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CircuitPython on Raspberry Pi: UPDATED GUIDES for AMG88XX, IS31FL3731, LSM9DS1, PCA9685, SI5351

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That’s right! It’s CircuitPython on Raspberry Pi! Wire up your favorite sensors and use the same great CircuitPython code you’ve been using with microcontrollers right on your Raspberry Pi!

We’ve got tons of projects, libraries and example code for CircuitPython on microcontrollers, and thanks to the flexibility and power of Python it’s easy to get it working with micro-computers like Raspberry Pi or other ‘Linux with GPIO pins available’ single board computers.

We’ve written a special library called Adafruit Blinka to provide the layer that translates the CircuitPython hardware API to whatever library the Linux board provides.

blinka-raspberry pi

We’ve added all the libraries to PyPi so installation is super simple via pip. We’ve also updated the CircuitPython guides! They now have sections for wiring up the sensor to and installing the libraries on your Raspberry Pi. The CircuitPython code works exactly the same way it works on microcontrollers, so the code examples will work on your Raspberry Pi too!

We have over 80 guides to update, so watch for updates to the Adafruit Learning System in batches. Here’s the next five:

Adafruit AMG88xx IR Thermal Cameras – This sensor from Panasonic is an 8×8 array of IR thermal sensors. When connected to your microcontroller (or raspberry Pi) it will return an array of 64 individual infrared temperature readings over I2C. It’s like those fancy thermal cameras, but compact and simple enough for easy integration.

Adafruit 16×9 Charlieplexed PWM LED Matrix Driver – IS31FL3731 – The IS31FL3731 will let you get back to that classic LED matrix look, with a nice upgrade! This I2C LED driver chip has the ability to PWM each individual LED in a 16×9 grid so you can have beautiful LED lighting effects, without a lot of pin twiddling. Simply tell the chip which LED on the grid you want lit, and what brightness and it’s all taken care of for you.

Adafruit 9-DOF Accel/Mag/Gyro+Temp Breakout Board – LSM9DS1 – Add motion, direction and orientation sensing to your Arduino project with this all-in-one 9-DOF sensor. Inside the chip are three sensors, one is a classic 3-axis accelerometer, which can tell you which direction is down towards the Earth (by measuring gravity) or how fast the board is accelerating in 3D space. The other is a 3-axis magnetometer that can sense where the strongest magnetic force is coming from, generally used to detect magnetic north. The third is a 3-axis gyroscope that can measure spin and twist. By combining this data you can REALLY orient yourself.

Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver – I2C interface – PCA9685 – Using only two pins, control 16 free-running PWM outputs! 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). It’s an i2c-controlled PWM driver with a built in clock. That means that, unlike the TLC5940 family, you do not need to continuously send it signal tying up your microcontroller, its completely free running!

Adafruit Si5351A Clock Generator Breakout Board – 8KHz to 160MHz – The Si5351A clock generator is an I2C controller clock generator. It uses the onboard precision clock to drive multiple PLL’s and clock dividers using I2C instructions. By setting up the PLL and dividers you can create precise and arbitrary frequencies. There are three independent outputs, and each one can have a different frequency from <8KHz up to 150+ MHz.

Check out these updated guides today in the Adafruit Learning System.


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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