There are literally hundreds of development boards to choose from, with a mind-blowing range of processors, memory, storage, pin count, and size. Why is it, then, that we always seem to be missing a feature when we get to our projects?
Sometimes it’s because we start with one design and keep adding bits until we run out of pins; other times, it’s because we use the dev board we have on hand rather than the most suitable one.
Fortunately, there’s a stock of components that can help us. Port expanders, I2C analogue-to-digital converters, and more can be tacked onto most microcontrollers to give us the extra features we need.
Enter the Adafruit ATtiny817 Breakout with seesaw. This is basically a configurable STEMMA QT/Qwiic to almost anything bridge. If you want to add digital I/Os, there are 14 you can use. Nine of them can also be analogue inputs, and five can be PWM outputs.
What we like about this board, though, isn’t the specs; it’s how easy it is to use. Just plug it in via the STEMMA QT/Qwiic cable and it’s all set up. There are libraries for CircuitPython and Arduino, so you can get it working on most maker-level hardware.
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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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