A pair of reset pins are tied to a handy reset button on top, where there’s also a boot button – held to connect the board as a USB drive to a computer – and a programmable button tied to the GPIO pin 20.
Other connections include a micro-USB port (for power and computer connection) and two Qwiic / STEMMA QT “manufacturer ports” which also work with Grove modules using the two supplied adapter cables.
Lights and sound
On either side of the micro-USB port are two NeoPixel RGB LEDs. Since both are linked to GPIO 11, they cannot be controlled separately, but some cool color changing effects can be achieved. Additionally, 14 of the digital pins have tiny blue status LEDs that can come in handy when troubleshooting I/O connections for circuits.
Primitive audio is also provided in the form of a piezo buzzer which can be muted with a slide switch. It can be programmed to play sound tunes by sending numerical note values.
Speaking of coding, the Maker Nano RP2040 comes with CircuitPython firmware pre-installed, including a mini demo that shows off lights and sound. More code examples can be found in the GitHub repository: magpi.cc/makernanogh. Alternatively, you can flash the firmware or MicroPython program to C/C++ (natively or via the Arduino IDE). Like Pico, it is very flexible.
A well-designed microcontroller board with a familiar Arduino form factor, the power of the RP2040, and some cool bonus features.
Processor: RP2040 with 264 KB SRAM and 2 MB flash storage
Features: 14 × status LEDs, 2 × RGB LEDs, 3 × push buttons, piezo buzzer, with switch
Connections: 22 × digital GPIO pins, 4 × analog inputs, 2 × Qwiic / STEMMA QT ports, 2 × Grove adapters