Which board would you recommend?


I have assembled a small gadget that runs a random Neopixel animation when it is in motion or detects motion. Everything works fine with the following components:

  • Feather M4 Express
  • MPU-6050 accelerometer
  • Neopixel LED ring

I want to build a leaner version and I am looking for a board with a built-in motion sensor, like the Circuit Playground Express. My requirements for the board are:

  • Sufficient power to run CircuitPython and LED animation scripts
  • LiPo battery management for charging
  • Motion sensor

Any board recommendation or any other idea to become leaner?

The requirement “built-in motion sensor” really narrows it down. There aren’t many boards. Together with “LiPo battery management for charging” your choice will be very limited (I doubt something like this exists).

Regarding “Sufficient power to run CircuitPython and LED animation scripts” I see no problems. I have been using a Trinket for this (it has the same chip that is also used for the CircuitPlayground Express). If you have too many LEDs, you will need a level-shifter and provide 5V to the LEDs, but for small rings, you should get away with running this at 3V3 (works for me most of the time).

There are number of Pico boards with integrated LiPo charging, e.g. from Pimoroni or Waveshare. Maybe they are an option for you. But for your specific use-case they are overpowered. But cheap compared to the Playground Express.