Welcome to the BBC Micro:Bit - a compound board with a brain (the processor), a range of inbuilt sensors and a 5x5 LED matrix all packed onto a board that's hardly 5cm square.

There's a few different ways to program it, suiting everyone from novice to advanced and it's packed with great features to make programming a very creative and intuitive process.

Build, program and compose your way to
WIN A £1000 MAKER BUNDLE
using your micro:bit!

  • Knock out some killer tunes on a micro:bit
  • Make mad micro:bit music
  • Build an instrument powered by micro:bit
Make any musical micro:bit invention, share videos of it with us on social media and the best will win a £1000 maker bundle.

 

Maplin Maker Challenge Terms & Conditions

Geographical restrictions: UK and Republic of Ireland residents only
Competition opening and closing dates: 15th February 2017 and ends at midnight on 22nd April 2017.

No purchase necessary
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Download our free guide.

Learn how to make music with your micro:bit, attach an external speaker and program digital music with MicroPython, includes tutorial and reference content.

micro:bit Music Book

BBC micro:bit

Primary features of the BBC Micro:bit compound board

  • Powered by a USB port (microUSB to USB lead required) or two AAA batteries (not included)
  • Multiple sensors measure your speed, movement, direction and the proximity of certain metals
  • Five ring input/outputs to add to your board
  • 20-pin edge connector to get you connected to a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Galileo or Kano
  • Built-in Bluetooth Low Energy to connect wirelessly

Only £12.99

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BBC micro:bit Go

Same features as the BBC Micro:bit, but with the added extra of ready to go functionality

  • An easy and fun way to learn about electronics and programming, with everything you need to connect to your computer and start experimenting
  • Supplied with microUSB to USB lead
  • Batteries and battery holder included

Only £14.99

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If you're lucky enough to have one of the early release boards (or your child does) there's a few products that can really enhance the Micro:Bit experience.

The Micro:Bit has an obvious set of five flat terminals (pins) at the bottom of the board, marked '0', '1', '2', '3V' and 'GND', 3V and GND provide a 3 volt DC current and a ground channel for the Micro:Bit, the other three pins are GPIO - general purpose input / output, they can be used as an output (providing power for an led or a pulsed voltage for a speaker) or as input from external buttons switches and sensors. These pins are designed to be easy to use for children - they're big, so suitable for crocodile clips and have a loop for twisting wires or attaching conductive thread.

 

Edge Connectors

Along with the obvious five pins you’ll notice there are a number of smaller divisions between them - these are also pins that work in exactly the same way as the others bringing the total number of accessible pins to 21, however because of the size constraints of the Micro:Bit it's not possible to have them all as big, so this is where an edge connector comes in handy. Plug your Micro:Bit into an edge connector and you'll have proper pins for each of the connections on the Micro:Bit, a simple way to massively increase the Micro:Bit's potential. Edge connectors are available as a presoldered board or in kit form and there's also a Prototyping Kit that comes with an edge connector mounted to a mini workstation with breadboard.

 

Protection

While they're durable little things, Micro:Bit is not indestructible, choose from a fully enclosed case with easy mounting arms or a semi-case that still provides access to the pins while leaving the rest of the board well protected.

 

Inventor’s Kit
for the BBC micro:bit

Taking it further

One of the real beauties of the Micro:Bit is the flexibility offered by the pins, while an edge connector will help you access the extended potential you still need things to connect to them to make it worthwhile, the Inventor's Kit gives you a wide range of things to connect to your Micro:Bit, including, amongst other things, a pre-soldered edge connector, LEDs, buzzer, light sensor and a motor.

Motor Driver Board Kit
for the BBC micro:bit

Get robotic

There's a limit to the amount of power you can pull from your Micro:Bit, and running anything more than a tiny motor directly from the pins could permanently damage your board. The Motor Driver board solves this problem, letting you control power from an external source to two motors.

micro:bit | resources

Here are some simple excercises to get you going with your Micro:Bit, if you want to show us what you've made or if there's anything you'd like us to cover drop us a message at showandtell@maplin.co.uk or contact us through our social media channels.

Download PDFs below

  1. Getting a program onto your Micro:Bit
  2. Your first program
  3. Expanding your first program
  4. Making your Micro:Bit respond to input
  5. More input from on board hardware
  1. Even more input - pins for touch sensitivity
  2. Going in loops
  3. Variables - Micro:Bit data
  4. Getting Logical with your Micro:Bit
  5. Power up those pins