Reversi Resetti definitely Pico W compatible!

I’ve just received a shiny new picow.
It would have been nice to use a simple Captain Resetti button with it.
Without soldering anything, i just lined up some headers and the resetti.
Alas there doesn’t seem to be quite enough space between the wifi cover, the resetti button and the relevant picow pins.
And then it would block the debug header pins anyway (not really bothered about that though).
I could mount the whole thing rotated 180 degrees, with the button overhanging the edge of the picow, but that quite frankly looks a bit, meh!

It might look a bit meh, but it works fine.
The button is solid enough after soldering it on.

The Rear Admiral Reversi Back-To-Fronti Hanging-Over-The-Edgei Resetti is born!!

This was something I meant to try out this weekend. I think in their Pico launch stream on Youtube they said they’ll have to do a Pico W-compatible Resettit at some point, but who knows if that’ll be soon.

Good to know it works hanging over the edge, that’s probably the easiest thing! Although part of me thinks it’ll not be long before there’s a Pico Lipo W with all the Flash and a built-in reset, and a Stemma QT connector…

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It was mentioned in the video that it was physically blocked by the WIFI chip, and a new one would be done up at some point.

Unfortunately, after the big launch dust has settled, the Pico W is just another Pico dev board with added wifi.
That is not the same as a wifi-enabled rp2040 chip like, for example, the esp32 with built-in wifi.
The pico w wifi is just an add-on over spi, it’s not native to a new rp2040 version.
If you’ve used micropython on an esp32, then the experience is exactly the same with the pico w.
By the way, as for some other rp2040 wifi boards, the wifi chip is technically more ‘powerful’ than the rp2040 itself!
I’m not sure if a pico lipo w would actually be possible in the same form factor, with similar wifi chip, board antenna, sockets, etc.
There are already lots of other different rp2040 boards providing wifi solutions. I agree an official standard raspberry pi pico w board is better than a third-party grow-your-own version, but it’s not really anything new and revolutionary.

I’ve seen a few opinions like this since launch, and I’m not sure I understand them.

the Pico W is just another Pico dev board with added wifi.

I don’t think I’ve seen any Pico dev boards with on board WiFi, it usually seems to be an external add-on, or a much larger board with a specific purpose which can include an ESP32 in the same footprint. Having a small dev board with it built-in is quite nice, I think.

If you’ve used micropython on an esp32, then the experience is exactly the same with the pico w.

You say that like it’s a bad thing. Consistency across microcontroller families is great, and means less learning for moving between products. I’ve also found the C++ documentation much easier to work through as an inexperienced programmer than Espressif’s documentation. The Pimoroni guys said the RP2040 has the best documentation they’ve ever worked with, and I can understand why.

I’m not too bothered about the WiFi IC technically being more powerful. The ESP32 is commonly used as a WiFi co-processor (after all, that’s what’ the ESP range was originally designed for), and if that’s what it takes to off-load the networking then I’m not too bothered about that. The key thing for me is that I’m learning a platform which doesn’t expect me to be an embedded developer already.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of situations where an ESP32 or a Pico W will be able to do the same job equally well. I find the RP2040 easier to spin into my own board designs because it doesn’t have under-PCB solder pads, but in the same vein it might be hard for me to build a WiFi-enabled Pico board using the same chip (I’ve yet to delve into the BGA format which the CYW43439 uses). There are going to be times when an ESP32 makes more sense, but that doesn’t mean the Pico W doesn’t have its uses.

I’m not sure if a pico lipo w would actually be possible in the same form factor, with similar wifi chip, board antenna, sockets, etc

I’m not sure you’d necessarily need to use a board antenna, there are loads of chip antennas for WiFi/BT which would work just as well. Adafruit uses one on their ESP32 QT Py which saves a ton of space compared to the resonant cavity design. I assume there’d be one of those which would be appropriate for the CYW43439. The question is how happy manufacturers are to work with the BGA WiFi chip. Adafruit uses a few BGA chips already, but I don’t think I’ve seen Pimoroni use them. The other question is whether or not the manufacturer would care about certification. All of this would have been easier if RPi had used the CYW43439 as a solderable module, but I guess they weren’t interested in the complexity.

I had simply, but wrongly, imagined a single wifi-enabled rp2040 microcontroller chip in my head, not a pico dev board with built-in wifi module. My bad.

I like wifi-enabled boards so i can get data from remote sensors, etc and do useful things like weather data logging, home management, etc.

The arduino rp2040 nano connect is in a similar-sized form-factor with a different wifi module. Not a pico drop in replacement.

The Cytron Maker Pi Pico, relased a long time ago now, has a totally different form-factor with pre-mounted pico, i/o sockets and a built-in socket for an incredibly cheap $2 esp01 module (esp8266) - which will itself run micropython if you want it to!

I have mainly used the esp32, esp8285 and esp8266 as the main processor on many, many boards from m5stack, wemos, and all the no name clones/derivatives. I recently tried out the adafruit qt py ESP32-C3 with added i2c i/o via an adafruit seesaw (atsamd09 or attiny817).
The little xaio, or rp2040 Tiny form-factor boards are interesting, also run micropython, but there’s no wifi.
The m5stack core controllers, sticks and m5stamp dev boards with various displays, stacking modules, i2c units, hats, etc are plenty powerful enough to make self-contained or internet-connected networks of sensors and things. Everything connecting and communicating over wifi or esp-now in the same way.
I agree the expressif documentation is usually dreadful, and hopelessly complicated. But the esp arduino, micropython and circuitpython implementations are getting mature and very usable.
I didn’t mean that the pico w board is in any way bad. I just think it’s ‘another’ rp2040 dev board, albeit with official wifi connectivity and at a very competitive price.

The arduino rp2040 nano connect

That’s a very nice little board I’ve somehow overlooked, but oof, that price tag! £27!

A network of sensors communicating together is something I’ve been meaning to make for a long time, but I’ve just not had time. I know what you mean about the ESP range being useful, but personally I really want to learn proper C++ (rather than Arduino) on them, and that seems quite difficult with Espressif. I’m half-hoping that if I do it with the RP2040 and the good documentation first, it might be easier to then switch to the ESP32 range if I need to.

Looking at it, there are actually modules based on the CYW43439 already so theoretically you could just put one of those onto a custom board and wire it as for the Pico W. The problem is that they’re very expensive (£7+). At that point an ESP of some kind seems like a much better deal.

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