More fun with the micro:bit

After learning the basics of wiring the ‘breadboard’ and programming the micro:bit we experimented with a few more features including using a potentiometer, accelerometer and setting up communication between devices.

The simple program shown below uses the built-in accelerometer to control motor speed of a fan in relation to tilting movement of the microcontroller on the breadboard.

Microbit code for accelerometer

Here is a demo of the code working…


Getting microcontrollers to talk to each other

We then set up a program to get the micro:bits to talk to each other – sending a signal to turn another fan on and off. The code below tells the microcontroller to send the letter ‘F’ and a value of ‘1’ to any other microcontrollers in the group when button A is pressed. The ‘on radio received’ code tells it to turn the fan on when it receives a value of 1 from another microcontroller in the group, and turn it off when it receives a zero.

code for communication between microbits

Programming ZIP LEDS

The ZIP LED is an ‘addressable’ LED light, which means you can send code to it (like addressing mail a ‘zip’ code, geddit?). We first tried some code to turn on one of the lights, then coded a rainbow version. Because the LEDs are based on RGB colours, you can program the lights to show any colour if you know its RGB code.

Code for LED rainbow display
Our trusty toolbox containing the electronic bits’n’pieces we’ve used for these experiments

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