It’s half USB Key, half Adafruit Trinket… it’s Neo Trinkey, the circuit board with a Trinket M0 heart and four RGB NeoPixels for customizable glow. We were inspired by some USB key flashlight boards that would turn any battery pack into an LED torch. So we thought, hey what if we made something like that but with fully programmable color NeoPixels? And this is what we came up with!
The PCB is designed to slip into any USB A port on a computer or laptop. There’s an ATSAMD21 microcontroller on board with just enough circuitry to keep it happy. One pin of the microcontroller connects to the four NeoPixel LEDs. Two other pins are used as capacitive touch inputs on the end – if you look carefully you can see the slotted end has left and right touchpads. A reset button lets you enter bootloader mode if necessary. That’s it!
The SAMD21 can run CircuitPython or Arduino very nicely – with existing NeoPixel and our FreeTouch libraries for the capacitive touch input. Over the USB connection, you can have serial, MIDI, or HID connectivity. The Neo Trinkey is perfect for simple projects that can use a few user inputs and colorful outputs. Maybe you’ll set it up as a simple status notifier, or stretch-break timer, or a macro keypad, or a random color generator, or, hey you could still make it into an LED flashlight if you wanted!
We think it’s just an adorable little board, small and durable and inexpensive enough that it could be a first microcontroller board or inspiration for advanced developers to make something simple and fun.
ATSAMD21E18 32-bit Cortex M0+ – 48 MHz 32 bit processor with 256KB Flash and 32 KB RAM
Native USB supported by every OS – can be used in Arduino or CircuitPython as USB serial console,
MIDI, Keyboard/Mouse HID, even a little disk drive for storing Python scripts.
Can be used with Arduino IDE or CircuitPython
Four RGB NeoPixel LEDs
Two Capacitive Touchpads
Reset switch for starting your project code over or entering bootloader mode
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
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.