It’s been some time since we’ve noticed a brand new RP2040 growth board, so it’s good to see the Beetle RP2040 from DFRobot (dropped at our consideration by CNX Software program (opens in new tab)) added to a sector that already consists of the PiMoroni Tiny (opens in new tab) and Adafruit QT Py (opens in new tab).
What stands out concerning the Beetle is that it has simply 12 attachment pads with through-holes round its edge, in comparison with 26 on the bigger Raspberry Pi Pico (opens in new tab), 19 on the Tiny, and 14 on the QT Py. Of those, two are GND, two voltage in/out, and the remaining GPIO, enabling as much as 2x I2C, as much as 2x UART, SPI, and as much as 2x analog inputs. As well as, being fewer and unfold throughout three sides of the controller, the pads are bigger than on different RP2040 gadgets at 4mm x 3.5mm, and simpler to solder.
The Beetle measures 27 x 20mm, with its thickness decided by the USB-C port used for energy and information switch. For comparability, the QT Py measures 22 x 18mm, and the Tiny lives as much as its title at 19 x 18mm. The RP2040 (opens in new tab) specs are a lot the identical as in every single place else, with a dual-core Cortex-M0+ processor operating at as much as 133MHz, with 264kB of SRAM. As well as, there’s 2MB of flash storage to your directions, which is decrease than that discovered on another boards, in addition to Boot and Reset buttons, plus a user-addressable LED.
Making a undertaking (opens in new tab), in fact, requires programming, which comes by way of the acquainted C/C++ and Micro/Circuit Python (opens in new tab) SDKs and Arduino (opens in new tab), in addition to Thoughts+, a graphical programming interface based mostly on Scratch 3.
Regardless of being apparently extra restricted than others, the Beetle has a number of helpful connections and would make a positive controller for lighting, peripherals, or reacting to sensor information. It sells for lower than $7 from the DFRobot retailer (opens in new tab) and, on the time of writing, seems to be in inventory. Different Beetle boards, based mostly on ESP-32 and ATmega controllers, are additionally accessible however have totally different kind components.