Plasma Stick 2040 W adds RGB LED strip controller to Raspberry Pi Pico W board

Plasma Stick 2040 W

Pimoroni Plasma Stick 2040 W is a “Pico W Aboard” kit that adds a 5V RGB LED strip controller to the Raspberry Pi Pico W board, as well as a Reset button, and a Qwiic/STEMMA QT connector for expansion.

Plasma Stick 2040 W specifications:

  • Raspberry Pi Pico W
    • MCU – Dual Arm Cortex M0+ running at up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM
    • Storage – 2MB of QSPI flash supporting XiP
    • Connectivity – 2.4GHz wireless module  with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth Classic + LE
    • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • LED strip connector – 3-pin screw terminal block compatible with 5V WS2812/Neopixel/SK6812 LEDs
  • Expansion – Qw/ST (Qwiic/STEMMA QT) I2C connector
  • Misc – Reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 67 × 22 × 12 mm

Since it’s based on the Raspberry Pi Pico board it’s programmable with the official C/C++ and MicroPython SDKs, and Pimoroni also maintains a GitHub repository for their RP2040 boards with libraries and samples, and the schematic is also available as a PDF file.

Plasma Stick 2040 W schematics
Full schematic of the Plasma Stick 2040 W

Pimoroni sells the Plasma Stick 2040 Stick W for $12.30 including the Raspberry Pi Pico W, but if you want to easily create a nice-looking project you may as well go with one of their $24.60 to $30.75 Wireless Plasma Kits that include required cables, an RGB LED strip, and optionally a bottle. They have four kits at this time: “Cubey Edition”, “Starry Edition”, “Skully Edition”, and “Bring Your Own Bottle”.

Raspberry Pi Pico RGB LED kit skull
Skully Edition kit

Alternatively, if you prefer a smaller board with a few extra features such as APA102/Dotstar compatibility, you may want to go with the Plasma 2040 board based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU instead of the Pico board which the company sells for $14.45.

Via The Magpi (who gave the board an 8/10 rating)

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David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

And the antenna is right over a small hole in the ground plane. Which makes the already compromised antenna design even worse. *slowclap* Are the I/Os of the pico supposed to still be useable–except for the one used for the LEDs that is? Because they didn’t use the castelations to attach the board like it’s designed to be–leaving the holes free to mount headers, etc. They also didn’t put through holes on their board so that you could mount the pin headers on the carrier, either. This PCB runs the full length of the Pi, but only taps off four… Read more »

1 year ago

I didn’t know Schmitt trigger level shifters existed. Redesigned a board to use the 74lvc1g17 chips.

Alexey Roslyakov
1 year ago

It is possible to control WS2812B without a level shifter if VDDIO is 3.3V.
Tried it with RPi3 and Gowin GW2A

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 year ago

I have done so as well with an ESP8266 with no issues. I think they’re just trying to be extra careful so that possibly ‘bad’ WS2812B clones won’t fail. It also provides a tiny bit of safety for the processor iteself as it provides some small protection from external damage.

Khadas VIM4 SBC