The release of the Raspberry Pi Pico W brings with it an interesting opportunity. In the past if we wanted to connect a Raspberry Pi to the world, we would need one of the larger models. The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, and Raspberry Pi 4 were often pressed into data collection duties. The Raspberry Pi 4 is a bit of a power hog, the Zero 2 W is a bit better but still overkill for a simple information project.
With the arrival of the Raspberry Pi Pico W we have a low power, microcontroller with a competent Wi-Fi chip, in the Pico form factor and only $6!
So where do we start? How do we get our Raspberry Pi Pico W online, and where can we find interesting data to collect? Let us guide you through making the most of your $6 Raspberry Pi Pico W.
Getting the Raspberry Pi Pico W Online
The Raspberry Pi Pico W comes with an Infineon CYW43439 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi chip and onboard antenna. This means we get good Wi-Fi reception without the need for lots of wires. We’re using the latest MicroPython release for the Pico W as it offers the easiest means to get online and do fun projects.
1. Setup your Raspberry Pi Pico W by following our getting started guide. You will need to install MicroPython on your Pico W before you can proceed further.
2. Open the Thonny editor to a blank document.
3. Create an object called SSID and in it store the SSID of your Wi-Fi access point.
SSID = "YOUR WIFI AP"
4. Create an object called PASSWORD and store your Wi-Fi password.
PASSWORD = "TRUSTNO1"
5. Save the file to the Raspberry Pi Pico W as secrets.py By storing our sensitive details in a secrets file, we can freely share the project code with friends, or online. Just remember not to share the secrets file too.
6. Click on New File to create a new blank document.
7. Import three modules of code, network,