Topics

RPi Pico


Jerry Gaffke
 

Looks like we have a new mainstream microcontroller breakout board coming out.
At $4 it's nearly as cheap as a Nano, better build quality than an eBay blue pill.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-pico/
https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/21/raspberry-pi-foundation-launches-4-microcontroller-with-custom-chip/

Has dual ARM M0 cores at 133mhz, 264KB of RAM, "up to 16MB of flash" (I think it's off chip SPI flash), 
i2c, spi, digital IO, analog inputs, programmable in C and micropython, well documented.

Jerry, KE7ER


Jack, W8TEE
 

Jerry:

Do we know for sure it's $4? That's the RP producer's price. I haven't seen the Arduino RP2040 price yet.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:56:16 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke@...> wrote:


Looks like we have a new mainstream microcontroller breakout board coming out.
At $4 it's nearly as cheap as a Nano, better build quality than an eBay blue pill.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-pico/
https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/21/raspberry-pi-foundation-launches-4-microcontroller-with-custom-chip/

Has dual ARM M0 cores at 133mhz, 264KB of RAM, "up to 16MB of flash" (I think it's off chip SPI flash), 
i2c, spi, digital IO, analog inputs, programmable in C and micropython, well documented.

Jerry, KE7ER


--
Jack, W8TEE


gector
 

Okay, I'm not an expert, but I've never heard of a dual-core ARM M0 chip, that sound awesome! And at 133MHz, that's pretty amazing. Can't wait to play with this thing, I wonder how they manage things like access races and such.


Mark Erbaugh
 

Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME


Jerry Gaffke
 

Adafruit has it listed at $5, but out of stock.
Pishop.us has stock at $4 each, checking out they want $8.95 shipping.

Of course, if you buy other stuff with it the shipping starts looking reasonable.

Jerry, KE7ER


On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 10:02 AM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
Do we know for sure it's $4? That's the RP producer's price. I haven't seen the Arduino RP2040 price yet.
 


Doug W
 

sparkfun has them too
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/17829


Jack, W8TEE
 

From the Adafruit site:

At the time of launch, there is no Arduino core support for this board. 

There is an announcement on the Arduino site that they will be coming out with one, and that's the one I'm interested in. When they move it to the Arduino core, that will be significant.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:39 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke@...> wrote:


Adafruit has it listed at $5, but out of stock.
Pishop.us has stock at $4 each, checking out they want $8.95 shipping.

Of course, if you buy other stuff with it the shipping starts looking reasonable.

Jerry, KE7ER

On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 10:02 AM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
Do we know for sure it's $4? That's the RP producer's price. I haven't seen the Arduino RP2040 price yet.
 

--
Jack, W8TEE


Jack, W8TEE
 

Just make sure you understand what the tool chain is for software development with it. Right now, the only thing I'm seeing is Python support as far as the tool chain is concerned.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:04 PM EST, Mark Erbaugh <mark.election@...> wrote:


Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME

--
Jack, W8TEE


Ashhar Farhan
 

They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.
- f

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 12:14 AM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just make sure you understand what the tool chain is for software development with it. Right now, the only thing I'm seeing is Python support as far as the tool chain is concerned.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:04 PM EST, Mark Erbaugh <mark.election@...> wrote:


Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME

--
Jack, W8TEE


Jack, W8TEE
 

That would be a game changer. Do you know if this patch works on the Community Edition of VS, which is (was?) free.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:55:09 PM EST, Ashhar Farhan <farhanbox@...> wrote:


They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.
- f

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 12:14 AM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Just make sure you understand what the tool chain is for software development with it. Right now, the only thing I'm seeing is Python support as far as the tool chain is concerned.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:04 PM EST, Mark Erbaugh <mark.election@...> wrote:


Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME

--
Jack, W8TEE


--
Jack, W8TEE


Jerry Gaffke
 

Yes, a cpu that supports debugging in hardware is a good thing.
And Arduino is not a serious programming platform.

However:
I've been using vi everyday for nearly 40 years now, and am very happy with it.
Have zero use for Windows notepad (or anything Microsoft, including Visual Studio).
Perhaps I'd say moving from the usual Arduino platform to what the RPi Pico promises to be
is like the difference between a DOS prompt and a unix bash shell under Raspbian.   ;-)

Jerry, KE7ER



On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 10:54 AM, Ashhar Farhan wrote:
They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.
- f


Vince Vielhaber
 

Microcenter did that with the Pi Zero when that came out. Problem was the local Microcenter never had them in stock. I don't think it was $1.99 but it was really cheap with a limit of 1.

