This week on the Adafruit Learning System, we published a few guides this week, and updated a whole bunch more. Build an arcade synth controller, 3d print a Feather TFT STEMMA case, build a Circuit Playground Bluefruit BLE heart rate pendant, and more!
Favorite New Guide
Are you going to a dance party soon? Or maybe a speed dating night? Would you like to wear your heart out?
In this project, you can visibly show off your heart rate in the form of a pulsing pendant. A Circuit Playground Bluefruit (CPB) connects to a heart rate monitor to display the heartbeat of the wearer. Using the CircuitPython programming language, the CPB blinks with red NeoPixels to display the heart rate.
The Almighty Arcade Button
After reading John Park’s new Arcade Synth Controller build guide, I did some digging to find some of the more interesting projects on the Adafruit Learning System that utilize the greatest button of all time…the arcade button. Here are my favorites:
Raspberry Pi Pico and LED Arcade Button MIDI Controller
Build your own CircuitPython powered MIDI controller! This “MIDI fighter”-like controller features 16 arcade buttons with built-in LEDs, an OLED screen and joystick. Play drums, synthesizers or anything MIDI related! All of the electronics are housed in a snap-fit 3D printed case.
Arcade Bonnet Controller
In this guide, we’ll learn how to wire up a Mini Analog Joystick to the Adafruit Arcade Bonnet for Raspberry Pi. Most of the arcade buttons plug into the Arcade Bonnet with quick connect wires – Making it much easier to put together a retro arcade controller or cabinet.
BlueLive: Livestream Studio Switcher Controller
Sometimes you need one button for the job, and sometimes you need many.
3D Printed Wireless MIDI Controller Guitar
Rock out with your very own wireless Keytar, a bluetooth MIDI controller that works with any computer or tablet! Jam out with up to 12 buttons that can be customized to trigger sounds or effects.
This project uses the E-Z Key bluefruit wireless controller from Adafruit. The guitar features 4 arcade buttons and 6 LED push buttons. The guitar can be used as a MIDI instrument, video game controller and even DJ controller. You can customize and configure your guitar to be whatever you want.
The enclosure is 3D printed and you can download the design files from Thingiverse. This six-piece design is optimized for the MakerBot Replicator 2 build plate. Don’t have a 3D printer? You can always fashion your own guitar from wood, plastic (or cardboard??)
We’re using 4 neo-pixels and a mic as a level meter so the LED’s animate to the sound. The Flora micro-controller powers these components and uses a toggle switch and battery pack. The two back covers are designed to easily snap on and off to quickly get to the components.
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 2017.
Playing emulated games on an iPad or iPhone is a lot of fun, but one thing missing from the equation is a proper joystick. To fix this dire situation, you can take an original Atari 2600 joystick and turn it into a wireless controller capable of working with any iCade standard game!
The Feather nRF52 Bluefruit Bluetooth LE microcontroller is perfect for the task. It’s fast, has robust Bluetooth, and is tiny enough to fit inside the joystick’s case, along with a LiPo battery for power.
You won’t even need to modify the case, just remove the original cable and you’re ready to create a whole new, modern controller inside of the body of a classic!