PICO W verse Plasma2040

I am currently using a Plasma2040 with an RTC (pcf8523) but would ideally like a wireless-capable Plasma2040 to avoid the need for an RTC. Could the Raspberry Pi Pico W fulfill this role, get time from the Internet and provide sufficient drive capability to run a string of LED’s as the Plasma2040 does?

yes, there is now a plasma stick 2040 with the picow. Getting time from the internet (e.g. worldtimeapi.org) is no problem.

Keep in mind that the plasma stick changes the signal from 3.3v logic to 5v logic. A Pico W by itself won’t do that

Thanks for the heads up, Alphanumeric. The only external interfaces I am interested in are the drive to the LED strips, which I assume is the same as the Plasma2040, and an I2C interface to drive my digital displays via the Qwic connector. I have ordered the plasma stick so shall have a good look at the data sheet before I use it. Thanks again for the warning.

It’s just the Data Pin on the 3 pin header that is 5V logic. everything else is 3.3v logic.

Although I have bought a Plasmastick with PicoW, I am presently persevering with my original Plasma2040, RTC chip (pcf8523) and 4 digit display linked via I2C. I thought I had cracked the I2C problem and created a micropython script which worked. Using Thonny, I can set and read time on the pcf8523 and display that time on the display.The core of the programme is a “while” loop which reads and updates time every 30 seconds or so and into which I have currently built a number of “progress” checks. When I run this programme, it does exactly what I expect for 9 iterations then stops. Any thoughts as to why it does this as I have not deliberately created any timers/counters with a length of 8/9. I am happy to post my code but thought I would pose the question first in case anyone has had a similar experience.

Curious… what does your while loop check for? – And/or is there an error that the system spits out after exiting?

Thank you for your interest, Mad_Monk. The checks in the while loop are simply print statements so that I can see where it has got to. When the programme stops, there is no system notification but I have noticed that if I use the “Stop” button in Thonny and then try to re-run the programme I get no response. If I then press the reset button on the Plasma2040 I get the following message:
" Could not interrupt current process. Please wait, try again or select Stop/Restart!
Unable to connect to /dev/cu.usbmodem2101: Could not configure port: (6, ‘Device not configured’).

I am using the micropython (RP2040) interpreter as this seemed most relevant to my configuration but the error message shown above suggests that this may not be the case.

Process ended with exit code 1.

Thanks again,

Mick Farmer

I have just been browsing “docs.micropython.org” and under libraries for RP2xxx it refers to “machine.RTC”. I assume this means that the RTC functionality is built in to the micropython implementation in the RP2040. Is the same true for the Plasma2040 so that it might be possible to dispense with the pcf8523 in my case? (or have I got the wrong end of the stick in my ignorance, as usual ?)