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General Discussions => Brewery => Topic started by: ruffrecords on January 21, 2021, 04:11:28 PM

Title: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: ruffrecords on January 21, 2021, 04:11:28 PM
I just discovered the new Raspberry Pi pico, a dual core ARM cortex core custom chip with onboard peripheral I/O, flash and RAM all on a PCB with USB interface for a mere $4. Free C/C++ SDK or Micro Python for coding.

Now that should get the kids coding the metal.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: rock soderstrom on January 21, 2021, 06:02:28 PM
Interesting. This seems to be similiar to the Arduino nano. The 4€ pricetag makes it even more interesting. I need the right project to dive into this microcontroller world.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: dirtyhanfri on January 21, 2021, 06:14:24 PM
Been looking at this today, it's interesting it has the Rpi Foundation support.

For me ESP32 is the microcontroller to go, way more powerful than any Arduino (Dual core, 32-Bit) with Wi-Fi and BT capabilities, which the Rpi Pico lacks. I've done a few projects with ESP32, from artistic LED installs to a remote controlled Lazy susan for product pictures and it's just great, you can program it with Arduino IDE or even use MicroPython for really complex stuff.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: pucho812 on January 21, 2021, 08:09:43 PM
There is a guy on GitHub who is making a working uptown automation system with a raspberry pi and uptown faders.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: midwayfair on January 21, 2021, 08:59:58 PM
Nice price. They've come down quite a bit. A few of the people in my OS class used them for their term projects, one of which controlled a drone. We also hired someone from Hopkins last year who stuck one in a rocket hooked up to a radio transmitting flight data as a cheap black box.

When I was a kid, we actually did learn some programming in elementary school, but it went away a few years later (the closest thing when I was in high school was a basic computer literacy course -- typing, office suite, etc.), and when I was working as a sub after my first degree, it wasn't being taught at any grade even in the magnet public schools. It's starting to come back as the school system discovers that some familiarity it is a basic modern life skill. Hell, the BASIC my dad taught me when I was 6 paid off when I was working as a science editor in my 20s. I can't fathom why it didn't just stay part of the curriculum.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: Gold on January 21, 2021, 09:47:34 PM
We also hired someone from Hopkins last year who stuck one in a rocket hooked up to a radio transmitting flight data as a cheap black box.

From APL? My uncle spent his career there.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: rock soderstrom on January 22, 2021, 02:23:01 AM
There is a guy on GitHub who is making a working uptown automation system with a raspberry pi and uptown faders.

Yes, an automation system for a MIDI capable "total recall" integration of analog gear would be exciting. The whole thing freely scalable and easy to use could be a promising project.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: volker on January 22, 2021, 04:16:34 AM
Been looking at this today, it's interesting it has the Rpi Foundation support.

For me ESP32 is the microcontroller to go, way more powerful than any Arduino (Dual core, 32-Bit) with Wi-Fi and BT capabilities, which the Rpi Pico lacks. I've done a few projects with ESP32, from artistic LED installs to a remote controlled Lazy susan for product pictures and it's just great, you can program it with Arduino IDE or even use MicroPython for really complex stuff.
The new RP2040 controller will appear on several boards from other manufacturers, including Adafruit, Sparkfun, Arduino with differing board feature sets. Arduino already announced (https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welcome-raspberry-pi-to-the-world-of-microcontrollers/) for example that their variant will include Wifi.


Nice price. They've come down quite a bit. A few of the people in my OS class used them for their term projects, one of which controlled a drone. We also hired someone from Hopkins last year who stuck one in a rocket hooked up to a radio transmitting flight data as a cheap black box.
What you need to be aware of is the new Pico is bare metal programming. On the conventional Raspberry Pi which is basically   a "computer" you have an operating system running (mostly Linux variations). On the Pico this is not the case, this is a naked controller (ARM Cortex-M0), where any program directly interacts with the hardware. They really only have the name sort of in common, but this is a very different product.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: ruffrecords on January 22, 2021, 04:50:42 AM
The new RP2040 controller will appear on several boards from other manufacturers, including Adafruit, Sparkfun, Arduino with differing board feature sets. Arduino already announced (https://blog.arduino.cc/2021/01/20/welcome-raspberry-pi-to-the-world-of-microcontrollers/) for example that their variant will include Wifi.

