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, the same as the B+ and A+, 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.
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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.
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Based on 18 ratings:
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!
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 $10.00us I could have it all in a small package. I could not say no. I choose a 3D printed robot with a cheap camera as my introduction to the PI, and I must say that it was so easy to use that I was kind of disappointed in a way. I wanted to tell everyone that I spent nights recompiling code and re-flashing chips, wiring interface boards etc, but as it turned out I just plugged in the camera, copied the OS and code onto the SD card plugged it in and turned it on.
It all just started working and working well, and my wife showed a few seconds of interest that I am confident wasn’t faked. Once I have completed this robot I will definitely be buying another PI zero W.
Sorry but this product does not work with internal wifi, we have to put a dongle.
It sounds like you may have a defective unit. Please contact our tech support team at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Things are fine other in the fact that it took 2 weeks for FEDEX to get it to Wi. I gave up and ordered a zero from Newark in SC and it got to me in 3 days by usps. I also ordered some items from AllElectronics in CA and I had it in 3 days by usps. I don’t use SparkFun any more on my bom(s) to my customers.
It’s great to be able to have a source for these at a substantially reduced price (vs Amazon’s price of 25$), 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.