Advice on an MCU running CircuitPython


I’m grateful for any advice on MCUs for hand-wiring up a 60%ish keyboard. I’d like to experiment without going into full PCB development.

Thank you all and happy hacking.

I don’t know if this helps, but Adafruit has been putting out macro pads using CircuitPython. Here’s a couple articles that might be relevant. I personally own one keypad using this, but haven’t’ dug into it at all.

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The Raspberry PI Pico with the RP2040 MCU is a really nice option, already played with CircuitPython on it and it works like a charm.
It is a pretty darn cheap solution as well.

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Thank you both @Extra_Fox and @Rico

Doing more research after my post, I came across the RP2040 in a lot of places. I’m happy to say I just placed an order for an Adafruit RP2040 as well as a SparkFun RP2040, both with USB-C breakout boards.

From what I’ve seen, I’m quite excited for CircuitPython. It looks so much less intimidating than QMK. Would you know if controlling of backlight LEDs is straight forward?

Happy Sunday

If you want to go the easy route, I’d suggest using the KMK python library for developping keyboard firmware.
It should have everything needed to drive LEDs and more and it does the matrix scanning for you, you end up with a very short and readable python code that mostly contains key layout and layers information.

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Oh hey, KMK mention, you don’t see that much around here. I’ve currently got a Pico, Sparkfun RP2040, and Adafruit KB2040 I do all my testing and dev-ing around, and I’m leaning on the KB2040 for a board release mostly for availability vs Sparkfun’s version. I find the platform quite nice as there’s really very little you need to actually work with the firmware unlike QMK, and the iteration process is really as simple as : 1) Edit code file, 2) Save code file, 3) test changes.

If you check out the Github posted already, there’s a link to a Matrix channel and Discord server where there’s a bunch of people running around that know what they’re talking about and are super helpful. Oh and I’m there fairly often to be the one receiving said help :stuck_out_tongue: