New device: Kitronik ARCADE

I’ve spotted a new Arcade board: Kitronik ARCADE


I’m glad to see it’s SAMD51 based. It’s also got a vibration motor!

It’s not yet on or - how does that happen?

We’re working on it!

How do you use the vibration motor with Makecode Arcade?

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This extension:

adds blocks to the controller category that handles some extra hardware features, including vibration:

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Is the vibrate block driving an analog pin output to a vibration motor thru PWM?

It is just a digital pin driving a transistor. No PWM.



Hi, I’m Dave and I lead the design team at Kitronik.

@gbraad When we designed the hardware JACDAC was not finalised, and after discussion with the Makecode team we decided that it was probably best not to add it to this version.
We broke out sufficient extra pins from the processor that when JACDAC is finalised we can prototype using the existing board and then add the connector with a simple board respin.

If any tech savy person wants to add it on as an experiment / for use then the Bootloader (which defines the pins) is available on the Kitronik GITHUB and the expansion connectors would allow it.



Thanks for the info. Kind of a bummer about the spec not being finalized. I remember from the ye olde days of gaming, the Atari Lynx, what a big difference a simple multiplayer setup can result in, but also… it let’s kids experiment easily with exchange of information. It is already quite unfortunate that the arcade doesn’t do Bluetooth (or some kind of 2.4Ghz) communication. the micro:bit is a prime example of how useful this is.

Anyway, great to see another entry… and it looks supertiny. Cute! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Agreed, I was thinking about this and some form of wireless communication seems like the natural solution for ARCADE devices and one that the youth would expect. The mix of connectors and possible confusion over 3.5mm audio exasperates the situation.

I just got a Kitronik ARCADE. Turns out I can drive it along my desk with the vibration motor!

BTW, it’s not supertiny, it’s the largest of the devices I have, it’s 155mm (6 1/8") across. It has a nice feel to it, the big buttons work well and the battery holders underneath work as grips.

Maybe the buttons are deceiving ;-). I am used to the meowbits horrible small buttons. They are oriented in a d-pad, but have a very bad tactile feel to it as they weren’t never meant for this… and they are just to small and cramped to be pleasant in use.

The meowbit luckily has an SD-slot and with the new SD-Wireless adapter (which is essentially an nRF51822 with a serial interface) which you can ‘talk to’ with an extension, allows to exchange data using the standard radio (micro:bit-compatible) interface.

The buttons are good on the Kitronik ARCADE and work for doing diagonal presses across a pair. I’d say the joystick on the Adafruit PyGamer is best for a game that needs a lot of diagonal action. I struggle with diagonals on the Kittenbot Meowbit too.

I hadn’t realised the SD slot was an opportunity to plug in other peripherals. That’s a neat trick. I did wonder why they went for mini over micro on such a small device.

Because of the SD-Wireless (SDIO) they have. This is a small board witg an nRF51882 that allows to communicate either over Gazelle or Bluetooth (and therefore, with limitations, allow you to communicate between the meowbit and microbit or other devices).



There’s an interview with Christina Zhang from Kittenbot in

An SD slot is novel and not found often in MakeCode Arcade boards, can you tell us more about your choice to include it?

The initial plan for the SD slot was for SD support in MicroPython mode, but we found many users require wireless support for MakeCode Arcade. And so we designed a tiny SD size bluetooth module, also based on codal-microbit.

It makes it sound like the choice of mini over micro was luck!

Hello :wave:
I have recently offer to my son this kitronik arcade hardware. Unfortunately when we tried to connect to the computer the console turns on, but the computer doesn’t show any usb driver. After trying to connect to a different computer I realised the problem is the console. I know it was supposed to install some drivers when connecting to the computer but nothing happen… big disappointment. An anybody help me how to fix this ?

I happen to have one on my desk. A device running a MakeCode program will only show up on the host computer if you press the reset button. A KIT-ARCD drive should then appear.

There are also charge-only USB cables and these are typically unmarked and can cause a lot of confusion. Something to be aware of.

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Yes, definitely try a different usb cable! I make a habit of throwing any charge-only usb cables I find into the trash immediately.

This is a very old device

Thank you so much you all. Problem fixed. It was the cable :see_no_evil: my kid is now very happy creating his games and playing

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