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Raspberry Pi Pico Powers Hex Color Picker Input Board

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Guy Dupont)

Dialing in hex values for LED colors has never been so easy thanks to this Raspberry Pi RP2040-powered color picker created by maker and developer Guy Dupont. It’s a quick way to find the exact color you want using hardware, in this case, a couple of LEDs, that you would use in other projects.

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The way The Dial Toner works is simple and definitely fun to play around with. There are 6 clicky potentiometer knobs that can be twisted and turned to dial in a specific value (A - F and 0 - 9). You can use these knobs to dial in a preferred hexadecimal string that corresponds with a color. An LED, housed inside of a clear keycap shows the desired color. Pressing this key to register the color with the interface Dupont created.

The interface includes a built-in tool that can convert the hex value to other formats, as well, including CMYK, HSV and RGB. The biggest benefit of this module is the ability to see what the corresponding digital value looks like in real life via the RGB LED. If you want to program another project that has RGB LEDs, this is a quick way to make sure you get the color you want quickly.

This project involved the creation of a custom PCB that uses a XIAO RP2040 module as its main driver. There are two RGB LEDs onboard including one inside the mechanical button as well as one on the bottom of the board. A USB-C port is available for power and connecting to a PC. The keycap can be replaced with any keycap that uses a “choc” style interface.

According to Dupont, the board was programmed from scratch using CircuitPython. The CircuitPython code handles the potentiometer input to set the LED color value as well as the command to send the color to a PC by simulating a keyboard interface. The original thread shared to Twitter includes a video of the color picker in action.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, check out the original thread or consider buying a board ready to go over at Dupont’s Etsy (opens in new tab) page. At the moment, he has prototypes for sale but there are plans to sell more modules once a few upgrades have been completed.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.