MakeCode

Getting familiar with MakeCode

This project runs a simple MakeCode sketch and is easy to play with if you want to make changes.

Microsoft MakeCode for Adafruit is a web-based code editor that provides a block editor, similar to Scratch or Code.org, and also a JavaScript editor for more advanced users.

If you've never used the Circuit Playground Express with MakeCode before, this guide is a good place to start.

The Code

The code is shown below. For browser viewing, you may need to enable content. For example, in Chrome, click "Show Embedded Content" as the material is fed not from Adafruit but from Microsoft's MakeCode site.

To download the code, click the download link at the bottom of the window. To edit the code in MakeCode, click the box with arrow icon in the upper right corner of the window.

How to Upload Code

To upload code to Circuit Playground Express, follow these instructions:

1) Connect your Circuit Playground Express to your computer using a known, good data+power micro USB cable and press the small reset button in the center of the board. All the LEDs will flash red briefly, then turn green. Your computer should now show a removable drive called CPLAYBOOT. 

2) Click the Download button in the code window below to download the .UF2 file to your computer.

3) Now drag and drop the .UF2 file onto the CPLAYBOOT drive in your computer's file explorer or finder.

Once the file is dragged onto CPLAYBOOT, the drive will automatically eject itself (your computer may give you a "failed to eject drive correctly" error, you can ignore this). The code is now on your Circuit Playground Express and ready to run!

Note: If you get a drive named CIRCUITPY, no worries! Press the reset button twice to get a flash drive named CPLAYBOOT. The project will not run if copied onto the CIRCUITPY drive as it is for CircuitPython.

Making Changes

In the on start loop, we set all pixels to red and start with the brightness 0, and set the sensitivity threshold to 200.

The pixels are set to illuminate whenever the value of analog read pin A2 goes over200, which can be done by touching it, resulting in an increase in the capacitance. 

If you find your heart isn't sensitive to touch, or is too sensitive, you can change this value from 200 down to 150 or up to 800(max 1023).

Troubleshooting

Problem: My Circuit Playground Express doesn't show up as CPLAYBOOT

Solutions:

  1. Be sure you have a Circuit Playground Express.  The Circuit Playground Classic will not work with MakeCode.
  2. If you get a drive named CIRCUITPY instead, press the reset button twice in succession to get to CPLAYBOOT.
  3. Some USB cables are "charge-only" and won't pass data. Try using a different USB cable and try using a different USB port on your computer.  
  4. With the Circuit Playground Express plugged into your computer with a micro USB cable, click the small reset button in the center of the board. The lights should all turn green. If they don't, try double-clicking the reset button.

If things still aren't working, head over to the Intro to Circuit Playground Express guide for more suggestions.

This guide was first published on Sep 13, 2019. It was last updated on Sep 13, 2019. This page (MakeCode) was last updated on May 23, 2020.