BBC micro:bit Creating an EddyStone Beacon

There’s multiple uses for beacons, if you own your own shop you can use a beacon to give special offers, and maybe even vouchers. Small independent art galleries could use beacons to interact with guests to show them a snippet of video on each piece. By using the BBC micro:bit you can easily create your own for not so much money!

Plug in your BBC micro:bit, and head over to Espruino and download the latest micro:bit hex file, or download 1v95 below.

Download “espruino_1v95_microbit.hex” espruino_1v95_microbit.hex – Downloaded 341 times – 681 KB

Drag and drop it on your micro:bit to install it.

Next pick yourself up the mbed driver and install it. Next in Chome you need to use Espruino.

Once opened click the little plug icons in the top right and select mbed Serial Port.

You can use this Eddystone URL Generator to direct to your own URL.  Make sure you also shorten your chosen URL too! You can use Here’s mine below using -5 Tx power. Paste your code between eddyStoneData = [ and ];

eddyStoneData = [
 0x03, // Length of Service List
 0x03, // Param: Service List
 0xAA, 0xFE, // Eddystone ID
 0x13, // Length of Service Data
 0x16, // Service Data
 0xAA, 0xFE, // Eddystone ID
 0x10, // Frame type: URL
 0xFB, // Power
 0x03, // https://

NRF.setAdvertising(eddyStoneData, {interval:100});

Click the upload button (in the middle, the chip with the arrow) and you should be done! Check your phone and you should receive a notification like this:

Stuck? Have a question? Feel free to contact me either using the comments below or @imwestm on Twitter.

Arduino Game Boy Printer Emulator

Brian Khuu (mofosyne) created an Arduino powered Game Boy Printer emulator; after picking up a couple of Game Boy Camera’s and finding a bunch of images on them he attempted to dump the images, and succeeded! Being a massive fan of both the Game boy and photography this project was for me. A while back I picked up a handful of super cheap (good quality but inexpensive with the CH340G chip) Arduino’s. It was hard trying to find projects that I really really wanted to do.

Luckily while browsing Hackaday I seen this article about the project. I quickly went to the good ol’ eBay to pick up a GBC Link Cable (from hellfire_trading) and had a rummage through my Arduino box. Decided on the Micro, it seemed perfect for the job. I had a Raspberry Pi GPIO breakout board which fit the Arduino Micro quite well.

Gameboy Original/Color Link Cable Pinout
|  6  4  2 |
 \_5__3__1_/ (at cable)
Arduino Pin      Gameboy Link Pin
unused           Pin 1 : 5.0V
D4               Pin 2 : Serial OUTPUT
D3               Pin 3 : Serial INPUT
unused           Pin 4 : Serial Data
D2               Pin 5 : Serial Clock (Interrupt)
GND              Pin 6 : GND (Attach to GND Pin)

Once you’ve got it all soldered you can upload your code to your Arduino. Plug it into your Game Boy, open up your Arduino’s IDE Serial Monitor (Ctr+Shift+M) and set the baud rate to 115200. Go to your image on your GB Camera and press Print. You’ll see a bunch of code coming through the monitor. Copy all of the code and open the gameboy_printer_js_decoder.html and paste in the code and press Click to Update Gameboy Tile.

Here’s an instructional video of the process.

A post shared by West McGowan (@imwestm) on

If you’re getting any errors feel free to contact either myself or Brian. We’d both love to see your pictures too!


EUR Game Boy Camera Frames

Pictures Taken By Me

BBC micro:bit Harry Potter Sorting Hat

We’re going to be recreating the sorting hat from Harry Potter using Microsoft Block Editor. Go ahead and create a new project. First decide which Input function you’d like to use to display the Hogwarts Houses. I’ve used the A Button, but this will work with whatever Input method you like.

Create the following:

Input → on button “A” pressed do
Variables → set “item” to
Maths → pick random 0 to “4”
Logic → if do 
Logic → “0” = “0”
Variables → “item”
Basic → show string “Hello!”


Click “Item” in Set “Item” and select New variable and name it RandomNumber. This variable will allow you to assign each of the Hogwarts Houses a number, along with pick random  0 to “4”, it’ll cycle through the various Hogwarts Houses you assign later.


We’re going to have to change the “4” to 3 because we have four Hogwarts Houses. Sounds a little silly, why 3?! Well 0 counts too!

Ravenclaw 0
Hufflepuff 1
Gryffindor 2
Slytherin 3


If you press the Gear icon on if do it’ll have a little popup. In this popup you can add more to the if do without creating entire new sections. Drag the else if into the if, do this three times. Click the Gear to remove the popup once you are finished.


You’ll need to either duplicate (saves lots of time!) or recreate the RandomNumber = “0” and add them to else if. Change each of the numbers on the end going from 0 to 3. Same with the show string “Ravenclaw”.


You can compile and upload it your BBC micro:bit and find out which house you’re in!

Download “Harry Potter: The-Sorting-Hat BBC micro:bit hex” Harry-Potter-The-Sorting-Hat.hex – Downloaded 422 times – 567 KB