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The Kitronik Alarm Clock Kit with ZIP Halo HD for microbit provides a fun introduction to features of Halo HD. This kit features a modified version of Halo HD, all of the parts required to build the clock, and also power accessories. To get you started we have included an easy to follow tutorial book which will guide you through building your clock & checking all the LEDs are working correctly with some test code. Once this is done, we can then move online for some further tutorials within MakeCode.
The Kitronik Alarm Clock Kit with ZIP Halo HD for micro:bit features a modified version of Halo HD. This modified version is only available via this kit. The changes are as follows; power is now provided via a 2.1mm barrel jack connection and there is also a coin cell holder fitted to the rear of the board. When a 1220 coin cell battery is inserted, it will then provide power to the RTC chip when no power is being supplied to Halo HD. This ensures that you only have to set up the time for your project once. The maths would suggest that the coin cell can last for up to 2 years in this application, though real-world experiences may vary.
The Kitronik Halo HD board for the BBC micro:bit incorporates 60 individually addressable full-colour ZIP LEDs. It also breaks out P1 and P2 to a standard 0.1” footprint, it features a MEMS microphone for detection of sound, and a piezo buzzer to play sound. If that weren't enough, it also features an onboard real-time clock (RTC) controlled by I2C lines from the microbit. The board also has M3 mounting holes for a more sturdy project. We think you'll agree, the board is loaded with useful features. It doesn't stop there...
All other features of the modified versions of Halo HD remain identical to the original. Kitronik has created custom blocks for the ZIP Halo HD for use with MakeCode. To add these blocks; Under the “Advanced” section click on “Extensions”. In the next window search for “Halo HD”. Then, click on the tile to import it into MakeCode. You will see that the blocks are split across three categories; ZIP LEDs, Microphone and Clock. For those requiring more of a challenge, the Alarm Clock Kit kit can also be coded with MicroPython.
Kitronik has also produced 4 tutorials for you to explore once you've finished the supplied booklet. The tutorials are in two formats, as downloadable PDFs and also as tutorials embedded in the MakeCode editor. You can find the links to all at the bottom of this page. Kitronik has also produced some example MicroPython code that covers how to code a basic clock. You will find a link to the MicroPython code GitHub repository at the foot of this page.
The ZIP Halo HD supplied with this kit is powered via a 2.1mm Barrel jack connection. The kit is supplied with a 3xAA Battery holder with aDC Jack and also a USB-B to 2.1mm jack cable. The adapter cable is for use with a separate power supply (not included). A regulated supply is produced on the board which is then fed into the 3V and GND connections to power the connected BBC micro:bit, removing the need to power the BBC micro:bit separately. Halo HD has also been fitted with an ON/OFF switch to maximise battery life. Switch it off when not in use and the onboard coin cell will keep the memory of the RTC chip alive.
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