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Elite-Pi Usage Guide

What is the Elite-Pi?

The Elite-Pi is an RP2040-based controller with a Pro Micro/Elite-C compatible pinout that's primarily intended for use with keyboards.

You can purchase them at your favorite keyboard store: Elite-Pi at Keebio

Features

  • Microcontroller: RP2040
  • Flash Memory: 16Mbit (W25Q16JVUXIQ)
  • Pinout: Pro Micro-compatible
  • Number of available pins: Up to 25 I/O pins
  • Firmware Support: QMK, KMK, CircuitPython
  • Mid-mount USB-C to keep low-profile
  • Availability: Elite-Pi at Keebio

Advantages over Pro Micro/Elite-C

In comparison to the Pro Micro or Elite-C, the Elite-Pi provides a few advantages over them:

  • Flash memory: Lots of space to compile in various QMK features without worry, as the Elite-Pi has much more flash memory
  • Price: Since the RP2040 microcontroller costs less than the ATmega32u4, we can provide it at a lower price than the Elite-C
  • Flashing: Instead of using QMK Toolbox, you can just copy a complied .uf2 file to the Elite-Pi to update the firmware

Pinout

Usage Information

QMK Firmware

The recommended way to use the Elite-Pi is using a converter in QMK. Note that you will not be able to take a .hex file compiled for a Pro Micro (ATmega32u4) and rename it as a .uf2 file, it just doesn't work that way. In either usage case, you will need a QMK build environment setup.

Converters

If you are using the Elite-Pi on a Pro Micro-compatible board, then you can use a converter in QMK to map the pins correctly to the PCB.

At the moment, the converter for the Elite-Pi (elite_pi) is only present in the develop branch of QMK. However, since the pinout is the same as the Pro Micro RP2040, you can use the promicro_rp2040 converter instead in the meantime, until develop is merged into master.

To use the converter, see the instructions here: QMK converter usage

Examples:

Using QMK CLI:

qmk flash -c -kb keebio/levinson/rev3 -km default -e CONVERT_TO=promicro_rp2040

Using make:

make keebio/levinson/rev3:default CONVERT_TO=promicro_rp2040

Without Converter

Alternatively, if you are creating a keyboard from scratch, you can use it as a RP2040 board as described here: QMK - RP2040 Info.

Reset/Boot

At the moment with V1 of the Elite-Pi, there are two buttons on it for Run/Reset and Boot, unlike the Elite-C, where there is only one button needed for Reset. The left button is for Boot, and the right button is for Run. You will mainly be interested in getting the Elite-Pi into bootloader mode, so please see the directions below for doing this.

In the future, we plan on reducing the Elite-Pi to have just one button to perform Run and Boot.

Flashing

The directions to flash the Elite-Pi can be found in the QMK Documentation in the Flashing section.

To repeat the information there, here's the steps:

  1. Enter bootloader mode (use one of the following methods):
    • For a new Elite-Pi out of the packaging, it will already start in bootloader mode when plugged into the computer
    • Double-tap the Run/Reset button (if flashed and was compiled with RP2040_BOOTLOADER_DOUBLE_TAP_RESET option)
      • If you used the converter mentioned above, it will have this option enabled
    • Hold the Boot button (the left button) down, press the Run button (the right button), and release both buttons
    • Hold the Boot button (the left button) down, while pluging in the USB-C cable
    • Press the QK_BOOT keycode (if present on a flashed keyboard)
  2. Wait for OS to detect the Elite-Pi
    • It will show up as a USB mass-storage device named RPI-RP2
  3. Copy the .uf2 file to the RPI-RP2 USB drive

If you have the Elite-Pi installed with the back facing towards you, and you need to press Boot, take a wire and connect the Boot pad on the back and a GND pad, as shown below:

Additional Info

Can I use this on just one half of a split keyboard and use a Pro Micro on the other half?

No, you can not mix the Elite-Pi with a non-RP2040 controller like the Pro Micro or Elite-C.

However, another RP2040 controller can be used with it.