PillBug

by MechWild

Image of Board

The PillBug is a BLE enabled development board powered by the nRF52840 that is designed to be a drop in replacement for the stm32f401/stm32f411 blackpill development board. This board was designed for compatibility with blackpill driven keyboards and will work as a simple replacement in most cases. The PillBug features 3.7V Li-Ion battery charger, a software controlled hardware cutoff for powering peripherals, a controllable status LED, and compatibility with blackpill’s pinouts for I2C/SPI/UART.

Technical details

  • BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) capable
  • nRF52840 powered with 1MB Flash memory and 256KB RAM
  • Preloaded Adafruit nRF52 Bootloader utlizing UF2 and DFU flashing options
  • Software controlled blue status LED that can be configured by application
  • Hardware controlled charging red status LED
  • 3.3V GPIO logic and power provided through VCC pins
  • Software controlled MOSFET to disable providing power through the power pins to external peripherals
  • 30 Total GPIO pins in an easy to use and breadboard friendly layout
  • RTC (real-time clock) capabilities provided through use of 32.768kHz oscillator (necessary for BlE)

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Have some info to add for this board? Edit the source for this page here.

CircuitPython 9.0.3

This is the latest stable release of CircuitPython that will work with the PillBug.

Use this release if you are new to CircuitPython.

On nRF boards, CircuitPython 8.2.0 and later require UF2 bootloader version 0.6.1 or later. Older bootloaders cannot load the firmware. See Update UF2 Bootloader below.

Release Notes for 9.0.3

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, audiomp3, audiopwmio, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, epaperdisplay, errno, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, getpass, gifio, i2cdisplaybus, io, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, locale, math, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, pulseio, pwmio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, zlib

CircuitPython 9.1.0-beta.0

This is the latest development release of CircuitPython that will work with the PillBug.

Alpha development releases are early releases. They are unfinished, are likely to have bugs, and the features they provide may change. Beta releases may have some bugs and unfinished features, but should be suitable for many uses. A Release Candidate (rc) release is considered done and will become the next stable release, assuming no further issues are found.

Please try alpha, beta, and rc releases if you are able. Your testing is invaluable: it helps us uncover and find issues quickly.

On nRF boards, CircuitPython 8.2.0 and later require UF2 bootloader version 0.6.1 or later. Older bootloaders cannot load the firmware. See Update UF2 Bootloader below.

Release Notes for 9.1.0-beta.0

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _bleio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, audiomp3, audiopwmio, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, epaperdisplay, errno, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, getpass, gifio, i2cdisplaybus, io, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, keypad_demux, keypad_demux.DemuxKeyMatrix, locale, math, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, pulseio, pwmio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, zlib

Absolute Newest

Every time we commit new code to CircuitPython we automatically build binaries for each board and language. The binaries are stored on Amazon S3, organized by board, and then by language. These releases are even newer than the development release listed above. Try them if you want the absolute latest and are feeling daring or want to see if a problem has been fixed.

Previous Versions of CircuitPython

All previous releases of CircuitPython are available for download from Amazon S3 through the button below. For very old releases, look in the OLD/ folder for each board. Release notes for each release are available at GitHub button below.

Older releases are useful for testing if you something appears to be broken in a newer release but used to work, or if you have older code that depends on features only available in an older release. Otherwise we recommend using the latest stable release.

Update UF2 Bootloader

Latest version: 0.8.3

The bootloader allows you to load CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino programs. The bootloader is not CircuitPython. You can check the current version of your bootloader by looking in the INFO_UF2.TXT file when the BOOT drive is visible (FEATHERBOOT, CPLAYBOOT, etc.).

It is not necessary to update your bootloader if it is working fine. Read the release notes on GitHub to see what has been changed. In general, we recommend you not update the bootloader unless you know there is a problem with it or a support person has asked you to try updating it.

On nRF boards, CircuitPython 8.2.0 and later require UF2 bootloader version 0.6.1 or later. Older bootloaders cannot load the firmware. To check the version of your board's bootloader, look at INFO_UF2.TXT when the BOOT drive is present. To update the bootloader, refer to the "Update Bootloader" page in the guide for your board, or start with this page.

After you update, check INFO_UF2.TXT to verify that the bootloader version has been updated. Then you will need to reload CircuitPython.