Ever since I started making projects with the Arduino, I’ve had a desire to shrink them down to a single, small circuit board. One of my first projects, a customizable SLR intervalometer, was packed in a phonebook-sized cardboard box and used the Arduino Deumilanove connected to a breadboard with jumper wires. I brought the box out to Central Park at 5am to make a timelapse of the sunrise, but when I got to the park, I spent 20 minutes fixing the connections between the Arduino, the breadboard, and the components. Since then, I’ve explored a few different ways of shrinking projects down and making them more robust. For the intervalometer, I designed a circuit board that had female header pins to seat an Arduino Nano. It was a huge improvement on the design, but I knew I could do a lot better.
I tried to teach myself AVR programming, but ran into a lot of snags along the way. By the time I got an LED to blink, I had invested hours in the project (a stark contrast to my first Arduino experience) and was feeling quite discouraged. I also tried using PICAXE chips. While it was much easier to get started with these chips than with AVR programming, I felt like I was abandoning all my years of C programming to learn a form of BASIC that’s an entirely different animal from when I used it as a kid.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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Hey guys, this is huge! I don’t know if anyone has struggled with programming an ATtiny series chip with an Arduino, but I have. Gave it another go this morning with the files on this tutorial, and boom, it works great! I have the Miniature 8×8 Red LED Matrix driven by the MAX7219CNG LED Matrix/Digit Display Driver running on an ATtiny85! It’s like a portable fix for blinky junkies. Now to dream up a project for that tiny matrix..