software resources for science and technology education
Mr Bit Downloads for Kitronik Inventor’s Kit Experiments
The Kitronik Inventor's Kit for the BBC micro:bit is a popular product for learning
how to connect external components and use the BBC micro:bit as a controlling device.
The kit contains all the components you need to complete 10 experiments building
circuits using LEDs, motors, LDRs and capacitors. Each experiment requires a program
for the micro:bit and this is where Mr Bit can help. The Mr Bit ‘Plain English’
method of programming the micro:bit makes it so easy to understand how the program
works. Each experiment will work straight away with the ready-
Two buttons on the breakout board duplicate the action of the onboard buttons A and B.
The program creates displays on the LEDs when the buttons are pressed: One button shows a smiley face image, the other shows the message “Hello”.
An LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) is connected in series with a resistor to make a potential divider which creates a voltage that varies with the amount of light shining on the LDR, thus indicating ‘light level’. Connecting the voltage to one of the input pins allows the micro:bit to control the LED display to show a different image for bright and dark.
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A potentiometer provides an input voltage which can be varied as you turn the control spindle. This voltage is used to alter the brightness of an LED when it is turned on by pressing button A. The higher the voltage from the potentiometer the brighter the LED shines.
The amount of current available from the output pins of the micro:bit is nowhere near large enough to activate a small electric motor. The problem is solved by connecting a transistor to the output and using the tiny current to the transistor to control a much bigger current through the motor.
The BBC micro:bit has a built in accelerometer which detects the motion of the micro:bit or the strength of gravity in three directions. In this example the accelerometer data is used to measure the tilt angle as the micro:bit is tilted forward and backwards.
The Piezo sounder makes a sound when it is connected to a rapidly alternating voltage (between 0V and 3V). The frequency of the alternating voltage determines the pitch of the tone; pitch increases with frequency.
Wind turbines contain a dynamo which converts the kinetic energy of air into electrical energy. In this experiment the motor is used in reverse like a dynamo to generate a voltage which can be measured and displayed by the BBC micro:bit.
The BBC micro:bit comes with a built in compass so it can tell which way is north. It does this using a chip that is very sensitive to magnetism and can detect earth’s magnetic field. In this game a secret compass heading is selected randomly and an LED blinks faster or slower depending on how close to the correct heading the BBC micro:bit is facing.
This experiment uses the analogue input of the BBC micro:bit to measure the voltage at the positive leg of a capacitor. The capacitor circuit allows the capacitor to be charged through a variable resistor. As the capacitor charges, the micro:bit LEDs show the voltage whilst the external coloured LEDs light up according the the magnitude of the voltage.
An RGB LED is a special LED that contains three separate LEDs (Red, Green and Blue) in one capsule. By controlling the brightness of these LEDs, their light mixes together to create many different colours.