Raspberry Pi RP2040 gets into BBC Micro:bit lookalike board

ELECFREAKS Pico:ed V2 is a Raspberry Pi RP2040 board heavily inspired by the BBC Micro:bit with an edge connector exposing rings suitable for crocodile clips, a 17×7 LED matrix display, and designed for the classroom.

We’ve seen several BBC Micro:bit clones – or rather adaptations – over the years with boards such as the SiFive Learn Inventor, Elecrow Mbits, and  HiHope “Big Brother” board. The Pico:ed V2 adds to the list, and the main differences are that it is based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller instead, and does not come with wireless connectivity relying on a USB interface only.

Raspberry Pi RP2040 BBC Micro:bit board

ELECFREAKS Pico:ed V2 specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM
  • Storage – 2MB QSPI flash
  • Display – 17×7 dot-matrix display
  • USB – 1x micro USB 1.1 port for power, data, and programming
  • I/Os
    • 25-pin notched “Wavy” connector with up to 19x GPIO, 2x I2C, 2x UART, 2x SPI, 4x analog inputs, as well as 3.3V, and GND
    • Pad parameters – 2.54mm pitch, 4×3.5mm size
    • 3.3V I/O voltage
  • Misc
    • Power LED, USB data LED
    • BOOTSEL and Reset buttons
    • 2x user buttons
    • Buzzer
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • Battery connector
    • Buck chip and the inductor to stabilize the voltage to 3.6V, before being reduced to 3.3V through a Schottky diode.
  • Dimensions – 52 x 42 mm
  • Weight – 10 grams

Pico:ed V2 specifications

The board’s description read that Micropython and C++ programming is supported, but once we look at the documentation, detailed tutorials with code samples are provided for CircuitPython only, and you’ll find the firmware on the official website. The company also says its Raspberry Pi RP2040 board should work with most BBC Micro:bit accessories.

ELECFREAKS is selling the Pico:ed V2 educational board on their own store for $12.90 plus shipping. There are several positive user reviews on the shop that look suspicious to me, but maybe I’m just being paranoid…

Picoed V2 pinout diagram
Pinout diagram
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Anthony Douglas
Anthony Douglas
1 year ago

Yet another board to add to the massive pile, while basic things like improving the quality of the code base get neglected. We don’t need more boards, we need better systems and educational materials.

William Barath
1 year ago

I’m just waiting now for someone to make a Pac-Man to eat these ghosts!

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