Pimoroni sent me this prototype to tinker with. =)

I like that display, I believe its the same one used on the Tufty.

  • 2.4" colour IPS LCD display (320 x 240 pixels)

It came with a set of those long metal legs for propping it up. I went with some short nylon standoffs as legs so I can lay it flat facing up. There is a Pico W on the back side.

The Button Demo was the default , I swapped that for the full demo file.
I wired up three potentiometer’s to test the ADC’s. Only had one spare servo, it’s out of the picture but plugged in. I just moved it from one set of pins to the other.

I had this that I fabbed up for another project. QWICC connector and an RV3028 on one side. LTR559 and VEML6075 on the other. They are all wired up to the QWICC connector. I was able to just plug this into the Explorers QWICC connector. And a BME280 plugged into the other side.

Then I loaded up a weather info file I use on my Tufty. Only needed a few simple edits.

Really liking those bigger buttons. Somewhat minimal number of breakout pins. Hasn’t hindered me so far, early days though. I’ve only been tinkering with it a couple of days.


No header pins for i2c? The only access by default is the QWICC connectors.
I got around that by using GP3 for Int, GP4 for SDA and GP5 for SCL. Also had to add two 10K pullups to get it to work.
By default it uses GP20 for SDA and GP21 for SCL.
i2c = PimoroniI2C(**HEADER_I2C_PINS)
switches it to the header pins. The QWICC i2c won’t work anymore though.

EDIT: I’m thinking some kind of Breakout Garden i2c board, with a QWICC connector for hookup, as an addon is in order. Build it and I’ll order it. ;) It could also be used with the Inventor or any other Pico board with a QWICC connector.

You could use one of these cables if you wanted access to the Qw/ST I2C pins on the breadboard?

We switched to the Qw/ST connector as they can be machine placed and take up a lot less room than the chunky Breakout Garden connectors. These adaptors that will work to plug in Breakout Garden breakouts that don’t have their own Qw/ST connectors though - is that what you were thinking of?

So a more refined Pico Explorer but with the PicoW baked in? Sweet!

1 Like

@hel, yeah I will be ordering one (or more) of those QWICC to male jumpers. Forgot about those. That would get it all on the same i2c pins on the Pico, and all working together. It would also let you hook up a non breakout garden, breakout.

You included one of those socket adapters in the box, and a nice long cable to go with it. =)
I used it to test the replacement Rotary Encoder that was in the box.

Next question.
Is it possible to configure SPI to use GP0 - - - - GP5?
For testing LCD displays etc.

@ahnlak , yes, Pico Explorer V2, with a Pico W onboard.

Here is a pic of the back side. The battery connector is here. Speaker also as it has an amplified speaker instead of the piezo buzzer. I am going to solder a Captain Resseti on here. If I reverse it so the button is towards the edge of the Explorer board it will be easier to push and not be blocked / interfered with by the WIFI chip.

Reset button added. At some point I’ll likely put a dab of silicon on each side, or some superglue to make sure it stays in place. Normally I would solder it on top of the PICO pads, but beside looked a lot better and put it closer to the edge.

So what next girls & guys? Feedback on what you think of it is welcome.
And, if I have the hardware on hand, I can so more tinkering with added bits & bytes. =)

That looks quite cute, and it solves my biggest gripe about the Pico Explorer: that the Pico socket is so close to the breadboard that it’s really awkward to get it back out again.

It looks like the back of the PCB at the bottom, underneath the breadboard, should be big enough for a AAA battery holder, right? Though I wonder how long it would last with that screen. It could be a nice wee portable sensor unit.

The Stellar Unicorn comes with nice metal legs to go in the screw holes so it can stand up, I wonder how well those would work with this.

EDIT: whoops, I didn’t catch that it came with the legs. That’s great then.


The Tufty has the same size screen, is a lot smaller, and has a QWICC connector.
I run the weather code I posted above on mine. No problem running my Tufty on 3 AAA’s for hours and hours. It’s mostly on USB, but does go in my jacket pocket now and then. I have that setup to auto adjust the display brightness based on background light. The Tufty has a light sensor built in.
Can you tell I really like my Tufty. =)

I was just about to say it came with those metal legs, and saw your edit.
Word is the mounting holes will be moved slightly on the finished product.
I haven’t tried them on mine yet. I just find it easier plugging jumpers in and using the solderless breadboard with it flat on my desk.

The Tufty has the same size screen, is a lot smaller, and has a QWICC connector.

I suppose this is the question really, why choose one of these over the other? Tufty does have a Qwiic/Stemma QT connector, and a light sensor as you say, but aside from that is sort of stuck as a badge/display. It doesn’t have WiFi/BT, but does have a USB-C, which I prefer over the microB.

