That DIY Daft Punk helmet with the pulsing LED lights on Pinterest seems light-years away from those do-it-yourself ham radio ads in vintage Sears Roebuck catalogs, about as far as the iPhone 6 is from great-grandma’s rotary phone. If Limor Fried has her way, we’ll see a corresponding revolution in our appreciation of hobby electronics as a cultural and educational force in the coming years.
Adafruit produces and sells DIY electronics ranging from beginner-level push-button sound effects kits to sophisticated micro controller boards for cell phone and game developers through an online store that also stocks jumper wires, soldering irons and other geeky peripherals. With its richly-illustrated, plain language manuals and extensive library of tutorials, the site also doubles as an educational platform.
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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