Making a macro keypad with CircuitPython and a Show and Tell Demo #CircuitPython #ShowAndTell

Andrew Ferguson stumbled onto a free class teaching Intro to Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design. Well, this project exceeds what most people might design for their first board. It’s a beautiful macropad keyboard with two rotary encoders and an eInk display.

The project uses a Raspberry Pi Pico running CircuitPython. Andrew made custom drivers for two of the components.

The code running on the keypad is CircuitPython, an open source version of Python for tiny, inexpensive computers called microcontrollers.

I’m may be new to CircuitPython, but not Python. So it’s a pretty natural fit for my programming.

CircuitPython (by way of MicroPython) has a displayio.EPaperDisplay class that I was able to extend, so I didn’t have to write much of the code from scratch.

I leverage Adafruit’s vast library of CircuitPython modules to handle almost everything, including all the heaving lifting for:

  • USB HID (the part which makes the Pico act like a keyboard) via adafruit_hid
  • Button debouncing via adafruit_debouncer
  • Interfacing with the VEML7700 via adafruit_veml7700

Read more in the write-up. KiCAD and CircuitPython files are on GitHub.

See the project video from the Adafruit Show and Tell below:


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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