Pico Unicorn Pack
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A sparkly matrix of over a hundred fantabulous RGB LEDs for all your rainbow needs and some handy buttons – sized perfectly for the Raspberry Pi Pico!
We’ve resized our familiar Unicorn setup so that it fits nicely on the back of your Pico – with a tidy 7×16 matrix (that’s 112 RGB LEDs!) it’s surely the fanciest backpack going. The four tactile buttons can be used to switch between modes, as controls for simple games, or adjusting brightness.
It’s possible to control the colour and brightness of each LED individually so you can use it to display animations, text, simple images, and more. Make a mini photo FX lamp, a smart status light for Zoom, use it to display colourful scrolling messages on your fridge, or just enjoy some pretty animations.
Making use of the RP2040s programmable IOs (PIOs)
What’s exciting is that these LEDs are fully controlled by the programmable IO feature of the RP2040 microcontroller so they update in the background with very little CPU usage. The programmable IOs are so fast that we can achieve 14-bits of resolution instead of the 8-bits you usually get with LED drivers.
We use these extra bits of resolution to apply gamma correction to the colours displayed meaning that gradients are smooth and linear. It’s noticeably a cut above in visual quality.
This means that the LEDs perform wonderfully through their full range of brightness rather than being poor at handling lower brightness levels. You don’t really need to care about the details (though we think they are interesting!) as our software library just handles it all for you in the background.
A Raspberry Pi Pico is not included – click here if you’d like to buy one!
About Raspberry Pi Pico
Raspberry Pi Pico is a flexible, low cost microcontroller development board from the folks at Raspberry Pi, based on their very own chip – the RP2040. It’s easily programmable over USB with C/C++ or MicroPython, and ideal for using in all sorts of physical computing projects, devices and inventions – we’re so excited to see what you make with it!
We’ve called our Pico-sized add-ons packs, as they’re designed to attach to the back of your Pico as if it were wearing a very stylish backpack (or a miniature jet pack, if you prefer). We’ve also got Pico bases (larger add-on boards with a space to mount your Pico on top) and some other boards that let you do interesting hackerly things like using multiple packs at once – click here to view them all!
Your Pico will need to have male headers soldered to it (with the pins pointing downwards) to attach to our add-on boards.
16×7 matrix of RGB LEDs (112 total)
Individual colour/brightness control of each LED
3x TLC59283 LED driver chips (datasheet)
4 x tactile buttons
Pre-soldered female headers for attaching to Pico
Compatible with Raspberry Pi Pico.
No soldering required (as long as your Pico has header pins attached).
Dimensions: approx 62mm x 25mm x 10mm (L x W x H, including headers and buttons)
Programmable with C/C++ and MicroPython
The labels on the underside of Pico Unicorn Pack will show you which way round to plug it into your Pico – just match up the USB port with the markings on the board.
The most straightforward way of getting started programming our Pico add-ons is by downloading and copying our custom MicroPython image to your Pico, it includes all the libraries you’ll need!