Control Hardware

Here we use an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (CPX) which has the following characteristics:

  • Has a transmit IR LED with a wide field of view and good transmit power
  • CPX shows up on your computer as a USB flash drive when connected via a power+data USB cable
  • CPX is programmable via CircuitPython, a language that is easy to use and code that can be changed quickly without installing a toolchain (like Arduino) and changes do not require recompile, just copy a new code file onto CPX and it runs.

Parts List

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Programmable in CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino
1 x 3 x AA Battery Holder
With On/Off Switch, JST connector, and Belt Clip
1 x USB cable - A/MicroB - 3ft
Always use a known good USB cable, not a charge only cable

Build

Hook up the Circuit Playground Express as shown below. When using the USB cable, you don't need the battery pack connected.

For programming and testing, you don't need the battery pack connected, the USB cable will power the Circuit Playground Express and allow for programming. 

When programming is complete and you want a stand-alone controller, disconnect the USB cable and plug in the battery pack which has 3 AA cells in it. There is an on/off switch on the battery pack. Note the switch on the Circuit Playground Express is not a power switch.

This guide was first published on May 24, 2018. It was last updated on May 24, 2018. This page (Control Hardware) was last updated on Sep 17, 2019.