feather M4 Express 1 $22.95 $22.95 Adafruit Digikey
4516 Adafruit Feather nRF52840 “Sense” (COMING SOON) 1 $29.95(?) $29.95(?) Adafruit
4242 Adafruit PyGamer (w/Screen) 1 $39.95 $37.95 Adafruit
4300 Adafruit HalloWing M4 Express (Fun!) 1 $39.95 $37.95 Adafruit
Board Total (with recommended Feather nRF52840 Express) $34.23

Getting a FreedomWing PCB Board

The FreedomWing PCB board is designed by ATMakers and released under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license.  Complete file definitions for creating the board are available here on GitHub.  You are welcome and encouraged to use these board designs and have boards made at OSH-Park, PCBWay or any other PCB manufacturer.

ATMakers will ship individual (blank) PCB boards (without components) to Makers who wish to build them to support AT Users in their area at no cost other than shipping.  Quantities are limited, and there is currently a strict limit of one board per recipient at this time.

Note: Boards will also be made available for direct at a commercial PCB Fab facility in the near future, however, with the coronavirus outbreak, our current PCB manufacturer (PCBWay) is experiencing delays and issues that are forcing us to delay this release.  Your understanding is appreciated.

Please fill out the form below to request a board – let us know who this board is for, and how it will help an AT User.

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