Pi pico w

Fresh hardware to hack!

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The Pico Width, Height and Area! (WxH)

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One hands-on test article:

Low-Cost Connectivity for the IoT: Hands-On with the Raspberry Pi Pico W

The added Infineon CYW43439 providing for a $2 price increase , also supports Bluetooth 5.0, although the Pico W firmware does not (yet) handle Bluetooth.

( a cost comparison: the esp32-cs chip, with , risc Processor, WiFi and Bluetooth can be had for $1)

I had been pondering the possibilities of replacing the I2C expansion chip functions of the Zynthian with a Pi Pico’s PIO capabilities, the 4 rotary encoders would have to be handled by a single state machine in order to also handle serial MIDI. MY first motivation for such an ambitious undertaking, taking over serial MIDI, is to resolving the conflict preventing Zynthian main processor handling both Bluetooth and serial MIDI.
Using a Pico as a dedicated low level interface might relieve the main processor of some timing critical interface processing.

A Practical Look at PIO on the Raspberry Pi Pico

Does anyone knows if the USB can be used as a MIDI interface ?



This is a good new.

These last few weeks I’m on building a DIY midi control surface :

  • Two linear pots
  • Two Rotary encoders
  • Four momentary switches
  • 1.3 inch, 240x240 IPS 4 SPI wires display

HW is assembled and each part is woking but:

  • I’ve tried to use Arduino pro micro but storage and ram are too weak (can’t compile a sketch with lvgl graphic lib, TFT_eSPI driver, USB_MIDI lib and Control_Surface lib).
  • Teensy looks great, but too expensive and maybe oversized
  • ESP32 lacks of USB MIDi
  • So this could be a good alternative

… Even if after reading @MaxMaxis link, it looks like C C++ implementation of WiFi and network protocols are not yet fully stable/functional

It’s worth looking into the unique PIO which can do programmed I/O handling at processor clock rates, reducing the bit-banging load of the processors.

The Pico doesn’t have hardware like the pro micro but there is big banging USB MIDI code available.

I did nearn that the ESP32-C3 built in USB is very limited, with no HID capabilities like the pro micro has.

I see USB MIDI code for ESP32-S2, S3 (I believe these are no bluetooth variations)


a brief MIDI over USB (and alternatives) review
Control Surface: MIDI over USB

That last link to Control Surface is a very useful summary.