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Home of the G7CKF range of electronic kits

27 Nov '15

Raspberry Pi Zero support

Posted by Jenny List

Out of the blue on a damp Thursday in November, the Raspberry Pi foundation launched a new model in their line of single board computers. And what a model it was, a Pi on a tiny board and one cheap enough to give away for free on the cover of the MagPi. Well done if you managed to find a newsagent that still had a MagPi, our local Smiths must have sold out in minutes. Fortunately Pimoroni lived up to their reputation for speedy delivery and our Pi Zero reached us the next day.

Here at Language Spy, the priority was to test our product line with the new model. With the same underlying hardware as the rest of the first generation of Raspberry Pi boards it would be expected to work straight away, however there is no substitute for a real board to test on the desk in front of you. 

The Pi Zero comes without the expansion pins fitted. Soldering a 40-pin connector is a straightforward job, though care needs to be taken to avoid damaging tracks on the Pi. Our connector went on without a hitch. One thing to note, our Pi Zero wouldn't boot from an SD card loaded with an earlier Raspbian version that boots with a B+ model. Your Raspbian may vary, make sure you find an up-to-date version.

So with a working Pi Zero, on to the tests. Plug in a Pi-HF and power it up, all works fine. Both the Pi-HF and the PiVFO RF software perform exactly as you would expect it to on a Model A or Model B. Same with the breakout board, generated RF comes forth from a Pi Zero just as on the other boards.

Mechanically, both boards overhang the edge of the Pi Zero. They were designed when the only Pi boards were full-sized and have appropriate dimensions. There are no points at which they foul any of the Pi Zero though, as the Zero has no tall components on board.

So there you are, we're pleased to say that the Language Spy kits are supported by the new raspberry Pi Zero board.

Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.