Make: Volume 74 — 2020 Boards Guide

Welcome to Make:’s 2020 Guide to Boards! This year brings powerful new releases from Adafruit, Arduino, BeagleBoard, Google, Nvidia, Raspberry Pi, Teensy, and more. We’ve assembled the technical data for new boards and returning favorites (listing over 50% more than our previous guide!), along with highlighting options to consider for your next project. To further help your decision-making process, some of our favorite electronics experts explain how they pick the right board for their projects. But the real star of electronic prototyping in 2020 is the software: In our cover story, we look at how Python-powered boards make it easier than ever to code for hardware.

Plus, your favorite YouTube makers offer their tips and tricks for getting started making videos, how to grow your channel, and what you need to get a great shot (Hint: it’s probably in your pocket right now).

And don’t forget, Halloween is right around the corner! Learn to build an R/C roving pop-up zombie-in-a-trashcan to scare the daylights out of the neighborhood, make a light and cheap fog projection screen p114 for your haunted house, and create a flaming window setup so realistic, you’ll have to warn the fire department about erroneous reports ahead of time.

Lastly, read the finale of Make:‘s series on how our community can help avert catastrophic climate change.

Plus, over 43 projects including:

  • Block ads across your entire home network with the Pi-hole ad blocker
  • Use code to make beautiful topographical maps of the Moon, Mars, and more
  • Create a swirling stormy snow globe with LED-lit rheoscopic fluid
  • Build a DIY mobile handwashing station for your community
  • Tips and builds for exercising your constitutional right to protest safely and effectively
  • Macramé an adorable Bay Yoda from The Mandalorian
  • And much more!

On the Cover: The Adafruit Clue microcontroller lights up with a graphic from the PyCon 2020 conference.

Table of Contents


Welcome: Sharing Skills

Video has become an indispensable tool for learning, but it still doesn’t beat hands-on practice to master a skill. Page 05

Reader Input

Notes from readers like you.Page 06

Made on Earth

Backyard builds from around the globe.Page 08


Protests Matter

50+ how-to’s for flexing your constitutional rights.Page 20

Virtually Maker Faire

Makers around the world logged on for an epic 24-hour, global show and tell. Page 22

Grab Your Board

So Many Choices

With more features and control than ever, dev boards give makers limitless options for their projects.Page 24

Python on Hardware

Python’s star is rapidly rising in physical computing. Here’s why to use Python (or not!) in your next project.Page 28

Shut Your Pi-Hole

Use a Raspberry Pi to block internet ads on your entire network — computers, smart TVs, phone apps, all of it.Page 38

Makers on YouTube

Tools of the Trade

Set up your YouTuber studio smartly with these tips.Page 48

YouTube Maker Alarm

Build a custom notification circuit that lights up when your favorite maker uploads a new video. Page 54

Camera Shy

The host of UglyDucklingHouse shares her contemporaries’ reasons for avoiding YouTube.Page 58


DIY Mobile Handwashing Station

Bring the clean with this 32-gallon rig made from common hardware. Page 62

Storm Globe

Forget snow globes — build a swirling tempest for your desk using magnetic stirring and LED lightning! Page 68

The Game of Jeu Gruyère

This simple woodworking project provides years of backyard fun, French style.Page 72

DIY Atlas of Space

Going to the moon and Mars? You’ll need maps. Beautiful maps.Page 78

Toy Inventor’s Notebook: Roth’s Orbitron

Making the Hot Wheels car that never was!Page 86

Amateur Scientist: Badder Than Batteries

Getting to know the super fast-charging supercapacitor.Page 92


R/C Garbage Can Zombie

Build the scariest prop in the hood, and have more fun than your kids, with this drivable update of a classic. Page 100

Bread Head

Serve Halloween guests a creepy loaf of sourdough in the shape of your own dome. Page 108

DIY Fog Projection Screen

Low-cost and lightweight, this indoor-outdoor screen looks awesome and adapts to the weather.Page 112

Skill Builder


Reuse hollow-core doors to make plywood and more, with less work than you think.Page 116



Gear up with the latest tools and kits for makers.Page 122

Over the Top

Universal Lego Sorter

Built entirely from bricks, this machine can identify and sort any part made, ever. Page 128