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Hardware

Raspberry Pi Zero W is a $10 Computer With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (betanews.com) 138

On the fifth birthday of the original Raspberry Pi, the foundation has announced the Raspberry Pi Zero W, a slightly more capable variant of the miniature computer. From a report on BetaNews: It's essentially a Pi Zero with the addition of the two features many people have been requesting -- wireless LAN and Bluetooth. Priced at $10, the Pi Zero W uses the same Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to deliver 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. The full list of features is as follows: 1GHz, single-core CPU, 512MB RAM, mini-HDMI port, micro-USB On-The-Go port, micro-USB power, HAT-compatible 40-pin header, composite video and reset headers, CSI camera connector, 11n wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.0.
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Raspberry Pi Zero W is a $10 Computer With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

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  • I still have literally never seen a Pi Zero for sale, except for exorbitant markups that make them multiple times their supposed price. I live nowhere near a Micro Center. I am way closer to a Fry's, and several Rat Shacks, but they can't manufacture enough Pis to sell into those channels.

    • There's this thing called The Internet [whereismypizero.com] , you might want to check it out.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        I still have literally never seen a Pi Zero for sale, except for exorbitant markups that make them multiple times their supposed price.

        There's this thing called The Internet , you might want to check it out.

        That site doesn't work (perhaps it depends on google-analytics, which I am not going to enable) and it doesn't address the fact that it costs more to get a Pi Zero shipped than it does to buy one in the first place, because they chose only to distribute them through vendors which overcharge for shipping. I can get a whole fucking bundle of parts shipped from china for three bucks, but I can't seem to buy a Pi Zero for less than about twelve.

        Let's just check manually since this busted-ass webpage you posted

        • They do no such thing. There is no restriction on vendors and if you have a decent electronics shop just walk in slap down a few quid and walk out again, or buy from online vendors which offer free shipping over a certain threshold. There are many ways for you to get your zero right now without paying shipping. Your just not even trying.

        • by allo ( 1728082 )

          > but I can't seem to buy a Pi Zero for less than about twelve.
          That's okay. Its worth it. The selling point is not really the price tag, but the format, which is ideal for embedding.

          • That's okay. Its worth it. The selling point is not really the price tag, but the format, which is ideal for embedding.

            Well, if I cared that much, I guess I should have bought one literally the one time I saw them for sale. The problem is, it was on element14, and those guys are incompetent as shit. I bought my original Pi through them and they lied about stock and then they lied again about shipping (they claimed it had shipped before they actually put it in the mail.)

            I have looked for them dozens of time and never found one in stock since. I'm with the other slashdotters in this thread who don't believe they actually exis

            • by allo ( 1728082 )

              Yeah, it is hard to get one, the whereismypizero site helps. I do not see where you can get it cheap, but for most uses the bigger one is the better one anyway, especially when it did not had wifi and thus could only have lan/wifi or another device attached. Or an ugly fat hub ... which makes it almost as big as a full featured pi.
              So i guess you need to pay $25 for a starter kit + shipping, but then you have a pi, which is small enough to be hidden inside much stuff you may control with it.

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        Every single store listed on whereismypizero is either out of stock or broken (CanaKIT returns a 404 if you try to add to cart), and some of those stores are overseas anyhow. Also, whereismypizero is a broken site that just shows "Checking" for everything.

        You're basically just reinforcing his point: the Pi Zero is nearly impossible to actually buy.

    • I feel your pain. I live in a technology wasteland too. If I need a 1/4 Watt resistor, it's 25 miles for me to one of the few remaining _Radio Shacks_.

      I traveled to Atlanta for work recently and found stacks of the Pi Zero for $5 at the Marietta GA Micro-Center. They had the camera cable in stock too. Unfortunately they didn't have any USB-on-the-go-to-real-USB adapters. Considering how much stuff I bought there, maybe it's a good thing there isn't one in Nashville.

    • by idji ( 984038 )
      I bought them at pihut last year for 4.80£ https://thepihut.com/collectio... [thepihut.com]
    • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @01:47PM (#53946817)
      In the UK there is one place that sells them - if they haven't sold out. But they only permit Pi Zero (W) to be ordered 1 at a time.

      Since these devices are component level products, limiting their availability (presumably because of limited production runs) makes them next to useless. I don't want a single unit to merely flash a few LEDs. I want one in EVERY hobby device I build. Selling them singly and then having none available for months makes them useless to me - as close as it's possible to get to vapourware without actually being non-existent.

