micro:bit MakeCode Tutorials: Project 3 of 5

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Project 3: Radio Talk

This is a series of projects that grew from an introductory set of group workshops that we wrote for a local school's open day to promote their Code Club. Projects 1 to 3 ran for about 20 minutes each, and projects 4 and 5 became workshops at the Code Club where I volunteer (these can each be completed within an hour). These projects were easily completed by kids from ages 7-11. The projects that use multiple micro:bits are scaleable and can work well with any number of micro:bits from 2 to class sets; with the option for kids to collaborate in pairs or larger groups.

Radio Talk is an extension of Project 1: Tilt and Point, but we will be adding radio to display a picture on another micro:bit! You’ll need at least one partner with another micro:bit. Since this project is a bit more advanced, you should already have completed Project 1 or have some basic experience with similar programs on the micro:bit before attempting it.

In this project, you will learn:

  • How to extend your micro:bit programs by using radio to communicate with other micro:bits
  • How to coordinate multiple different versions of program code across devices

You will need:

  • A micro:bit (V1 or V2 is fine) and matching USB cable
  • A computer with an Internet connection and a modern web browser

Step 1: Launch your browser, and got to the MakeCode website

  • Launch your web browser by clicking on its icon
  • Once your web browser loads, click in the address bar at the top and, in the address bar, type in: https://makecode.microbit.org

Step 2: Write your code

  • Create the code below by dragging the blocks into the forever block so that they will keep repeating (this is the code we used in Project 1)

    MakeCode microbit block code to display an arrow based on the direction of tilt

  • Now replace the show blocks with show icon blocks, and put a radio send number block undear each. These will send a number over radio, to other micro:bits that are listening on the same group channel.

    MakeCode microbit block code to show a different icon based on the direction of tilt

  • Now add the code below to set a group for our radio. The receiving micro:bit will need to be set to the same group number.
    MakeCode for microbit to set the radio group channel

    Save this onto the micro:bit by attaching the USB lead to your computer and downloading your .hex file to the MICROBIT device. Ask for help if you don’t remember how to do this.

Step 3: Partner’s code

  • Your partner can now use makecode to create the code listed below, and put it on their micro:bit

    MakeCode block code for the microbit Radio Talk project

  • Download this code onto your partner’s micro:bit. Now, when you tilt your micro:bit, theirs will show a happy or sad face too! Get this code onto a few other micro:bits and you can have them all show your happy or sad faces 😃

Continue to the next project in this series here..
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