Raspberry Pi Pico & RP2040 boards

My statement was in direct response to the graph posted above, so yes, I was referring to the LC. I never mentioned a 3.2.

I would absolutely love to see USB-C replace all the other small USB variants on dev boards, because it’s so vastly superior and I can’t imagine it adding more than 50¢-$1 to the price. I’d also love to see voltage output pins so the same USB-C cable could be used to carry higher voltage for components that is bucked down to 3.3V or 5V for the board itself…

I don’t think there’s a USB-C compatible PHY embedded in the M0+ core peripherals. They’d have to include an external PHY (which would complicate the USB implementation and drive up costs) or design from scratch a compatible peripheral, neither of which is cheap or easy.

Incase anyone missed it they are already using the PIO ports + a resistor ladder as a DAC for VGA signals. If the PIO clocks fast enough then high frequency DDS ( direct digital synthesis ) with a few external components (RC filter) should work extremely well.

Bitbanged DVI on the RP2040 Microcontroller:

Also - adafruit is doing a Feather form factor version with this chip (and ItsyBitsy as well)

Adafruit version has USB Type C connector


you can use USB-C jacks without a PHY just by providing two pullup resistors, it’s pretty great!

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I’m not sure that’s “legal” according to the USB specs. IIRC, a major vendor can’t offer it like that. The USB-C jack is only permitted according to USB 3.0 and higher standards. If you don’t support the additional signalling (to at least communicate that only USB 1.1 is supported, for instance) I don’t think you are within the spec.

my understanding is that if the cc1/cc2 pins are set correctly for power delivery (ie, upstream) then the dn/dp pins exist pretty explicitly to support usb 2.0/1.1 — the market is already flooded with passive cable/jack converters so it seems the standard should have anticipated this. i guess i need to go read some more specs, though.

Yeah, I’m the idiot who brought up the 3.2 and caused a cloud of confusion. @infovore is right, there’s a lot missing on the pico that the 3.2 has built in. The dual core is interesting but I’ve fooled about with the ESP32 and it’s a level of complexity that I haven’t quite gotten my head around even after a year+ of fooling with the ESP32. It’s still promising to see the price point and know that the development/support won’t be half baked.

FWIW - this Adafruit/LadyAda video has a really good introduction to what the new chip can do with regards to PIO

Not normally a fan of Raspberries Pi, but I like this one. The PIO stuff looks interesting. I hope they do something interesting with the dual core aspect. I’m not a huge Python person, but Micropython is great.

I think it’s cool that they’re making demos using the PIO to do video and other fun things. I think there’s a lot of potential uses in audio/synthesis, too. Might have to pick up one of these.

Maybe of interest to those considering the chip:

This Is Not Rocket Science posted this video which uses the new chippo today, which let them add polyphony to a longer term synthesizer project.


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I’m doing some back of the envelope math on using a pico with an optical mouse as an optical encoder. So an arc-like knob with a mouse eye looking at the bottom of it.

The pico would capture the output of the mouse (still not sure if ps2 or usb mice would be better) and output i2c for a host/parent device that would be doing the rest of the logic.

It feels like a stupid idea but it also seems oddly reasonable because of how cheep the pico and mice are.

You will find PS/2 serial is way easier than USB (usb host) particularly as you will want to present a USB device interface to your PC/Norns.

Personally I’d go with a quadrature encoder I was literally just reading an post on possibly reading quad enc using the PIO blocks.

To me the encoder is the easy bit and the hard parts of building an arc are the “display” and emulating the arc. Anyone happen to know how to drill a hole in an oled display? :grin:

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The “cheap” quadrature encoders I saw were like 30ish dollars but I could find mice like this one for 10.

the PIO blocks do seem like they would be able to help for quadrature.

I was wondering about putting a hole in an oled too! Punch hole cameras do it right? Another thought is a pico projector but that might have latency issues, and the other thought is just to have displays next too the knobs.

No official announcement yet but I managed to grab one of these boards from the Arduino store already :smiley:

Wifi, bluetooth, step-down converter (super wide input range !), gyroscope, accelerometer, rgb LED, and even a microphone, 16MB Flash and of course the dual core RP2040. It’s gonna be awesome :hugs: 🧑‍💻

And the news Arduino docs website looks awesome too:


Only just found this EuroPi project:

Note that the production model improves upon the one featured in the video:

When I found it, one of my first thoughts was that it could go nicely with an ORCA module, given that I2C is likely enough to be explored in either project.


Update: built my first thing just with a Pico soldered to the back of it. I’m using the castellated edges for most of that, although I also have three of the test pads on the back broken out: the BOOTSEL pad, and the two USB pads, so I can use a sturdier USB connector. (USB-C, which is working just fine as a 2.0 device using a pair of resistors, as @tehn points out).


Worked like a charm. I’m really enjoying the GCC/CMakeList tooling for this, too.

Although: I’d seriously consider using a bare RP2040, now that my cheap assembly house have them in stock. They’re about a dollar, and you need very little else to get them running (as the Pico suggests)… but you can a lot of flexibility of layout.


Almost the same here. Pico soldered directly to a PCB.
Before putting the project in stand-by, I was mainly using the Arduino IDE (Mbed core or Earl Philower core). I’ll try to use the full SDK and its toolchain when I get back to it.
Also, I need to wrap my head around the PIO system… Not for crazy things, maybe just for dealing with a rotary encoder… That kind of stuff…