MicroBit Adapter

It was brought up in this chat over here about using adapter hats, and even the MicroBit came up in the post by @mwm

The other day @HomineLudens posted a video about a DIY connection between Pokitto and MicroBit using the accelerometer in the MicroBit to control some sand on Pokitto. Needless to say, I’m not obsessed with this idea.

The critical reason why my MicroBits collect dust on the shelf is because they use the edge connector gpio pins instead of the more usual connectors like Pokitto. I currently do not have clips to use on it, and haven’t even thought about finding a way to use my jumper wires to connect.
[image of the MicroBit for folks that haven’t seen one] more details here

You can usually find them online in the US for around 15$ or so. If you took a look, you’ll see that these bad boys are a sensor powerhouse, and for that price it is really a nice all in one kind of kit!

So, mixing this with Pokitto, as a sort of HAT, is brilliant!
You’d instantly have a Pokitto with access to:

  • Radio + Bluetooth
  • Temperature sensor
  • Compass
  • Accelerometer
  • 2 More buttons
  • An LED matrix display

That’s pretty exciting!

So, with all that, the only actual difficulty would then be the adapter. I’ve briefly took to looking for a preexisting adapter, but they don’t line up with the Pokitto PEX out of the box as far as I’ve seen. Not the end of the world, may just have to find more kludgy ways to make it fit.

I’ll keep looking and updating here with how this adventure turns out.


The reason the micro:bit uses edge connectors is because British schools tend to use wires fitted with crocodile clips or banana plugs for teaching electronics.

They weren’t really designed with hobbyists in mind.

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Understandable :slight_smile: I guess I could have clarified that I meant the more usual connectors that I have available to myself at the moment :sweat_smile:

I know what you mean, they’re a bit awkward,
I’m just pointing out that they make sense in context.

If they’d been fitted with ‘normal’ GPIO pins the BBC would have had teachers complaining that the boards were useless because they don’t have any jumper cables in the equipment cabinet and it would take too much out of the school’s budget to buy some. :P

(Though with the popularity of the Pi that may have changed since then.)

I must admit, that’s some nice attention to detail:

Guard pins are provided both sides of the 3V and GND pads, so that shorting by crocodile clips does not degrade the features of the device by causing spurious inputs.

At any rate, there’s probably a reasonable way to bridge the gap.

Maybe you could wrap a wire around a conductive screw and put the screw through the hole?

It’s supposed to fit a 4mm banana plug,
so a conductive flat-ended screw of similar dimensions ought to work, with a nut to fasten it maybe?

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I don’t know if @HomineLudens posted the video to Twitter or anything yet, but it appears that is what they did to get it working :slight_smile:

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My mind is flooded with possibility…

I’m trying to improve the dust algorithm, right now it’s not working as expected.

And a light sensor…


Whoa! How did I miss this :laughing:

oh yeah!! I forgot the LED’s can work as light sensors haha


I’ve seen a number of these, but none that would be “plug and play” with the PEX without some reworking of the pins.

I think anything you want to plug into the PEX would need the pins reworked.

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