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NEW GUIDE: Composite video, AM radio from ATSAMD21 (incl Circuit Playground Express)

New guide on the Adafruit Learning System: Circuit Playground Express (& other ATSAMD21 Boards) DAC Hacks

Recently we’ve been exploring unconventional uses for the MCU peripherals inside Circuit Playground Express and other ATSAMD21-based boards.

Between the new chip’s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and direct memory access (DMA), we’ve managed to generate low-resolution composite video and very limited range AM radio, and have Arduino libraries for both now. These work straight off the board — just some alligator test leads are needed — no other parts or breadboard involved.

These are “hack” projects and not very practical, and the composite video signal may not work with all displays, but they give a taste of might be possible with some outside-the-box thinking with new hardware. What might be squeezed from this chip in the future?

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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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