BBC micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit is a small microcontroller board designed for computer education in the UK - see the Wikipedia Article for more information.

There are multiple versions of the micro:bit available:

We are currently not using universal hex files, so you will need to load the correct hex file (_microbit1 or _microbit2) for your board.

micro:bit contains:

Contents

micro:bit v1

While we do provide Espruino for the micro:bit v1, it takes a lot of memory to provide Bluetooth functionality and as a result some functionality has had to be removed compared to the v2 and other Espruino devices:

If you want the full experience, please consider buying an official Espruino Board.

Flashing Espruino

There is a build of Espruino designed specifically for the micro:bit. Releases are available from the Download page - however you may also download 'cutting edge' builds from here - these are updated every time something changes in Espruino's source code, so may occasionally not work.

To flash onto your micro:bit:

Using the micro:bit

There are two ways to communicate with your micro:bit:

USB

This is the easiest, and recommended way of communicating with Espruino.

For Windows users, you will need to install drivers first - on other platforms, the board should 'just work'.

Follow the instructions in the Quick Start tutorial to install the Web IDE (ignore the Plugging in section), and you should be able to communicate with the micro:bit just like any other board.

Note: as the micro:bit has a display but no general-purpose LEDs, the tutorials in the Quick Start that use LED1/etc will not work without modification.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BT 4.0 / Bluetooth Smart)

You can also program the micro:bit wirelessly!

If you have a device that supports Web Bluetooth, you can go directly to the Online Web IDE in your web browser, and can connect with that.

micro:bit Functionality

The micro:bit has a few variables and functions that are useful:

BTN1 and BTN2

These read the state of the two buttons, for example:

BTN1.read() or digitalRead(BTN1) return 1 or 0 depending on the state of the button

The following will write Pressed each time the button is pressed:

setWatch(function() {
  console.log("Pressed");
}, BTN1, {repeat:true, debounce:20, edge:"falling"});

Or this will write Pressed or Released:

setWatch(function(e) {
  if (e.state) console.log("Released");
  else console.log("Pressed");
}, BTN1, {repeat:true, debounce:20, edge:"both"});

Note: Currently the state of the buttons is inverted - 1 means not pressed, 0 means pressed.

show(bitmap)

Shows graphics on the built-in 5x5 LED screen. This takes a binary number or a string. For example:

show("1   1\n"+
     "  1  \n"+
     "  1  \n"+
     "1   1\n"+
     " 111 \n");
`

You can use the Graphics library to display text and images, for example the following with scroll 'Espruino' across the display:

g = Graphics.createArrayBuffer(5,5,1);
g.flip = function(){show(this.buffer);};

var x = 0;
setInterval(function() {
  x++;
  if (x>50)x=0;
  g.clear();
  g.drawString("Espruino",5-x);
  g.flip();
}, 100);

Microbit class

This contains functions for interfacing with the Micro:bit hardware. See a full reference here

Note: In 2v07 and earlier the Microbit class doesn't exist and instead there are just acceleration() and compass() functions.

Microbit.accel()

This returns an object with x, y, and z elements, each containing the force in that axis in g.

Note: In 2v07 and earlier this doesn't exist and acceleration() is available instead.

You can also use Microbit.accelOn() which then creates an event whenever data is available, which can be read with Microbit.on('accel', function(d) { ... })

Microbit.mag()

This returns an object with x, y, and z elements, indicating the current direction of the magnetic field

Note: In 2v07 and earlier this doesn't exist and compass() is available instead.

Microbit.play(waveform, samplesPerSecond, callback)

Micro:bit version 2 only: plays a sound - see the reference for more information

Microbit.record(samplesPerSecond, callback, samples)

Micro:bit version 2 only: records a sound - see the reference](http://www.espruino.com/Reference#l_Microbit_record) for more information

Pinout

Hover the mouse over a pin function for more information. Clicking in a function will tell you how to use it in Espruino.

D3 3.3v !
D0 3.3v ADC
D4 3.3v !
D5 3.3v ! BTN1
D6 3.3v !
D7 3.3v !
D1 3.3v ADC
D8 3.3v
D9 3.3v
D10 3.3v !
D11 3.3v ! BTN2
D12 3.3v
D2 3.3v ADC
D13 3.3v SPI1 SCK
D14 3.3v SPI1 MISO
D15 3.3v SPI1 MOSI
D16 3.3v
3.3
3.3
3.3
D19 3.3v I2C1 SCL
D20 3.3v I2C1 SDA
GND
GND
GND

Tutorials

Tutorials using the micro:bit Board:

Tutorials using Bluetooth LE:

Tutorials using Bluetooth LE and functionality that may not be part of the micro:bit:

Buying

micro:bits are currently available to buy all over the world.

Official Espruino Boards

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