micro:arcade Kit Experiment Guide

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Contributors: D___Run___, bboyho
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Hardware Overview

The controller:bit (formerly known as the gamer:bit) is a carrier board for the micro:bit. It is similar to an Arduino shield by adding functionality to the micro:bit without the hastle of a number of other boards, components, and all of those jumper wires connected to a breadboard.

SparkFun controller:bit - micro:bit Carrier Board (Qwiic)

SparkFun controller:bit - micro:bit Carrier Board (Qwiic)

DEV-16129
$10.95

In this case, the controller:bit takes your normal run of the mill micro:bit and turns it into a fully functional game system with a few extra parts to take your game experience to the next level. Let's take a closer look at the controller:bit!

Edge Connector

The controller:bit connects to the micro:bit via an edge pin connector in the center of the board. This makes it handy to swap out micro:bits for programming, but also gives reliable connections to all of the different pins on the micro:bit. Make sure that you insert the micro:bit correctly with the LED array facing up!

Edge Connector

Direction Buttons

The controller:bit is designed around a classic game controller which means ther is a familiar "D Pad" style button layout on the left hand side of the board. The pins that each button controls are labeled on the board.

Direction Buttons

  • UP => P0
  • RIGHT => P1
  • DOWN => P8
  • LEFT => P2

Action Buttons

There are two action buttons.

Action Buttons

Let's name them X and Y buttons. Sorry to those used to the classic style naming, but A and B are already referenced with the buttons on the micro:bit. These buttons have no specific use other than what you program them to be. They are connected to the following pins:

  • X (LEFT FUNCTION) => P12
  • Y (RIGHT FUNCTION) => P16

Poke-Home Connectors

On the back of the controller:bit you will notice some odd plastic connectors. These are called poke home connectors. Each one corresponds to a button on the back of the board and are labeled as such. You will end up using these to connect your external components to controller:bits buttons. Each button has two pins to it, one for each wire to connect to the button and component.

Poke Home Connectors

With that, you are ready to start! Are you a user? We hope you have your chips, energy drink and eye drops because this is going to be a marathon!

Qwiic Connector

On v2.0 of the board, you'll notice the additional qwiic connector attached if you decide to connect a qwiic enabled gator device. For the scope of this tutorial, we will be focusing on the rest of the board.

Qwiic Connector

Hardware Overview

The board is about 2.00" x 6.00". THere are three mounting holes on the board if you decide to make an enclosure or secure the board to a panel.

Controller:Bit Board Dimensions