Cytron has released the Maker Nano RP2040, an Arduino Nano form factor board featuring the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and several options for input/output. It has a few notable differences from its Raspberry Pi and Arduino counterparts, including the addition of two RGB LEDs, a reset button, and two Qwicc/STEMMA QT ports that can also connect to Grove modules using a conversion cable.
Something quite different about the Maker Nano RP2040 is the onboard piezo buzzer. Its addition isn't too out of the ordinary, but there appears to be a sliding mute switch to turn the buzzer off by hand.
Another way the new board differs from both the Pi Pico and Arduino Nano it emulates is the pin tolerance. The Maker Nano RP2040 has 3,3v tolerant pins only, so it can't simply replace the Arduino Nano in projects without some level shifting to protect you from the magic smoke!
One nice touch is the 14 LEDs attached to pins D0-D9 and D16-D18, which show the pin state, but can also be used as onboard LEDs in their own right.
The Maker Nano RP2040 is a nice spin on both the Arduino Nano and the Raspberry Pi Pico and is available from Cytron for $7.12 plus shipping.
The Maker Pi RP2040 Specifications
There are some nice additions here. The two RGB LEDs and buzzer onboard mean you can do a fair bit "in-the-box" without extra parts, but the dual Qwikk/STEMMA ports allow for easy extension too.
- Arduino Nano form factor
- Powered by Raspberry Pi RP2040
- Dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor
- 264KB internal RAM
- 2MB of Flash memory
- the exact same specifications with Raspberry Pi Pico
- 14x Status indicator LEDs for GPIOs
- 1x Piezo buzzer with mute switch
- 1x Push button
- 2x RGB LEDs (WS2812 Neopixel)
- 2x Maker Ports, compatible with Qwiic, STEMMA QT, Grove (via conversion cable)
- Support Arduino IDE, CircuitPython and MicroPython
The RP2040 Keeps Getting Awesome Dev Kits
This isn't the first time Cytron has released an RP2040 board. We looked at the incredibly fully-featured Maker Pi RP2040 a while back and found it to be an incredible value do-it-all kit. While that board is more of a large form factor kit for robotics and other prototyping, then Maker Pi RP2040 is a spin on an established board: The Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect.
The Maker Nano RP2040 is similar, adding new functionality to the Nano form factor. It's not a straight improvement, though. The Maker Nano RP2040 has only 4 ADC inputs, while its Arduino RP2040 counterpart has 8. The decision to only make the board 3.3v tolerant is also an interesting one as it stops it being any kind of drop-in for the more expensive Arduino board. It's also lacking any sort of connectivity, but again, this board costs $13 less, so that's hardly something to hold against it.
After all, not everything is a competition, and these boards are well suited to both beginners and experienced engineers alike.