Raspberry Pi Pico Tips and Tricks
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Raspberry Pi Pico Tips and Tricks

About the Book

If you've heard about the Raspberry Pi Pico you may know that it provides a fantastic method to learn about using a microcontroller and to develop some skills that go beyond the basics. 

Is this book for you?

You be the judge! I write books that capture information about the things I learn. In this case I will be writing down a bunch of information about the Raspberry Pi Pico and how I learned to use it. It's not written for experts. It's put together as a guide to get you started if you're unsure about how to make the first move with a microcontroller.

Why has the book been written?

Because in the process of learning things, it's a great way to remember them if you write them down :-).

Writing about how to do cool stuff with computers means that we're accumulating ways to help ourselves out when the going gets tricky. Making a book out of the information is a no-brainer since that way more people benefit from the process.

The awesome that is Leanpub.

The book has some information in it, but there will be updates over time. Publishing using Leanpub will allow readers to get easy notification of when updates and improvements are made.


So I hope you get something out of the book, please excuse the sometimes light-hearted conversational manner in which I approach the topic and enjoy the Raspberry Pi Pico!

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  • Categories

    • Python
    • Computers and Programming
    • Raspberry Pi
    • Computer Hardware
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About the Author

Malcolm Maclean
Malcolm Maclean

I have a passion for knowledge and I realise that part of the responsibility of gathering knowledge is being able to advance the state of the human condition in some way.

My aims in writing these books are to play with software, achieve personal goals and try something new for fun. It also helps that I think Open Source, technology, the visual representation of data and information rock in serious ways.

The books that I write are a mechanism to support my own learning, so the way I explain things is focused on trying to impart understanding in a simple but functional way.

I'm totally in awe of the Open Source community that has made this type of work possible. If you feel that you would like to support continued development of this content, feel free to donate when you download.

If you're looking for a hard copy version of any of these publications, they will be available through Amazon (not all will be available sorry).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Welcome!
    • What are we trying to do?
    • Who is this book for?
    • What will we need?
    • Why on earth did I write this rambling tome?
    • Where can you get more information?
  • Microcontrollers vs Computers
    • Microcontrollers
    • Computers
    • What’s the difference to you?
  • The Raspberry Pi Pico
    • The RP2040 Microcontroller Chip
    • The Raspberry Pi Pico W Microcontroller Board
  • Set up
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • What is Thonny?
    • Install Thonny
  • MicroPython
    • What is MicroPython?
    • Connect our Pico
    • Automatically Installing the Firmware
    • Manually Installing the Firmware
    • Updating Firmware
    • Use the Shell
    • Blink the on-board LED
    • Automatically run your program
  • Connectivity
    • Connecting using Dupont Connectors
    • Connectivity via WiFi
    • General Purpose Input / Output (GPIO)
    • Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C)
    • Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)
  • Reed Switches with the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • What is a Reed Switch?
    • The Magnetic Reed Switch
    • How do we read a switch?
    • Connecting up the switch to the Pico
    • Code
  • Controlling a Servo from the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • What is a Servo Motor?
    • How does a Servo Motor Work?
    • How is a Servo Motor Controlled?
    • Connecting Everything Up to the Pico
    • Code
    • Warning
  • Controlling a Motor with the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • What are the principles of motor control?
    • How will we implement it?
    • Connecting Up the motor controller and battery
    • Code
  • Using a Stepper Motor with a Raspberry Pi Pico
    • The Stepper Motor
    • The 28BYJ-48
    • Connecting the Pico to the controller to the GY-521
    • Code
  • Connecting an SD Card to the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • SD card adapter or adaptor.
    • My personal SD Card adapter journey
    • Choose your weapon
    • Install the SDCard Library.
    • Connect the SD Card Adapter
    • Code
    • Bonus Connection!
  • Connecting MQ Series Gas Detectors to the Pico
    • The Sensor
    • Connect Everything Up
    • Code
  • Distance Measurement using Time of Flight Sensor
    • What is a Time Of Flight Sensor?
    • How does a Time Of Flight Sensor Work?
    • How is a Time Of Flight Sensor Controlled?
    • Connecting a Time Of Flight Sensor Up to the Pico
    • Code
  • Reading the on-board Temperature of a Raspberry Pi Pico
    • About the sensor
    • Code
  • Multiple Temperature Measurements
    • The DS18B20 Sensor
    • Hardware required
    • Connecting everything up
    • Code
  • AHT10 Temperature and Relative Humidity
    • AHT10 Details
    • How is the AHT10 sensor accessed?
    • Connecting the AHT10 to the Pico
    • Code
  • Motion Sensing with the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • What is a PIR Sensor?
    • How does a PIR Sensor Work?
    • How do we read a PIR?
    • Connecting Up a PIR to the Pico
    • Code
  • Sensing vibration with a Raspberry Pi Pico
    • Vibration sensors
    • Piezoelectric vibration sensor
    • Connecting everything up
    • Code
  • Using an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with a Pico
    • The IMU
    • The GY-521 IMU module using a MPU-6050
    • Connecting the GY-521 to the Raspberry Pi Pico
    • Code
  • Using an OLED Display attached to a Pico
    • The OLED Display
    • Connecting the Display to the Pico
    • Loading the ssd1306 PyPI module
    • Code
  • Using a Dot-Matrix Display Attached to a Pico
    • The Dot-Matrix Display
    • How is the display accessed?
    • Connecting the Display to the Pico
    • Code
  • Controlling addressable LEDs
    • What are addressable LEDs?
    • Connecting the addressable LEDs
    • How do we talk to our addressable LEDs?
    • Code
  • Using the Raspberry Pi Pico as a Prometheus Node
    • About Prometheus and Grafana
    • Using the Pico as an Exporter
    • Code
  • Sending an email from a Raspberry Pi Pico W
    • The slightly tricky part of email.
    • The Code
  • Integrating a Real Time Clock (RTC) with a Raspberry Pi Pico
    • Just what is a RTC?
    • The RTC on a Raspberry Pi Pico
    • The Code
    • What gives? My Pico appears to have accurate time already!
  • General Pico Tips and Tricks
    • Universal LED Blink

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