Project 001 - PicoTouch

This first project is based on the Raspberry Pi PICO W and includes a GPS module from Adafruit, a Real Time Clock, a buzzer, an onboard micro SDcard reader module, connections for SPI, I2C, and UART.  Power comes from either the Pico USB connection  or  from the barrel jack (up to 12VDC) feeding the on board 3.3Volt regulator.  The TFT Touch Display has a menu system to navigate to selected function and the full color display presents the results in an easy to read format. A design for a 3D printed enclosure will also be available on the website.  You can also follow the KiCad PCB board design as it is prepared to be fabricated.  We'll pack as much software on the PICO as possible for maximum functionality. NOTE: This is an IN-PROGRESS project and parameters may have to be changed as we proceed.  WE think there is still room to include YOUR suggestions for additional functions and ideas.  Also, along with the fully configurable menu system we hope to include a path for you to add your code.


The PicoTouch will monitor 4 channels of signals and display them on the screen as digital readouts (VOLTS) or as scope style screen plotter (PLOT) in four colors. Time an input signal pulse (TIMING) using the Pico's timing circuitry. Communicate (BLUETOOTH) or (NETWORK) with external devices for remote monitoring or control.  Read/Write a micro SDcard (SD CARD) or control the device with the (CONFIG) or (SYSTEM) functions.


Currently written in part using MicroPython via Thonny.  Plans include using the PICO SDK to speed up and streamline some operations using C++ snippet inclusions.  Software detects screen touches to control the menu and controls output of the full color TFT display.  A goal is to be able to allow the user to add/test/delete their own special software and menu iknterface.

PICO and breadboard

For devlopment, we use a breadboard and DuPont jumpers, but the final design will be fabricated and/or available for fabrication. 


The PicoTouch will have external Stemma connectors to attach to your additional devices, but within the PicoTouch there will be some optional Adafruit modules (see below), a LM1084 voltage regulator, barrel jack, buzzer, a 90 degree tactile switch, a CR2032 battery holder, a RGB LED, and various connectors, resistors and capacitors.  A bill of materials will be provided. For 3D printing the case .gcode and .stl files will be provided and can be modified to suit your needs.


TFT Touchscreens are readily available at a good price on sites like eBay, Amazon, AliBaba or your favorite supply house.

For this design we are using 4" TFT Touchscreens using SPI communications to the PICO.  Recommended are the ST7796S and the ILI9488 designs.  Other models can be used, but the software will need modification.  Sizes other than 4" are also available, but trying to accurately touch the screen becomes much harder as screen size decreases.  The 3D print model for the case will be designed for the 4" screen but can be modified for a smaller screen.

Adafruit Internals

In addition to the other features of the PicoTouch there will be a provision to add a RTC, SDcard reader and GPS from Adafruit. The software, the board pins and space reservations for these three modules will be on the finished PCB board.

In Process

This is an "in process" project with final designs to be completed, software elements to be completed and refined, a PCB board design refinement and 3D printing designs to be finalized and probably some unseen problems to resolve.  While the design isn't perfect, it is meant to be as cost efficient as possible and can be completed by the average maker ... maybe with help from a few friends (3D Printer, solder skills, etc.).  The PCB board will be fabricated and the tiny bits be attached by a reputable fabricator at a nominal cost so you won't have to solder any sub-tiny 603x4 modules.

CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions and criticisms are encouraged, but uncalled for comments for any reason will not be allowed.

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