Adafruit Unveils Upcoming QT Py "BFF" Add-on Boards, Starting with a LiPo Charger and Game Console

Designed to expand the tiny boards' capabilities, these "Best Friends Forevers" are currently in the design stage.

Gareth Halfacree
6 days agoHW101 / Gaming

Adafruit is looking to expand the capabilities of its compact QT Py development board family with add-on boards dubbed "BFFs" — starting with one for interfacing with a battery and another for use as a tiny handheld console.

"We are still calling the add-ons 'BFF' for now," Adafruit's Phillip Torrone explains of the new range of compact carrier boards, designed to boost the functionality of its QT Py family of compact development boards, "but we also like 'nuggets' and 'sprinkles.'"

The first of the boards to be shown off offers connectivity and charging for lithium polymer (LiPo) battery packs. "I guess this could be used to make a wireless QT Py that can battery charge," Torrone explains. "One thing is that you do need a spacer between the QT [Py] and BFF because otherwise the battery plug will interfere mechanically. But, we don’t want it on the other end, away from the power supply pins and overlapping with an antenna. so we’ll try this out!"

The second design is the Gamer BFF, designed to turn a QT Py into a compact Game Boy-style handheld console. "Girls only want one thing — and that's a tiny lil' console game emulator," says Adafruit's Limor "LadyAda" Fried. "This 'Gamer BFF' is something a QT Py can plug into — and provides a 1.3" 240×240 TFT, 10 buttons, microSD card, on/off switch and LiPo charger."

"We think with the ESP32 Pico QT Py this could run quite a few emulators that have been ported over. [The] only thing I'm still pondering: 8mm buzzer to make some kinda quiet beeps and bloops? Or headphone jack, which will give better quality audio but of course now you need wired headphones. Can’t really fit both!"

Pricing and availability of the boards, which are still in the design phase, have not yet been announced; interested parties should keep an eye on the Adafruit blog for more details.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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