Circuit Playground Classic

For an upcoming project, I’ve been having a play with the Circuit Playground board. This circular board has a selection of sensors, lights and touch capability. There’s a great demo for the board when you turn it on with a light show and sound. And it’s worth checking out the examples in the Arduino IDE too as there are some fun ones like the candle blowing our and VU meter.

Two Versions

As the title suggests, I’ve a “Circuit Playground Classic”, this is the Arduino/AVR version of the board and you need to program it using Arduino and Code.Org. There is also a second version called the Circuit Playground Express which works with Python and other languages.

I made the error of picking the classic when I wanted to use Python so that’s something to look out for.

Code uploading

When using the Arduino IDE the “magic” of uploading the board is hidden from you as a user, you just press the upload button.

Whilst I was trying to get my lights to flash, I could not get the uploader to recognise the board. I followed the advice from AdaFruit and set to the uploader to verbose output.

avrdude vs bossac

This, in turn, provided some details of the com port used and the command that was being run to upload the compiled code. In my case the command was bossac and it was failing to detect the board.

I did a bit of googling and eventually realised that bossac is for ARM based boards (like the Circuit Playground Express) and that avrdude is used for ATmega32U4 which is in the Circuit Playground Classic.

Checking my settings I saw that somehow this had become switched over from my previous working setting. Swapping it back to the classic fixed the upload issue.

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