M4 Breadstick is a Tasty Prototyping Alternative
M4 Breadstick is a Tasty Prototyping Alternative

What does “breadboard-friendly” mean to you? It’s become a game of minimum viability. Sure, it fits in the breadboard, but are there any accessible tie points left for wires and components? What good is a development board if you can’t easily prototype with it?

A few years ago, [Michael Rangen] set out to change all of that by creating a long and skinny development board that spaces out the I/O pins and simplifies wiring, making every circuit beautiful and easier to take in visually. The current version is an adaptation of Adafruit’s ItsyBitsy M4 Express. It has 20 I/O pins, all spread out along the length and numbered around the horn like an IC. [Michael] dipped this breadstick in 24 tiny RGB LEDs, all of which are on a dedicated com bus.

We think this is a great idea that will definitely make microcontrollers more hackable. This type of layout would make checking students’ work a breeze, and you can make tidy prototypes with it yourself after class. Today the board runs CircuitPython, and it will be able to run Arduino in the future.

This ESP socket may not leave quite as many tie points open, but it’s way easier than soldering header to it.

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