What you need to be aware of is the new Pico is bare metal programming. On the conventional Raspberry Pi which is basically   a "computer" you have an operating system running (mostly Linux variations). On the Pico this is not the case, this is a naked controller (ARM Cortex-M0), where any program directly interacts with the hardware. They really only have the name sort of in common, but this is a very different product.

Which I think is a good thing. Kids should learn what goes on under the hood and understand that all the high level stuff they do ultimately depends on it.

Cheers

Ian
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: zamproject on January 22, 2021, 09:41:54 AM
Yes, an automation system for a MIDI capable "total recall" integration of analog gear would be exciting. The whole thing freely scalable and easy to use could be a promising project.

Midibox can do this (based on stm32) up to 128 DIO and 64AIN
That's what I use at software side for my fader automation. Work without issue since years now, midi is fast via USB and despite what majority think you can handle LOT of 14bit data
Best
Zam
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: Matador on January 22, 2021, 11:42:33 AM
What you need to be aware of is the new Pico is bare metal programming. On the conventional Raspberry Pi which is basically   a "computer" you have an operating system running (mostly Linux variations). On the Pico this is not the case, this is a naked controller (ARM Cortex-M0), where any program directly interacts with the hardware. They really only have the name sort of in common, but this is a very different product.
Indeed, however from glancing over the docs for the SDK, they've done a good job at 'abstracting' the program from most of the lower-level dependencies, and their cmake environment does a good job at hiding all of the complexities of bootstrapping an MCU properly.

In fact, they appear to have a custom ROM firmware which cannot be modified (e.g., 'unbrickable' via any programming means, which is good for MCU's and beginners), which places the MCU into mass storage mode when a bootsel pin is tied low during bootup, which makes the pico appear as a USB mass storage device where you can drag your executables and they'll be automatically run on startup.  No having to set up and use JTAG programmers and debuggers.  They've even made setting up cross compilers for ARM pretty simple.

This is a far cry from the normal process, of setting the mcu from 'kernel' mode into 'user mode', setting up stacks and heaps, bootstrapping startup code (almost always in assembler), installing ISR's for HW peripherals, memory mapping control registers, etc...and that's just to get to your main() function.  They've made easy the stuff that is always miserable to sort out and is an immense barrier for people to 'just get stuff working'.

The big thing I haven't liked so far is how they are asking programmers to utilize both cores, which involve understanding semaphores and manual spin-locking, however I'm guessing that only a small subset of programmers will be looking for this functionality.
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: rock soderstrom on January 22, 2021, 03:07:20 PM
Midibox can do this (based on stm32) up to 128 DIO and 64AIN
That's what I use at software side for my fader automation. Work without issue since years now, midi is fast via USB and despite what majority think you can handle LOT of 14bit data
Best
Zam

Super interesting, a lot to read. Thanks!
Title: Re: Raspberry Pi does it again
Post by: ruffrecords on January 29, 2021, 06:49:11 PM
I bought myself a PICO and got it running. I have been going through the examples in the book written for kids. In about the third chapter they introduce threads (the PICO has two cores) and in the next chapter they introduce interrupts.

I am impressed that they introduce these concepts so early and I am also impressed by the easy to understand way in which the concepts are presented.

Edit: The other smart thing, when using MicroPython code is that it is stored as a file on chip in non volatile memory. This means kids can unplug them, take them round their mates' house and show them what they have done. This stands a good chance of breeding a new generation of bare metal coders.

Cheers

Ian