Pete Gallagher's Raspberry Pi Pico Stream Deck Aids OBS Work via a Smart CircuitPython Script

Built around the Raspberry Pi Pico and four Cherry MX switches, this simple OBS shortcut macro pad has potential for upgrades.

Developer Pete Gallagher has drafted the new Raspberry Pi Pico development board into assisting with video streaming tasks — by creating an open source equivalent to the Elgato Stream Deck for use with the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).

Released late last month, the Raspberry Pi Pico offers some impressive capabilities for its low $4 price — including the ability to act as a USB Human Interface Device (HID). Based on this, Gallagher made it the basis of a build aiming to replicate the functionality of the Elgato Stream Deck - a macro pad designed for use with video streaming software like OBS.

Designed to quickly switch between predefined scenes, the four-button macro pad is powered by the Raspberry Pi Pico and code written in the freshly-released CircuitPython 6.2.0 Beta 1. The Pico presents itself to the host machine as a USB Human Interface Device, and each button — the same Cherry MX mechanical switches as found in keyboards — acts as a combination of Control and a keypad number key.

In its first incarnation, the pad is admittedly basic — the commercial Stream Deck has small displays over each button which can be customized, something that has been replicated in third-party builds like the FreeDeck — but Gallagher already has plans for upgrades including a 3D-printed case and key-caps, status LEDs, and potentially adding Bluetooth control via an external radio module.

The schematic and source code for the project have been published to GitHub under the permissive MIT License.

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