    • After the first month or so, MicroCenter has had good stock of ZEROs (w & w/0 camera).

    • That's not surprising, the "Zero" in the name is its market share, it was rushed out as a panicked response to other sub-$10 devices. So the Zero W is more zero market share, but now with WiFi.
  • ...well before the news appeared on Slashdot. It should be in my hands in a few days. I have been thinking about ordering a Raspberry PI zero since some time, but now that they just improved the hardware, I couldn't resist!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You always hear that these new models are priced at $X, but when you go to look for them, they are always sold out, and alternative sources have them for >$X. Then people post picture tear-downs of these awesome-looking builds, but never post actual part numbers so the builds can be replicated, and when you go looking for them the final bill runs into the hundreds of dollars.

    I guess I'm just over the various fruit boards. News and anecdotal stories make them sound like an incredible value, but I can neve

    • I really like my pi 3 and when you realize that the price is just the board without the power supply case, sd card, cables, case, etc... then you understand why can't build any project without spending more however I've been able to build multiple raspbian/retropie/osmc setups for friends under $100 and they love them. I will grant you that they rarely if ever use raspbian and though one of them copied their dvd collection to a usb hard drive and use osmc a lot mostly they just use retropie chalked full of

  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:03AM (#53945717)

    I've looked for a Raspberry Pi Zero for years... I've never seen one in stock anywhere.

    I'm almost of the belief that they're fake, they don't really exist, just a pretend product put out there for the illuminati but never really stocked. Either that or reptilian overlords stole all the Raspberry Pi Zero.

    Whatever the explanation- it's an imaginary product. It doesn't actually exist besides on some stores websites with a big red sold-out next to it. If it were real it would occasionally come back in stock.

    • I bought two within a month of its initial release. Maybe you're not looking often enough.

      • Maybe, I look once every three months or so and when I see everywhere is out of stock, I move on.

        • Maybe, I look once every three months or so and when I see everywhere is out of stock, I move on.

          So the question is whether the Pi Foundation is just too incompetent to produce enough stock, or whether Broadcom is too pathetic to produce enough SoCs. Either way, you're an idiot if you design something around the Pi Zero... or its successor.

          • The Pi Zero was cheap because Broadcom was inventory clearing and sold the Foundation the SoCs (which they'd stopped making) at a bargain-basement price. I don't know where they're getting the SoCs for this one, maybe they didn't use them all in the initial Pi Zero runs.
            • The Pi Zero was cheap because Broadcom was inventory clearing and sold the Foundation the SoCs (which they'd stopped making) at a bargain-basement price.

              So it's the first one, then. Even by using the shitbags at Sony (who I really don't want to give my money to, which is what happens when you buy a Pi they manufactured) they still couldn't get enough production to meet demand? Or couldn't fill the channel fast enough? Either way, I'm underwhelmed by their performance. The Pi Zero has been useful primarily as a marketing exercise. Meanwhile, I have to wonder what percentage of them are just sitting in a drawer somewhere. I'm sure it's considerable, just like

              • The Pi Zero was intended to be a limited edition run to use up excess SoC stock. This was even announced publicly at the launch. I'm not sure where the vitriol comes from.
                • from the whole hype they created about the 'new revolutionary platform' while it's not a revolution, it's a quirk - a one-off short run that won't happen again anytime soon because the whole shebang is based on a single end-of-life sale of an obsolete chip.

                  You can't base production around rpi0. You can't base a long-term system on it as replacements will be impossible. It won't last, it won't expand. It's not sustainable.

                  It's like you claiming "I have found a new revolutionary method to get rich quick; $660

              • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                Ordered one for work today from Pi Hut: https://thepihut.com/products/... [thepihut.com]

                They have stock, shipping is reasonable.

    • Before Christmas I saw that the micro center near me had them on special near the check-out lanes for $0.99 each. I thought about buying some then but then tried to think of what I would do with them and decided that I didn't need to impulse buy something that would get left in a desk drawer and forgotten about as I don't have a good use for it.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dude, they're in stock at Pimoroni *right now*.

      https://shop.pimoroni.com/

    • by radish ( 98371 )

      In stock right now [canakit.com]. They have the new one too.

      You're welcome :)

  • Actually, what people want are SATA ports on Pi's.

    • FWIW if you just need a low-power ARM with SATA you can buy the Pogoplug V4. It's got 2xUSB3, 1xUSB2, 1xSDHC (which is where I put debian) and 1xSATA. It has a case and a wall wart and a patch cable and a reasonable price tag.

