Let it Snow with Particle’s Fun New Holiday PCB

Electronics Internet of Things Maker News
Let it Snow with Particle’s Fun New Holiday PCB

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful” – honestly, it’s 56 degrees – not bad for mid-December in Michigan? “But the fire is so delightful” (frantically checks 3d printers, soldering equipment etc.) – what fire?! “And since we’ve no place to go” OK, fair… “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” – again, 56 degrees, no chance – yet somehow Particle’s new Holiday Snowflake appeared, as if by magic, on my desk!

Imagine my delight as I opened the festive Particle blue and white padded mailer to reveal a pretty PCB adorned with 36 RGB LEDs, a capacitive touch Particle logo, and around back, a speaker, microphone, Qwiic (I2C) port, and of course Particle’s new P2 module providing the brains for it all.

Powering it on, I was further delighted by a voice greeting, instructing me to tap the logo to change the LED patterns, as well as reminding me to update to the latest firmware using Particle’s easy-to-use online tool. I did so, and while waiting the few minutes it took, dug into the firmware to see what other secrets it might hold. I noticed super_star.mp3 and tracked down the associated source code, discovering that … well, I’ll let you find out for yourself, so it’s not too much of a spoiler!

The Holiday Snowflake is available to order from Particle’s web site for $34.95, or free with orders over $75 (hint: the Edge ML Kit plus the required Photon 2, sold separately, will get you there!), and is the perfect gift both for IoT nerds who want something to hack on over the holidays, as well as beginners and non-technical folks, since it can be enjoyed without modification, and is tree/mantlepiece/desk-ready thanks to the included power adapter and USB-C cable. May it be the only snow you encounter this season!

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David bought his first Arduino in 2007 as part of a Roomba hacking project. Since then, he has been obsessed with writing code that you can touch. David fell in love with the original Pebble smartwatch, and even more so with its successor, which allowed him to combine the beloved wearable with his passion for hardware hacking via its smartstrap functionality. Unable to part with his smartwatch sweetheart, David wrote a love letter to the Pebble community, which blossomed into Rebble, the service that keeps Pebbles ticking today, despite the company's demise in 2016. When he's not hacking on wearables, David can probably be found building a companion bot, experimenting with machine learning, growing his ever-increasing collection of dev boards, or hacking on DOS-based palmtops from the 90s.

Find David on Mastodon at @ishotjr@chaos.social and to a far lesser extent on Twitter at @IShJR.

View more articles by David Groom


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