Invector Labs' Challenger RP2040 WiFi Offers a Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP8285 Wi-Fi, and LiPo Charging

MicroPython, CircuitPython and Arduino IDE compatible, this low-cost Feather board ticks a lot of boxes.

Invector Labs has launched a new RP2040-based microcontroller development board, the Challenger RP2040 WiFi — adding wireless compatibility and moving to an Adafruit Feather-compatible form factor.

The low-cost Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller launched on the Raspberry Pi Pico, but has been cropping up in a range of designs since it became available to buy in single-chip quantities on its own. The Challenger RP2040 WiFi, named for Space Shuttle OV-099, takes the popular microcontroller and pops it on a board based on the Adafruit Feather form factor — while adding Wi-Fi connectivity.

"When we designed this board we took our existing Challenger M0 WiFi board and replaced the SAMD21 microcontroller with the much more powerful dual core RP2040 Cortex-M0 device," Invector Labs explains. "The RP2040 have two Cortex-M0 CPU cores clocked at 133MHz and 264Kbyte SRAM integrated. On our board we decided to put a 8MByte flash memory for your programs and file storage."

"Just like the Challenger M0 WiFi it has a ESP8285 Wi-Fi chip. For those of you that is unfamiliar with this device, it is basically an ESP8266 device with an integrated 1MByte of flash memory. This allows us to have an AT command interpreter inside this chip that the main controller can talk to and connect to you local Wi-Fi network. The communications channel between the two devices is an unused UART on the main controller and the standard UART on the ESP8285. As simple as it can be."

The board also includes USB Type-C connectivity, an on-board NeoPixel RGB LED, a lithium polymer charger circuit with 250mA charging current, and full support for MicroPython, CircuitPython, and the Arduino IDE.

The board is now available on Invector Labs' Tindie store, priced at $14.95.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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