Twitter user Twi_Kingyo doesn’t need a Raspberry Pi Pico W to get network connectivity. Today we’re sharing a clever project they’ve created using a regular Pico wired to an Ethernet adapter via its GPIO. While this is only a partial connection, the testing so far shows promising results.
The connection allows support for 10BASE-T communication on the Pico microcontroller. This designation comes from IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and indicates its ability to carry 10Mbps Ethernet signals using a twisted pair cable.
As of writing, the adapter is not suitable for PoE (power over Ethernet) equipment and is limited in what it can handle. According to Twi_Kingyo, it’s capable only of transmitting via UDP. There are plans in the works to implement a receiving process but for right now the Pico can only send data through the connection.
If you want to recreate this project or develop something similar, it doesn’t take much hardware but you will need a few specific components to pull off the connection. Of course, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi Pico but you’ll also need two 47 Ohm resistors as well as one 470 Ohm resistor. These are connected to GPIO pins 16 and 17.
Twi_Kingyo recommends adding a pulse transformer for added safety. This was accomplished in the project demo by wrapping the twisted pair cable around a ferrite core. To get a closer look at how the project is constructed and what the software side looks like, check out the official project page over at GitHub where the source code is also available to explore.
To make this Raspberry Pi project at home, we definitely recommend not only the GitHub page but also the Twitter thread for help where Twi_Kingyo has shared a few more insights into the creation of the 10BASE-T Pico connection. Be sure to follow Twi_Kingyo for more cool Pi-based projects as well as any future updates on this one.