The credit-card-sized computer has become even smaller! The Raspberry Pi Zero W is still the Pi you know and love, but at a largely reduced size of only 65mm long by 30mm wide and at a very economical price. With the addition of wireless LAN and Bluetooth, the Raspberry Pi Zero W is ideal for making embedded Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The Pi Zero W has been designed to be as flexible and compact as possible with mini connectors and an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO, allowing you to use only what your project requires.
At the heart of the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a 1GHz BCM2835 single-core processor with 512MB RAM. Quite frankly, this Pi is about four times faster that the original Raspberry Pi and is only a fraction of the cost of the current RPi3.
The setup for the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a little more complicated than on other Pis. Because of the small size, many of the connectors on the Pi Zero are not standard. For starters you will want a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter to connect to your monitor. You will also need a USB OTG cable to connect a USB device, as well as a unique CSI camera cable. No matter how you want to use your Raspberry Pi Zero W, you will need a microSD card with an operating system and a high-quality 5V power supply to power your board.
Note: As of the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero W the NOOBS image will need to be updated to work on Pi Zero boards. You can download the image here.
Looking to make the Raspberry Pi Zero W a dongle? Check out the Pi Zero USB Stem:
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels
Based on 44 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
It's really annoying to have to buy these one at a time.
Otherwise, it's an absolutely awesome product at a fantastic price.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
My RPi Zero became the heart of a Nixie tube clock with hours, minutes and seconds digits. What made this particularly a good fit was the low cost of the Zero coupled with the ability to connect to WiFi. Now when powered-up, or when a power glitch occurs, the Pi reboots, connects to the WiFi network in our home, and sets the time correctly, all without human intervention (I don't know why there are not WiFi connected clocks on the market!). It was nice to use the Zero's VNC capability for the hardware checkout and software development. Python3 was used to read the system clock, format the data into three bytes and shift that out the SPI interface. Hardly any code at all. Besides the Zero the clock used three CD74HC595 shift register/latches connected to the SPI port, six K155ID1 (SN74141) binary to decimal decoders and a purchased high voltage supply PCB (170V) to light the Nixie tubes. I still need to build a case to enclose the clock which has a tinted Lexan window, a board holding the Nixie tubes, an electronics board, then a back panel, all separated on quarter inch spacers. I can send pictures if you want...
1 of 1 found this helpful:
It's a Pi Zero W. Not the fastest or newest Pi, but that's not what we're after with this board. It's small, runs Raspian, and with a little care, you can get ROS and Arduino running on this little baby too.
You know the name. You know the capabilities. Good Luck, and Enjoy!
I've used Pi-w's in several projects now from audio playback device to autonomous robot with a camera and they just work out of the box. The addition of wifi was something that put the icing on the project cake. At 10 bucks and roughly P4 performance you cant go wrong. No wonder they can't keep them on the shelves.
The Raspberry Pi Zero W has almost everything you could want in a tiny package and cost close-to nothing - What is not to like !
Attached an SDR and using it to provide remote weather data to my home control system. Couldn't have been easier or less expensive!
for automation projects that have power but not data run to them, this device is hard to beat. I paired this with a 10W LED (and driver) to make a mulitcast alarm indicator for my ZoneMinder monitored ethernet cameras. Now I know when someone approaches my front door and I can move the indicator where ever I want (or build more) as needed. That assumes availabiilty of this part though. At this price, there will always be high demands for such a device. Just need to get them PXI booting!
Love it! RPi Foundation just has to keep up with demand!
I'm using it to drive SK6812 RGB LEDs with adafruit's neopixel python library. Great fun!
Powerful processor yet Power Efficient. Running great as a small headless server, with Arch Linux. Can be used in a conductive enclosure, via an unpopulated UFL connector. As far as I know the serial port is used for the Bluetooth connection and so my project can't utilize the hardware UART without disabling Bluetooth, but for my current project is a non issue. WiFi connection is pretty good ~22Mbps down and 11Mbps upload, though the antenna has quite a few lobes and a few nulls; this isn't a problem though when connecting an external whip antenna via populating the UFL connector.
