Microsoft MakeCode

What is an ARCADE F4?

I gifted a Meowbit today to some friends and delivered it in person. I watched them plug it in and use it and was surprised to see the drive name (on a Mac laptop) was either ARCADE-F4 or ARCADE F4 (possibly on v2.7.0 bootloader). I slum it on Windows and I’m used to seeing MEOWBIT (on v2.3.1 bootloader) which seems far more meaningful.

Does anyone know if this is a difference between host o/s or bootloader and if it’s intentional? What is an F4??

The newer bootloader updates the name. We currently have two hardware variants - D5 based on ATSAMD51 and F4 based on STM32F4xx. The bootloader should show that on the screen, and you can also see that screen on the “Download” dialog. When you select “Meowbit”, “Brainpad” or “Arcade F4” we do exactly the same thing. Similarly, for “Pybadge”, “Pygamer” and “Arcade D5”.

It’s done this way in anticipation of flood of hardware boards, where it would be difficult to fit them all on the download dialog, and you would just select the hardware variant. However, so far we’ve been just listing everything…

I don’t think we ever saw those generic entries as the user has to scroll down to see them. A nine year old was operating the laptop and I believe she clicked on the image of the Meowbit which is on first row - it’s an obvious visual match for the device. I’d imagine a user with a device that didn’t look like anything would carry on scrolling.

After that it was a bit of a fiddle as we had to do the manual copy from the default download folder to device.

Are there fundamentally only two (or three including the Pi) types of .uf2 image produced? Are the PyBadge’s and PyGamer’s .uf2 identical?

Yes, there’s only three image types produced now - F4, D5 and RPi. We will probably add NRF52840 soon-ish, so there will be N5 (or something).

Pygamer and Pybadge UF2s are identical.

Hi @mmoskal, how do I configure the bootloader to work with SAMD51P20 devices with 1MB flash, 256kb RAM which is used in the Adafruit Grand Central M4 board?

Is that something you plan to include in your future updates?

You would have to build your own bootloader based on grand central and say arcade_itsybitsy_m4. There are configuration keys for ram and flash size. I’m pretty sure we are not using the flash one yet but I think we use the RAM one. You can also ignore the additional configuration keys and just use the 512/192.

Note: likely the " Adafruit Feather nRF52840 Express"

Same here. My six year old understand the association as it is what he recognizes; it is a Meowbit… the same goes for the Micro:bit. It is visually distinctive… removing this might not be very helpful (as it introduces an additional step to overcome).

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Is there any update on support for nRF52840? I just realised (see Adafruit Forums: Stage and Ugame on Clue) one might be able to pop an Adafruit CLUE into some of the existing game controller add-ons intended for the micro:bit. That could turn it into an Arcade device albeit with a small, letter-boxed screen as it’s 240x240.

Yes we have added nrf52840 support recently.

That’s good news. Was it for specific board(s)? Do you think it would be easy to get working with an Adafruit CLUE and one of those game controller boards I mentioned in the Adafruit Forum post?