Take your Feather and plug it into your computer via a known good data + power USB cable. Have your Feather Bluefruit handy as you'll be performing most of the same steps for each. Your operating system will show a drive named CIRCUITPY when a board is plugged in. If you get a drive named FTHR840BOOT or FEATHERBOOT you'll likely need to install CircuitPython.

Install Libraries

You'll need a few CircuitPython libraries in the lib folder on the Feather CIRCUITPY drive for the code to work. Head to https://circuitpython.org/libraries to download the latest library bundle matching the major version of CircuitPython now on your board (6 for CircuitPython 6.x, etc.).

Once you've downloaded the libraries bundle, add these libraries to the lib folder on the Feather:

  • adafruit_bus_device
  • adafruit_led_animation
  • adafruit_lis3dh.mpy
  • neopixel.mpy

BLE Libraries

Install the bluetooth libraries for the Feather nRF52840

  • adafruit_ble
  • adafruit_bluefruit_connect

Your Feather nRF52840 CIRCUITPY drive should look like this after you load the code below.:

Your Feather M4 Express CIRCUITPY drive should look like this after you load the code below.:

Download the Feather nRF52840 Code from GitHub

Once your Feather nRF52840 is all setup with CircuitPython and the necessary libraries, you can click on the Download: Project Zip link above the code to get the files.

"""
Prop-Maker based Darksaber
Adapted from the Prop-Maker based Master Sword code
by Kattni Rembor & Limor Fried
Adafruit invests time and resources providing this open source code.
Please support Adafruit and open source hardware by purchasing
products from Adafruit!
Written by Liz Clark for Adafruit Industries
Copyright (c) 2021 Adafruit Industries
Licensed under the MIT license.
All text above must be included in any redistribution.
"""

import time
import random
import board
from digitalio import DigitalInOut, Direction
import neopixel
import adafruit_lis3dh
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.solid import Solid
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.pulse import Pulse
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.comet import Comet

from adafruit_bluefruit_connect.packet import Packet
from adafruit_bluefruit_connect.color_packet import ColorPacket

from adafruit_ble import BLERadio
from adafruit_ble.advertising.standard import ProvideServicesAdvertisement
from adafruit_ble.services.nordic import UARTService

# BLE setup
ble = BLERadio()
uart_service = UARTService()
advertisement = ProvideServicesAdvertisement(uart_service)

# CUSTOMISE SENSITIVITY HERE: smaller numbers = more sensitive to motion
HIT_THRESHOLD = 250
SWING_THRESHOLD = 150

# Set to the length in seconds of the "on.wav" file
POWER_ON_SOUND_DURATION = 1.7

#  NeoPixel setup
NUM_PIXELS = 34  # Number of pixels used in project
NEOPIXEL_PIN = board.D5
POWER_PIN = board.D10

enable = DigitalInOut(POWER_PIN)
enable.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
enable.value = False

strip = neopixel.NeoPixel(NEOPIXEL_PIN, NUM_PIXELS, brightness=.5, auto_write=False)
strip.fill(0)  # NeoPixels off ASAP on startup
strip.show()

#  default NeoPixel color is white
COLOR = (255, 255, 255)

#  NeoPixel animations
pulse = Pulse(strip, speed=0.05, color=COLOR, period=3)
solid = Solid(strip, color=COLOR)
comet = Comet(strip, speed=0.05, color=COLOR, tail_length=40)

#audio
try:
    from audiocore import WaveFile
except ImportError:
    from audioio import WaveFile

try:
    from audioio import AudioOut
except ImportError:
    try:
        from audiopwmio import PWMAudioOut as AudioOut
    except ImportError:
        pass  # not always supported by every board!

