The micro:bit is a device designed for education and hobbyist use. It is programmable and features USB ports, Bluetooth, a grid of LED lights, and some sensors. All these allow it to serve as the basis for maker electronics projects that you can do at home. Before beginning to use one, though, read about a few useful tips for your micro:bit to avoid confusion or the possibility of accidentally damaging it.
Micro:bits are, essentially, computer boards with exposed circuitry and components. You want to handle yours with care since these parts can be delicate. Note that excessive contact with water, the natural oils from your hands, or other liquids can harm the micro:bit. You can buy protective cases that will allow you to work with it without fearing that you’ll break the device. Such cases also have openings that still allow access to the micro:bit’s ports. In general, just being cautious and holding the micro:bit by its edges should circumvent most mishaps.
Your micro:bit will need a power source to function, but you may not know what kind of battery to use with it. Its power source port works optimally with a 3.6 V battery. More powerful batteries—those that give around 3.7 to 4.2 V—can cause damage to your micro:bit. To get the voltage right, steer clear of lithium-polymer batteries, and opt for alkaline ones instead, as these will fall within the maximum voltage that the micro:bit can handle safely.
Every so often, your micro:bit should undergo an update to its firmware, just as your computer or phone might need regular updates for various programs. The micro:bit makes this process easy, as you only need to link the device to a computer and then press and hold the reset button at the top right of its non-LED side. Make sure to disconnect it from its battery during this process. Once connected, you’ll see the micro:bit display as “MAINTENANCE (D:)” in your file manager on Windows or simply “MAINTENANCE” on macOS. Download the newest firmware from the micro:bit website, and drag this file into the maintenance drive. Once the update is complete, the drive will change back to the normal “MICROBIT” name.
With these useful tips for your micro:bit, you can obtain one and get started with some simple projects. Go to Chicago Electronic Distributors online to find micro:bits and micro:bit accessories today.
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