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CircuitPython First Board Advice
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

CircuitPython First Board Advice

by yocummr on Thu Jan 27, 2022 2:20 am

Hi,

Please forgive me if this question is answered elsewhere, and direct me to the answer. I am a longtime Arduino user, and I am looking to get my first CircuitPython board. I need a board that can do MIDI over USB (both input and output), simple file reading, support a small number of keys for input, and perhaps support a small display for output. You have a dizzying array of boards available, and I am finding it a challenge to pick the best one (or even one that will work real well). Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike

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Re: CircuitPython First Board Advice

by dastels on Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:41 am

Get something with plenty of memory because CircuitPython does like memory. That means at least a SAMD51 board (aka M4)... stay away from "M0" boards.

Feathers are good mainly due to the variety of addon boards (FeatherWings) as well as having a reasonable number of I/O pins. There are several display FeatherWings so that's mostly a matter of choosing what type and size display you want. They also have onboard battery support/charging but if you're using USB MIDI, that won't be a concern.

The Feather M4 Express is IMO the basic CircuitPython board. It has plenty of memory but no onboard wireless capability. If you want bluetooth capabilities, the Feather nRF52840 is a nice CircuitPython board. An ESP32-S2 board is nice as well and gives you WiFi capability without having to add another board.

A lot of boards support the usb_midi module: https://circuitpython.readthedocs.io/en/latest/shared-bindings/support_matrix.html?filter=usb_midi.

Again, the Feather M4 Express is a great CircuitPython board to start with if you don't need any of the feathers of some of the other boards.

Dave

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Re: CircuitPython First Board Advice

by tannewt on Thu Jan 27, 2022 2:34 pm

This guide goes over some options in more detail too: https://learn.adafruit.com/choose-your- ... thon-board

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Re: CircuitPython First Board Advice

by yocummr on Thu Jan 27, 2022 9:47 pm

Thank you, folks! You’ve been most helpful!

Mike

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Re: CircuitPython First Board Advice

by kevinjwalters on Sun Jan 30, 2022 8:43 pm

I often forget the PyPortal has a resistive touch screen which makes it useable for input and I think it ticks the other boxes you list and its SAMD51 has a decent amount of memory.

I've not quite finished it yet but I wrote some code over the weekend which shows its touch screen in action: Wordle on Adafruit PyPortal in CircuitPython (YouTube).

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.