Feathers are the main/mother boards of the Feather platform.

You always need one Feather and can add zero or more FeatherWings to increase the capabilites.

For example:

  • Feather Huzzah ESP8266 + Music Maker FeatherWing = MP3 streaming player
  • Feather 32u4 Bluefruit + NeoPixel FeatherWing = Bluetooth LE controllable RGB lamp
  • Feather 32u4 FONA + GPS FeatherWing = Cellular GPS locator with SMS control
  • Feather nRF52 Bluefruit + Motor FeatherWing + Robot Chassis = Phone-controlled robot rover
  • etc!

All Feathers...

  • All Feathers have a microcontroller that can be programmed by Arduino IDE
  • All Feathers are 3.3V logic
  • All Feathers come with a MicroUSB or USB-C connector that is used for data and power
  • All Feathers have a bootloader, and do not require a separate programmer device
  • All Feathers have USB Serial for debug (sometimes it is part of a native USB interface, sometimes via a USB-serial adapter chip)
  • All Feathers are 0.9" wide, and fit in a breadboard with 1 row available on one side, and two rows on opposite side.
  • Almost all are 2.0" long (M0 ATWINC Feathers, FONA Feathers, and Hallowing M0 Express are the exceptions)
  • All Feathers have the same two mounting holes near the USB port
  • All Feathers have Power, I2C, SPI, UART pins in the same location. Remaining pins try to be as similar as possible (but they may have different pin names/numbers)
  • All Feathers can run from USB or LiPo battery, and have a LiPo charger built-in

Most Feathers...

  • Most of the Feathers have an Enable pin that will allow shutdown via logic level (Teensy and FONA Feathers are the exceptions)
  • Most of the Feathers have a native USB connection (nRF52832 and ESP8266 are the exceptions)

Some Feathers...

  • Some Feathers have a wireless module built in. Those that do not most likely can have an added FeatherWing to provide a radio.
  • Only Feathers with "Express" in their name are fully CircuitPython Compatible.
  • Feathers with a SAMD21 "M0" processor but not an "Express" board may run CircuitPython but must share the onboard flash with CircuitPython, restricting the space available.

No Feathers

  • No feathers are guaranteed to be 5V-input compliant. Use 3.3V logic only please!

This guide was first published on May 14, 2017. It was last updated on May 25, 2022.

This page (Feathers) was last updated on May 13, 2017.

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