#AdafruitLearningSystem Weekly Update: More MacroPad Edition

 

This week on the Adafruit Learning System, we published seven new guides! Learn how to make it easy to watch the summer Olympics, create a NeoKey Emoji Keyboard, create a game for the MacroPad, create a CircuitPython webcam with OV2640, and more!

Favorite New Guide

This weeks favorite new guide shows you how to create a Minecraft Turbopad. Get Minecraft commands at the press of a button.

Use the Macropad to send any command to Minecraft with just one button press. Program twelve custom keys that can run commands or key combos.

CircuitPython makes it simple to customize your Minecraft Turbopad to run any command you like, even initiate latching mouse and key combos, such as auto strip-mining mode.

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 2013.

Create an intelligent bike helmet that increases visibility and also navigates you to the nearest Citi Bike station.

Improve your visibility with style! Mod up this bike helmet with LED strip, a FLORA GPS, and find your way to the nearest Citi Bike station with ease. We used a Carrera foldable helmet, which has grooves between the protection, perfect for NeoPixel strip.

More MacroPad!

This week we published a few new MacroPad guides, which means we are now up to 10 MacroPad projects on the Adafruit Learning System! If you haven’t been following along over the last few weeks, Adafruit just released a neat new product called the MacroPad:

Strap yourself in, we’re launching in T-minus 10 seconds…Destination? A new Class M planet called MACROPAD! M here stands for Microcontroller because this 3×4 keyboard controller features the newest technology from the Raspberry Pi sector: say hello to the RP2040. It’s a speedy little microcontroller with lots of GPIO pins and 64 times more RAM than the Apollo Guidance Computer. We added 8 MB of flash memory for plenty of storage.

This neat little product has so much potential, and we are just starting to see it’s potential on the Adafruit Learning System. Here are some of my favorite guides so far:

MacroPad Summer Olympics Hotkeys

The sheer number of Olympic events is staggering (46!). How do you keep track of them all? The MacroPad is the perfect organizer for checking in on each sport and scrolling through the different Olympics channels.

MacroPad 2FA TOTP Authentication Friend

Having 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) on all your accounts is a good way to keep your data more secure. With 2FA logins, not only is a username and password needed, but also a one-time-use code. There are a few different ways to get that code, such as by email, phone or SMS. But my favorite way is to do it is via a ‘Google Authenticator’ Time-based One Time Password, also known as a TOTP.

Using an app on your phone like Authy or Authenticator, you set up a secret code given to you by the service, then every 30 seconds, a new code is generated for you. What’s extra nice is that the Google Authenticator protocol is supported by just about every service and phone/tablet.

Perfect for when you don’t have your phone handy, or don’t want to noodle with Authy all day. Plus it types it in for you!

Dragon Drop: a CircuitPython game for MacroPad

Adafruit’s MacroPad was designed as the ultimate keyboard accessory — whether for application hotkeys or making music or other computer-like duties.

One thing that really sets MacroPad apart from similar devices is that it’s not simply a small keyboard…it’s a whole development board running CircuitPython. Very handy for computer-connected tasks, certainly, but nothing actually demands that. What else could one do with this? How about a trinary handheld calculator? Attach a USB battery and make it portable. Make a Quantum Leap Handlink cosplay accessory. Or program some little games.

Let’s try the latter and make a game!

New Product Guide

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Check out the new product guide for the Adafruit NeoKey 5×6 Ortho Snap-Apart

For folks who want ready-to-go keeb action, we’ve got the lovely Adafruit Macropad with a 3×4 grid of MX+NeoPixel key switches – but for those who like to forge their own path, we now present the easiest way of creating custom ortholinear (that’s a fancy word for gridded) key matrices. Instead of hand soldering together a custom matrix of NeoKey socket breakouts, the Adafruit NeoKey 5×6 Ortho Snap-Apart Mechanical Key Switches with NeoPixel has 30 key switches that can be snapped apart to make any size grid.

That’s right! Even though it comes as 5×6, you can turn it into 2×3, 1×6, 4×3…whatever you wish, and it will work just the way you expect. The little break-apart tabs have traces running through them that pass the power, NeoPixel, and keymatrix lines up and down.


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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