# Raspberry Pi Pico

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,110
I am going to have a play with the new Raspberry Pi Pico. Cheaper than the Arduinos and a LOT more powerful.
Have you thought of trying them?

#### John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
1,971
I like the idea of the Pico too, but then I read some of the threads on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's forum, and it seems as if the programming environment is nowhere near as simple to use as the Arduino. I'll wait till it becomes easy to use on a Windows system.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=143

If you get something useful running, please report details here!

#### dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
14,307
Raspberry Pi Org claims that people commonly use Pi's to drive Arduino microcontrollers, so they built one. It has impressive specs, but I prefer my generic $3 Uno's that I can order in quantity when I need a microcontroller. When I need more, I use a Mega or Pi Zero W.$5 shipping and handling for a $4 product is a non starter for me (you can only buy 1 at a time). There isn't even a reliable source for Pi Zero and Pi Zero W. Thread Starter #### dendad Joined Feb 20, 2016 4,110 I think the Pi Pico will be different to the Pi Zero. I had no problem buying a number of Picos, there was no limit on them, and there are at least 2 other boards in the works from Adafruit that uses the same chip. All that said, mine are due to arrive in a couple of days so I have not had a play as yet. The PIO blocks sound very interesting. Time will tell. #### dl324 Joined Mar 30, 2015 14,307 I received an email from vilros.com about Pico: Thread Starter #### dendad Joined Feb 20, 2016 4,110 Ah. It must be popular. I went back to my store here in Oz, and they too now have a limit of 1. Maybe I was greedy to get 3 originally? #### upand_at_them Joined May 15, 2010 875 I am going to have a play with the new Raspberry Pi Pico. Cheaper than the Arduinos and a LOT more powerful. Have you thought of trying them? No, I have enough things to do. And I'm not easily swayed by "You HAVE to buy this new thing!!" Cheaper than Arduinos? You must not have seen the clone market for Arduinos. #### dl324 Joined Mar 30, 2015 14,307 Ah. It must be popular. I think the issue is profit margin. Years after Pi Zero was introduced, I can still only buy one at a time; same for the Zero W. The only way I can order more than one at a time is if I pay for their ridiculously expensive installed header. #### John P Joined Oct 14, 2008 1,971 Cheaper than Arduinos? You must not have seen the clone market for Arduinos. Micro Center is selling the Pico for$1.99, if your local store still has any in stock. Predictably, the store in Cambridge MA ran out almost immediately, but you can get them in Duluth.

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,110
Cheaper than Arduinos? You must not have seen the clone market for Arduinos.
Oh yes, I use them a lot. I can save about \$1 by using an Arduino Nano, like in this VFO I built for a Philips FM828 VHF transceiver.

(I have also built a version for HF radios with the ESP32 and animated dial)

But these Nanos are not as powerful as the Pico, and the number of channels I can program is a bit limited by memory constraints. Also, if I change to an Arm board, like the Blue Pill or Pi Pico, more features can be included.
But these Picos are cheaper than the STM32 boards here, and are available in Oz (when stocks improve again), not having to wait for long shipping delays from China.
And the method of programming the Picos is easier too.
It will be interesting to see how they stack up in reality.
According to the tracking, they are due for delivery today

#### upand_at_them

Joined May 15, 2010
875
I'm building a similar VFO to your Nano one. I went straight with the ATMega328P chip, though.

#### John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
1,971
I'll revive this thread to follow up my own message, "I'll wait till it becomes easy to use on a Windows system." Somebody (not the official Arduino organization, who say they're also working on it) has come up with an addition to the Arduino environment which lets you program the Pico in C. The instructions for loading the material you need are quite simple to follow; I've got it on my computer and I've written some simple code, which I've verified with a scope. It is way faster than the Python equivalent! The one annoying feature is that compilation and uploading is rather slow, but perhaps it's just always going to be that way. Here are the instructions I used:
https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/program-raspberry-pi-pico-with-arduino-ide

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,110
Yes, I used that link too and have started the Pico VFO. But it is on the back burner for a while.

But I did add a reset button! Well worth it.

Still to do is the encoder input, OLED display etc. But here is a simple test code file if anyone wants to have a play.

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