Vince.

On 01/21/2021 01:11 PM, Mark Erbaugh wrote:
Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4.
One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2
or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME


Jack, W8TEE
 

And Arduino is not a serious programming platform.

Really? Define "serious". If you count the number of Nanos/Unos that have been purchased and the number of Arduino-related books that have been sold, I would argue it is a very serious platform. 

...moving from the usual Arduino platform to what the RPi Pico promises to be
is like the difference between a DOS prompt and a unix bash shell...

You're confusing the IDE platform the RPP processor. I can program a 600Mhz Teensy 4.1 with 2Mb of flash and 500K of SRAM that will run rings around the RPP. The T4.1 can do things the RPP can't, yet it's programmable in the Arduino IDE. Moving to the VS platform is significant.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 2:13:10 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke@...> wrote:


Yes, a cpu that supports debugging in hardware is a good thing.
And Arduino is not a serious programming platform.

However:
I've been using vi everyday for nearly 40 years now, and am very happy with it.
Have zero use for Windows notepad (or anything Microsoft, including Visual Studio).
Perhaps I'd say moving from the usual Arduino platform to what the RPi Pico promises to be
is like the difference between a DOS prompt and a unix bash shell under Raspbian.   ;-)

Jerry, KE7ER



On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 10:54 AM, Ashhar Farhan wrote:
They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.
- f

--
Jack, W8TEE


James Rospopo
 

Gentlemen,

 

For someone who’s just now starting to read Jack’s book and who should be considered a newbie.  Please put this into kindergarten level English.  Is this a IDE package we can use ?  I went to the Visual Studio web site and the 2019 Community version is free.  Could this be something we could use ?

 

Thanks

 

Jim

 

From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jack, W8TEE via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:58 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] RPi Pico

 

That would be a game changer. Do you know if this patch works on the Community Edition of VS, which is (was?) free.

 

Jack, W8TEE

 

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:55:09 PM EST, Ashhar Farhan <farhanbox@...> wrote:

 

 

They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.

- f

 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 12:14 AM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Just make sure you understand what the tool chain is for software development with it. Right now, the only thing I'm seeing is Python support as far as the tool chain is concerned.

 

Jack, W8TEE

 

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:04 PM EST, Mark Erbaugh <mark.election@...> wrote:

 

 

Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME


--
Jack, W8TEE


--
Jack, W8TEE


Jerry Gaffke
 

Jack,

I think we mostly agree.
And that we both like to argue.
With that in mind:

>  If you count the number of Nanos/Unos...

I'm not counting anything.
I'm saying the Arduino way is inherently limited.
They hide the complexity of the underlying device with buggy libraries.
Though I must admit, they make it very easy to blink an LED.  ;-)

>  You're confusing the IDE platform the RPP processor....

No I'm not.  Though the word "platform" is ambivalent.
I am suggesting is that if your experience has been limited to programming
our beloved Nano under Arduino, moving to the RPi-Pico should be interesting.
I'm sure they make it easy to use an RPi host under Raspbian for development.

Yes, the teensy is very powerful, though it is hardly "usual" for Arduino hardware.
It is also more than $4. 
The RPi-pico looks plenty capable for anything I plan to do with a uBitx.

>  Moving to the VS platform is significant.

Be my guest.  Go for it. 
MS has long since cured me of any desire to use their products.

Jerry, KE7ER


On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 11:31 AM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
And Arduino is not a serious programming platform.
 
Really? Define "serious". If you count the number of Nanos/Unos that have been purchased and the number of Arduino-related books that have been sold, I would argue it is a very serious platform. 
 
...moving from the usual Arduino platform to what the RPi Pico promises to be
is like the difference between a DOS prompt and a unix bash shell...
 
You're confusing the IDE platform the RPP processor. I can program a 600Mhz Teensy 4.1 with 2Mb of flash and 500K of SRAM that will run rings around the RPP. The T4.1 can do things the RPP can't, yet it's programmable in the Arduino IDE. Moving to the VS platform is significant.
 


Jack, W8TEE
 

Jerry:

See below:

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:08:33 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke@...> wrote:


Jack,

I think we mostly agree.
And that we both like to argue.
With that in mind:

>  If you count the number of Nanos/Unos...

