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µctrl Raspberryπ pico & arduino
01-22-2021, 08:06 PM (This post was last modified: 02-03-2021 10:46 PM by compsystems.)
Post: #1
µctrl Raspberryπ pico & arduino
Welcome Raspberryπ to the world of microcontrollers (µctrls)

Raspberryπ pico µctrl official site
https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-pico/

µpython page
http://micropython.org/
Forum
https://forum.micropython.org/viewforum.php?f=21

Soon an arduino with the rp2040 processor. https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welco...ntrollers/

[Image: Raspberry-Pi-Pico-at-an-angle-500x357.png]



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01-22-2021, 09:07 PM
Post: #2
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-22-2021 08:06 PM)compsystems Wrote:  Welcome Raspberryπ to the world of microcontrollers

This looks very promising indeed. I could use one right now as I am working on a project around an Arduin Nano and have trouble fitting the code and data inside... But I guess it is going to be a long wait until this product will become available and the price will also be on the highish side (Arduino Nano clones are sold for less than 2 Euros...). But I will certainly try it out as soon as I can get one!

Regards
Max
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01-22-2021, 09:36 PM
Post: #3
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Much more info here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspber...w-on-sale/

I wonder if a high performance DIY calculator could be made by combining a Zero W with a Pico to handle power management, keyboard I/O, etc.
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01-23-2021, 12:06 AM
Post: #4
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-22-2021 09:07 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  Hello!

(01-22-2021 08:06 PM)compsystems Wrote:  Welcome Raspberryπ to the world of microcontrollers

This looks very promising indeed. I could use one right now as I am working on a project around an Arduin Nano and have trouble fitting the code and data inside... But I guess it is going to be a long wait until this product will become available and the price will also be on the highish side (Arduino Nano clones are sold for less than 2 Euros...). But I will certainly try it out as soon as I can get one!

Regards
Max

It looks like the Raspberry Pi Pico board based on the RP2040 controller is priced at US$4 and shipping is estimated to start Feb 8.

https://www.okdo.com/us/p/raspberry-pi-p...aspberrypi
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01-23-2021, 12:34 AM
Post: #5
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-22-2021 09:36 PM)John Keith Wrote:  I wonder if a high performance DIY calculator could be made by combining a Zero W with a Pico to handle power management, keyboard I/O, etc.

The Pico ought to be enough by itself. It's the same speed as the processor used in the WP 34S and has a lot more RAM and flash. It's also dual core so double the speed if the parallelism can be effectively utilised.


Pauli
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01-23-2021, 02:01 AM (This post was last modified: 01-23-2021 02:05 AM by Craig Bladow.)
Post: #6
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-23-2021 12:34 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  
(01-22-2021 09:36 PM)John Keith Wrote:  I wonder if a high performance DIY calculator could be made by combining a Zero W with a Pico to handle power management, keyboard I/O, etc.

The Pico ought to be enough by itself. It's the same speed as the processor used in the WP 34S and has a lot more RAM and flash. It's also dual core so double the speed if the parallelism can be effectively utilised.


Pauli

Ah, but the Pi Zero W brings wireless access and mass storage. An in-between solution could be made with a single ESP32 which has wireless, has a dual core version if desired, and clocks as high as 240 mHz.

All that said it probably comes down to the desired size and weight, the capacity of the batteries that fit in the case and the power that the micro-controller and display draw.

I went as far as to put two of the RP2040s in a shopping cart, but didn't pull the trigger as I have a dozen or so micro-controllers sitting unused in my parts bin.

CC41 coming soon!
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01-23-2021, 12:22 PM
Post: #7
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-23-2021 12:34 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  The Pico ought to be enough by itself. It's the same speed as the processor used in the WP 34S and has a lot more RAM and flash. It's also dual core so double the speed if the parallelism can be effectively utilised.

That's certainly true. But I rather wait for that "Arduino Pico" or whatever they will call it, even if it costs a few Euros more. Because I will be able to use the Arduino IDE with which I am very familiar and which already runs on my Macintosh since over a decade.
And even more importantly I will be able to control almost any peripherial with it because there is such a large pool of readily available libraries out there.

