Following our hugely popular 12 Projects of Codemas Maker Advent Calendar, we're back with another box of fun with Let it Glow - our new 12-day Maker Advent* Calendar dedicated to all things blinky (things that light up, flash, illuminate and more!).
It's the ultimate festive treat for makers of all experience levels, guiding you step-by-step through 12 exciting days of blinky projects including new components to play with every day! Whilst our 12 Projects of Codemas calendar offers a flavour of lots of different types of components (and how to use them), this calendar has a more blinky theme - it's packed with festive LED projects including new fun formats to play with, including coding your own decorative lights!
The first day of the calendar includes a Raspberry Pi Pico H, Micro-USB cable and a couple of breadboards to get you set up (sorry, we had to spoil box #1!), including some introductory code examples, then the following boxes each contain a new project to learn and program with your Pico and lots of popular blinky components - think LEDs, addressable RGB lights, displays and more!
Every other day we provide a fun new way to control your light-up components - think sensors, sliders and more.
Each day you’ll learn how to make a new Pico project with your box's components via our daily online box guides (published daily from 1st December), with handy wiring diagrams and lots of code examples in MicroPython. Great for learning how to code or building up your selection of blinky components in a fun way!
Easy to follow along
Each box is supplemented with online instructions including:
- Box contents summary
- Introduction to the project and box components
- Circuit wiring steps and diagram
- Multiple MicroPython code examples including initial starter code
- Examples of how to use the components from various days together to make fun Pico projects
The Ideal Festive Treat
This is a superb gift option for a wide range of makers from all experience levels.
For new coders - The included Pico H and project parts, combined with the easy-to-follow instructions, clear example code and helpful wiring diagrams make this perfect for anyone wanting to get started with the Raspberry Pi Pico, programming and electronics. The blinky theme keeps it fun and festive too!
For seasoned makers - It’s also great for existing makers as a fun daily activity during the festive season, or for those looking to try their hand at MicroPython.
For your team - We think this will be a great gift for your teams of techies! Before long you'll have flashing lights and other festive fun projects all over the office!
For Maker Advent Calendar veterans - If you enjoyed the 12 Projects of Codemas last year, we think you're going to love the blinky theme of Let it Glow! With a whole new set of exciting components to add to your collection, including LEDs, displays and new control components, you can enjoy another fun festive season of coding and making.
Everything you need is included
With the first day’s box giving you a new pre-soldered Raspberry Pi Pico H, Micro-USB cable and a couple of breadboards, all you need is a compatible computer (with a full-size USB port) to plug it into - a Windows PC, Mac or Linux machine (sorry, Chromebooks are not suitable).
Everything else you will need for each project is included in each day’s box, and the required software (Thonny) is free. No soldering required!
If you would like to get an idea of what’s inside before you buy, click here to see what’s included (you’re the same ones who search for hidden presents, right?!).
Two calendars? Eek! Help me choose!
We now have two calendars to choose from, so which is best for you?
In terms of your experience with the Pico and electronics/coding, both calendars assume no prior knowledge, so they're both equally suitable for beginners. Our daily guides will show you step-by-step what to do, teaching you MicroPython along the way.
The main difference is the components that you'll find inside the twelve boxes:
- The 12 Projects of Codemas calendar includes a mix of different components with no particular theme, so if you'd like to have a good general introduction to using electronics and coding in Micropython with the Raspberry Pi Pico, this is a great choice. We received excellent feedback from customers on this calendar with hundreds of positive reviews.
- Let it Glow has a very blinky theme - meaning lots of different formats of LED components that light up with your code, alongside many control components - about a 50/50 mix of blinky/control. You'll learn lots of MicroPython with this calendar whilst making festive fun projects. It's also great for those who already have the 12 Projects of Codemas calendar as, apart from the first day, you'll find different components in each day's box!
You can of course be greedy and have both calendars, but there will be a little overlap between them (mostly the first few days as we introduce the Pico and some of the basics)
What age range is this suitable for?
- Whilst this can vary wildly as young children develop at different speeds, we think age 7 upwards is a safe starting point. And you’re never too old to learn something new!
Will I need anything else?
- Just a Windows PC, Mac or Linux machine with a USB port (full-size USB-A port). The advent calendar gives you everything else you need each day. Our guides/Thonny will not work with Chromebooks.
Do I need to solder anything?
- Nope! Everything in the calendar is either pre-wired or uses jumper wires, and the Pico H has headers pre-soldered, ready to push into the breadboard.
Which Raspberry Pi Pico board is included?
- A Raspberry Pi Pico H. This version has the headers pre-soldered for you.
Does the included Pico have WiFi?
- No. We include the Pico H which is the non-WiFi version, which helps keep the cost down and is ideal as your first Pico board.
What is included each day?
- You’ll receive a different project component every day including any required wires/resistors/accessories
- We have included a 50/50 split between blinky components and control components (we alternate each day)
- If you want to see what's inside, a list of the contents can be found here.
What if I get stuck?
- We've designed this with beginners in mind and tested it on a wide range of users with different experience levels, however, if you do get stuck and need help, just pop us a message via support.thepihut.com and we'll get back to you ASAP - usually the same day.
Is this just for the festive season?
- Nope! The projects can be made all year round, and the online instructions for each day will remain available for as long as we exist!
Can I get PDF versions of the daily guides?
- This is something we're looking at producing - watch this space!
Do I need to install anything?
- You'll need to install the Thonny IDE - we guide you through the installation and setup of the Pico on the first day.
Which operating system is used in the examples?
- We're using Windows (11) in the example projects using the Thonny IDE. Thonny is also available for MAC and Linux machines and there should be very little difference from the instructions. Chromebooks are not supported.
Where are the instructions for each day?
- We'll publish each box's guide from 1st December