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microbit & accessories

BBC micro:bit and accessories

 

For free microbit learning and teaching resources, click here.

 

Microbit Introduction:

The BBC microbit is a powerful handheld, fully programmable, computer designed by the BBC and a number of partners to encourage children to get actively involved in writing software and building new things that will be controlled by it.

 

Featuring an onboard 5x5 LED Matrix, two integrated push buttons and a compass, Accelerometer and Bluetooth, the device makes a great introduction to the world of programmable components and the wider internet of things.

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Write your code using one of the easy to use editors provided on the Foundation microbit website, connect your BBC microbit to your computer via USB press the compile button in the editor and then drop the downloaded file directly onto your BBC microbit. There are also Apps for Android and iOS devices.

 

Wirelessly connect and interact with the world around you. Use Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to mobile phones and tablets, take a selfie or drive the music in your playlists. You can also code the microbit to interact with other microbit's using the radio blocks in the Microsoft MakeCode Editor. All of this in a device only 5cm wide!

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We have seven different BBC microbit buying options available to order, everything from single boards to Classroom packs to a BBC micro:bit bundled with a Kitronik Inventors Kit.

 

To help you get the most from your microbit we have produced an extensive list of learning resources which include general information and more detailed tutorials. You can find these resources on our BBC micro:bit - Kitronik University, we update this page regularly so do check back. You can also find lots of great project resources on microbit website.

 

 

Connectivity:

The main I/O rings can be used as outputs to control LEDs, motors and much more, and also as inputs to connect external sensors and switches. The main rings are large enough that young people can easily connect to them with crocodile clips.

 

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With our Inventors Kit, learn how to build circuits to perform useful functions and also learn to code the microbit to control and process input from those circuits. The inventors kit was released with 10 great practical experiments included that introduce you key electronics and coding concepts. Since release, we've created two new experiments and created an online resource that contains videos and code examples for all 12 experiments.

 

Whilst the main five rings enable you to connect the microbit to external devices and components using crocodile clips, accessing the rest of the pins requires something a little more precise than a clip. An edge connector breakout board allows you to conveniently access every pin on the BBC microbit. Just slot the microbit into place and you can use either M/F or M/M jumper wires to connect the breakout board to your circuit/breadboard.

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Although the microbit has been designed with connectivity in mind, the amount of current that can be drawn from it is quite limited, so in order to connect the microbit to things like motors a motor driver board is required, this will allow you to drive two motors with full forward and backwards control. Additions such as Motor Driver Boards and Edge Connector Breakout Boards expand the possibilities of the microbit's connectivity, paving the way to such things as Robotics.

 

 

Wearing The microbit:

As the microbit measures less than 5cm x 5cm it lends itself perfectly to any application where discretion is key. E-textiles is one such application where a small microcontroller can allow you create more imaginative wearable electronics, plus, with the microbit, you also have the 5 x 5 LED matrix and its buttons that you can incorporate into your designs.

 

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We stock an extensive range of sewable electronics and conductive threads, including many components exclusive to Kitronik that we have released under own Electro-Fashion brand that can enable you to bring your clothing and accessories to life with much more than just LEDs. We also have the E-Textiles Kit for the BBC microbit which contains all the components you need to get started immediately with e-textiles.

  

The microbit can be coded to fully interact with your sewed circuits, either to control how the circuit behaves or to accept input from it, or both. You can easily create code that processes changes in light, sound, movement or temperature and convert that to an action within your circuit and/or the microbit LED matrix.

 

 

Out And About With The microbit:

As with wearable technology, the small size of the microbit lends itself to projects that are away from the classroom/workshop, even to projects that are mobile in nature. Once you leave the safety of indoors, powering and protecting the microbit become important considerations.

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We stock a number of products specifically designed to facilitate your mobile projects. The MI:power board for the BBC micro:bit fits directly to the BBC microbit and provides power via a coin cell battery and sound via a piezo electric buzzer, and all this fits onto a board the same size as the microbit.

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Whenever you leave the classroom/workshop with the microbit the risk of damage increases significantly, no matter what the project we have a case option to keep your microbit safe and sound. The MI:pro protector case allows access to the microbit buttons and edge connector and the 2xAAA Battery Cage can be fixed to the rear of the case, there is also a mountable version, the MI:power case, that allows you to fix the microbit to your project or to a nearby structure. We also have a case that will protect a microbit that is powered by a MI:power board for the BBC micro:bit.

 

 

For free microbit learning and teaching resources, click here.