DigiBadge Mini R2 – And a new shop?!

DigiBadge Mini Revision 2!

So, I’ve had some ideas for how to improve the DigiBadge Mini, but without a complete re-design. So, where the DigiBadge Mini was a re-named revision of the DigiBadge V2 (Hence the R1), the DigiBadge Mini R2 is a revision of the R1. There’s a bunch of changes, which I’ll go over below. Warning! This will get quite nerdy and in-depth! If you’re looking for the new shop information, you can just skip to the end.

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BronyCon 2018 Recap

So, a quick recap on BronyCon this past weekend.

DigiBadge sales went great! Cases went great! Arduineigns went great!

Art cards, not so much, and the lightboxes I made just didn’t sell.

Lightboxes? Oh, right! Lightboxes!

They’re EL Wire in a shadowbox, using art from Sophie Scruggs. They look awesome! But I think I completely whiffed on the price point. I have a few ideas on how to approach that, but that’s for the future.

For the Art Cards, I think that they’re a harder sell with the increased price of the DigiBadge and the fact that the case is also available. I’ve got ideas for future versions using future versions of the badge, but that’s, well, for the future.

The DigiBadge itself sold well, as did the case. It helps that I rigged up a display piece – I’m going to have to make a nicer one eventually, but I have some time before I have to have it ready for a convention.

And, of course, the Arduineighs were a hit. Helps that they’re fairly inexpensive and look cool so even non-tech people find them interesting.

For the future, I’m definitely going to be working on some new things. I’m going to be re-assessing the pricing on the lightboxes, and throwing a few more ideas at Sophie for designs to do. I’m also going to be working on a larger version of the DigiBadge, now that I’ve got the Mini working nicely and up to good standards. I’m considering running a kickstarter for that larger version as well, since I simply can’t afford another mistake like what happened last time. More testing! More communication! I’ve learned a lot, and will be applying it fully to the new version.

As always, you can catch me on Twitter, Discord, and/or Facebook.

That’s right! We DO live!

What, did you think we died?

No, we’re harder to kill than that. I’ve just been busy and haven’t updated the website in far too long. I’ll give you the short version, and then the long version. So, here we go with the short version.

I’ve largely been waiting on the Minis to assemble and ship, and they’re mostly there. I have slacked a little on the code end of things, so I need to get by butt in gear and write working code for the Minis. I did sort of break my prototype by frying the SPI flash, but I’ll be able to do everything else before the other Minis get here. Outside of that, I’ve begun fiddling with Adafruit’s Circuit Python and M0 boards. It’s definitely made me want to design the larger DigiBadge around an M0 microcontroller. While CircuitPython doesn’t do graphics well yet, the M0 runs Arduino just fine. And CP will get there eventually, and putting it on boards will only make it faster. I’m also working on some prototype Feather Wings – A Hall Effect Sensor Array and a 10440 LiPo Battery. Beyond that, I’m going to Nightmare Nights next week, and I’ll have STUFF.

Now, for the long versions.

The DigiBadge Minis are in production and should be done soon! Unless Bad Things happen, I’ll have them before the convention, although I’ll have to spend a decent amount of time soldering the screens on, programming them, and packaging them. As mentioned above, I still have to finish the programming for them. That’ll take some time, but I can start kicking on that before they arrive. I also have some pictures of them!

Now, for CircuitPython and Adafruit. CircuitPython is Adafruit’s adaptation of MicroPython, itself a rebuilding of Python that works on microcontrollers powerful enough. MicroPython runs on a few MCs, but Adafruit has largely focused on the SAMD21 and ESP8266, as their boards use those two chips. CircuitPython is great, as it allows the microcontroller – plus the SPI Flash if it’s an Express board – appear as a thumb drive on the computer. You simply put the code files on the board and it executes them. It’s super great, especially because it allows you to pull your code off on any device, edit it, and run it immediately. As Python was my first programming language, I’m quite biased to it, and this mixes my love of Python with my love of microcontrollers. I’m likely to rebuild the larger DigiBadge as a M0 device and make it work with CircuitPython, even though CircuitPython doesn’t have a large amount of functionality as far as screens go. But one of the best ways to get things like that going is to put them out there, so that will definitely help.

Now, for my own projects! There’s a Hall Effect Array that I made, and then realized it was almost exactly the size of a Feather, so I turned it into a wing. I’m still waiting on some parts, but I already had the previous non-Wing version working. I took a short terrible phone video of the array in action, which you can see on the twitter:

As mentioned, it’s perfect size for a Feather:

I’ve already re-designed it as a feather, which you can see here:

Left to right: ESP8266 Feather, Hall Array Wing, 10440 LiPo Wing, M0 Express Feather, M0 Adalogger Feather

I haven’t yet assembled it though. That comes later. But what’s the other green Feather Wing? Well, it’s a super simple one that I still managed to mess up: It’s a wing designed to fit a 10440 LiPo Battery. It’s enough to power a Feather-sized project and fit compactly inside it. It’ll even stack mostly nicely, but I’d recommend long male headers for the board above it. How did I screw it up, though? Simple: I forgot a power switch. Oops. Anyway, have a video and some pictures:

What else was there? Oh, right! Nightmare Nights! And I’ll have things! What things? Well, first and foremost, unless Bad Things happen, I’ll have the DigiBadge Minis. Many minis! I won’t be bringing my whole stock – I only have packaging for 100 of them. It was originally for the V3, so the boxes may be a little large, but it should work fine.

Additionally, I’ll have a bunch of Arduineigh boards, a handful of component kits for the Arduineigh boards, and a bunch of prints by Sophie Scruggs! I will also have art cards with art by Sophie and by LeekFish.

If you’re wondering where I’ll be, it’s super easy to find me. Walk in the door, take a few steps and turn right. I’ll be there, right next to the My Dreamy Star booth. Give them some love, because they’re going to be dealing with my terrible puns the whole convention.

After the convention, I’ll be polishing up the store with more pictures, an actual front page, and the ability to, well, buy things. Important for a store.

And speaking of buying things, I’m going to end with a shoutout to Sophie’s Coloring Book and Art Showcase. You can buy it on her website:
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You can contact me via Facebook, Twitter, or Discord. I also recommend joining the Adafruit Discord, as there is a lively and super helpful community there as well.