Regards
Max
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01-23-2021, 12:30 PM
Post: #8
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
What about the Arduino Due?
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01-23-2021, 12:55 PM
Post: #9
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-23-2021 12:30 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  What about the Arduino Due?

I do have several Arduino Due boards with which I have played a little. They are quite powerful, but their biggest disadvantage is their 3.3V connectors. Lots of cheap Arduino peripherials and "shields" can not be used or require level shifters which is an additional complication. Also the Due boards are not excatly cheap. On the other hand they have on-board digital-to-anloag converters which is a quite unique feature in the Arduino world.

Regards
Max
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01-23-2021, 04:20 PM
Post: #10
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
I think it will not take long until an Arduino supported version is available:
https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welco...ntrollers/

Regards, Meindert
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01-26-2021, 03:21 PM
Post: #11
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-23-2021 04:20 PM)MeindertKuipers Wrote:  I think it will not take long until an Arduino supported version is available:
https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welco...ntrollers/

Nope. It shows clearly the targeted young generation do not want the Arduino's non-intuitive world. They don't want to know what is ISP, bootloader, constraints and bad readable C code, breadboards, blue-ish-green-ish boring IDE, compiling-transfer to board-modify in IDE-compiling-transfer-etc...

I'm not sure, but I guess, the average member here is too old to understand the feeling of the Python. The Python is the BASIC of 2020's. If you were a kid in the 80's and you know what does it mean C=, Spectrum, Enterprise 128K, you can feel the same. Just jump here and download these books: Mag Pi Free Books - this is a totally new world.

Everything is 3.3V, everything is chained into I2C, write your code in Python, your controller is a drive, upload it, RESET and run.

Raspberry produced a 32bit system 100+MHz, with integrated math for USD 4.- and they stated, the Python is the language. C'mon, what Arduino want in this field?! This will be a beginning of a new era.
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01-26-2021, 04:22 PM
Post: #12
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-26-2021 03:21 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  I'm not sure, but I guess, the average member here is too old to understand the feeling of the Python. The Python is the BASIC of 2020's.

I am not convinced that Python really is the way to get "laypersons" into programming. Myself I have paid off our house programming engineering software on everything from programmable calculators, mainframes, desktop computers, minicomputers (PDP-11, VAX...), unix workstations and microcontrollers using all kinds of operating systems and alomost ten different programming languages.

But I failed miserably to get a piece of Python code running on my Macintosh. An astronomy program (called "PlanetarySystemStacker") that supposedly runs on Windows, unix, and MacOS. After wasting an entire weekend (!!!) I gave up. Never in my own computing history have I encountered a greater mess than the way Python repositories and libraries are organised, especially when they depend on each other. The program of version 1.2.3 requires library x of version 2.3.4 which itself only works with library y in version 5.6.7. On the other hand, library y in version 5.6.7 only runs on Python 3.6.2 or lower but it turns out that my current version is 3.6.3. So I delete my entire Python installation and install an earlier version. Only to find out that this older version does not include the "mach kernel library". No problem, it can be donloaded from Intel and is free but requires licensing. Only that the license server does not work properly ...

After that weekend I crossed out the word "Python" with a thick fat line and never want to see that again on any computer that I have to do with.

And if it goes like that with someone who has been working with calculators and computers since 43 years - how can a newbie get happy with such an ugly mess of a programming environment?

Greetings
Max
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01-26-2021, 05:37 PM
Post: #13
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
and you haven't even mentioned needing to get to grips with pip, anaconda, etc, which often seem necessary for some otherwise apparently simple piece of software install.

Cambridge, UK
41CL/DM41X 12/15C/16C DM15/16 71B 17B/BII/bII+ 28S 42S/DM42 32SII 48GX 50g 35s 30b/WP34S Prime G2
& Casios, Rockwell 18R :)
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01-26-2021, 06:43 PM
Post: #14
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hi everybody.

I think the Pi Pico is a great sign for modern microcontrollers. Already, M0- and M4-based ARM boards like this, this, and others (those are both Adafruit boards, but many companies make them) are becoming the norm in the world of small programmable devices. Seeing Raspberry Pi, a group already known far and wide throughout the community, enter the field of microcontrollers is a good sign for the future. It shows that we can always innovate further, getting more out of the parts we are already so good at creating.