This is my first raspberry PI project, not that I haven't wanted to try one out. The only problem was that I couldn't justify the $30.00us plus cost of a original PI for a simple project. The Raspberry PI zero W changed all that. For just $10.00us I could have it all in a small package. I could not say no. I choose a 3D printed robot with a cheap camera as my introduction to the PI, and I must say that it was so easy to use that I was kind of disappointed in a way. I wanted to tell everyone that I spent nights recompiling code and re-flashing chips, wiring interface boards etc, but as it turned out I just plugged in the camera, copied the OS and code onto the SD card plugged it in and turned it on.
It all just started working and working well, and my wife showed a few seconds of interest that I am confident wasn't faked. Once I have completed this robot I will definitely be buying another PI zero W.
Sorry but this product does not work with internal wifi, we have to put a dongle.
It sounds like you may have a defective unit. Please contact our tech support team at email@example.com for help.
Things are fine other in the fact that it took 2 weeks for FEDEX to get it to Wi. I gave up and ordered a zero from Newark in SC and it got to me in 3 days by usps. I also ordered some items from AllElectronics in CA and I had it in 3 days by usps. I don't use SparkFun any more on my bom(s) to my customers.
It's great to be able to have a source for these at a substantially reduced price (vs Amazon's price of 25$), since I'm building a more than a few personal IoT projects based on them.
This is an excellent way to get started experimenting with IoT and your own ideas -- Think Small, Dream BIG :)
I am enjoying all the different projects that you can do with this Single-Board computer. There are several other projects that I am working on how and I ordered this just a few days before the Raspberry Pi Zero WH came out. If you are planning to do projects with this board I would recommend getting the WH version. Other than that, this is exactly as advertised and shipped in a very sturdy box. Thank you SparkFun for making this experience a very good one :-)
excellent trade off between low power usage (~150mA) and capabilities (still running a full Linux system + WiFi). I used with a camera module as part of a smart home monitoring system with another RPi 3B as the server (MotionEyeOS + MotionEye). Can't beat the cost compared to commercial CCTV solutions.
It's nice to be able to get the zero w at list price here. I have an assortment of project ideas for these now so I will be buying more in the future.
The one I received from sparkfun is slightly damaged but seems to function fine, at least for my purposes. The black component labeled 4R7 adjacent to the camera connector is chipped. I'm not sure what that part is or if the damage prevents any functionality from working but I figure it's worth reporting that the product is being shipped in this kind of condition for those who care.
It's pretty common for there to be small chips in that part. (It's an inductor) If you have any trouble with it, let us know though.
I am really impressed that the zero's size is much smaller than I thought. Haven't started tinkering with it yet. But can't stop thinking of what to use it for.
Great price, easy start-up, practically plug and play. A well-supported, all-inclusive single-board wi-fi enabled computer for $10 that can fit in your shirt pocket! What's not to like?
The least impressive function of this board is the WiFi performance. With my experiences with the 3B, 3B+ and latest 3A, it is about 10dB lower than other RPi I have when measured at the same location. When I used it with a PCM5122 DAC hat to play the lossless compressed music was paused many times during the play back of the 10 files from a CD collection.
These are the best raspberry pi produced to date. Nowhere else can you get this powerful (and well supported) computer with WiFi, Bluetooth and high res HDMI video! Please continue to carry them!
I found a great cheap, extendable sound controller for the different rooms in my house. This PI + a cheap ebay PCM2704 sound card + sd card + this guys project https://github.com/mikebrady/shairport-sync turns this device into something I can reliably use as an airplay destination. It took a few hours to set the first one up.
I recently bought a PZW to run OctoPrint on my new Prusa MK3S 3D printer. The system plugs directly into the 3D printer controller and provides wireless control and access. It worked well enough that I will replace my Pi3B+ running my Lulzbot 3D printer with a PZW later this month. Controlling my 3D printer from my phone is awesome
It's a single-core RaspPi. It's not fast by desktop standards, but it runs circles around the computers I grew up with.
The big deal should be the price. At $10 apiece, they should be nearly disposable. When I first heard about this product, I had fantasies of 360° photo scanners; smart weather balloon payloads; player terminals at a gaming table; pen testing tools; costumes and props and gimmicks.
But the one-per-customer limit means this computer is my most irreplaceable computer. The cheapest one, the most disposable, the least capable... is the one I dare not use in a project because I can't get another.
