Raspberry Pi Pico W

A project log for All-In-One Gamma-Ray Spectrometer

More sensitive to gamma radiation than a Geiger counter with the added bonus of telling exactly what's inside your samples!

NuclearPhoenixNuclearPhoenix 09/25/2022 at 14:460 Comments

This little guy just arrived, it's a Pico W! It comes packed with 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN support and an on-board antenna which, obviously, makes it possible to do so much more stuff with it. Together with the Arduino-Pico library that I am using for the software much if not most functionality is already supported.

This includes wireless AP capability, connecting to existing wireless networks, simple web hosting, OTA updates (awesome!) and much more.-

Raspberry Pi Pico W next to the detector board

Since the board is a complete drop-in replacement for the current non-W Pico, nothing changes from the hardware side of things. Some internal pins on the Pico board itself changed to make place for the wireless chip interface, but with some small-ish changes to the Arduino sketch the software is also compatible with the current version.

There is so much potential here for the future, but at the moment I'm not sure how to use the new wireless features of the Pico W. I'll have to come up with a realistic concept on the implementation and do some additional research. Theoretically it is also possible to do a lite version of Gamma MCA with live data from the spectrometer and host it on the Pico W itself so you only have to open a browser and look at the beautiful interface. However, I don't know how to integrate all the files needed into the Arduino sketch. I think everything else (like using an external uploader) would be a bit harder and I really don't want to make the device setup even more complicated.

So stay tuned for the next updates, this is really exciting for me!