audio = AudioOut(board.A0)  # Speaker
wave_file = None

# Set up accelerometer on I2C bus, 4G range:
i2c = board.I2C()
accel = adafruit_lis3dh.LIS3DH_I2C(i2c)
accel.range = adafruit_lis3dh.RANGE_4_G

def play_wav(name, loop=False):
    """
    Play a WAV file in the 'sounds' directory.
    :param name: partial file name string, complete name will be built around
                 this, e.g. passing 'foo' will play file 'sounds/foo.wav'.
    :param loop: if True, sound will repeat indefinitely (until interrupted
                 by another sound).
    """
    global wave_file  # pylint: disable=global-statement
    print("playing", name)
    if wave_file:
        wave_file.close()
    try:
        wave_file = open('sounds/' + name + '.wav', 'rb')
        wave = WaveFile(wave_file)
        audio.play(wave, loop=loop)
    except OSError:
        pass # we'll just skip playing then


def power_on(sound, duration):
    """
    Animate NeoPixels with accompanying sound effect for power on.
    :param sound: sound name (similar format to play_wav() above)
    :param duration: estimated duration of sound, in seconds (>0.0)
    """
    start_time = time.monotonic()  # Save audio start time
    play_wav(sound)
    while True:
        elapsed = time.monotonic() - start_time  # Time spent playing sound
        if elapsed > duration:  # Past sound duration?
            break  # Stop animating
        comet.animate()

# List of swing wav files without the .wav in the name for use with play_wav()
swing_sounds = [
    'swing1',
    'swing2',
    'swing3',
    'swing4',
]

# List of hit wav files without the .wav in the name for use with play_wav()
hit_sounds = [
    'hit1',
    'hit2',
    'hit3',
    'hit4',
]

mode = 0  # Initial mode = OFF

#RGB LED
red_led = DigitalInOut(board.D11)
green_led = DigitalInOut(board.D12)
blue_led = DigitalInOut(board.D13)

red_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
green_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
blue_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT

blue_led.value = True
red_led.value = True
green_led.value = True

#  Darksaber start-up before loop
if mode == 0:  # If currently off...
    enable.value = True
    power_on('on', POWER_ON_SOUND_DURATION)  # Power up!
    play_wav('idle', loop=True)  # Play idle sound now
    mode = 1  # Idle mode

while True:
    #  begin advertising BLE
    ble.start_advertising(advertisement)
    #  if no BLE connection...
    #  allows it to be used without the bluefruit app connection
    while not ble.connected:
        if mode >= 1:  # If not OFF mode...
            x, y, z = accel.acceleration  # Read accelerometer
            accel_total = x * x + z * z
            # (Y axis isn't needed, due to the orientation that the Prop-Maker
            # Wing is mounted.  Also, square root isn't needed, since we're
            # comparing thresholds...use squared values instead.)
            if accel_total > HIT_THRESHOLD:  # Large acceleration = HIT
                TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of hit
                play_wav(random.choice(hit_sounds))  # Start playing 'hit' sound
                #  NeoPixels are solid on with a hit
                solid.animate()
                mode = 3  # HIT mode
            elif mode == 1 and accel_total > SWING_THRESHOLD:  # Mild = SWING
                TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of swing
                play_wav(random.choice(swing_sounds))  # Randomly choose from available swing sounds
                while audio.playing:
                    pass # wait till we're done
                mode = 2  # we'll go back to idle mode
            elif mode == 1:
                #  pulse animation when idling or swinging
                pulse.animate()
            elif mode > 1:  # If in SWING or HIT mode...
                if audio.playing:  # And sound currently playing...
                    blend = time.monotonic() - TRIGGER_TIME  # Time since triggered
                    if mode == 2:  # If SWING,
                        blend = abs(0.5 - blend) * 2.0  # ramp up, down
                else:  # No sound now, but still SWING or HIT modes
                    play_wav('idle', loop=True)  # Resume idle sound
                    mode = 1  # Return to idle mode
    ble.stop_advertising()

