Nothing is as fast and fun as prototyping on a breadboard, but at some point you will find that the chips you want to work with are only available in non-breadboard-friendly SMT/SMD (Surface Mount Technology/Surface Mount Device). Unlike most DIP chips and resistors, SMT parts do not have the leads going through holes in the PCB. Instead, they ‘float’ on top, with often-rectangular solder pads.
Although you may one day decide to use CAD software for laying out a custom PCB for these parts, you can do yourself a favor and prototype with SMT breakout/adapter PCBs. In this mini tutorial we’ll go over how to use these. It’s not hard, once you have the experience!
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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