XK05 Support materials

The XK05 IoT Starter kit for the BBC micro:bit is the quickest and easiest way to get your micro:bit out of the playground and onto the Cloud. Introducing classrooms and first time users with no technical know-how to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Are you a first time user or not very confident with IoT?  Or do you just fancy a simple curated journey to get your micro:bit online?  If so why not try the: curated first experience journey brought to you by XinaBox and ALSO AllThingsTalk.

The main purpose of this page is to take you through the steps needed to use the XK05 to get your micro:bit online.

Table of contents:

The XK05 is multi-functional:

There are 3 different ways in which you can use the XK05:

For IoT (as explained below). 
As a data logger. Learn how to use your IM01 bridge and BBC micro:bit for data logging on this page
Control the LED on the IM01. In physical computing turning an LED on and off is the equivalent of 'Hello World' - its the first thing most people learn. Find out how to use the IM01 LED in MakeCode on this page. It can be a useful tool in your IoT projects as a simple visual output.   

IoT: Getting Started:

We've made the process of connecting your micro:bit to the cloud as easy as possible and removed as much of the jargon and technical complexity as we could.  Using IoT should be about data, not about arcane technical concepts.

There are 3 different tasks needed to connect your XK05 to an IoT platform:

Build the hardware Everything you need to know about using the XK05 hardware and your micro:bit to connect to the cloud is detailed on this page.
Choose and setup an IoT platform Read below to find out what your options are regarding IoT platforms and how to decide which one to use.
Software and writing code Everything you need to know about micro:bit firmware and how to write code in Makecode is detailed on this page.

Choosing an IoT platform:

The CW01 MakeCode library supports the following IoT platforms:

  1. ALSO AllThingsTalk
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Ubidots
  4. Generic MQTT (blocks to connect to any MQTT server)

You will need to choose a platform, and your level of experience with IoT should be a factor in the choice:

Writing code:

Before you start coding please read through the XK05 - software page, which will help to ensure you and your micro:bit are ready to connect to the cloud.  That page includes a helpful 5-page how-to guide that covers the following topics:

  1. Importing the CW01 extension into MakeCode. 
  2. Connecting to Wi-Fi and the IoT platform in MakeCode
  3. Understanding basic data types
  4. Sending data to an IoT platform
  5. Parsing data and how to receive data from your IoT platform.

These how-to guides will help to explain the blocks shown below, which make up a viable program that just needs parameters to be added. The blocks are similar for all 4 of the IoT platforms supported:


    There are a few things that can go wrong when trying to connect to the Cloud, and we have tried to anticipate these in the 2 pages linked to above (XK05 - hardware and XK05 - software). 

    If you've been through these pages but are still having issues we've put together a trouble-shooting guide with a bunch of things you can check. It also has details about how to get in touch with us if none of the suggestions work.  The guide is in PDF format and you can view it here.

    Check out the full range of 'micro:bit ready' xChips