Showing posts from February, 2021

More Raspberry Pi Pico experiments

If you're exploring the Raspberry Pi pico, here are some more resources MicroPlot I've started a new project called MicroPlot. It's been developed on the Pico though it will eventually work on other  micro-controllers and computers. It's a minimal plotting package and it already has enough functionality to be useful. It will plot simple line plots; the first example below is a series if sine waves and the second shows the voltage across a capacitor as it charges and discharges. Plotting Sine waves Capacitor charging and discharging MicroPlot has its own project on GitHub. You can read about it and download the code at and I will be soon be using it for some more electronics experiments. Using the UART The current MicroPython documenation for the Raspberry Pi Pico is a bit thin on detail about using the UART. I've added a short example in my pico-code project on GitHub. The Tiny2040 is available from Pimoroni! Pimoroni Tiny2040 I

MicroPython development on the Raspberry Pi Pico

Get Started with MicroPython on Raspberry Pi Pico  suggests that you use the Thonny editor for development. Thonny will get you off to a quick start, but you may have an alternative editor you'd prefer to use. Lots of my friends now use VS Code; some are vim or emacs experts; many, like me, use PyCharm as their normal Python development environment. I find it more comfortable to use my normal editor for MicroPython development, but I have more compelling reasons. The first is refactoring support. I'm learning as I go, and I often want to improve the design of my code libraries as I come to understand things better. PyCharm does a very good job of refactoring Python code. There's another issue to do with version control. I'm currently sharing my Pico code on GitHub. That means I need to keep code on the Pico in sync with the code on my workstation. I haven't found an easy way to do that with Thonny, so I am using another tool to move and test code. rshell was my fi

Raspberry Pi Pico project 2 - MCP3008

This post show you how to drive the MCP3008 8-channel ADC using a Raspberry Pi Pico. I'll start with a personally embarrassing and annoyingly relevant story. I'll also tell you about a minor 'gotcha' when using SPI on the Pico, and how you can avoid it. Finally, I've include the code and fritzing diagram I used to test the interface. First, the story. Back in 2012, when the Raspberry Pi was fresh and new, I was running a startup called Quick2Wire.  We made add-on boards for the Pi. Just before Christmas we sent out our first batch of boards to a small army of beta-testers. The beta boards didn't work. Somehow a single trace on the pcb had got deleted and one of the GPIO pins was isolated. The boards were still usable and it wasn't too hard to solder in a jumper wire to replace the missing trace, but it was very embarrassing. It wasn't just that we'd shipped boards with a defect. The really annoying thing was that I'd set up an  automated loop-bac

Raspberry Pi Pico - simple projects

Introducing fungen - an AF function generator. Lots of pioneers are now creating tutorials and sample projects for the Raspberry Pi Pico and the Pimoroni Tiny2040. One of my first mini-projects is fungen - a Pico-based AF (audio frequency) function generator that uses the Pico's PIO (programmable I/O) to generate a waveform. The Pico's head start The Pico was announced just a few days ago. It arrived out of the blue complete with lots of interesting add-ons available, and with excellent documentation. The reference documentation is full of useful examples, including several that take advantage of the Pico's powerful PIO. PIO allows users to set up custom input-output capability, and one of the examples shows how to use PIO to implement PWM (Pulse width modulation). The Pico already has plenty of PWM-capable pins, but I wondered if I could hack the PWM code to turn the Pico into a simple signal generator. Indeed you can, and that's how fungen works. I made a couple of mi