Tips & Tricks: Number

Check out these digits!




The number module is a small display which shows the strength of a signal in forms of numbers. Before this module, we could visualize the strength of a signal with the strength of bright LED, loudness of a buzzer, or number of LEDs lit up on a bargraph. Now using a number module, you can tell exactly how strong the signal flowing through your circuit is.

2. Two Modes

There are two modes on a number module. One is called ‘values mode’ the other is ‘volts’. In volts mode, the numbers display the actual voltage flowing in the circuit. littleBits (and many other electric devices) are designed to work on 5V systems, which means there suppose to be 5V of electric current flowing when the signal is ‘high’. It becomes 0V when the signal is ‘low’.  Make a very simple circuit with a button and a number in volts mode to see the number go between zero and five.



Replace the button with a slide dimmer and see it display 2.5 (volts) when you set the slide to the exact center.


In values mode, voltage is translated into numbers between zero to 99 proportionally. So, 5V in volts mode is same as 99 in values mode, 2.5V is same as 50 in values mode, 4V to 80 and so on… We may simply say it shows the percentage of current signal compared to its possible full potential.





3. Gain Insight to your Circuit

See what is going on inside of a circuit your circuit when you get stuck, especially when working on an ambitious project with a sophisticated circuit. The number module is a very useful debugging tool that shows what is happening inside of a module.

For example, we were curious what the difference between sound mode and other mode in the microphone module. The number shows us the answer… even though both pictures were taken when it was totally silent.



The microphone in sound mode displays 2.5v.



The microphone in other mode displays 0v.

>> See if the random module really generate a random signal.

>> Calibrate your light sensors.

4. Remember Exact Settings

Often building a project is a process of long iteration. When you find a perfect setting at the end of many tests, record the setting on the number bit and then you don’t have to repeat the whole painful process again.


5. Dress up your Number Module

The dimensions of the digit element is 18.5mm x 13mm. Make a window of this size and embed the number module inside of your invention.


Even further, you can cover the number module with a sheet of office paper. This will make the digits appear to float!

You can use the number display to signify something. For example, our Community PRO, Brianna designed a hat for her 5th grade graduation. She set the number module to 5V to represent her grade level.




6. Do simple math

Calculate the tip and split the check easily at your next group dinner. With this tip calculator, you can simply turn dials to set the price and tip percentage. If you want to be more accurate, you can recalibrate by setting the price to 99.


7. Combine with Sensors to Measure and Gather Data

Make an energy meter with the light sensor and the number module. Walk around and find different sources of energy. For example: Hold your circuit to the sun or light bulbs or in the dark. Record your findings in table. If you have trouble seeing the numbers change, adjust sensitivity with screwdriver.


This Mars rover, based off NASA’s Opportunity, gathers and displays light information from the environment as it drives. Again, we are using the light sensor and the number module.


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