    #  if BLE is connected...
    while ble.connected:
        #  color picker from bluefruit app
        if uart_service.in_waiting:
            packet = Packet.from_stream(uart_service)
            #  if a color packet is recieved...
            if isinstance(packet, ColorPacket):
                print(packet.color)
                #  color for the different animations are updated
                comet.color = packet.color
                solid.color = packet.color
                pulse.color = packet.color
                solid.animate()
        #  repeat of the above code
        if mode >= 1:  # If not OFF mode...
            x, y, z = accel.acceleration  # Read accelerometer
            accel_total = x * x + z * z
            # (Y axis isn't needed, due to the orientation that the Prop-Maker
            # Wing is mounted.  Also, square root isn't needed, since we're
            # comparing thresholds...use squared values instead.)
            if accel_total > HIT_THRESHOLD:  # Large acceleration = HIT
                TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of hit
                play_wav(random.choice(hit_sounds))  # Start playing 'hit' sound
                #  NeoPixels are solid on with a hit
                solid.animate()
                mode = 3  # HIT mode
            elif mode == 1 and accel_total > SWING_THRESHOLD:  # Mild = SWING
                TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of swing
                play_wav(random.choice(swing_sounds))  # Randomly choose from available swing sounds
                while audio.playing:
                    pass # wait till we're done
                mode = 2  # we'll go back to idle mode

            elif mode == 1:
                #  pulse animation when idling or swinging
                pulse.animate()
            elif mode > 1:  # If in SWING or HIT mode...
                if audio.playing:  # And sound currently playing...
                    blend = time.monotonic() - TRIGGER_TIME  # Time since triggered
                    if mode == 2:  # If SWING,
                        blend = abs(0.5 - blend) * 2.0  # ramp up, down
                else:  # No sound now, but still SWING or HIT modes
                    play_wav('idle', loop=True)  # Resume idle sound
                    mode = 1  # Return to idle mode

Download Feather M4 Code from GitHub

Once your Feather M4 Express is all setup with CircuitPython and the necessary libraries, you can click on the Download: Project Zip link above in the code to get the file.

"""
Prop-Maker based Darksaber
Adapted from the Prop-Maker based Master Sword code
by Kattni Rembor & Limor Fried
Adafruit invests time and resources providing this open source code.
Please support Adafruit and open source hardware by purchasing
products from Adafruit!
Written by Liz Clark for Adafruit Industries
Copyright (c) 2021 Adafruit Industries
Licensed under the MIT license.
All text above must be included in any redistribution.
"""

import time
import random
import board
from digitalio import DigitalInOut, Direction
import neopixel
import adafruit_lis3dh
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.solid import Solid
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.pulse import Pulse
from adafruit_led_animation.animation.comet import Comet

# CUSTOMISE SENSITIVITY HERE: smaller numbers = more sensitive to motion
HIT_THRESHOLD = 250
SWING_THRESHOLD = 150

# Set to the length in seconds of the "on.wav" file
POWER_ON_SOUND_DURATION = 1.7

#  NeoPixel setup
NUM_PIXELS = 34  # Number of pixels used in project
NEOPIXEL_PIN = board.D5
POWER_PIN = board.D10

enable = DigitalInOut(POWER_PIN)
enable.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
enable.value = False

strip = neopixel.NeoPixel(NEOPIXEL_PIN, NUM_PIXELS, brightness=.5, auto_write=False)
strip.fill(0)  # NeoPixels off ASAP on startup
strip.show()

#  default NeoPixel color is white
COLOR = (255, 255, 255)

#  NeoPixel animations
pulse = Pulse(strip, speed=0.05, color=COLOR, period=3)
solid = Solid(strip, color=COLOR)
comet = Comet(strip, speed=0.05, color=COLOR, tail_length=40)

#audio
try:
    from audiocore import WaveFile
except ImportError:
    from audioio import WaveFile

try:
    from audioio import AudioOut
except ImportError:
    try:
        from audiopwmio import PWMAudioOut as AudioOut
    except ImportError:
        pass  # not always supported by every board!

