Jonathan's BBC micro:bit web page
The BBC Micro:bit is a tiny one-pcb-board computer with a powerful microcontroller, usb and bluetooth connectivity. The board has 3-axis magnetometers and accelerometers on board so it looks like we will be able to do some pretty interesting and fun things with it ! The BBC web site allows you to program the board in a variety of different languages and styles including: Java script, Microsoft Block Editor, Microsoft Touch develop, and micro Python. You can also download a Mu editor so you can program the board via your PC without going on-line. Note: to make the device 'kid proof' the designers has added protection circuitry on many of the inputs / outputs. These components may affect the voltages produced and recorded by the device - so you may have to experiment a bit :-)
The BBC micro:bit and Amateur Radio -
Technical Feature first published in RadCom The Journal of the Radio Society of Great Britain RSGB Jan. 2017
Jan 2017 RadCom Micro:bit article
(article avaliable here with permission from the RSGB)
Python code to drop into your BBC micro:bit via the Mu editor
(Note: right click on one of my programs below, then 'Save target as' to a folder, open in Mu and then 'Flash' to micro:bit)
... kindly sent to me by other programmers after my request in my Dec 2016 RadCom article - Thank you :-)
NOTE: I have not had much time to investigate these in detail - I hope you find them interesting and straightforward to use :-)
Photo of my BBC micro:bit test set-up. The black box top right has a socket for headphones and a volume control. The switch has three positions: center off, left stereo and right mono. Below the headphone box is a breadboard to create electronic circuits. In the photo I have used the breadboard to wire up port 13-16 to four LEDs and also to connect the headphones to the micro:bit. To the left of the breadboard is an Elektor magazine (see link above) edge connector that allows easy access to the micro:bit connections. This circuit board also has pressure and temperature sensors so you can create a tiny weather station (you need to download the software to the micro:bit of course). Above the Elektor circuit board are two plastic support posts with two nylon bolts allowing the micro:bit to be supported by two of its 4mm holes. This way you can hold it securely while experimenting with it. Finally between the support posts and the volume control unit there is a battery box that takes 2 x AAA batteries to provide 3V for the micro:bit.
BBC micro:bit specifications:
* pcb size 43 x 52 mm
* Nordic nRF51822 - 16 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller (16 MHz or 32.768 kHz), 256 KB flash memory, 16 KB static ram
(2.4 GHz Bluetooth low energy wireless networking)
* NXP/Freescale KL26Z - 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core microcontroller, that includes a full-speed USB 2.0
(used as a communication interface between USB and main Nordic microcontroller, performs voltage regulation from the USB supply (4.5-5.25V)
down to the nominal 3.3 volts used by the rest of the PCB). When running on batteries this regulator is not used.
* NXP/Freescale MMA8652 - 3-axis accelerometer sensor via I²C-bus.
* NXP/Freescale MAG3110 - 3-axis magnetometer sensor via I²C-bus (to act as a compass / metal detector).
* MicroUSB connector * battery connector * 23-pin edge connector
* Display consisting of 25 LEDs in a 5×5 array
Three tactile pushbuttons (two for user, one for reset)
I/O include: five x 4 mm banana plug ring connectors and 23-pin edge connector
three PWM outputs, six 17 GPIO pins, six analog inputs, serial I/O, SPI, and I²C.
THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE
Dr Jonathan Hare, Physics Dept., The University of
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ.
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