I'm not counting anything.
I'm saying the Arduino way is inherently limited. Agree, both the Arduino family of processors and the IDE itself.
They hide the complexity of the underlying device with buggy libraries.
Though I must admit, they make it very easy to blink an LED.  ;-)
It's part of the price we pay for having something that is truly Open Source.  There is little QA on the libraries and the quality is vast different from one to the other. After a while, however, you learn that some are pretty good (e.g., those that Paul writes for PJRC and most of the Adafruit libraries) and some are truly horrible.

>  You're confusing the IDE platform the RPP processor....

No I'm not.  Though the word "platform" is ambivalent. I don't think it's ambivalent at all. The platform usually refers to the application being run for program development. I did development for years on a VAX/VMS and used their platform tools. When I started teaching in the CS area, almost all of the tools were geared to Windows, as that's where the market for programmers was. Visual Studio was the platform for program development. The Arduino IDE is the platform for Arduino software development. The RPP is a processor, not a platform. It appears that the Arduino people will be incorporating it into their platform as another processor, along with the Arduino family, the STM32, ESP32, and Teensy. All of these processors can use the same platform.

I am suggesting is that if your experience has been limited to programming
our beloved Nano under Arduino, moving to the RPi-Pico should be interesting.
I'm sure they make it easy to use an RPi host under Raspbian for development. I would think they will. It appears, however, that most of the RP tools prefer Python, but that's just an impression I get from looking at what's being done there. I would expect the RPP to follow in those footsteps.

Yes, the teensy is very powerful, though it is hardly "usual" for Arduino hardware.
It is also more than $4.  Very true, as the T4 is $20. However, it is the 600Mhz clock of the Teensy that makes it worthwhile for me. (My latest project is an SDR that uses the T4.1 which is even a little more expensive.) However, even a 200MHz clock might be too slow for my current development project.
The RPi-pico looks plenty capable for anything I plan to do with a uBitx.And therein is where both will find a market.

Jack, W8TEE

>  Moving to the VS platform is significant.

Be my guest.  Go for it. 
MS has long since cured me of any desire to use their products.

Jerry, KE7ER


On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 11:31 AM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
And Arduino is not a serious programming platform.
 
Really? Define "serious". If you count the number of Nanos/Unos that have been purchased and the number of Arduino-related books that have been sold, I would argue it is a very serious platform. 
 
...moving from the usual Arduino platform to what the RPi Pico promises to be
is like the difference between a DOS prompt and a unix bash shell...
 
You're confusing the IDE platform the RPP processor. I can program a 600Mhz Teensy 4.1 with 2Mb of flash and 500K of SRAM that will run rings around the RPP. The T4.1 can do things the RPP can't, yet it's programmable in the Arduino IDE. Moving to the VS platform is significant.
 

--
Jack, W8TEE


Jack, W8TEE
 

Hi Jim:

Visual Studio (VS) is a programming platform, much the same way the Arduino IDE (AIDE) is a programming platform. A major difference is that VS supports multiple languages (C, C++, C# [Microsoft's answer to Java], F, and Visual Basic). One of the things I miss the most from VS (I taught programming using that platform) is its symbolic debugger. That said, VS does have a steeper learning curve than the Arduino IDE.

If you are just starting to learn C, you'll learn C quicker with the AIDE than with VS because a good part of your time slice will be learning how VS works. My suggestion: Learn C first, then look at VS and see if you want to go that route. Also, AIDE works pretty well with the Open Source libraries and, while I haven't tried it recently, my guess is that VS is going to be more difficult when linking in external libraries.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:05:56 PM EST, James Rospopo <jrospopo@...> wrote:


Gentlemen,

 

For someone who’s just now starting to read Jack’s book and who should be considered a newbie.  Please put this into kindergarten level English.  Is this a IDE package we can use ?  I went to the Visual Studio web site and the 2019 Community version is free.  Could this be something we could use ?

 

Thanks

 

Jim

 

From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jack, W8TEE via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:58 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] RPi Pico

 

That would be a game changer. Do you know if this patch works on the Community Edition of VS, which is (was?) free.

 

Jack, W8TEE

 

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:55:09 PM EST, Ashhar Farhan <farhanbox@...> wrote:

 

 

They have released visual studio. This cpu has built-in support for debugging, something that was sorley missing in teensy and arduino boards. this means that you can place a break-point. it is really a big deal. visual studio is a very mature IDE, unlike the kludgy Arduino IDE. It integrates everything from git to code folding and more, with graphics interface to the gdb as well. it is the difference between windows notepad and vi.

