Pico RGB Keypad Base

What a time, eh? After an absolute whirlwind of a launch, Raspberry Pi Picos are starting to land through people’s letterboxes and a lot of folks who’ve not had much to do with microcontrollers before are looking for a place to start figuring out what to do with them. Welcome! Now is the perfect time to get onboard the microcontroller train – you’re going to love it.

Connect a glorious, squishy, 4×4 rainbow-illuminated keypad to your Raspberry Pi Pico. Perfect for making a custom USB input device!

This RGB Keypad Base equips a Pico with an eye-catching 4×4 silicone keypad. The Pico RGB keypad is also fully loaded with addressable APA102 LEDs so that each key can be illuminated in any colour that you may wish.

Connect your Pico project to another computer via USB so that you can get a beautiful macro keypad or a tidy midi controller. The RGB Keypad Base would also work well in any project that would benefit from having fancy light up buttons like:

  • a code protected door lock perhaps
  • a disco dance floor for your fingers
  • or a Simon Says style game with which to taunt your friends.

For HID support checkout Adafruit Circuit python

We want to thank @wildestpixel for this great code example to get your HID project off the ground. We have also found this cool case you can print.

Features

4×4 silicone keypad with conductive buttons
16 x APA102 addressable RGB LEDs (datasheet)
Keypad buttons are connected via a TCA9555 IO expander (I2C address: 0x20).
Labelled landing area with female headers for attaching your Pico, with broken out pins.
Compatible with Raspberry Pi Pico.
Some assembly required!
No soldering required (as long as your Pico has header pins attached, or else you can find your headers here).
Dimensions: approx 60mm x 101mm x 16mm (L x W x H, assembled)
C/C++ and MicroPython libraries

Getting started

Turn the larger board over, and attach the little rubber feet to the paw print spaces on the bottom.

Flip it over again, and pop the silicone keypad over the buttons so the tabs fit into the holes. You can then slot the retainer plate over the top of the keys, matching up the key markings with those on the base board. You can install the retainer plate either way up, depending on whether you prefer it patterned or plain!

Poke the M2 bolts through the holes in the mounting plate (from the top) and screw on the nuts to keep all the layers sandwiched together. The bolts only need to be tightened up enough to keep the layers in place – if you find that the keys are hard to push or that the silicone layer is bulging out of the sides you might want to slacken them off a bit.

The labels on the base will show you which way round to attach your Pico – just match up the USB port to the markings on the board.

The easiest way to get started with Pimoroni Pico add-ons is by downloading and copying the custom MicroPython firmware to your Pico. Click here for the beginner-friendly tutorial!

The Software

To get the pico to work as a macropad we have to set it up ad a HID ( Human Input Device ). Here is yet another repo that will get you started on the right track

Code: https://github.com/qbalsdon/pico_rgb_keypad_hid

This walks through everything you need to know to get set up using your custom macros.

1. Download the new .uf2 file.

2. Copy all folders to the pico.

3. Copy and edit the Keypad.py file to your own custom macros.

Pinout

Pico RGB Keypad Base

Simply click here to add this great item to your cart now and don’t forget your Raspberry Pi Pico not included

For any questions you can email us at [email protected]

Further reading

https://learn.pimoroni.com/tutorial/hel/getting-started-with-pico