It’s a question that I’m often asked and the answer is usually the same. The GPIO pins of course! Those little stabby pins along the top of the Pi that let you connect buttons, buzzers, sensors and HATs.
On the first two models of Raspberry Pi, there were only 26 pins, but it quickly became apparent that more is better and so for every model since the B+ in July 2014, there have been 40 GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi A and B models. On the Raspberry Pi Zero, there are still 40 pins that you can use, but they are ‘headerless’ meaning that you can either solder directly onto the board in place of the pins, or you can solder your own header on (which is not as tricky as it sounds, and can be great fun).
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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.