- f

 

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 12:14 AM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Just make sure you understand what the tool chain is for software development with it. Right now, the only thing I'm seeing is Python support as far as the tool chain is concerned.

 

Jack, W8TEE

 

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:12:04 PM EST, Mark Erbaugh <mark.election@...> wrote:

 

 

Most of the US vendors listed on the Raspberry Pi site list is for $4. One had it for $5. Micro Center had it $1.99 for qty 1, $3.99 for qty 2 or more, but only available in-store.

73,
Mark, N8ME


--
Jack, W8TEE


--
Jack, W8TEE


--
Jack, W8TEE


Jerry Gaffke
 

Jack said:

>  most of the RP tools prefer Python, but that's just an impression I get from looking at what's being done there. I would expect the RPP to follow in those footsteps.

RPi is largely aimed at the educational market.
If I were introducing school kids to computers, it would be with python.
But everything I see suggests both C and python will be well supported on the RPi-pico.

Code written in C will always run much faster.
But most Arduino projects out there would likely do just fine on the RPi-pcio if ported to python.

If I just want to add a list of numbers, I pop a python interpreter.
When I am trying out algorithms, I find it much faster to code in Python.
Those algorithms in python are usually much more concise and understandable
than the same algorithm written in C.

Jerry, KE7ER

While python may be far slower than the same task written in C (scripted, error checking, garbage collection),
given the faster clock it might be OK to code for the uBitx in python on the RPi-pico.




On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 12:32 PM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
most of the RP tools prefer Python, but that's just an impression I get from looking at what's being done there. I would expect the RPP to follow in those footsteps.


Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

Micro Center wasn't even charging $4 -- they had a launch special price of $1.99 for a single unit, in-store only. (Multiples cost $3.99 each.) They're already sold out for now.

SparkFun, Adafruit, and PiShop have them in stock and are selling them for $4. As of right now they're in stock at all three. For now they're limiting sales to three per customer. Some of the other listed US sellers don't have any. Digi-Key does not yet list the Pico.

So yes, it appears you actually can buy the Pico for $4. Getting large quantities (say, 100 at a time for a kitting run) may not be possible for a while, but it appears the intent is that they will be available at a low price for embedding into designs. That's different from the Pi Zero, where the distributor price was actually higher than the quantity one retail price; the super-low price really was only intended for individual buyers, not for embedding, and the retailers were presumably receiving reduced-cost shipments from the foundation so they could sell at that price.

On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 1:03 PM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Jerry:

Do we know for sure it's $4? That's the RP producer's price. I haven't seen the Arduino RP2040 price yet.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 12:56:16 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


Looks like we have a new mainstream microcontroller breakout board coming out.
At $4 it's nearly as cheap as a Nano, better build quality than an eBay blue pill.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-pico/
https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/21/raspberry-pi-foundation-launches-4-microcontroller-with-custom-chip/

Has dual ARM M0 cores at 133mhz, 264KB of RAM, "up to 16MB of flash" (I think it's off chip SPI flash), 
i2c, spi, digital IO, analog inputs, programmable in C and micropython, well documented.

Jerry, KE7ER


--
Jack, W8TEE


Jack, W8TEE
 

Both Python and Java have runtime checks that will always slow it down. Also, neither directly supports pointers, which I would really miss. Both of those languages are sorta like C with training wheels.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:54:28 PM EST, Jerry Gaffke via groups.io <jgaffke@...> wrote:


Jack said:

>  most of the RP tools prefer Python, but that's just an impression I get from looking at what's being done there. I would expect the RPP to follow in those footsteps.

RPi is largely aimed at the educational market.
If I were introducing school kids to computers, it would be with python.
But everything I see suggests both C and python will be well supported on the RPi-pico.

Code written in C will always run much faster.
But most Arduino projects out there would likely do just fine on the RPi-pcio if ported to python.

If I just want to add a list of numbers, I pop a python interpreter.
When I am trying out algorithms, I find it much faster to code in Python.
Those algorithms in python are usually much more concise and understandable
than the same algorithm written in C.

Jerry, KE7ER

While python may be far slower than the same task written in C (scripted, error checking, garbage collection),
given the faster clock it might be OK to code for the uBitx in python on the RPi-pico.




On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 12:32 PM, Jack, W8TEE wrote:
most of the RP tools prefer Python, but that's just an impression I get from looking at what's being done there. I would expect the RPP to follow in those footsteps.

--
Jack, W8TEE