As for Python, this is where it gets complicated. I think Csaba said it best by comparing it to BASIC, as it is the go-to language for so many modern applications, educational or otherwise---look at what you can do with packages like numpy, matplotlib, and pandas alone. If I need to make a professional-looking graph, or process a CSV file from an Arduino, or anything else involving that kind of data, I would far rather build a small script than struggle with a complicated C++ API (if such a thing even exists), or, even worse, an Excel spreadsheet. I also really enjoy using Python for most of my other programming, thanks to packages like wxPython as well as the inbuilt string manipulation, though I still stick with Arduino for my microcontrollers. In fact, one of the reasons that I don't have a Prime, aside from cost, and lack of need of another HP, is because it doesn't support Python. While I'm sure PPL is plenty powerful, Python is more intuitive, and I think it would be able to extract much of the inherent power present in the Prime, as well as take advantage of the touchscreen and even external package repositories.

Remember, just because Python is in the future of microcontrollers doesn't mean microcontrollers have to be only Python. As long as Python is present on a board, C and C++ will be there too, and those APIs will be just as well supported. The Pico already has a full C/C++ API, plus that assembly-like PIO language for peripheral building, and I think it won't be difficult for the people behind Arduino to build a variant of that language for it---after all, there's already an Arduino package for the M0, the same underlying processor core the Pico uses.

Finally, while Python can be a pain (I understand; I had a Mac once), I think it's important to note that Python is making coding available to many more people than ever before. Educational microcontrollers like the micro:bit, as well as traditional desktop Python, open the door to kids and adults of all ages and skill levels to programming, and the careers and opportunities that are available with that knowledge.

Long story short, I understand why one might be adverse to Python and languages like it. That's why there are so many programming languages, right? Smile The choices exist because the choices are needed. Remember that the choice that meets your needs is always the best choice.
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01-26-2021, 06:56 PM
Post: #15
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-26-2021 03:21 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  I'm not sure, but I guess, the average member here is too old to understand the feeling of the Python. The Python is the BASIC of 2020's. If you were a kid in the 80's and you know what does it mean C=, Spectrum, Enterprise 128K, you can feel the same. Just jump here and download these books: Mag Pi Free Books - this is a totally new world.

Everything is 3.3V, everything is chained into I2C, write your code in Python, your controller is a drive, upload it, RESET and run.

Raspberry produced a 32bit system 100+MHz, with integrated math for USD 4.- and they stated, the Python is the language. C'mon, what Arduino want in this field?! This will be a beginning of a new era.

Python on microcontrollers is fine for simple applications with few or no timing constraints but there are huge areas where C is mandatory. The Pico is sufficiently fast and powerful to replace DSP's for real time control of motors, inverters, etc. but C code is really necessary for real-time control.

You don't need to use old command line-based programming environments either, you can use Visual Studio Code and other modern IDE's.
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01-26-2021, 07:56 PM
Post: #16
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-23-2021 12:06 AM)Steve Simpkin Wrote:  ...shipping is estimated to start Feb 8.

Start? This Monday sold out of stock from UK! I have ordered on 21. Jan from Pimoroni (it was GBP 3.00), four days later (on Monday) all their stock sold out (and limited to one board for one customer). Just for your information, the RPi Zero (without wireless) only GBP 4.-
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01-26-2021, 08:29 PM (This post was last modified: 01-26-2021 08:30 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #17
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-26-2021 06:43 PM)Liam Hays Wrote:  ... I think it's important to note that Python is making coding available to many more people than ever before.

Coding has been available for anyone who wanted to do it for over 40 years (when programmable calculators and home computers became affordable). I don't see what is different now with Python. It's just anonther (somewhat hyped) programming language, not better than the ones before and maybe not worse either. Unusable for me (see above), diiferent to all the others that came before it which I could have used if I had so wanted but this one I can't, so I can't really tell.

Regards
Max
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01-26-2021, 10:52 PM
Post: #18
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Quote:It's just anonther (somewhat hyped) programming language, not better than the ones before and maybe not worse either.

