Can Plasma 2040 do Internet etc?

Hi, I got Plasma 2040 a while ago and am wondering if it could be utilised to a project I’m cooking up, namely:

  • Can it be fed information over the Internet in any way? I’m thinking of sending a colour pattern for the connected RGBW strip with 60 LEDs.
  • Can it be hooked up to a module to constantly switch 24VDC with reversing polarity (to run an old rail clock), ideally utilising an RTC (like Adafruit DS3231)?

So a question of connectivity/expansion. Or would I need a different setup with a board like W5100S-EVB-Pico

Thanks for any pointers!

It doesn’t have onboard WIFI or Bluetooth. Or easy access to SPI or UART. Connecting it to the Internet may be very tricky.
It does have i2c access though. Adding a RTC like the RV3028 or DS3231 shouldn’t be too hard.
There is this switch breakout that can handle 24V and high current. You’d have to use two or more to reverse the voltage though?
HT0740 40V / 10A Switch Breakout - Pimoroni

A motor H-Bridge can reverse polarity but won’t handle 24V.
DRV8830 DC Motor Driver Breakout - Pimoroni

Right, so for my use case I should look at a different controller. Is Plasma then just a version of Pico with exposed LED strip connector and USB C?

As for the H-bridge, what about DRV8871?

The Plasma is an RP2040, with a level shifter for the LED strip
plasma2040.sch (
You’ll have to look at the data sheet for the H-Bridge chip. The product page says 3-6V compatible.

DRV8830 Low-Voltage Motor Driver With Serial Interface datasheet (Rev. G) (

I don’t think the schematics says much to me. In plain words, should I use regular Pico, would I program it differently to light up Neopixels?

As for the driver, I thought about Adafruit DRV8871 DC Motor Driver Breakout Board - 3.6A Max - Pimoroni

That motor driver board should work for what you want to do. It will handle up to 45V.
Just be aware it uses PWM and the example code is written in C.

IMHO a PICO with full access to all the Pins is a better option, for what you want to do.
Depending on your coding skills you may want to use an Arduino or ESP32 based board? Something with built in WIFI maybe?

Coding shouldn’t be a problem. I just can’t get my head around the best component setup.

So the full picture is this: I have two old rail clocks, including a master clock unit that drives all those slave clocks in parallel. The master sends a +/-24V impulse every second to drive the slaves. The master I have is not functioning properly but it’s a piece of history and I want to retain the enclosure to fit new electronics in and display it proudly. One clock would be hung inside next to the master and the other big one outside the building, 50m away and not easily accessible. This second clock is backlit and I want my Neopixels inside with the ability to control colour and pattern remotely.

So with a new controller, the opportunity is to automate Summer/Winter time, automatic time setting in case of power outage etc.

I hoped I’d put all the electronics in the master clock that would be connected to the Internet and take care of driving clocks and light display from one controller. The only problem seems to be the distance one of the clocks will be from the controller.

How would you do that?

I don’t have any hard and fast suggestions? It looks like you have your work cut out for you. Wish I could be of more help but I have never done anything remotely close to what you want to do.