I love the Raspberry Pi Pico. It’s fast, it’s versatile, it’s cheap. One disadvantage of the Raspberry Pi Pico however, compared to other microcontrollers such as the Arduino, is the absence of pin numbers. That is, they are printed on the board, just on the underside. Where you won’t see them when you have it pushed into a breadboard and are trying to figure out where sensors or things like LEDs should go.
The Arduino (and even some boards that work with Raspberry Pi’s RP2040 chip) make it a lot easier to work with them by just having pin numbers printed next to each pin header. That saves a lot of counting to make sure you have the right pin. It is much easier in an educational setting where you want to make it as easy as possible for students to work with the great toys.
I tried soldering headers on the wrong side, but that seems wrong (even though I added the reverse view to pico.pinout.xyz).
I also hung up a few large posters on the walls of my workshop [link to that page] so at least I can look up the pinout quickly.
One other thing I tried, is making paper pinout cards with a lasercutter. You can just put them on a breadboard, push the Pico through and voilá — there’s the pin numbers, easy to see where to connect things.
Here are the files I made, maybe they are of use to someone else: [links]
I think it should be possible to also print these out and maybe cut away the part where the Pico goes, but I haven’t tried that yet. Maybe Raspberry Pi will change the look of the next version of the Pico and then this won’t be necessary anymore.