Raspberry Pi Zero Review 2


Raspberry Pi Zero – The Cheapest and Smallest PC available!

The Raspberry Pi Zero is world renown for being the cheapest and the physically smallest PC readily available. It’s so small when they first released it, it was stuck to the front of a Magazine! Now that’s small…

The Raspberry Pi Zero’s Specifications are:

  • CPU: Broadcom BCM2835 (Upto 1Ghz)
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Dimensions: 65mm x 30mm x 5mm
  • Storage Type: MicroSD
  • Power Usage: 65 mA of power-usage on idle (Compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 B at 420 mA)

The Raspberry Pi Zero!

How does this work, you may ask?

Well, the Raspberry Pi has been around for a long time running variants of Linux, mainly ‘Raspbian’, which allows the user to control this mini-pc to do what they like, they’re mainly used for projects that require an always-on computer because they draw so little power. Obviously, the main use for the Raspberry Pi Zero is the fact it draws so little power and for that reason I’m planning to utilise it for a replacement of my Raspberry Pi B+ and Raspberry Pi 2 – then I can use these two for a few other projects.

What can I do with one of these things?

The question is not what can you do but rather, what can’t you do?

Ever wanted to make a CCTV system without the hefty cost? I can tell you it’s possible with a Raspberry Pi. See here: Raspberry Pi CCTV Security Camera Guide!

I’ll be sure to release more guides in due course, I have however had a flight-radar setup running from one of my older Raspberry Pi’s for over a year without any issues.

It took long enough for me to get my hands on one of these Raspberry Pi Zero’s but I’ve finally managed, while writing this there was a delivery through my letterbox, I got the following things with it:

  • Micro-HDMI to HDMI converter
  • Micro-USB to USB convertor
  • Raspberry Pi Zero
Raspberry Pi Zero and Accessories

Raspberry Pi Zero and Accessories

The downsides:

The Raspberry Pi Zero unfortunately only has 1 Micro-usb slot capable of supporting a USB 2.0 (You are required to have a Mirco-USB ‘On The Go’ adapter to convert this to a USB 2 port. In addition the Mini-HDMI – Similar to the Micro-USB data port, the Mini-HDMI isn’t a full size HDMI and will then require an adapter to use.

Finally, no reset/power button! This has always bugged me a little but I guess I’ve lived without it for this long, I can wait a little longer until they’re default on the board.

Although these downsides are a bit inconvenient I can see why they’ve chosen to do this, to utilise as much space as possible and therefore decrease the overall size of the Raspberry Pi Zero.

Kind regards,

Matthew

Matthew's Rating:

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Zero Review

  • Matthew Post author

    Hi Matt,

    I do believe pins 5-6 do reset if that’s what you so choose which is a good alternative, I’m still hoping they put a button soldered on properly one day!

    Unfortunately I haven’t got a USB camera yet so I’m unable to test it as I only have the Raspberry Pi Ribbon camera. It should work just fine, although juggling network and the one USB port may be a bit of an issue unless you have a USB dock.

    That sounds great though, it’d be good to hear if that works out for you and it does sound like the RPI3 can use most of its CPU and RAM to act as a central server. Hopefully with a tiny dock or even a multiplier for the one USB port it’ll be easily possible to run a wifi dongle and camera from the one micro-usb port, although I haven’t tried this yet!

    Best of luck and looking forward to hear how you get on.

    Kind regards,
    Matthew

  • Matt Nelson

    I think you can short pins 5-6 to reset. I know it works on the rpi3. It shouldn’t be too hard to hook up a small button to the pins (although every little thing adds to the size and cost). Wondering if you’ve had any luck getting motioneyeos running on the zero? I’m hoping to set up some one to one camera and zero (one camera paired to one zero) for a multi camera setup and then use the rpi3 as the main dvr and server to centrally manage them. This should create a really cheap system. So far I’m running two cameras off the rpi3 (one raspicam and one USB) and remote viewing a 3rd network camera that I already had running. The problem is that the cameras attached to the rpi3 aren’t where I’d want them and they’re just set up for testing. I have a zero and two more on the way so I’m hoping they can eventually run motioneyeos. Incredibly easy to set up.