Character LCDs are a fun and easy way to have your microcontroller project talk back to you. They are also common, and easy to get, available in tons of colors and sizes. We’ve written tutorials on using character LCDs with an Arduino (or similar microcontroller) but find that the number of pins necessary to control the LCD can be restrictive, especially with ambitious projects. We wanted to make a ‘backpack’ (add-on circuit) that would reduce the number of pins without a lot of expense.
What’s better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! A fun way to make a small colorful display is to use a 1.2″ Bi-color 8×8 LED Matrix. Matrices like these are ‘multiplexed’ – so to control all the 128 LEDs you need 24 pins. That’s a lot of pins, and there are driver chips like the MAX7219 that can help control a matrix for you but there’s a lot of wiring to set up and they take up a ton of space. Here at Adafruit we feel your pain! After all, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could control a matrix without tons of wiring? That’s where these adorable LED matrix backpacks come in.
The ESP32-S3 has arrived in Feather format – and what a great way to get started with this powerful new chip from Espressif! With dual 240 MHz cores, WiFi and BLE support, and native USB, this Feather is great for powering your IoT projects.
Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 is a compact camera from Raspberry Pi. It offers an IMX708 12-megapixel sensor with HDR and features phase detection autofocus. Camera Module 3 is available in standard and wide-angle variants, both of which are available with or without an infrared cut filter.
Our QT Py boards are a great way to make very small microcontroller projects that pack a ton of power – and now we have a way for you to add a ton of storage, for reading and writing, with a micro SD card slot that can fit on the back of your miniature dev board. It uses the three SPI pins plus one chip select pin to access megs or gigs of data.
Our QT Py boards are a great way to make very small microcontroller projects that pack a ton of power – and now we have a way for you to quickly add a nice mechanical key that also can glow any color of the rainbow.
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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.
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.