Microbit Simple Hello World #tt6

Tinkerer: Lory Livezey

For our first Micro:bit project, we're going to start out with something simple. We're going to display "Hello World" or "Hello <your name>" across the led grid.

Objective

To learn the very basics of programming the Microbit and transferring that program from your computer to the board


Previous Step

  Microbit Out of the Box


What you will need


Open MakeCode Web Site

You will be programming your micro:bit using this web site. Let's first browse out there and take a look.

Open Make Code Web Site

You don't need to log into the site. It remembers what you've been working on using your computer's cookies. I'll explain more about that a little later. Now that we're in, let's take a look around.


Tour of the Site

The left side of the screen has what is called a "simulator". There is a picture of a micro:bit that you can interact with much like you would the real thing. You can click the A and B buttons, connect sensors to the terminals, as we'll do in later lessons. The controls at the bottom allow you to stop, start, or slow down your program. You can download your program onto your micro:bit.

In the middle of the screen there are tools that you can use, and they are in categories. You'll be using the Basic tools in this tutorial. We'll be going over the others as we need them in different tutorials.

On the right side of the screen is our work area. We'll be dragging different tools over there to create our program.

Tour of Make Code

Time to program. Let's get started!


Create an Icon When Micro:bit Starts

On the right side of the screen you will see two objects that say on start and forever. They mean just that -- whatever you put in on start will happen when the micro:bit is turned on, and whatever you put in forever will happen in a forever loop. It's like the song that never ends... it goes on and on my friend.. if you know what I mean. ;)

For now, let's just have something display when the micro:bit starts, whatever you like:

Click Basic > Show Icon > Drag the Block into the 'on start'

It should click into the container block. Once it does, then you can select which icon you want to show.

Create an Icon On Start


Create 'Hello World' on A Button Click

We are going to have 'Hello World' (or 'Hello ') display on the led matrix when the 'A' button is pressed.

This time, we're going to use a container block in the Input section.

Click Input > On Button A Pressed (drag to right)

Now that we have our container block which is a trigger for something to happen, we need something in it that will happen when the A button is pressed.

Basic > Show String > Drag to 'on button A pressed' > Change Text

Display Text on LED Matrix

You can change the text to whatever you want to display.

Next, you'll test it by clicking on the 'A' button in the simulation on the left. Do you see the text? Good! Next, let's do it for real.


Download onto the Micro:bit

Our final step is to download our program onto the Micro:bit. You'll need to plug your micro:bit into your computer using a USB Cable. Once you plug it in, you should see a drive in Windows Explorer.

Plug In Micro Bit

To download the program, simply click the Download button. A file will be downloaded, and once you locate it, you can just drag it to your Microbit drive to copy to the device.

Download Program to Micro Bit

The micro:bit should reset, and when it does, display the icon that you chose. Click the A button to display your message!


Improvise

Program the "B" button (the one on the right) to display "Goodbye, !" when you press it.


Discussion

  • Click on the other options in the side menu, such as "Music" and "Radio". What do you think they could be used for?
  • Can you think of any fun projects you would like to do with the Microbit?

Done!

In this tutorial, we learned how to use some basic programming blocks using the Make Code web site, and downloaded the program to the micro:bit.

Continue on, and we'll do some more advanced programming and learn some Javascript along the way!


Next Up

Keyestudios 37 Sensor Kit with the Microbit
Microbit Accelerometer Basics #tt8

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