#AdafruitLearningSystem Weekly Update: Beginner Edition

This week we published a total of 3 new guides (and one updated guide). Learn how to create a pixel art animated display, save memory in CircuitPython, and create an IoT IR Remote using a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a QtPy Hat.

Guides for Beginners

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If you are just getting started with electronics, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With almost 2,500 guides published on the Adafruit Learning System, it might seem hard to figure out which guides are best for a beginner like you. Thankfully, we have each guide tagged with its difficulty level making it easier for beginners to find the right guides.

We even have a curated beginners page that has a breakdown of guides that might interest those who know nothing about electronics, all the way through those who are just getting their feet wet. Head on over to the Adafruit Learning System Beginners page to get started.

Favorite New Guide

This week’s favorite new guide shows you how to create a pixel art animation display!

This is a square pixel display that uses an 32×32 RGB matrix display. It’s powered by the Feather RP2040 and RGB Matrix FeatherWing. This runs CircuitPython and the Matrix Portal Library to play animated sprite sheets on the display. The Feather RP2040 and RGB Matrix FeatherWing are mounted to a 3D printed frame on the back of the display. Paired with the FeatherWing Doubler, it’s easy to swap out the Feathers for future projects. A sheet of black LED acrylic fits over the display and diffuses the LEDs. The 3D printed grid fits over the PCB with each LED enclosed in a square. This separates each LED and blocks the light from leaking into each square.

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. This week’s guide is from back in 2017.

FruitBox Sequencer: Musically Delicious Step Pattern GeneratorSword & Wand Prop Effects with Circuit Playground

Who doesn’t love a fat drum beat? Nobody, that’s who! You can make your own awesome rhythms once you’ve built the FruitBox Sequencer! Use the Circuit Playground Express board’s built-in capacitive touch sensors plugged into pieces of fruit to program and trigger your beats, in a 16-step sequence. Play back sampled drum sounds in perfect time with the on-board speaker, or optionally, you can plug it into an amplified speaker to rock the crowd!

Featured Series: Collin’s Lab

Speaking of learning electronics! Be sure to check out the fantastic series by Collin Cunningham called Collin’s Lab.

The Collin’s Lab series covers a variety of topics within the realms of electronics and technology as a whole. Most of the episode topics were based on whatever I was interested in at the time. I’ve always enjoyed this sort of teaching-while-learning process, as it clearly highlights the novel & surprising facts, and helps to avoid the pitfalls of factual regurgitation.


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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