How can I extend buttons to fit my the plastic shell of my prototype?

Hello!

First off, thanks for reading this. I am doing a school project and we have to use the Arduino, we are new to the arduino en messing with hardware in general. We are more familliar with programming. We have the arduino and we are almost done with the schematic/circuit using a breadboard. We have been given very limited time, so in a few weeks we must deliver a prototype product which may contain the arduino itself.

The prototype product we are making has buttons on the top, and an Arduino somewhere inside. How do we wire the buttons from the top to the arduino which may be located at the bottom? All the arduino products we can find all have plugs on them that click inside breadboards, what do we do if we want the button attached to a wire, attached to the arduino?

My apologies if this seems like a simple question, but I honestly could not find it on google. Thanks in advance!

Solder. It depends a bit on what you have but in it simplest form you can solder one side of male/male duPont cables to the button and stick the other side in the Arduino. If needed you can cut them in half and extend them (solder and shrink tubing).

The neatest will be to solder your buttons on a small printed circuit board, wire the buttons to a connector use cables from that connector to the Arduino.

Ask whether any teacher (then anyones' Dad) has a soldering iron and could supervise someone. It is a uesful skill to have. A row of suitable buttons with accessable contacts might allow someone to solder on bits of wire. Small buttons from some of the electronics catalogs can be soldered onto your custom copper etched circuit board, which you can make with a "permanent" marker pen and some FeCl2 etch or some NaHSO4. Single-strand 0.8mm wire can push straight into pinboard next to an arduino, or alternatively solder (carefully) to the top of the arduino.

It might be worth the school buying one or more reels of wire for project work, from which you snip off n+1 lengths for n switches and a ground line. Otherwise look in skips and try asking your local telephone utility for scrap signal wire.

Do read what

pinMode(INPUT_PULLUP)

is for, as that will avoid some potential troubles.

While you are waiting for the buttons, you can develop the software and test on pinboard using any old bits of wire in place of switches.