Now there is a small stream of interesting parts for which I have no immediate application which nevertheless flow across my lab bench to be tested because you never know what you may need at some point, and I’m an irrepressible tinker. One of these was the Adafruit breakout board for the PCA9685 which is an IC by NXP which generates PWM signals for driving servos and fading LEDs. Their description page for the product had something which stuck in my brain…
“You can even chain up 62 breakouts to control up to 992 PWM outputs (which we would really like to see since it would be glorious)”
So there was a little gremlin in my brain saying “We need to do a gigantic LED project!” and then all at once, it came to me. The organ needs theatrical lighting effects for Halloween. The problem is, the organ is nearly three stories tall, lighting it up would require a lot of LEDs.
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.