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Ringing in the New Year with Python on hardware and having a ball!

Since 1907, the Times Square Ball has been an annual spectacle that signals in the New Year. Commonly referred to as the ball drop, this 12-ft diameter glowing geodesic sphere descends from a flagpole at 11:59pm and takes 60 seconds. The ball itself has been redesigned over the years to reflect the latest in lighting technology.

This project is a ~1:20 scale replica of the Time Square Ball. It features a 180mm (7 inch) 3D printed geodesic sphere that is illuminated with NeoPixel LEDs. The ball is supported by a 2020 aluminum extrusion and suspended via a pulley and linear rail. A continuous servo turns and unwinds a rope tied to the ball allowing it to be lowered and raised. An on-board speaker at the base plays “Auld Lang Syne” synonymous as the New Years Eve Anthem. As the ball is lowered, a 10-sec countdown occurs followed by fireworks, crowd cheering and music playing … all powered by CircuitPython – learn.adafruit.com

Updates on GitHub Repo

We added the BLINKA graphics to the CircuitPython GitHub Repo and the license badge. We added more “topics” as well: circuitpython, micropython, python, embedded, microcontroller, education, beginner, cpython, and python3. Check’em out and let us know if you have any suggestions to make our home on GitHub better. And we had our main account Adafruit verified, so it’s clear that it’s from Adafruit.

CircuitPython in 2019

As 2018 comes to a close we like to reflect on how the year went and set goals for 2019. In the last two years (2017, 2018) this has been a blog post by Scott (aka tannewt). For 2019, we’d like to do it a bit differently. This time we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet.

We’ll read these over the holidays and into the first half of January. After the January 14th CircuitPython weekly we’ll draft an overarching vision post for CircuitPython in 2019 and discuss it in the following meeting.

See the blog post for more details.

News from around the web!

Using the Adafruit guides, @GeekMomProjects flashed a UF2 bootloader onto @idlehandsdev’s HCC module, then compiled & flashed CircuitPython – Twitter.

Super sweet grandkid soundboard holiday gift for the grandparents using CircuitPython – Twitter.

Bill’s CircuitPython airhorn demo, GitHub via Twitter.

Roboticsmasters.co is creating an add-on to the Raspberry Pi that works with CircuitPython and robotics – Twitter.

CircuitPython Weekly for December 27th, 2018 YouTube.

Circuit Playground Express based snowglobes by Cleveland PyLadies – Twitter.

Captouch hoodie using CircuitPython, GEMMA – Video & GitHub.

Circuit Playground Express VU meter by elagente404 on Instagram.

MicroPython – Python for Microcontrollers. How high-level scripting languages make your hardware project beautifully easy by Christine Spindler – video & on YouTube. There was also a sneak peak of the PyBoard D.

XBee 3 ZB and MicroPython – Qiita, Part 1 & Part 2.

Looks like there is a MicroPython port of the Renesas RX63N, RX631. And, spotted on Twitter, one for the GR-CITRUS.

WiFi Skin for PyBoard – TinySine.

Experience MicroPython with Raspberry Pi 2 – boochow.

Start of a MicroPython book in Hebrew – gitbooks.io

micropython mt7697 porting experiment version – onionys / micropython-mt7697-experiment-bin – GitHub.

OpenMV IDE 2.1.0 and Firmware 3.2.0 are now available – OpenMV.

Merry XMas & Happy 2019! XMas lights using Jupyter and ESP32! – YouTube.

PyDev of the Week: William Vincent on Mouse vs Python.

DrawSVG, A Python module to generate SVG files – GitHub.

Kernel Recipes 2018 – New GPIO Interface for User Space – Bartosz Golaszewski – YouTube.

GPIO for Engineers and Makers – YouTube.

How to build the Linux Kernel and Busybox for ARM and run on QEMU – centennialsoftwaresolutions.com

MacroPy is an implementation of Syntactic Macros in the Python Programming Language. MacroPy provides a mechanism for user-defined functions (macros) to perform transformations on the abstract syntax tree (AST) of a Python program at import time – GitHub.

Awesome Interviews – A curated list of lists of technical interview questions.

Handy JSON minify site from Dan’s Tools.

