Member Since: July 23, 2008

Country: United States



Model-making, programming, electronics



  • USB. The set includes a USB jumper to connect the add-on board to the Pi (it's visible in a couple of the product images - a black plastic block with USB A and USB micro B plugs protruding from it) - so it sits on the outside of the case and uses one of the Pi's USB ports.

  • A word of warning about the "1 per customer" limit: If you have ordered the item in the past, and attempt to order another one, it will cause a delay in shipment of your order, and ultimately the Zero will not be part of the shipment. (In other words, yes, they really mean it.)

    (In my case, I thought "1 per customer" meant "1 per customer per order" - I guess because I don't know what words mean. Anyway I ordered and almost immediately my order went into "exception" status. It didn't indicate what the exception was, and not wanting further delays I contacted Sparkfun via chat to resolve the issue.)

    I think it's worth pointing out that the order system has all the information it needs to pre-emptively block such an order at checkout time: the system clearly knows I've ordered a Pi Zero W from Sparkfun in the past ("You last ordered this item on ....") but it doesn't prevent you from ordering another one. You just won't get it, and it'll delay other stuff you ordered.

  • When considering this board bear in mind that it is incompatible with some Teensy libraries (the Teensy Audio library, for instance)

    Some compromise is to be expected from a low-cost board, of course: it's just important to understand what those limitations are if they'll affect your project.

  • It would have been nice if the battery pack had a power switch... There's no power switch for this thing.

  • For a "user-friendly" product line I really think you guys dug yourselves into a hole with this board.

    First off, using audio jacks, on an audio board, for something other than audio is inherently confusing. Second, the three jacks are clearly labeled: "Audio out", "In", and "Out"... and then right next to that you have the words "Audio Output"... Which is the board name, right? But it's right next to the data input jack. It almost looks like it could refer to the jack.

    While the target audience isn't necessarily tech savvy, they're probably smart enough to navigate all this... It just seems a bit self-defeating to create a "user-friendly" product which then requires dire warnings like "don't connect your audio there or you'll wreck the board".

    I think it's an interesting product line otherwise, though. I think it could be really valuable to a lot of people.

  • But rember, you can only eat half a pie on pi day

  • The graphic indicates that Pi Zero has two USB ports... That is nonsense. It's like saying the model A+ has two USB ports. The second one isn't USB, it's just a power connector.

  • Sure, here ya go:


  • It's a harsh reality that those of us who prefer working on other OSes frequently have to deal with - a lot of software is available on Windows, but not necessarily on other platforms. One can wind up needing to run Windows in order to run a certain program. It stinks but that's life.

  • Generally I prefer to run Linux. It's just the system I feel most at home in. I tried Mac OS X for a while, feeling like it would give me the means to run Unix software (since it's got all that Unix stuff under the hood) but also a more polished user experience... It really wasn't right for me. It wasn't a great system for running the Unix software, as it turned out. Not in my opinion anyway. It was a lot like running Unix software through Cygwin on Windows - you can do it, and there are package repositories to help, but there's not the same variety of packages you'd get with a real Linux distribution, and the nature of the integration is such that the Unix programs feel decidedly out-of-place, and second-class. (IMO Cygwin is actually better in that regard...) Windows mostly just agitates me, and it seems to get worse in that regard all the time. I can install Cygwin on it and mostly pretend it's a Unix box, but there's all these little things, like Cygwin's insistence on remapping the filesystem through mounts, or the constant parade of system notifications and software update notifications, that pull me back to the reality of the system I'm on. Personally I believe that, despite the sort of "command-line machismo" that often comes with Unix fans, in fact all users need some "user-friendly" design when they encounter something new. But I think the prevailing notions of "user-friendly" are geared toward certain types of users (probably the majority), but not necessarily others. I think that's part of what tends to bother me in Mac and Windows, the systems do more hand-holding than I'm comfortable with, and occasionally even obstruct me. Choice of software is a problem, of course: there are many useful tools that are only on Windows, as others have pointed out. In my hobby work the software options on Linux are usually enough for me, but there's bound to be something from time to time that can't be done on Linux because the software is Windows-only. It's an unfortunate situation, but generally speaking I'd rather deal with that than run Windows.

No public wish lists :(