There are all sorts of xChips: cores, sensors, actuators, power supplies and many more. And there are loads that are compatible with your micro:bit.
This page will help you find an xChip and information on how to use it with your micro:bit.
micro:bit ready xChips
We are working to make as much of our range 'micro:bit ready' as possible. This means that the xChip has:
- An extension that has been optimised for the micro:bit version of MakeCode
- A range of simple how-to-guides and related materials to get micro:bit users started.
The table below lists micro:bit ready xChips - click on the ID for a link to all the information you need to get started using it with your micro:bit::
Measures humidity, temperature and atmospheric pressure
A 64x128 pixel dot matrix monochrome display
Light / UVA / UVB
Measures the light intensity in lux and UVA and UVB radiation
micro:bit bridge with slot for microSD card
Connect xChips to a micro:bit.
Read to / write from the microSD card
Has a controllable LED
Servo motor controller
|Used to control up to eight servo motors simultaneously|
|SL06||Light sensor||Measures lux, colour, proximity and gesture. Great as a user input device|
|SN01||GPS||Returns GPS coordinates as well as real time, altitude and speed|
|CW01||Wi-Fi||As part of the XK05 IoT kit, use the CW01 to connect your micro:bit to the IoT|
|RLxx||LoRa radio||Coming soon!|
|SG33||VOC and CO2 sensor||Coming soon!|
|PB04||Intelligent battery||Coming soon!|
For more experienced users:
At XinaBox we are always pushing the boundaries and developing new xChips and, where possible, trying to get them to work with micro:bit. When successful we look to build MakeCode extensions and develop how-to guides and entry level materials - that's when we call an xChip 'micro:bit ready'. But this takes time, and some great prototypes have been developed that are 'pre-micro:bit ready':
- We connected micro:bit to LoRa networks on 3 continents using our various LoRa xChips (different parts of the globe follow different standards).
- Loads of our sensors and other peripherals have WiP MakeCode libraries - as well as microPython, Ardiuno and other options too. If you are used to GitHub and you don't mind things a bit rough around the edges in a few places, please take a look at our repos (link below) and feel free to raise feature requests / issues and engage with us on GitHub:
- The PB04 houses 2 AA batteries to supply power to the circuit. Its packed with some cool tech that you can read about on this page. Use for high power consumption peripherals such as servos and Wi-Fi.
- The PB02 coin cell battery is a great way to power small, portable instruments. Use with peripherals that draw low power (so not with servos and Wi-Fi).
At XinaBox we've done away with cables/wires as being a key element of how to build a circuit. There are some uses cases, however, when having an xChip located at a distance from your microprocessor might be useful (e.g. a sensor is placed in an experimental closed / hazardous environment, or motors are located in different places on a robot).
- The AI04 extenders are the perfect solution to spreading your instrument over a large area. Connect them together and use a single power source (USB or PB04, but not a coin cell) to power the whole circuit. Use telephone cable (NB: 'straight patch cable') to place sensors many meters away from the micro:bit.
The image below shows the AI04 being used in a bicycle project: it has a dashboard on the handle-bars with OLED screen and a sensor placed near the rear wheel to measure rotation / speed:
If you have a 3D printer you can design and print enclosures for the instruments that you build with XinaBox and micro:bit. We've developed an online app that will allow you to specify loads of parameters to build a customised enclosure. The app outputs STL files which work with most 3D printers
Interfaces and bridges:
The XinaBox ecosystem is completely open and modular.
Modular: A single xChip delivers at least one (sometimes several) very specific functions: e.g. the SW01 measures temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure, the OC05 controls 1-8 servos, the SN01 provides GPS coordinates). Want to measure and record CO2 levels whilst cycling, and display your speed on a screen? Five xChips clipped together will do the job.
Open: It doesn't matter whether you are using a micro:bit, RaspberryPi, Beaglebone, Minnowboard or 96Boards: the same xChip will work with all the SBCs, you just need the right bridge. And they can be coded in a broad range of languages and platforms, including Arduino IDE. A single set of xChips and a few bridges can service a broad range of educational needs.
XinaBox kits for micro:bit:
We've launched 2 great kits for the BBC micro:bit:
- The XK04 STEM kit includes sensors, an OLED screen, a servo motor and a battery pack. Take your micro:bit into the environment with this great kit, or use it to build automation projects. The kit also includes the IM01 interface, which connects your micro:bit to the xChips and turns your micro:bit into a data logger:
- The XK05 IoT kit for micro:bit provides the most simple way to use Wi-Fi to connect your micro:bit to the Internet of Things (IoT). Includes the IM01 data logger interface:
- The BBC micro:bit is an adequate entry level tool for data science - the support that is available in the ecosystem and the simplicity of MakeCode makes it an easy entry point. But it lacks power and scalability. Have a look at the XinaBox data science solutions for options to consider when micro:bit's limitations become a bit restrictive.
- The are loads of great projects on our projects portal.
- Find out what we are up to on our blog - from orbiting in space to surviving a fall from 30km there's always something exciting happening at XinaBox! We try to publish new blogs weekly so pop back or bookmark us.
- Check out the full range of xChips, including some great kits.