#AdafruitLearningSystem Weekly Update: MIDI Edition

Since my last update, there were a 8 new guides published to the Adafruit Learning System! There were 2 new product guides, an amazing new Raspberry Pi Pico MIDI controller (pictured above), a guide on creating a retroreflective greenscreen, getting started with circuit sculptures, and more!

Accessibility Updates

higher contrast buttons and links

Over the last couple of months you may have noticed some design tweaks to the Adafruit Learning System. The latest updates have changed our default blue color for links and buttons to a darker color blue. This was done to increase the contrast for those who have impaired vision, and they fully pass w3.org Web Content Accessibility Guidelines v2.1 (WCAG) and soon 2.2.

Fun fact: the blue color chosen is the same color as we use on our blue printed circuit boards!

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Favorite New Guide

From Zoom calls to SciFi effects films — you can do it all with a DIY chromakey background made from retroreflective fabric, lit with a lens-mounted NeoPixel light ring. A QT Py microcontroller running CircuitPython allows you to control the light ring color and brightness with a push and twist of a rotary encoder knob.

Create chromakey mattes to place your subject in front of any background image or video you like using a retroreflective greenscreen/bluescreen — you decide the color you need with the press of a knob.

ALS Deep Cut

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With so many guides on the Adafruit Learning System, some amazing guides of years past get buried and lost. ALS Deep Cuts brings these guides back up to the surface.

Personalized NextBus ESP8266 Transit Clock

NextBus is a free internet service using GPS and cellular networks to provide realtime arrival data for over 135 transit agencies in the United States and Canada.

For transit-bound people, the NextBus service is a tremendous convenience. Knowing when a bus is due means less standing out in the rain…one can use that time inside to get a little extra work done, or finish that cup of coffee. In this tutorial we’ll build a handy desk-top or wall-mount countdown display that lets you know when the next bus or train is on the way!

New Product Guides This Week

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This week Adafruit published two new product guides!

Adafruit AMG8833 8×8 Thermal Camera Sensor

Add heat-vision to your project and with an Adafruit AMG8833 Grid-EYE Breakout! 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 2.13″ eInk Display Breakouts and FeatherWings

Easy e-paper finally comes to microcontrollers with these breakouts, shields and friends that are designed to make it a breeze to add a tri-color eInk display. Chances are you’ve seen one of those new-fangled ‘e-readers’ like the Kindle or Nook. They have gigantic electronic paper ‘static’ displays – that means the image stays on the display even when power is completely disconnected. The image is also high contrast and very daylight readable. It really does look just like printed paper!


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.

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CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


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