If you're in a developing nation and this machine is the only one you can afford, go for it. But a model 3 or 4 is a much, much more capable as a personal computer and development environment. And since you can only get one of these things, what else are you going to do with it?
Using it for a door bell type camera meant to be left on continuously. Used Noobs lite image and so far no crashes, bugs, etc. after being up for a week. Easy to set up as headless, didn't need any special cables or even a monitor. That's what I was looking for.
0 of 1 found this helpful:
Ideal board for remote camera systems. Noticeably slower than a Pi3. Cheaper than adding wifi to a Pi1 and you get bluetooth. In high demand so most places will only sell you one. Mini camera cable adds to the cost and you might need a usb otg cable too. No display port.
Just about everything you need to make a web controlled thingy. In my case this acts as a web controlled garage door opener and gate actuator.
Used python and flask
It’s a tiny, for real Pi! For now though, it’ll probably go in a drawer, waiting for a new project. It’s intended use (to drive a graphical TV display board) was too resource intensive. That’s not unexpected, and not the fault of the Pi. I wanted to try the small form factor.
If you have a physically small project that needs wifi and a relatively small amount of horsepower - less than a 3B/4 but more than Arudino/ESP32, or you want to run a pi on a battery, it’s worth trying for sure.
When you need more computing flexibility than you can get from a microcontroller but you need to save space and money.
Needed a small Pi with built-in WiFi for my ADS-B project that would fit inside of any enclosure outside with SDR dongle. This worked perfectly.
Nice little board to setup a simple web server for my Picobrew Pro to work again, loaded software on a microSD card and worked right out of the box. Raspberry Pi's are easy for newbies! Built-in WiFi was the feature that I needed.
All works fantastic.. best product ever to mount my own server!!!
Still awaiting a response a reshipment from support. Been nearly a month since i ordered it.
Not sure what happened there, but a replacement is on the way!
The Pi Zero W isn't as powerful as the Pi 3 or 4 or Compute Modules, but it's easy to embed in tight spaces and cheaper when you just need a subset of features.
I've embedded Pis in:
-a mint tin to make a MintyPi handheld game emulator
-a desktop transistor radio--added an audio pHAT to make a radio which plays internet radio streams, digital audio files, and AM/FM broadcast radio
-HQ USB cameras which use the Pi HQ camera and stream the video over USB for a high quality webcam that's cheaper than many store-bought ones
-a case with audio pHAT to play music in my garage shop and basement stereos
The features and implementation quality are top flight. Raspberry Pi’s documentation leaves much to be desired!
It's the Pi Zero W! You probably know what it is and how amazing and capable it is for the price. There's endless documentation, projects and accessories for it. The only drawback is that it's hard to get your hands on many of these.
It's a technical detail, but an important one. This is a 32-bit processor. It's 2021, and most of the software you'll find is 64-bit. This was the perfect solution for the low power monitoring application I bought it for, except that it wouldn't run version 2.0 of InfluxDb.
That's not a "fault" of the Pi Zero, just a point I wasn't aware of.
The Pi Zero is a perfect size for what I needed to have done, but I didn't realize the CPU was a single-core (but that makes sense to help curb the power requirements and heat dissipation. One thing I wished Raspberry had done was to keep the ports the same across all Pi's - instead of using a mini-HDMI why couldn't they have gone with the micro-HDMI like the Pi-4. Same thing with the micro-USB instead of going with the USB Type C for the power input. But other than my complaint on the ports the Pi Zero W is a very good deal.
I'm running Volumio and outputting over I2S to an external DAC. It booted flawlessly and performs very well. What's not to like for $10!!
Using class 10 SD cards, the I/O performance is a lot slower than even rotational drives. Doing an apt get/upgrade takes a while. I have 4 of these all with different class 10 cards and the results are all the same.
With that ONLY negative out of the way, I'd say these are otherwise amazingly useful. Gone are the days of low-level programming over a USB port. Today, we have a full Linux machine complete with pre-installed software like gpio, raspistill and raspivid for working with I/O and cameras. This greatly reduces the time it takes to develop with these devices. Throw in on-board wifi (I get about 1.3Mb/s average on mine) and there isn't much more to ask for. Bravo!