HackSpace Magazine Issue 47: Projects Using CircuitPython #CircuitPython #PiDay @HackSpaceMag @Raspberry_Pi

HackSpace Magazine — Issue 47 contains two projects using CircuitPython, the easy way to program microcontrollers using Python.

VFD Tube Clock

This clock is an updated version of an older kit by Cambridgeshire, UK-based Neon Things. The update isn’t to the VFD tubes, which are ancient bits of Soviet display kit now found on internet auction sites. The update is instead to the software that runs the clock.

Whereas the previous version of this clock ran on an Arduino, this uses CircuitPython, making it considerably more user-friendly for anyone with Python as a first language. Even better, thanks to I2C, you can connect this clock to anything you want, turn it into a temperature readout, stock price monitor, or anything else that uses four seven-segment displays.

Gaming Controller

Thanks to CircuitPython, it’s easy to create a circuit that acts like a USB device such as a keyboard, mouse, or games controller. You can add whatever inputs you like to make all sorts of strange and curious controllers. However, a problem is getting things in the right form-factor. No one likes to hold a breadboard, and I’ve had mixed results when I’ve tried to mount components in wood.

It’s time to get serious, so I designed a PCB which was just a matrix-style protoboard and mounting for a Pico. I got a few printed off, and set about seeing what weird and wonderful creations I could come up with.

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