Good point---I hadn't thought about a "bigger picture" view. Like a trend, most programming languages seem to come and go, except for maybe C.

Quote:Unusable for me (see above), diiferent to all the others that came before it which I could have used if I had so wanted but this one I can't, so I can't really tell.

I understand that, and I don't want to turn this into a debate over subjective viewpoints on what is "the best language," more than I already have. (Didn't this thread start with the Pi Pico? Smile). Like I said before, each one has its own use, upsides, and downsides---you wouldn't use RPL to, for example, control a cash register, and you wouldn't use Python to run a smart TV. When we need to solve a problem, we find a way.

Anyway, back to the Pico. I'm excited to see what people do with it, and I was thinking a bit about an RPN machine with one. I think these things would be achievable:
  • An E-ink or Sharp Memory Display (which is what I understand the DM42 and its friends use) for minimal power consumption with maximum contrast and resolution.
  • Somebody mentioned mass storage, which would be awesome---I'm imagining a cross between a 48 and a 35s as I type this. I think it would probably be better to use the maximum flash supported by the RP2040, 16 MB, rather than the 2 MB the Pico comes with.
  • I wonder if a PIO state machine would make something like infrared serial easier than it would otherwise be.

Quote:...could be made by combining a Zero W with a Pico...
Judging by its specs, the Pico already provides the raw processing capability. While a Zero or Zero W is much more powerful, I think it would pose some issues: a) it runs Linux, so every time you want to go use your calculator, you have to wait for it to boot, and b) it draws much more power than a Pico or equivalent microcontroller.

Quote:It's also dual core so double the speed if the parallelism can be effectively utilised.
It is, but this says that multi-thread support is poor at best right now. Hopefully that changes in the near future.

I think the ESP32-S2, an alternative to the original ESP32, is a better choice for a calculator until the Pico matures. The ESP32 series already has full thread support (using, IIRC, the same underlying real-time OS the Prime uses), WiFi and/or Bluetooth (though I don't know how a calculator would use that), and the -S2 model supports USB as a mass storage device. Most boards also have more flash and RAM than the Pico, and are clocked faster as well, as Craig Bladow said.

Anyway, that's my take on this. The Pico is great, but in its infantile state right now, it's hard to see any advantage over other microcontrollers. For a calc of the type discussed in this thread, it may not actually be the best choice, given its limitations and the features available from other boards and chips.
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01-27-2021, 10:01 AM (This post was last modified: 01-27-2021 10:04 AM by EdS2.)
Post: #19
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
(01-26-2021 10:52 PM)Liam Hays Wrote:  
Quote:...could be made by combining a Zero W with a Pico...
Judging by its specs, the Pico already provides the raw processing capability. While a Zero or Zero W is much more powerful, I think it would pose some issues: a) it runs Linux, so every time you want to go use your calculator, you have to wait for it to boot, and b) it draws much more power than a Pico or equivalent microcontroller.

Just a small point: it's not accurate to think of the Zero, or any other of the original Pi boads, as necessarily running Linux. They can, and they usually do, but they don't have to. Not only are other operating systems available, but baremetal projects are possible and practical. It does take a fraction of a second to boot, which isn't quite as fast as it might be, but it's no worse than that. My favourite example is PiTubeDirect which starts fast enough to be recognised by the BBC Micro at power up.

Back on topic, I am very impressed by the Pico, and the RP2040 chip that's inside it, and very excited to see what projects people make with it. It's barely cheaper than a Zero, but much lower power, and deterministic, and the PIO engines seem to be very useful indeed. Well-suited to real time applications, or indeed, interfaces. A paired Zero and Pico might well be a common solution.
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01-27-2021, 10:49 AM
Post: #20
RE: Raspberryπ & arduino
Hello!

(01-26-2021 10:52 PM)Liam Hays Wrote:  (Didn't this thread start with the Pi Pico? Smile).

Not really. It is about an (yet unnamed) Arduino which runs on the same microcontroller than the Pi Pico, but provining the Arduino programming environment (C / C++) via the "normal" Ardunio IDE. Including all the thousands of libraries and peripherials that are available in the Arduino world. There is no mention about "Python" in the article linked by the thread starter.

Regards
Max
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