Raspberry Pi Pico Basics

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Hello readers Raspberry Pi Pico has been launch recently and its very good news for fellow creators like me and you!

In this article we will have a look on latest model raspberry pi and what is it capable of doing

Illustration by creating small LED blink project, Below is actual image of Pico that was design and develop in United kingdom

which it now available in most of places around globe

Why Raspberry pi pico?

Coming to price Raspberry pi pico it is less than 5$ or 380INR which makes it more suitable to make variety of projects at very affordable price tag

Lots of IOT PROJECTS are on its way which you can see in upcoming posts in this site

As many might be new here let’s start by making simple project that controls Blinking of LED

To make this all you need is breadboard, LED of your own color choice and most importantly Pico with Thonny software

Raspberry pi pico
Raspberry pi pico

Before moving to this project let me explain Features of this board that’s important to know before working with various      components

  • Processor in use – Arm Cortex- M0+ built on RP2040 which is a dual core processor
  • Unlike other higher model of pi’s this version packs 264kb of inbuilt ram
  • It can support upto 16 mega bytes off-chip flash
  • Coming to input output peripheral options this can support i2c and uniquely programmable I/O along with SPI
  • In short because of these I/O options limitless possibilities of applications in this small chip

What are Programming options?

In addition, the new board is extremely versatile: to program the Raspberry Pi Pico you will have two language options

Python or C / C ++ .

1. Installing MicroPython on the Raspberry Pi Pico

1. Download the UF2 MicroPython file to your computer

2. Press and hold the Raspberry Pi Pico’s BOOTSEL button

3. Connect raspberry pi  Pico to your computer using a micro USB cable

4. Release the BOOTSEL button

5. A storage unit called RPI-RP2 will be created on your computer. Drag the UF2 MicroPython file

that was downloaded to this new storage unit;

6. The Raspberry Pi Pico will restart. The card is now ready to receive Python programs.

Loading Python programs on the Raspberry Pi Pico

1. If you do not have the Thonny Python IDE on your computer, download and proceed with the installation as normal;

2. Also download the Raspberry Pi Pico interpreter ;

3. In the Thonny IDE, click Tools> Package Manager . Then click Install from Local File and select the newly downloaded  Raspberry Pi Pico interpreter;

As usual it is programmable in Micro Python and C using Thonny programmer

First Download and Install IDE from given link: https://thonny.org/

Then Download Pico Plugins: https://github.com/raspberrypi/thonny-pico/releases/tag/v0.2

4. After the installation is complete, restart the Thonny IDE;

5. Connect the Raspberry Pi Pico to your computer;

6. In the Thonny IDE, click Run> Select Interpreter . Select the interpreter “MicroPython (Raspberry Pi Pico)”;

Step 4: Select Install from Local File

Step 5: Locate the downloaded Raspberry Pi Pico library Github file and click on Open

Step 6: Select Micro Python (Raspberry Pi Pico) from Drop Down list and click OK

Take empty breadboard and attach Pico

Raspberry pi pico projects
Raspberry pi pico projects

Note: Some models do not come with solder connectors if that’s case you need to solder Pins                                                            by yourself first before getting into it

Using connector connect led, Here as we already have inbuilt LED i will be using External LED

Thonny software will be use to program this board, make sure to use latest version by updating pi OS

Create a Micro Python program to blink the onboard LED on and off in a timed loop.

If you don’t know how just copy and paste this code

LED Blink Code:-

 
from machine import Pin
from time import sleep

led = Pin(25, Pin.OUT)  while True: led.toggle() sleep(0.2)

from machine import Pin
led = Pin(25, Pin.OUT)

led.toggle()

7. Click Save ,Give the file the name you prefer;

8.Then click Run Current Program, The code will be loaded onto the board;

9. Done! You will now see the Raspberry Pi Pico LED flashing.

From Thonny a pop up will appear asking if you want to save file on This computer or the MicroPython device

Select Micro Python device, File name should be given as blink.py this is standard file name for this project

Program will be save and later run by thonny programmer  At this time onboard LED starts to switch between

on and off each time you click the Run button, additionally Timer 

module can be used to set a timer which will run a function at regular intervals.

Click on Run after which our program will start to blink the LED to on and off, up to when you click the

 Stop button LED will be On

That was about this small project, Lets conclude this after having look at pro and con’s

Advantages

  1. Main advantage being size factor this is very small yet powerful compare to previous versions
  2. Small size projects with great features can be built easily with affordable price

Disadvantages

  1. One main add-on we miss in Pico is inbuilt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  2. Separate module to be bought also to integrate with board codes need to be written which is disadvantage

That was all about our first look on simple led control from new raspberry pi Pico, if you are big fan of pi come back                          later as we are working on lot of new interesting projects using this board

Meanwhile have a look on this amazing projects TOP 45 ARDUINO PROJECTS Check Here

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