NFES Winter Session

Wray Mills, 2015-03-24, Classes

arduino, coding, computer science, gemma, led

Thank you!

I want to pass on my enthusiastic thanks for letting us provide Technology Enrichment to NFES! Joe and I thoroughly enjoyed the kids and the class and look forward to providing more enrichment at NFES. Let us know if you (and your kids) have any additional feedback for us.

LED Pendant Information

Here is some more information about the LED pendants your kids coded for our class.

The pendant consists of three main parts: the 8x8 LED matrix display; a microcontroller (it's actually a "Gemma" microcontroller from Adafruit); and the lithium polymar (lipo) rechargeable battery. There is no "on/off" switch -- you simply plug the battery in to start the display and unplug to stop. The battery plugs into the bottom of the microcontroller in the off-white receptacle.

Gemma battery socket

On the top of the microcontroller is a mini USB receptacle which is used to transfer the code to the microcontroller (any USB connector will work to connect a laptop/desktop to the microcontroller). However, this plug does not charge the battery. See the section below if you and your kid would like to get the software necessary to refine their code or re-code their LED.

Gemma mini usb socket

Your child should also have a very small charger for the battery. This charger plugs into a USB port and will charge the lipo battery. There is a red light when charging and a green light that indicates the battery is fully charged.

LED Coding information

There are detailed tutorials available at adafruit if you would like to know how we constructed the pendant and all the component specifications. However, this is a quick overview to get your child (re)coding the LED frame designs:

And, feel free to comment here or shoot us an email if you have ANY questions or issues.