#AdafruitLearningSystem Weekly Update: Code Block Edition

This week we published five new guides, including one new product guide. Three of the new guides show you how to make good use of your new Adafruit FunHouse board. Build a mail slot detector, a pet bowl water level sensor, and a fancy yellow brick road 3D printed stand for your FunHouse.

New Code Block Design

The small team working on the Adafruit Learning System is constantly looking for ways to improve the reading experience for all of you. Over the last couple weeks we have made some fun improvements to the code block, like the BundleFly. This week we will be overhauling the look of the code block by going with a dark theme, and using much better syntax highlighting. This update should be going out sometime today.

Favorite New Guide

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This weeks favorite new guide shows you how to keep an eye on your pet’s water using the Adafruit FunHouse and Home Assistant

With the FunHouse and Home Assistant, you can automatically be alerted if your pet’s bowl gets too low. For this project we are using the Simple Water Sensor. Even though it is designed to be a digital sensor, it will actually work in analog mode to give you a little more granularity. In this way, you can tell if your pet’s water level is good, low, or needs water added.

In order to mitigate the effects of running electricity through water, the sensor is only on for a very short period of time to take a reading and turns back off. This is accomplished by using 2 of the ports on the FunHouse. One supplies the voltage to the sensor through the GPIO line and the other takes the reading.

We’ll go over how to get your sensor set up and configure Home Assistant to read the status of the sensor and also send you notifications within the Home Assistant environment.

ALS Deep Cut

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 2012.

Speaking of cool pet projects, use this guide to track how far you’ve walked your dog with the GPS dog collar!

New Product Guide: Adafruit I2C QT Rotary Encoder

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Check out the latest STEMMA QT board from Adafruit, the I2C QT Rotary Encoder.

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’ve ever tried to add encoders to your project you know that they’re a real challenge to use: timers, interrupts, debouncing…

This Stemma QT breakout makes all that frustration go away – solder in any ‘standard’ PEC11-pinout rotary encoder with or without a push-switch. The onboard microcontroller is programmed with our seesaw firmware and will track all pulses and pins for you and then save the incremental value for querying at any time over I2C. Plug it in with a Stemma QT cable for instant rotary goodness, with any kind of microcontroller from an Arduino UNO up to a Raspberry Pi.


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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