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Intro to CircuitPython with a Python Heart Matrix Project, by @baldengineer
Big thanks to James “baldengineer” Lewis who gives a quick breakdown of CircuitPython and its various attributes in a recent blog post, then shows off an LED matrix heart project he designed using CP. His schematic is above and code is available on his website so you can take a look at it yourself – this is a bit more sophisticated than a simple blink project, so if you’re looking for something a bit more next-level check out this project.
The first bit of code I wrote, didn’t work. Multiple LEDs were turning on at the same time. I stared at the code for what seemed like hours. (It was probably 30 seconds.) Then I started changing bits of code to see how the matrix’s behavior would change. With each change, I just hit save and immediately saw the result.
At one point, the REPL interface enabled me to drive individual pins manually. That is when I realized, the behavior only made sense if the transistors on the bank select were PNP. Guess what. They were.
Could I have done the same thing in C? Of course. However, it would take several minutes longer. The re-compile and upload time adds up. I am not ashamed to admit maybe even 10 minutes longer with how many changes I made to the Python code.
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.