The RaspberryPI Zero

I was finally able to get hold of a Raspberry PI Zero. For those who have not yet heard about them, the are a small computer based on a SOC or system on a chip. The brain child of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a group who wanted to make an affordable computer to promote computer science for students. The Raspberry Pi Zero is one of the most recent additions to the Pi family.

pi_zero

I aquired it at Adafruit, https://www.adafruit.com/products/2817, as a starter pack with the Zero, power supply with usb to mini usb cable, mini hdmi to hdmi adaper, OTG adapter for usb,  sd card for storage and a male header for connecting to varios GPIO devices. You have to solder in the header if you are going to use it. I also bought  a usb wireless adapter.

I also purchased a case, although the Zero cases are mostly covers for the front and back.The case I chose, from C4Labs , doesn’t have enough room next to the male header to connect the cable for using with the breadboard. If you are planning to use your PI in a pugin environment you might consider getting a right angle female header to allow the board to be stood on edge.

Assembling the case on the PI Zero was simple, although I suggest you don’t put the heat exchanger on until the case top is in place. If you do, then it may not line up. I did not glue the heatsink on the cpu so as to allow removal of the heatsink later. You may wonder why such a small chip needs a heatsink. From the manufacturers point of view you don’t. Due to some thermal phots of working PI’s it would be helpful to have the heatsink. The CPU chip has been seen to reach 100 degrees centigrade, waters boiling point. The system is supposed to begin throttling the cpu clock at 80 c.stabilizing the temperature.

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You will also need an operating system on the sd card to get started. I started out with the Jessie light install but found it was missing some things I needed, so I tried using NOOBS instead. It was a simpler install of the full version of Jessie.

Once on the card and booting it was somewhat slow. Similar to an early atom processor found in the netbooks. I was able to connect to the local wireless network and update the OS easily, I’ll cover that and the small test projects I did in another post. I suggest you get one of the Raspberry PI computers and begin learning,

These links below will help you understand the Raspberry PI a little better.

https://twit.tv/shows/triangulation/ePIsodes/61

https://twit.tv/shows/twit-bits/ePIsodes/2391

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_PI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_PI_Foundation

https://www.raspberryPI.org/

 

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