audio = AudioOut(board.A0)  # Speaker
wave_file = None

# Set up accelerometer on I2C bus, 4G range:
i2c = board.I2C()
accel = adafruit_lis3dh.LIS3DH_I2C(i2c)
accel.range = adafruit_lis3dh.RANGE_4_G

def play_wav(name, loop=False):
    """
    Play a WAV file in the 'sounds' directory.
    :param name: partial file name string, complete name will be built around
                 this, e.g. passing 'foo' will play file 'sounds/foo.wav'.
    :param loop: if True, sound will repeat indefinitely (until interrupted
                 by another sound).
    """
    global wave_file  # pylint: disable=global-statement
    print("playing", name)
    if wave_file:
        wave_file.close()
    try:
        wave_file = open('sounds/' + name + '.wav', 'rb')
        wave = WaveFile(wave_file)
        audio.play(wave, loop=loop)
    except OSError:
        pass # we'll just skip playing then


def power_on(sound, duration):
    """
    Animate NeoPixels with accompanying sound effect for power on.
    :param sound: sound name (similar format to play_wav() above)
    :param duration: estimated duration of sound, in seconds (>0.0)
    """
    start_time = time.monotonic()  # Save audio start time
    play_wav(sound)
    while True:
        elapsed = time.monotonic() - start_time  # Time spent playing sound
        if elapsed > duration:  # Past sound duration?
            break  # Stop animating
        comet.animate()

# List of swing wav files without the .wav in the name for use with play_wav()
swing_sounds = [
    'swing1',
    'swing2',
    'swing3',
    'swing4',
]

# List of hit wav files without the .wav in the name for use with play_wav()
hit_sounds = [
    'hit1',
    'hit2',
    'hit3',
    'hit4',
]

mode = 0  # Initial mode = OFF

#RGB LED
red_led = DigitalInOut(board.D11)
green_led = DigitalInOut(board.D12)
blue_led = DigitalInOut(board.D13)

red_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
green_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT
blue_led.direction = Direction.OUTPUT

blue_led.value = True
red_led.value = True
green_led.value = True

# Main loop
while True:

    if mode == 0:  # If currently off...
        enable.value = True
        power_on('on', POWER_ON_SOUND_DURATION)  # Power up!
        play_wav('idle', loop=True)  # Play idle sound now
        mode = 1  # Idle mode

    elif mode >= 1:  # If not OFF mode...
        x, y, z = accel.acceleration  # Read accelerometer
        accel_total = x * x + z * z
        # (Y axis isn't needed, due to the orientation that the Prop-Maker
        # Wing is mounted.  Also, square root isn't needed, since we're
        # comparing thresholds...use squared values instead.)
        if accel_total > HIT_THRESHOLD:  # Large acceleration = HIT
            TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of hit
            play_wav(random.choice(hit_sounds))  # Start playing 'hit' sound
            solid.animate()
            mode = 3  # HIT mode
        elif mode == 1 and accel_total > SWING_THRESHOLD:  # Mild = SWING
            TRIGGER_TIME = time.monotonic()  # Save initial time of swing
            play_wav(random.choice(swing_sounds))  # Randomly choose from available swing sounds
            while audio.playing:
                pass # wait till we're done
            mode = 2  # we'll go back to idle mode

        elif mode == 1:
            pulse.animate()
        elif mode > 1:  # If in SWING or HIT mode...
            if audio.playing:  # And sound currently playing...
                blend = time.monotonic() - TRIGGER_TIME  # Time since triggered
                if mode == 2:  # If SWING,
                    blend = abs(0.5 - blend) * 2.0  # ramp up, down
            else:  # No sound now, but still SWING or HIT modes
                play_wav('idle', loop=True)  # Resume idle sound
                mode = 1  # Return to idle mode

Sound Effects

The audio files are hosted on the BLE code github repo. You can make your own audio files or use the royalty-free ones we've provided. Be sure to create a new folder named "sounds" on to CIRCUITPY drive and drop in the audio files.

Adafruit CircuitPython supports 16-bit, Mono, 22.050kHz .wav audio format. Additionally, the looping sample idle.wav should be a multiple of 512 samples long.

This guide was first published on Jan 19, 2021. It was last updated on Jan 19, 2021.

This page (CircuitPython Code Setup) was last updated on Apr 20, 2021.

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