Raspberry PI zero - $5 board for PiAware?!

Morning all,

Seems Raspberry Pi have release the RPi Zero - a mini Pi released for $5!

(Sadly, this has the geek in me really excited… :wink: ).

Specs as follows:

A Broadcom BCM2835 application processor
1GHz ARM11 core (40% faster than Raspberry Pi 1)
A micro-SD card slot
A mini-HDMI socket for 1080p60 video output
Micro-USB sockets for data and power
An unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header
Identical pinout to Model A+/B+/2B
An unpopulated composite video header
Our smallest ever form factor, at 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

More details here:


Of course, dont know what availability will be like initially (probably akin to hens teeth), but - could PiAware be made to run on this?
(One for FA Admin devs probably - will PiAware compile for that chip?).

Could really open up PiAware - both in terms of cost-of-build and build size, for example, you could probably mount this on your masthead even easier than the “PI2 in an icecream box” that seems popular!


Well, just treated myself to one from here:


Went for the “Essentials kit” as well - the Pi Zero on it’s own would have been £4!

The Essentials Kit (HDMI-Mini HDMI, USB OTG Cable and various headers) was £6 - and good old Postie added blinkin’ £2.50 (cheeky git! :wink: ).

When this arrives, I’ll stick my PiAware Sd in it and see what happens - either work or it wont at this stage…

Either way, very nice bit of kit at a ridiculously cheep price, got a load of other projects to use it for if PiAware doesnt like it at the moment.

Will let you know how I get on…

More info / review:

raspi.tv/2015/raspberry-pi-zero- … i-magazine

BCM2835 is the same as the B/B+ so it should be fine with the standard packages/images, probably.

My question is how are you going to get both a dongle and a network connected? You’re going to need a USB hub or something…

Raspberry Pi’s MagPi magazine issue # 40 comes with one on the cover. (hardcopy only, PDF version does not :wink: ) raspberrypi.org/magpi/

I have an original Pi B running my adsb stuff. It uses a hub to provide power to the pi and wifi and radio dongles. I had everything connected directly to the Pi previously, but when I changed to the 820T2 dongle from an E4000 it wasn’t stable as the 820 draws twice as much current.

It would be easy to swap the Pi B out for one of these - if there is a decent performance bump I may do that, but I already have the Pi B overclocked to 1Ghz.

Hi guys,

Firstly, yup - MagPi did have the Zero free today (issue 40) - I reserved and picked up 3 of the 6 my local tesco’s had - a second for me, one for my dad and one for a colleague.

In hand, these things are certainly small!

@Obj, yes - with only the 1 micro USB for data (the others power-in), I’ll have to use a Hub. although maybe not a powered one as the Zero uses something crazy like 167mA…
(I’ll try it and see - I imagine Wifi + RTL dongle will use a fair bit).

Of course, I’ll need a min of 2 usb devices off the hub.

Either way, I’ve got some other projects that would benefit from these - and if I can get it to run piAware, I’ll report back! :slight_smile:


The Zero is also oc’d to 1ghz - 512mb ram etc, so not much in the way of an “upgrade” over the B+.

What I think the Zero gives is size optimisation (it’s not a lot bigger the RTL dongle itself) and also power usage - something like 170Ma afair.

Also, the fact that it’s like £4 I believe opens up ADSB like this to even more people or even more receivers - I for one can think of a few other places I could put additional receivers.
Of course, the low power usage may open up more options on remote (i.e battery / solar powered) installs.

Although, yes, one does have to consider a powered USB hub…


One of the few disadvantages of living here in Spain! I’ll just have to make do with my wife’s excellent steak and kidney Pi until I can get one sent to a relative. :laughing:

Grrr ebay.co.uk/itm/Pi-Zero-MagPi … Swv-NWVzgU


Yep, I misheard something in the video. Nevertheless, It’s so low cost that I’ll probably swap it over so I can use the other Pi for something that makes use of the better I/O options.

GRRRR… Who said it is $5?

Hi Phill!
Nice to see your new icon: your new antenna installation!

Too stripped down…

Micro HDMI: Does anyone have any extras of these laying around? Gonna have to go out and buy one…
1 Micro USB Input: Now an external USB hub is needed as well as a micro USB cable to replace the normal USB cable most all hubs come with…
Power savings?: Yes uses less power but the external hub will suck up just as much if not more…

By the time you add the needed extras that small fingerprint becomes a larger foot print than a RPi2 for what we do here for about the same price as just getting a full blown RPi2 with 4 times the CPU and double the memory.

I will pass on this as far as ADS-B is concerned.

Great analysis!
Now how do you compare RPi Model2 with Orange Pi PC for $15?



Never handled one so this is an opinion based off pictures and specs and comments.

Doesn’t look bad not all stripped down. Actually would be interested in giving one a try in the future.
Comments on the page selling it point to it being in the early stages of development however.
This begs the question will all the hardware work properly with your chosen operating system…

A more detail discussion here:

I will pass on this as far as ADS-B is concerned.

Agree - excited when I first read about this yesterday but all gone in the UK by mid afternoon - both MagPi and online ordering of Pi Zero were out of stock. So I missed out.

But on consideration single core like Pi1. Need (powered?) USB Hub and Wifi dongle or USB-Internet converter. So not too bothered.

If Pi 0.5 :wink: has the quad core chip and wired internet, I’ll fight you for one :smiley:

Well said but if you have the extras already lying around it could be a viable/cheaper option.

At any rate, has anybody given this a spin? Curious to hear how it works as a PiAware setup.

Everything I read on it it’s the equivalent of an overclocked Raspberry Pi Model B+ as far as performance goes which is defiantly not bad given the size. Never ran PiAware on a B+ but sure others have and could report back.

The developers were targeting a group that have trouble affording a $35 Pi. It may not be simple to run Piaware on it. With the reduced power needs, I don’t think it will be long before someone hangs it on a balloon with a camera and sends it up the the edge of space. :open_mouth:

My PiAware station is running on a B+. It runs just fine without any problems. As of today, my logging streak is 456 days. So the pi zero should run just fine… you just need to get a USB hub, USB micro to USB host adapter, WiFi dongle, and an SD card.

Personally, I am more interested in the $9 CHIP. (and I hope to finally get mine by January). Its a little more powerful, offers integrated flash, WiFi, BLE, and twice the GPIO. CHIP will likely be the lowest cost device since you don’t need to buy any SD cards, WiFi dongles, adapter cables, etc. It does lack HDMI (though you can get a HDMI board) but I wont miss that since it is only ever connected to the monitor/TV just long enough to enable SSH (and that can be done using the composite output).