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 356 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.

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 436 times – 567 KB



PC Button Box

I picked up an Arduino from work and attempted to create a Button Box, and it bloody worked! I found the wiring diagram and code from Kevin Peat’s site. This is a very picture heavy post!

Bought a box, made a layout and got to work with a drill.

The bracket inside was for attaching it to my wheel stand. It came from an Ikea bookcase, its the bracket for attaching it to the wall. #Recycling =P

It’s a bit wonky, but it’ll do!

I started the soldering part by removing every other wire from an IDE cable, so it would leave me only the wires on the same row.

I trimmed the wires I didn’t need. Using an IDE cable gave me something I could hot glue onto inside of the case so I can easily remove the Arduino if it didn’t work/I needed it for another project.

There’s two quarter inch jack sockets on the back for foot pedals, or when I have the time and resources a rally style gear stick =D

And finally! The moment you’ve been waiting for (possibly).

I intend to make a fancier looking one someday, but this was super cheap to make!