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. Three pins of the microcontroller connect to a rotary encoder with a built-in push switch. Another connects to a NeoPixel LED. Finally, one pin can be used as a capacitive touch input. A reset button lets you enter bootloader mode if necessary. That’s it!
Rotary encoders are soooo much fun! Twist em this way, then twist them that way. Unlike potentiometers, they go all the way around and often have little detents for tactile feedback. But, if you just want to add one to your computer, you know it’s a real pain. This board is designed to make it very easy.
The SAMD21 can run CircuitPython or Arduino very nicely – with existing Rotary, NeoPixel, and our FreeTouch libraries for the capacitive touch input. Over the USB connection, you can have serial, MIDI, or HID connectivity. The Rotary Trinkey is perfect for simple projects that use a rotating user input and underlit colorful output. Maybe you’ll set it up as a volume knob, scroll wheel, or zoom macro tool – whatever you like!
Please note this board DOES NOT come with a rotary encoder soldered in – we expect folks to pick their favorite rotary encoder and knob! Five solder points and you’re done.
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
Single under-lighting RGB NeoPixel LED
One Capacitive Touchpad
Standard ‘5-pin’ rotary encoder footprint can be used with any “PEC11” or “PEC12” compatible rotary encoder.
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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.
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