Pyboard+Micropython questions

General discussions and questions abound development of code with MicroPython that is not hardware specific.
Target audience: MicroPython Users.
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Jayant
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Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by Jayant » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:59 pm

Hi
I am new to this forum. Last summer, I purchased Arduino for my son who was in high school. He is good at electronics but soon I realized that he was struggling with C/C++ format since he did not have programming background. He is learning Python during his first year in college. I was researching internet to see what microcontroller would be natural fit for him and narrowed down on pyboard. I understand that this is relatively new controller.
I shall apprecciate response to following
1) Are shields/peripherals easily available for pyboard? Where?
2) What kind of projects can be done using pyboard? I researched on internet and did not
find many projects. Any books recommended for starters?
3) Are there any micropython+pyboard meetup groups( I live in Nothern Virginia)? I did not see any groups in Facebook aswell?
4) What is the uptake on pyboard and micropython in general?
Thank you

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pythoncoder
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by pythoncoder » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:40 am

You'll find a book and shields in the store. As for projects, if you look in the hardware projects section of this forum you'll see some things people have built. The Pyboard has been around for some four years; it is widely used and MicroPython running on it is stable and reliable.
Peter Hinch

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deshipu
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by deshipu » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:10 pm

The pyboard is a great device, and a lot can be done with it. But since the community is rather small and not focused on education (outside of the micro:bit), there is not that much documentation and few example projects. There are also only few available shields.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, but really having your particular use case in mind, I would recommend you to take a look at Adafruit's CircuitPython boards instead. They really seem to me like a better fit, as they take advantage of a large ecosystem of existing shields, projects and tutorials. They are more limited than pyboard in terms of available resources, but should be easier to pick up.

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philwilkinson40
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by philwilkinson40 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:29 am

Hi Jayant,
Its great you are encouraging your son in microcontrollers! Even better that you are considering Micropython.

1 &2) i agree with @deshipu, as a beginner you son may get more from Adafruit's range; Huzzah feather series for example. They have a great series of shields with good online tutorials and videos. Lots of simple projects, that can be developed further as your son gains in confidence.
Depending on what he wants to achieve, MicroBit is another option. It has a strong series of tutorials and a huge number of crazy projects to copy. The MicroBit was targeted directly at High School kids in UK, so the should match his level.

Books. I have used Getting Started with MicroPython as a beginner and it was good, with examples and projects. However it may be a little difficult for a high schooler; read a sample from the website first. Another book by Charles Bell looks good but I have not used it.

3) meetups.
There are Americans on the forum so I hope someone will respond to your question of possibilities in northern Virginia. As posts have suggested on other threads, learning and improving coding in Python 3 is a great way to improve skills in applying MicroPython so a local Python meetup, or a coding club may be an option.

4) The take up of Micropython is very rapid, however given the language was only written a few years ago, Arduino is still dominant in the microcontroller maker space (as you have noticed). However, all things point to higher level languages because of the speed with which you can develop ideas and implement prototypes. Your son is definitely pointing in the right direction!

Good Luck
Phil

fpp
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by fpp » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:41 pm

In the Adafruit space, the "Circuit Playground Express" (running CircuitPython) is currently top of the line (CPU and memory-wise).
It's quite the gadget with a lot of stuff built-in, and IMHO the USB drive system is easier to use than the pyboard's for the coding process.

It does have an unusual (round) form factor though, so depending on what you intend to build it may or may not fit the bill (shield support for instance). But I'd say that for a young beginner, all by itself it certainly offers more opportunities for instant gratification than a bare pyboard.

And it's still only 25$.

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fos
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by fos » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:46 pm

Be sure to check out the Raspberry Pi. It is essentially a full computer designed for learning. Python is it's primary learning language but it supports too many programming systems and protocols to mention. It's GPIO pins are available similar to that of a micro controller. It is also very inexpensive. (~$35) - https://raspberrypi.org

You can even program Pyboards, Microbits, and Circuit Express boards with the RPi.

v/r
fos1

Jayant
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Re: Pyboard+Micropython questions

Post by Jayant » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:55 pm

Gentlemen...
I really appreciate your feedback. Thank you very much.
Cheers to the community :P

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