Thinkpad 'nubbin' controlled dimmer light uses Raspberry Pi RP2040 and ESP32

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Guy Dupont)

When it comes to making things with a Raspberry Pi Pico, a light switch hardly seems like a noteworthy idea. However, maker and developer Guy Dupont has absolutely hit a home run with this awesome trackpoint light switch dimmer. Not only does it bring new purpose to the classic ThinkPad trackpoint (also known as a "nubbin") but also uses our favorite microprocessor—the RP2040.

As cool as this project is, it's worth noting that this isn't something we recommend replicating at home. The process involves tinkering with the electrical wiring for the light circuit in your home which can be extremely dangerous. Don't try this at home!

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Guy Dupont)

Dupont was kind enough to share a detailed breakdown of the project's conception and construction process in a video over at YouTube. He explains that the hardware used in the project was chosen mainly due to his previous experience with these boards. Their last project being an "effects pedal" which distorted keyboard and mouse input in the same manner as guitar effects pedal. This time they're using a trackpoint along with a Seeed Xiao RP2040 and an Adafruit QTPy ESP32 module.

The trackpoint Dupont is using came with a USB interface which is communicating with the Seeed Xiao RP2040 board running the effects pedal software. The RP2040 is connected to the ESP32 which provides wireless connectivity. Dupont took the design even further by running a web app on the ESP32 so you can use anything with a web browser to operate the dimmer via a virtual trackpoint.

If you're a fan of the track point, this Raspberry Pi project is definitely worth taking a closer look at. It not only pays homage to the classic input module but shows off how a bit of ingenuity can transform your home with a totally unique end product. If you want to see more, check out the video shared to YouTube by Dupont and be sure to follow him for more cool projects as well as any future updates to this one.

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.

  • kruseba
    Don't try this at home...you are right. A lot could go wrong - I am not an electrician...

    I'll try it at my neighbors house! Something happens there, I can just go home!

    Thanks!
    Reply