Fabien Chouteau's PicoProbe PCB Turns a Raspberry Pi Pico Into an Easy-to-Use SWD Debugger

Designed with a six-pin header for manual wiring or 10-pin header and ribbon cable for quick connections, this board is undeniably handy.o

Gareth Halfacree
a year agoDebugging

Embedded engineer Fabien Chouteau has designed a simple add-on for the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller development board, turning it into a fully-functional 10-pin Serial Wire Debug (SWD) probe.

"If, like me, you love the Raspberry Pi Pico/RP2040, but you are not satisfied with the available hardware debugging solution," Chouteau writes of his carrier boartd design, built to sit beneath the compact Raspberry Pi Pico, "this kit is for you."

Raspberry Pi provides the PicoProbe firmware for the Raspberry Pi Pico, its in-house microcontroller development board built around its equally in-house RP2040 microcontroller, to turn the $4 board into a fully-functional hardware debug probe — and Chouteau's add-on board handles the wiring.

"There are two ways to mount a Raspberry Pi Pico on the PicoProbe-PCB," Chouteau explains. "You can either solder it directly for a slim/compact result, or use headers to be able to re-use the Pico on other projects."

Using PicoProbe — with or without Chouteau's carrier board—- requires a custom version of OpenOCD, which Raspberry Pi also provides. Compile it, run it, and you're ready to use the debugger of your choice - including GDB.

The PicoProbe PCB kit is available on Chouteau's Tindie store at $8, including the PCB, 10-pin SWD header and ribbon cable, six-pin male header, and six-pin female header for manual wiring; design files and Gerbers for the board are available on GitHub under an unspecified open source license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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