CircuitPython and Bluetooth Low Energy: Issue 25 – HackSpace magazine: Maker Christmas! @HackSpaceMag @ben_everard @circuitpython
CircuitPython and Bluetooth Low Energy by Ben Everard, Link your phone to your microcontroller to send data and commands –
Bluetooth is in a bit of a funny position in the maker world. While theoretically it is really well placed to be a great addition to the maker toolkit, historically it’s not been widely utilised because it’s been hard to use. Part of the problem is the need to write two bits of software – one for the microcontroller, and one for whatever you’re sending data to it with, whether that’s a phone or computer. Where WiFi has enabled makers to do one side with a simple bit of HTML, Bluetooth has often needed a fully featured app. There’s also a bit of confusion about names – Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) are different things, yet are both often lumped under the moniker ‘Bluetooth’. We’ll be using BLE. Things are getting a little easier thanks to a really easy-to-use set of modules in CircuitPython and the Adafruit Bluefruit app.
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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, 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.