I would like to develop a bit, but I would like to know if someone else is already working on it, how can I tell?

Hi, I am new to the forum and to LittleBits. I want to design some bits, but it is not clear to me how to find out if the bit I am thinking of is already being developed by another person. I went to the bitlab area and I see only 3 bits that were under review and were voted to become bits. I pressed the “Load more” button, but nothing else loaded. I also saw a few bits going to production, and the Load more button again didn’t load any more bits. I see the area labeled as “dreaming” about a bit I could not see a scroll bar to view history in order to see what work is likely being done in the community. So is it possible tell if the bit I want to develop is already registered, please?
Thanks kindly for your reply.

Hiya @ab_designs!

I don’t think there are any registered bits*. Take a look at threads by @alexpikkert (like this one, this one, or this one), @Philip_Verbeek (most of his threads pertain), @drthuler, @StuckInSynth, @codewizard58, a bunch of others - especially @JackANDJude, who started me down this amazing rabbit hole. There are a bunch of very adept hardware hackers here, and just about everybody I have run into is more than willing to help!

In the spirit of open source design, discussion here leads to greater understanding of the use and design of the custom bits. So tell us about your ideas, and what bits you think are needed. Once the bitLab reopens, you will be able to download the littleBits design guidelines, but in the meantime, study the schematics of the existing bits for clues on how they work.

* I had a bit in the bitLab when it went on hiatus. I was told that I would need to resubmit it when the 'Lab reopened. I think they will start it with a clean slate.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply, chris101. I took a look at the posts you mentioned and have been reading several other posts on the topic of “getting started” as well. The question I have not been able to answer yet is whether there has been a digital protocol adopted by any of the existing bits yet. Most of the bits I have reviewed are expecting an analog input or output signal associated with the signal pin on the connector. Are any of the bits using a digital protocol?
Thanks again,
-ab_designs

Hello @ab_designs, and welcome to the world of littleBits.
The origin idea of littleBits is to provide a simple interface between the bits. You have only the power supply line and a single signal line, defined to be in the range of 0V to 5V ( which is basically the maximum voltage in the system ).
A digital protocol, like 1-wire, would break the rule and would also make it difficult to combine most of the other bits, as there are not designed to distinguish between a digital protocol and a digital or analog signal, as it was defined by littleBits. This said, the answer is: there is no bit with a digital protocol ( Let’s exclude the Arduino bit with it’s I2C, SPI and PWM.

What kind of bit or bits do you have in mind? Maybe there is an alternative solution. We had already real-time clock bits here and several others where you would never believe they could fit into the littleBits universe. So, let’s share your ideas and maybe there is a way to realise.

best regards
7th Dwarf

Hi Chris @chris101, and @ab_designs,

thanks for mentioning my forum threads,
the first one about the magnetic reed contact is broken,
this is the working link Magnetic reed contact
:grinning:

Whoops - looks like my I added some extra characters to the url. I’ve fixed it in the post.

There is no digital protocol as @SeventhDwarf pointed out. LittleBits is an analog system. However I have used the analog signal with pulses in order to send digital information, and I have seen this in other designs. Many of the trigger bits and logic bits output either zero or five volts, corresponding to digital LOW and HIGH signals. If you look at the bitLab page for the LFO, the module has a four prong connector sticking out from underneath, that I suspect is some sort of digital interface.

So in many cases you can make analog look just like digital, and vice versa.

1 Like