micro:bit Monday - zbit:toolbelt

alt Welcome to Monday, new week, spring is here and I thought that I would try out something new. So micro:bit Monday, a semi regular series where I look at an add on, accessory, software for the micro:bit.

First up is the zbit:toolbelt.

So what is it?

alt The zbit:toolbelt is an accessory that enables all of the GPIO pins present on the micro:bit to be used via a female header compatible with standard through hole electronic components.

How does it work?

Underneath the zbit:toolbelt is the "zbit connector" that works in a similar fashion to zebra connectors for LCD displays. It connects all of the GPIO pins on the micro:bit to the female header breakout.

alt

The zbit:toolbelt is mechanically connected to the micro:bit using a series of M3 machine screws and nuts.

Assembly

Assembling the zbit:toolbelt is quite straightforward, requiring only a screwdriver and a soldering iron.

Connections

alt The female header provides a connection to every GPIO pin present on the micro:bit along with multiple connections to GND and 3V. SPI, UART and I2C are also broken out.

So is it any good?

It is very handy. The ability to use standard breadboards and components with the micro:bit means I can purchase cheap components, and reuse that I have already purchased for my Arduino / Raspberry Pi. I use it as a quick "pick up and hack" board for prototyping projects.

Where can I get one?

They aren't easy to get hold of, but you can pop over to the zbit website and contact them directly

A fun, practical and portable accessory that enables access to a world of cost effective components.