Malaysian manufacturer Cytron are working on their first Raspberry Pi Pico accessory and so far it looks like it could be a winner. The Maker Pi Pico is a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Pico which breaks out all of the GPIO pins, along with a few extra features, all for $10.
The Maker Pi Pico carrier board breaks out the GPIO of the Raspberry Pi Pico via the castellated edges of the Pico. In a nice touch, Cytron have included LEDs for most of the GPIO pins, this may seem trivial but they are invaluable for learners who want to make LEDs flash, and for skilled makers to debug circuits. A single RGB LED is present on the top right of the board, and around the perimeter there are six Grove connectors for compatible Grove components. Three pre-wired push buttons, connected to the GPIO provide a means of input, audio output is via a piezo buzzer (with off switch) and a TRS headphone jack.
Most interestingly there are two extra features, a micro SD card slot and an ESP-01 header. For those who don't already know, the ESP-01 was the original breakout board for the now ubiquitous ESP8266. The inclusion of an ESP-01 header means that we can add our own WiFi to the Pico!
Coming a lovely shade of purple, and with detailed pin references for every pin on the top, and a full pinout on the rear of the board, the Maker Pi Pico is currently on sale for a limited time at $5, but after this ends $10 is not too much to pay for this handy board.
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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".