It has been a while since I have done any coding and I want to get back to it. I have Arduino’s and Raspberry Pis and Circuit Playground Express (CPX) and micro:bit… but just don’t make the time to fiddle with them. I did a 5 minute coding of the CPX this past summer, but before that, it has been a while. There are just so many mediums and avenues for #MakerEd, it is difficult to play with them all.
A Twitter friend, Rob Morrill , has been sharing what he and his students do with programming, so he has me thinking and planning. I finally started up again. And it can be a rabbit hole. You start thinking “what else can I make it do” , “how do I make it do that”...there are just so many possibilities.
So I pulled out my Circuit Playground Express , ordered a neopixel strip (though I already have some, Rob was playing with this strip that already has alligator clips attached, so no soldering needed). I needed some help to get started, so I went to the https://makecode.adafruit.com/projects/ (there is also a https://makecode.microbit.org/ ) and found a neopixel project to help me https://makecode.adafruit.com/projects/wearable-neopixels/code . Now it was time to start, so on to https://makecode.adafruit.com/#editor Things I had to learn to do : initialize the strip, google some RGB color codes (silver and gold), create and call functions (subroutines). Remember to add “pause” blocks in your code, otherwise you won’t see anything happen. I was able to power this setup with a 3.7V lithium polymer (LiPo) battery.
Here is a link to my code : https://makecode.com/_FvT7C1dLuHoY
Rob has a makecode course for the CPX (https://makecode.com/blog/adafruit-circuit-playground-express/maker-course )
Adafruit has an interface for the CPX (and one for the microbit) that makes it easier to hook up motors and servos and… It is called Crickit (Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit) Yes I did buy one of these recently and will be playing with it soon. It allows you to connect to the microcontroller without soldering or alligator clips, it uses screw poles. The Crickit needs to be powered by almost 5 V, so I bought 4 AA NiMH rechargeable batteries and a charger. You could also use 3 regular batteries. 4 vs 3 is because of the slight voltage difference in NiMH & regular batteries (https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-crickit-creative-robotic-interactive-construction-kit/powering-crickit )
screencast of what i did :
live view :