Top 5 Accessories for BBC Micro:bit
- December 23, 2018
- Posted by: Naveen PS
- Category: Development board
As you are here, I would assume that you have already tinkered with the BBC Micro:bit. Odds are higher that you bought the BBC Micro:bit Starter Kit and now realized that the accessories provided is nowhere enough to release the full potential of the little beast in your hand. Thankfully, many companies have released a great selection of accessories for the BBC Micro:bit. Here are the top 5 accessories for BBC Micro:bit in no particular order.
1. MI: Pro Case
Most of the electronic components on the BBC Micro:bit are exposed. The board being so small has no mechanical protection too. So I strongly advise buying a case or enclosure for the board. The MI: Pro case is made of layered acrylic and it provides good protection from mechanical and electrical damage. The LEDs are visible through the transparent case and the buttons are accessible through the cutout. The edge pads being exposed, makes it easier for wiring even when the board is inside the case. The case also provides an option to mount the batter pack on it. Buy it from here.
2. Edge Connector
An Edge connector might be the most important accessory to buy for the BBC Micro:bit. It allows us to connect any external modules to the board easily. This will open a wide variety of projects for the BBC Micro:bit as we have access to all the pins of the processor. The pad pins are broken out to a row of pin headers. These provide an easy way of connecting circuits using jumper wires. If the Edge connector is not enough for you to play with, the Octopus:bit Breakout Board surely will. Buy it from here.
3. MI: Power Board
If portable/wearable projects are your thing, then you probably struggled with powering the BBC Micro:bit. The provided battery pack is still bulky in my opinion. It also has wires sticking out making it unsightly, and it does not even have an on/off switch. Maybe you used a Mobile Power Bank to solve this, but it is still not practical. The MI: Power Board is compact, lightweight solution to your problem. It not only solves the problem by using 3V Coin cells but also adds new functionalities like built in buzzer and a switch. Buy it from here.
4. MonkMakes Relay for Micro:bit
BBC micro:bit can directly turn an LED on and off, but anything more power requires a relay. Here comes the MonkMakes Relay for Micro:bit, which is a solid-state (no moving parts) relay that allows it to switch an output device on or off. I can use it to switch low voltage devices such as light bulbs, a motor, a small heating element or even a string of 12V LED lighting. Maximum voltage and current rating for the relay is 16V and 2A, respectively. The relay will automatically protect itself even if the current exceeds the limit. This is a must have accessory for automation projects.
If you want to control AC Appliances like a Fan, TV etc for home automation project do not use MonkMakes Relay as it cannot handle high voltage devices. The easiest and safest way to do such a project would be to use an edge connector and a normal high voltage relay module. You can connect the relay with an edge connector using jumper wires. Buy MonkMakes Relay from here.
5. Kitronik Motor Driver V2 for Micro:bit
In any project that requires motion, a motor is a must. It may be servo, stepper or a normal dc motor. For any robotics projects we will need a special chip to provide the necessary current for running the motor. It is called a Motor driver. The Kitronik Motor Driver for Micro:bit V2 board provides a simple way to add motor driving capability to a BBC Micro:bit. It allows us to drive two motors with full forward, reverse & stop control. It has blocks to connect four input devices. The Pins from the Micro:bit are broken out to pads on the end of the Motor driver board. These pads can either be soldered onto directly or we can solder in PCB Pin headers. Buy it from here.
I hope that with this curated selection of accessories you would be able to explore the full potential of BBC Micro:bit and make some cool projects. If you are confused on selecting the correct programming language for your application in BBC Micro:bit, you can checkout my previous blog BBC Micro:bit : What programming language to use?