Shed Skin is a Python to C++ compiler – GitHub.

YAPyPy is Yet Another Python Python(YAPyPy), which is extended from and compatible to the original CPython – GitHub.

Python 3.7.2 and 3.6.8 are now available – Python.org

USB Bouncer in Chromium – googlesource.com

Application to request a sublicense of Microchip’s Universal Serial Bus Vendor IDmicrochip.com

#ICYDNCI Most clicked link, in last week’s newsletter was … HackSpace magazine #14.

Coming soon

Grand Central board previews.

The Adafruit Grand Central tester!

New Learn Guides!

Updated Guides – Now With More Python!

You can use CircuitPython libraries on Raspberry Pi! We’re updating all of our CircuitPython guides to show how to wire up sensors to your Raspberry Pi, and load the necessary CircuitPython libraries to get going using them with Python. We’ll be including the updates here so you can easily keep track of which sensors are ready to go. Check it out!

Check back next week for more updated guides on using CircuitPython libraries on Raspberry Pi!

CircuitPython Libraries!

CircuitPython support for hardware continues to grow. We are adding support for new sensors and breakouts all the time, as well as improving on the drivers we already have. As we add more libraries and update current ones, you can keep up with all the changes right here!

For the latest drivers, download the Adafruit CircuitPython Library Bundle.

If you’d like to contribute, CircuitPython libraries are a great place to start. Have an idea for a new driver? File an issue on CircuitPython! Interested in helping with current libraries? Check out this GitHub issue on CircuitPython for an overview of the State of the CircuitPython Libraries, updated each week. We’ve included open issues from the library issue lists, and details about repo-level issues that need to be addressed. We have a guide on contributing to CircuitPython with Git and Github if you need help getting started. You can also find us in the #circuitpython channel on the Adafruit Discord. Feel free to contact Kattni (@kattni) with any questions.

You can check out this list of all the CircuitPython libraries and drivers available.

The current number of CircuitPython libraries is 124!

New Libraries!

Here’s this week’s new CircuitPython libraries:

Updated Libraries!

Here’s this week’s updated CircuitPython libraries:

Upcoming events!

May 2019 Cleveland, Ohio! The PyCon 2019 conference, which will take place in Cleveland, is the largest annual gathering for the community using and developing the open-source Python programming language. It is produced and underwritten by the Python Software Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing and promoting Python. Through PyCon, the PSF advances its mission of growing the international community of Python programmers – PyCon.

Latest releases

CircuitPython’s stable release is 3.1.1 and its unstable release is 4.0.0-alpha.5. New to CircuitPython? Start with our Welcome to CircuitPython Guide.

20181227 is the latest CircuitPython library bundle.

v1.9.4 is the latest MicroPython release. Documentation for it is here.

3.7.2 is the latest Python release.

638 Stars Like CircuitPython? Star it on GitHub!

Call for help – CircuitPython messaging to other languages!

We recently posted on the Adafruit blog about bringing CircuitPython messaging to other languages, one of the exciting features of CircuitPython 4.x is translated control and error messages. Native language messages will help non-native English speakers understand what is happening in CircuitPython even though the Python keywords and APIs will still be in English. If you would like to help, please post to the main issue on GitHub and join us on Discord.

We made this graphic with translated text, we could use your help with that to make sure we got the text right, please check out the text in the image – if there is anything we did not get correct, please let us know. Dan sent me this handy site too.

9,743 thanks!

The Adafruit Discord community where we do all our CircuitPython development in the open reached over NUMBER humans, thank you! Join today! https://adafru.it/discord

ICYMI – In case you missed it

The wonderful world of Python on hardware! This is our first video-newsletter-podcast that we’re trying out! The news comes from the Python community, discord, Adafruit communities and more. It’s part of the weekly newsletter here, then we have a segment on ASK an ENGINEER and this is the video slice from that! The complete Python on Hardware weekly VideoCast playlist is here.


The CircuitPython Weekly Newsletter is a CircuitPython community-run newsletter emailed every Tuesday. The complete archives are here. It highlights the latest CircuitPython related news from around the web including Python and MicroPython developments. To contribute, edit next week’s draft on GitHub and submit a pull request with the changes. Join our Discord or post to the forum for any further questions.