Adafruit’s HalloWing, an MCU Optimized for Halloween Projects

Arduino Costumes, Cosplay, and Props Craft & Design Technology
Adafruit’s HalloWing, an MCU Optimized for Halloween Projects

Limor, Phil, and the other wire-headed geniuses over at Adafruit Industries have done something really special this year. They’ve created the HalloWing, what they describe as basically a tricked-out Feather microcontroller that has been optimized for running Halloween projects.

The skull-shaped circuit board has a full-color TFT display, light and motion sensors, 8 megs of storage for plenty of sound effects and video, a speaker driver for sound output, JST ports for LED strips, and a lot more. It supports both Arduino and CircuitPython programming environments.

These are all of the sorts of handy features you would want on a controller driving effects for a costume or Halloween haunts project. It even comes with a creepy eyeball video already loaded (which I plan on making use of in my costume).

Here are some more specs on the board:

  • ATSAMD21G18 @ 48MHz with 3.3V logic/power – 256KB of FLASH + 32KB of RAM
  • 1.44″ sized 128×128 full color TFT
  • 8 MB of SPI Flash for storing images, sounds, animations, etc.
  • 3-axis accelerometer (motion sensor)
  • Light sensor, reverse-mount so that it points out the front
  • LiPoly battery port with built in recharging capability
  • USB port for battery charging, programming and debugging
  • Two female header strips with Feather-compatible pinout so you can plug any FeatherWings in
  • Mono Class-D speaker driver for 4-8 ohm speakers, up to 2 Watts, with mini volume pot
  • JST ports for Neopixels, sensor input, and I2C (you can fit I2C Grove connectors in here)
  • 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
  • Reset button
  • On-Off switch

Adafruit was kind enough to send a HalloWing to me to cover here on Make:. I am currently working on my costume and do not want to give it away. I will post pics after Halloween.

One of the cool things about this board and its mission is how Adafruit is encouraging and posting many of the projects that are incorporating the board. On the product page for the HalloWing, they have links to projects that use the board. So far, there 16 projects listed.

Unfortunately, Adafruit has been having a hard time keeping this board in stock. But you can sign up to be notified when they have new stock in. I signed up and grabbed one immediately as soon as they were relisted. If interested, I suggest you do the same.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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