Adafruit Learning System Weekly Update: Matrix Edition #AdafruitLearningSystem

This week on the Adafruit Learning System, we published a whole bunch of new guides. Well, actually I missed last week, but in 2 weeks we published 12 new guides! We have a couple new products guides, learn how to scan and detect I2C addresses, learn about UART communication between two CircuitPython boards, and so so much more!

Favorite New Guide

This week my favorite new guide shows you how to make a flexible Starro with an animated eye!

In this project, we’re making a Face Mask inspired by Starro from The Suicide Squad.

This mask is flexible and features blue and purples to look like those creepy starfish face huggers.

The HalloWing is the perfect board for this type of project!

It’s an easy way to get an animation eyeball with no coding skills required.

No Red Pill Needed

3d_printing_pet-adabot.jpg

This week we introduced another new LED matrix product, the Adafruit IS31FL3741. Here at Adafruit, we have a kind of obsession with LED matrices of all kinds. From large ones, to small ones, we sell them all. Not only do we sell a wide range of LED matrices, we also have a whole bunch of guides out there. Here are some of my favorites:

Raspberry Pi LED Matrix Sand Toy

These LEDs interact with motion and looks like they’re affect by gravity. An Adafruit LED matrix displays the LEDs as little grains of sand which are driven by sampling an accelerometer with Raspberry Pi Zero!

The 3D Printed handles make it easy to hold the 64×64 LED Matrix and the two buttons make it easy to switch modes or reset simulations!

The code, written by Phillip Burgess, simulates physics by calculating collisions and terminal velocity.

Ocean Epoxy Resin Lightbox with RGB LED Matrix Image Scroller

Explore the depths of your own personal ocean. Epoxy resin, alcohol inks, sand, and seashells come together to make a magical luminous ocean experience for your wall or desk. Each piece you create will come out unique, colorful, and beautiful.

LED Matrix Scoreboard

Build an LED scoreboard with mini IR sensing hoop using an RGB Matrix and CircuitPython! This indoor game lets you shoot hoops and display your score on a 64×32 LED Matrix.

The hoop houses an IR breakbeam sensor that detects when a ball has gone through it. The 3D printed parts hold everything together and are designed to be easy to build. There’s an arcade button on the side that’s used for starting a new game and resetting the score. This build is powered by an Adafruit Feather M4 Express and the RGB matrix FeatherWing.

Matrix Portal Money-Sensing Tip Jar

Say “Thank You” in a fun and interactive way with this money-sensing tip jar. Whenever someone drops in a tip, the LED matrix at the back of the jar will reward them with a fun animation and some heartfelt gratitude.

This is a fairly easy build, using an upcycled snack jar to collect your bountiful tips and powered by a Matrix Portal M4 board plugged into the RGB matrix of your choice. Use our premade images or upload your own animations to make a custom “thank you” message for your most generous customers.

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 2014.

Make your own adorable BMO with a mini 8×8 LED Matrix and Gemma!

You can make your very own BMO with 3D Printing and DIY electronics. This guide will walk you through the steps of 3D printing the parts, soldering the components and assembling this delightful electronic companion.

The mini 8×8 LED matrix makes an awesome head for BMO, programed to display several fun and playful facial expressions. Program your own animation to make new faces, letters or totally mathematical expressions 😉


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.

Join 30,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

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.

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CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


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