Quick reference for the RP2

Raspberry Pi Pico

The Raspberry Pi Pico Development Board (image attribution: Raspberry Pi Foundation).

Below is a quick reference for Raspberry Pi RP2xxx boards. If it is your first time working with this board it may be useful to get an overview of the microcontroller:

Installing MicroPython

See the corresponding section of tutorial: Getting started with MicroPython on the RP2xxx. It also includes a troubleshooting subsection.

General board control

The MicroPython REPL is on the USB serial port. Tab-completion is useful to find out what methods an object has. Paste mode (ctrl-E) is useful to paste a large slab of Python code into the REPL.

The machine module:

import machine

machine.freq()          # get the current frequency of the CPU
machine.freq(240000000) # set the CPU frequency to 240 MHz

The rp2 module:

import rp2

Delay and timing

Use the time module:

import time

time.sleep(1)           # sleep for 1 second
time.sleep_ms(500)      # sleep for 500 milliseconds
time.sleep_us(10)       # sleep for 10 microseconds
start = time.ticks_ms() # get millisecond counter
delta = time.ticks_diff(time.ticks_ms(), start) # compute time difference


How do they work?

Pins and GPIO

Use the machine.Pin class:

from machine import Pin

p0 = Pin(0, Pin.OUT)    # create output pin on GPIO0
p0.on()                 # set pin to "on" (high) level
p0.off()                # set pin to "off" (low) level
p0.value(1)             # set pin to on/high

p2 = Pin(2, Pin.IN)     # create input pin on GPIO2
print(p2.value())       # get value, 0 or 1

p4 = Pin(4, Pin.IN, Pin.PULL_UP) # enable internal pull-up resistor
p5 = Pin(5, Pin.OUT, value=1) # set pin high on creation

UART (serial bus)

See machine.UART.

from machine import UART

uart1 = UART(1, baudrate=9600, tx=33, rx=32)
uart1.write('hello')  # write 5 bytes
uart1.read(5)         # read up to 5 bytes

PWM (pulse width modulation)

How does PWM work on the RPi RP2xxx?

Use the machine.PWM class:

from machine import Pin, PWM

pwm0 = PWM(Pin(0))      # create PWM object from a pin
pwm0.freq()             # get current frequency
pwm0.freq(1000)         # set frequency
pwm0.duty_u16()         # get current duty cycle, range 0-65535
pwm0.duty_u16(200)      # set duty cycle, range 0-65535
pwm0.deinit()           # turn off PWM on the pin

ADC (analog to digital conversion)

How does the ADC module work?

Use the machine.ADC class:

from machine import ADC

adc = ADC(Pin(32))          # create ADC object on ADC pin
adc.read_u16()              # read value, 0-65535 across voltage range 0.0v - 3.3v

Software SPI bus

Software SPI (using bit-banging) works on all pins, and is accessed via the machine.SoftSPI class:

from machine import Pin, SoftSPI

# construct a SoftSPI bus on the given pins
# polarity is the idle state of SCK
# phase=0 means sample on the first edge of SCK, phase=1 means the second
spi = SoftSPI(baudrate=100000, polarity=1, phase=0, sck=Pin(0), mosi=Pin(2), miso=Pin(4))

spi.init(baudrate=200000) # set the baudrate

spi.read(10)            # read 10 bytes on MISO
spi.read(10, 0xff)      # read 10 bytes while outputting 0xff on MOSI

buf = bytearray(50)     # create a buffer
spi.readinto(buf)       # read into the given buffer (reads 50 bytes in this case)
spi.readinto(buf, 0xff) # read into the given buffer and output 0xff on MOSI

spi.write(b'12345')     # write 5 bytes on MOSI

buf = bytearray(4)      # create a buffer
spi.write_readinto(b'1234', buf) # write to MOSI and read from MISO into the buffer
spi.write_readinto(buf, buf) # write buf to MOSI and read MISO back into buf


Currently all of sck, mosi and miso must be specified when initialising Software SPI.

Hardware SPI bus

Hardware SPI is accessed via the machine.SPI class and has the same methods as software SPI above:

from machine import Pin, SPI

spi = SPI(1, 10000000)
spi = SPI(1, 10000000, sck=Pin(14), mosi=Pin(13), miso=Pin(12))
spi = SPI(2, baudrate=80000000, polarity=0, phase=0, bits=8, firstbit=0, sck=Pin(18), mosi=Pin(23), miso=Pin(19))

Software I2C bus

Software I2C (using bit-banging) works on all output-capable pins, and is accessed via the machine.SoftI2C class:

from machine import Pin, SoftI2C

i2c = SoftI2C(scl=Pin(5), sda=Pin(4), freq=100000)

i2c.scan()              # scan for devices

i2c.readfrom(0x3a, 4)   # read 4 bytes from device with address 0x3a
i2c.writeto(0x3a, '12') # write '12' to device with address 0x3a

buf = bytearray(10)     # create a buffer with 10 bytes
i2c.writeto(0x3a, buf)  # write the given buffer to the slave

Hardware I2C bus

The driver is accessed via the machine.I2C class and has the same methods as software I2C above:

from machine import Pin, I2C

i2c = I2C(0)
i2c = I2C(1, scl=Pin(5), sda=Pin(4), freq=400000)

Real time clock (RTC)

See machine.RTC

from machine import RTC

rtc = RTC()
rtc.datetime((2017, 8, 23, 1, 12, 48, 0, 0)) # set a specific date and time
rtc.datetime() # get date and time

WDT (Watchdog timer)

Is there a watchdog timer?

See machine.WDT.

from machine import WDT

# enable the WDT with a timeout of 5s (1s is the minimum)
wdt = WDT(timeout=5000)

Deep-sleep mode

Is there deep-sleep support for the rp2?

The following code can be used to sleep, wake and check the reset cause:

import machine

# check if the device woke from a deep sleep
if machine.reset_cause() == machine.DEEPSLEEP_RESET:
    print('woke from a deep sleep')

# put the device to sleep for 10 seconds

OneWire driver

The OneWire driver is implemented in software and works on all pins:

from machine import Pin
import onewire

ow = onewire.OneWire(Pin(12)) # create a OneWire bus on GPIO12
ow.scan()               # return a list of devices on the bus
ow.reset()              # reset the bus
ow.readbyte()           # read a byte
ow.writebyte(0x12)      # write a byte on the bus
ow.write('123')         # write bytes on the bus
ow.select_rom(b'12345678') # select a specific device by its ROM code

There is a specific driver for DS18S20 and DS18B20 devices:

import time, ds18x20
ds = ds18x20.DS18X20(ow)
roms = ds.scan()
for rom in roms:

Be sure to put a 4.7k pull-up resistor on the data line. Note that the convert_temp() method must be called each time you want to sample the temperature.

NeoPixel and APA106 driver

Use the neopixel and apa106 modules:

from machine import Pin
from neopixel import NeoPixel

pin = Pin(0, Pin.OUT)   # set GPIO0 to output to drive NeoPixels
np = NeoPixel(pin, 8)   # create NeoPixel driver on GPIO0 for 8 pixels
np[0] = (255, 255, 255) # set the first pixel to white
np.write()              # write data to all pixels
r, g, b = np[0]         # get first pixel colour

The APA106 driver extends NeoPixel, but internally uses a different colour order:

from apa106 import APA106
ap = APA106(pin, 8)
r, g, b = ap[0]

APA102 (DotStar) uses a different driver as it has an additional clock pin.