USB-C mod for pico based pcb project

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ironparkIronpark 06/08/2023 at 12:453 Comments

In 2021, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Pico, a small and powerful microcontroller board that offers high performance and flexibility. However, the board's use of a micro-B USB port is considered a drawback. This is especially true considering that the Raspberry Pi 4, released in 2019, uses a USB-C port for power delivery.

Since then, various companies and individuals have released many boards based on the RP2040, some with USB-C ports, others without USB ports and with exposed D+/D- pins for customization (like RP2040 Stamp). However, most of these projects are either hard to find in low quantities, expensive, or require international shipping, whereas the original Pico board is in stock in most countries and can be obtained cheaply and quickly.

So what if you could just replace the USB ports on the original PICO board with the type you want?

Below shows the approach that one Reddit user took to convert an original PICO board to type-c, using the TP1,TP2,TP3 pins on the back of the board and a USB-C breakout board.

We decided that this was something we could use in our PCB design, and below is the result on our prototype board.


mrpendent wrote 06/08/2023 at 13:43 point

I know I'm late to this party, but....I was making a kb-type device and ran into the same problem--I had an rPi Pico, but I wanted USB-C. Instead of going the direction you've gone here, I found the Sumolink Erhu (, which is basically a drop-in replacement for the rPi Pico but has a USB-C port.  The only physical difference (other than the USB port, of course) is that the reset button is moved.

It was interesting to see your project, because you know more about this than I do, so I could check my work. Thanks!

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Ironpark wrote 06/08/2023 at 19:47 point

You're making a macro pad! I see a lot of similarities with my project, including the RP2040 controller board, thumbstick, LEDs, knobs, and hot-swap socket.    

Good luck with your project.

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mrpendent wrote 06/08/2023 at 21:56 point

Thanks, I'll need it!

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