Make A Wish

With the launch of a new round of Microbit electronics courses in a number of Salisbury schools, what better way to show of the capabilities of the little Microbit board than building a project of our own. Here we are building an animated Zoltar fortune telling machine and below is an update video and walkthrough on how it’s made. Don’t forget to make a wish!


Coding Motors

Sorting out the components for next week’s electronics lessons. We’ll be learning about motor control which opens up a whole world of possibilities. Previous projects that have come out of the course include an automatic plant waterer, a greenhouse window opener/closer to help regulate temperature and a motion activated cat feeder.

Microbit Motor Control

The Electronics Course Returns

There’s an exciting new course in town! This one is all about electronics and kicks off at Bishop Wordsworth School after the half term break. Open to all who have previously attended the intermediate courses, these new electronics lessons explore the possibilities of programming circuits with the help of the BBC Microbit. Microbits will be loaned out for the lessons but you are welcome to bring your own Microbit if you have one of your own.

Coding Kits Update

First Coding would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped test the Micro:bit kits we’re developing. Whether you tested the kits to destruction, tried to find bugs in the code or were just happy to receive a parcel to check that the kits survived the journey in the post, thank you so much!

After a summer of refining ideas and reworking code, we have a couple of really nice kit designs that will shortly be going into production. The idea was to develop a case for the BBC Micro:bit that could then have accessories fitted to it. The first is a Morse code kit, a fun little kit that includes a Morse code key to attach to your Micro:bit case as well as the Python code to allow you to tap out your own secret messages. All kits come with fully illustrated instructions and you’re encouraged to play with the code to make it your own.

The second kit to go into production is the Micro:bit Code Breaker kit. In our attempt to create an uncrackable code, we’ve incorporated some of the features into the code for this kit, ensure that any encoded secret messages you send don’t run the risk of being worked out.

It has been a very long road getting here, one which has taught us a great deal about product development. The products have gone through a number of versions and as a result there is a huge collection of prototypes. We’ll have to think of a good idea that puts them to good use.

Meeting Microbit

I was fortunate enough to talk with the people at Microbit whilst attending the Bett Show this weekend. They were really surprised at some of the projects that have come out of First Coding’s advanced courses, so well done to all! I came away with stickers for everyone.

This year I really want to push the Microbit to its limit to see what creative projects we can make.




Water Quality Monitoring

In today’s sessions we were looking at how we could use the Microbit to measure water quality. One idea was to use the light sensor, shining a light through the water to then have its intensity measured. Another great idea was to measure the conductivity of the water, as impurities would influence the readings. Here we’re just getting some base readings from ordinary tap water.

The Motor Control Kit

The school talks I recently gave on electronic toy hacking highlighted a problem that motor control for the Raspberry Pi and Microbit could be made a great deal simpler (and cheaper) when you see what’s already out there. It only took two prototypes of my pack before I was happy. Each pack contains example code, components and creativity.

First Coding - Motor Control Kit for the Raspberry Pi and Microbit

I have made the component list, assembly instructions and sample Scratch block code available to download here: Motor control instructions for the Raspberry Pi and Microbit