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FAQ

What are access codes and do I need one?

QUESTION I’ve heard about access codes for the website, what are they? Do I need to login to use the code editors? What is an authorisation code? Why do I need to authenticate? ANSWER The editors hosted at microbit.co.uk by the BBC were designed with a login-system, allowing teachers (and students) to store and publish their scripts on the BBC website www.microbit.co.uk. Because this system was designed for use with children under 13, these logins needed to be carefully managed […]

Where can I find the mobile apps

QUESTION Which app do I download to use micro:bit with an Android phone? Which app do I download to use micro:bit with an iPhone? Which app do I download to use micro:bit with an iPad? Which app do I download to use micro:bit with an Android tablet? What is the name of the micro:bit app? ANSWER For Android, you can get the official Samsung micro:bit app from the Google Play store, here is the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samsung.microbit&hl=en_GB For Apple iPad and […]

Set Brightness(0) does not work

PROBLEM I get a strange pattern on the display on the hardware when using setbrightness(0) setbrightness does not work The simulator and the real hardware seem to work differently. CAUSE https://github.com/lancaster-university/microbit-dal/issues/281 There is a bug in the currently deployed display driver, in that if the number ‘0’ is used for brightness, the display driver code returns prematurely. This prevents it from updating the display, you might see only some of the LEDs turned on depending on which of the 3 […]

Using servos and sound at the same time

QUESTION I want to use servos and sound at the same time. When I use servos and sound, they seem to interfere ANSWER Yes, this is how the micro:bit works. It is not possible to reliably use the sound playback (music or pitch) and servos at the same time. This is because the PWM generation on the micro:bit uses a single hardware timer, so the period of all PWM generation must be the same across all pins. WORKAROUND One way […]

Using the micro:bit with Citrix and other virtual desktop environments

PROBLEM The micro:bit doesn’t work with Citrix The micro:bit doesn’t work with VMWare The micro:bit drive does not appear in my virtual desktop environment CAUSE The USB interface firmware that is loaded to pupil boards and early commercial boards, does not correctly support virtual desktop environments. SOLUTION There is a newer version of the USB interface firmware for the micro:bit that has been released by ARM. Please follow the instructions in the linked article [1] below to update your interface […]

How do I play a MIDI instrument on the micro:bit

QUESTION I want to control a MIDI instrument from the micro:bit Does the micro:bit support MIDI? ANSWERS At the moment, there is no MIDI/USB support on the micro:bit, so you can’t send MIDI messages over USB. We might add support for this in a later version of the interface chip firmware. However, there is a beta release of a MIDI-over-Bluetooth package for PXT here: https://github.com/Microsoft/pxt-bluetooth-midi There are also some great articles about MIDI on this community website: http://www.multiwingspan.co.uk/micro.php?page=midi There is […]

Where can I get the schematics for the micro:bit

QUESTION Where are the schematics for the micro:bit? What components are used on the micro:bit? ANSWER The schematics are released by the BBC, they are here: https://github.com/bbcmicrobit/hardware/blob/master/SCH_BBC-Microbit_V1.3B.pdf

Clearing out the previous program on a micro:bit

PROBLEM How do I clear the memory on a micro:bit? I want to start a new class with 30 empty micro:bits, how do I do that? How do I ‘reset’ the micro:bit so that any existing programs are wiped out? SOLUTION There is a feature built into later versions of the USB interface chip software on the micro:bit, that can be used to quickly erase the flash on the device. This could be used to clear a large number of […]

Where can I find the schematics for the micro:bit

QUESTION Where can I find the schematics for the micro:bit? How is the micro:bit internally wired? I want to make a device to connect to the micro:bit and need to see the schematics SOLUTION We have released a complete reference design, along with schematics and design models. You can download this from here: http://tech.microbit.org/hardware/reference-design/ A printable PDF of the schematic is available using this direct link: https://github.com/microbit-foundation/microbit-reference-design/raw/master/PDF/Schematic%20Print/Schematic%20Prints.PDF

What type of USB lead do I need for the micro:bit

QUESTION What type of USB lead do I need for the micro:bit? How can I load code onto the micro:bit? How can I power the micro:bit other than from batteries? ANSWER The micro:bit has a USB type-B micro connector. Search for ‘micro-B plug’ on this wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB You can use the USB to load code onto the micro:bit, and to power it. It is usually best to power the micro:bit from two AAA batteries. The USB lead that you […]

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