Easy Way

If you want to get started quickly, download the UF2 file linked below. Turn on Hallowing and connect a USB cable to your computer. Double-click Hallowing’s reset button, wait for the HALLOWBOOT drive to appear, then drag the UF2 file to this drive. After a few seconds, the code should be finished transferring and will run.

This will overwrite CircuitPython if it’s currently installed on your board (but your CircuitPython code and any libraries are safe).

You can restore CircuitPython easily by following the directions here.

Using the Spirit Board

Tilt Hallowing various directions to make the board scroll, or tap any of the capacitive touch “fangs” to make it randomly read from a set of Halloween-themed messages. Spooky!

Build From Source

Building the project from source gives you the opportunity to customize the built-in messages to your liking.

This requires the Arduino IDE software for your computer and Adafruit SAMD board support, as explained in this guide.

Several libraries are also required, which can be installed through the Arduino Library Manager (Sketch→Include Library→Manage Libraries…):

  • Adafruit_LIS3DH
  • Adafruit_FreeTouch
  • Adafruit_GFX
  • Adafruit_BusIO
  • Adafruit_ST7735
  • Adafruit_ZeroDMA

Messages are in the file “messages.h,” in the messages[] array starting around line 16. Be mindful of your syntax…quotes at each end of the string and a comma between each list item…or the code won’t compile.

Other than the space character, which provides a short pause between words, there is no punctuation on the spirit board…only the letters A through Z and numbers 0 through 9 can be used. There are a few special exceptions but they require a peculiar syntax:

  • Inserting “\x1” (backslash, x, one) in a string will make the planchette go to the word “YES,” as when answering a question (follow this, or any other special character, with one or more spaces if you want it to pause there).
  • \x2 goes to “NO.”
  • \x3 goes to the CENTER of the “GOOD BYE” phrase.
  • \x4 goes to the START of “GOOD BYE.”
  • \x5 goes to the END of “GOOD BYE” (you’ll notice several of the example messages finish with “\x4\x5” to scroll across the entire “GOOD BYE” phrase).
  • \x6 goes to the center of the “SPIRIT BOARD” label.

The board and planchette graphics are not easily customized. The next page explains some of the program’s internals which experienced programmers might be able to work from.

This guide was first published on Aug 30, 2018. It was last updated on Aug 30, 2018.

This page (Software) was last updated on Apr 17, 2021.

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