When it comes to versatility, there’s no chip out there quite like the Raspberry Pi RP2040. With it, makers have been able to construct some seriously unique boards. Today, we have another cool example to share of a custom RP2040 board, this one put together by maker and developer Alan. Using our favorite microprocessor, he built a Pico replica that supports USB and Ethernet using a USB type-C port.
The project required some planning on Alan’s part and involved designing a custom PCB from scratch. The end result is a board with the same pin layout as Raspberry Pi Pico but with a few new components. It’s similar to the WIZnet EVB Pico but doesn’t have the large Ethernet port sticking out on one side.
The only way this port will work, however, is if you have a special cable. Alan designed and constructed a split cable that connects to the USB type-C port and breaks off into two separate connections. The Y cable has an Ethernet connector on one line, while the other line splits off into a USB type-C connection.
To make the board Ethernet-friendly, he included a WIZnet W5500 chip. This TCP/IP Ethernet controller makes it possible to operate the Ethernet function. Alan also included a couple of links and ACT LEDs to track the performance of the Ethernet connection in real time.
If you want to get a closer look at the design process behind this project, we highly recommend checking out the post shared by Alan to Hackster. He provides plenty of juicy details and diagrams explaining the construction. Alan also shared a video on YouTube showing off the final build in action.
This Raspberry Pi project is just one of Alan’s creations we’ve had the honor of featuring. If you enjoyed this and live in the northern hemisphere, you might also appreciate his Raspberry Pi Pico AI-powered butt warmer project.
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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.