This has WiFi/BT, and has more pins, and the speaker, so will be more flexible, but as you say is bigger. It does look like you can sticky-pad the battery pack to it, which might keep things more tidy than a Tufty. I’d probably be tempted to get the Pico W Explorer over the Tufty, but then I can see why people would like the Tufty better for certain uses, so I guess both do have their own niches.

It’s good to know that they run for hours on AAAs. Maybe once I’ve had the time to get a better grip on PicoGraphics I’ll have to look at getting one of these.

Ops, forgot about the no WIFI Bluetooth on the Tufty. That will be an issue for some people.

I’m a bit spoiled. I have a Tufty, Pico W Inventor, and the Pico W Explorer.
EDIT: And a Pico Enviro+

I’m a bit spoiled. I have a Tufty, Pico W Inventor, and the Pico W Explorer.
EDIT: And a Pico Enviro+

Yeah, there was a point when I started to feel more like a collector of Pimoroni kit than a person trying to learn how to use the stuff. It got to the point where I had to consciously stop myself buying new products, because I knew I’d not do much with them as I’ve just not had the time. A friend bought me Stellar Unicorn recently, so I need to make time to play with that.

When something like the tiny Bosch BMV080 finally gets released, some of these tiny, Pico-Aboard products which run off batteries and have screens could get very interesting as environmental monitors.

Pimoroni gave me a Pre Production version of the Galactic. It has an RV3028 and BME280 plugged into the QWICC connector. It cycles through text messages, day, date, time, temp, etc. I setup auto brightness on that too.
If I get really bored I may have another go at getting it to scroll the messages.

My Inventor is currently setup for testing servo’s. One of my Pan tilt setups was getting wonky. Once I tested the servos I knew why. ;) I didn’t have the Explorer at that time.
I added a rotary encoder and small i2c oled display to it.

I did a up quick and dirty servo test and center file for my Pico W Explorer. I’ll likely add some text and button functions. Just wanted to test some new servo’s I just got. I also like to have them in the center position for a final position. Just a personal preference. Thought I’d share as it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. The servo code is buried in the demo file.

import time
from picographics import PicoGraphics, DISPLAY_PICO_W_EXPLORER
from servo import Servo
from pimoroni import Button, Analog, Speaker
from machine import Pin

display = PicoGraphics(display=DISPLAY_PICO_W_EXPLORER)

#adc0 = Analog(26)
#adc1 = Analog(27)
#adc2 = Analog(28)

button_a = Button(6)
button_b = Button(7)
button_x = Button(10)
button_y = Button(11)

speaker = Speaker(22)
amp_en = Pin(8, Pin.OUT)

servo0 = Servo(12)
servo1 = Servo(13)
servo2 = Servo(14)
servo3 = Servo(15)

# constants
BG = display.create_pen(32, 32, 64)
WHITE = display.create_pen(255, 255, 255)

ADC0_PEN = display.create_pen(255, 0, 0)
ADC1_PEN = display.create_pen(0, 255, 0)
ADC2_PEN = display.create_pen(0, 0, 255)
VOLUME = 0.2

i = 1


WIDTH, HEIGHT = display.get_bounds()




Fabbed this up last night. It’s a custom 4 socket i2c Breakout Garden board that I can plug into the QWICC connector.

I used this
Mini Protoboard – Green (pimoroni.com)
Breakout Garden I2C Connector (pack of 5) (pimoroni.com)
and this
Breakout Garden to STEMMA QT / Qwiic Adapter (pimoroni.com)

That’s a cute breakout! Almost like something they should make…

Does the Pico W Explorer have backlight control? The plain Pico Explorer doesn’t unfortunately. I’m using it to wire up a whole bunch of temperature sensors, but unfortunately there’s no backlight contorl on that, so it’s quite bright in the dark.

I usually order the black version but it was out of stock. The green matching the green solderless one onboard actually worked out nicely. V2 will have all the jumper wires out of sight on the bottom. ;)

The onboard display does, I just tried display.set_backlight(0.5) in one of the examples and it dimmed.
pimoroni-pico/micropython/examples/pico_w_explorer at examples/pico_w_explorer_v2 · pimoroni/pimoroni-pico (github.com)

I ran into a similar issue with my Interstate 75, no backlight / brightness function.
Using HSV got me what I wanted.

Interstate 74 W, how do you control the display brightness? - Support - Pimoroni Buccaneers

I know what you mean, I have several LCD based weather displays scattered around the house. Some LED matrixes too. In a dim or dark room they can be very distracting. I’ve setup auto brightness using light sensors where I can.

Understanding the GU light sensor - Support - Pimoroni Buccaneers