      • Re:Actually, (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @12:24PM (#53946243) Journal
        They removed shell access to the Pogoplug starting in Sept of 2016 so you are stuck with the shit OS they come with unless you break out a soldering iron so I'd avoid the Pogoplug unless you know for a fact its an old one. This is why they are currently selling for $9 on Amazon, once word got out the only way you could flash Linux on them was to break out solder the buyers dried up, they can't give 'em away now.
        • This is why they are currently selling for $9 on Amazon, once word got out the only way you could flash Linux on them was to break out solder the buyers dried up, they can't give 'em away now.

          Well, that's quite shit of them, but I guess it's an opportunity for me since I own a soldering iron. Do I have to do anything special besides hook up to the serial pads? I presume it's 3.3 volt. USB to CH340G is like two bucks, it's cheap enough to just leave it installed. What kind of noob doesn't have a soldering iron, anyway?

          • Nope just solder a couple of wires to the serial on the board to enable debug, that's about it. If you don't mind doing that? You basically have an Rpi style device with USB and SD card support [amazon.com] for $9.

            I'd think about getting one for myself but frankly I have an entire bucket filled with Intel Atom netbooks over in the corner so if I need a cheap HTPC or file server? Well ya really can't top $0 and they don't even need a HDD (just boot puppy off an SD Card) so they are completely silent and lets be honest,

            • I'm using the pogoplug where the power consumption difference is relevant, on a dinky little UPS alongside my wireless router. I just need a spare, really.

  • ...and if it had a charging circuit like the C.H.I.P maybe it would be useful for gadget development.
    • ...and if it had a charging circuit like the C.H.I.P maybe it would be useful for gadget development.

      Who cares? You can get a charging board for two bucks. The real problem is that you can get a C.H.I.P. but you can't get a Pi Zero. They are sold out everywhere, all the time. Actually getting your hands on one is like winning the lottery. Since I can't get one, I don't even want to fucking see people's projects based on Pi Zero. I downvote them when I have the chance, I never reshare them on social media, they can all fuck right off, because I'm tired of being teased with the things. Not being able to pro

      • by dave420 ( 699308 )

        Plenty of other people seem to have managed to get one... You frequently make a lot of sense on Slashdot, but this time something seems to have flipped in your head :) You sound unnervingly similar to a kid complaining about their favourite Pokemon being sold out...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

          You frequently make a lot of sense on Slashdot, but this time something seems to have flipped in your head :)

          Your statement only makes sense if you ignore all the other comments in this thread exactly like mine. I am far from the only one who can't get his hands on a Pi Zero for a reasonable price. My biggest complaint, honestly, is the ongoing characterization of the Pi Zero as a "$5 computer" since it is clearly nothing of the sort for the majority of people. It costs more than twice that, shipped, if you can even find one. This new device will be the same story all over again.

          • seriously, did you bother to look?
            i'm from europe, and when the original zero came out, i got 2 from the second batch that arrived at pihut & pimoroni (both UK retailers selling them at 4£, about 6$, so pretty much the advertised price (do mind that that is including tax).
            After this announcement i checked pihut, and this pi zero with wifi is right now available there at 9.6£. also e very correct price (as again it includes tax).

            And since atm the UK is still part of the EU, and they ship to t

          • by radish ( 98371 )

            They're in stock at canakit right now. Stop arguing and go buy one :) And yes, you have to pay for shipping, but when isn't that the case?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    AdaFruit - out of stock.
    CanaKit - slashdotted to hell.
    MicroCenter - Yeaaa! I get to put one in my shopping cart. Go to check out...shopping cart mysteriously empty. Repeat...same deal.

    Buy $4 WiFi dongle - connect to regular $8 Pi Zero == $12 Pi Zero W.

    I guess I can wait.

  • Why the HDMI port? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 )

    What frustrates me about a device like this is that there's virtually zero value in having an HDMI port, but an additional USB port would be very useful. These are basically IoT devices, not desktop computers. An RS-485 interface would be handy too. :)

    • by bigmo ( 181402 )

      It's true that you usually wouldn't need to connect a monitor to one of these, but during development sometimes it's handy to just hook up to it like a small desktop and poke around. It really has to be hdmi because there are no monitors around that support composite any more. As long as you can somehow disable the ports/pins/resources that the hdmi uses when you're done, I don't see any harm in it. Just my 2 cents though....

    • .
      I have a collection of Raspberry Pi devices, including one of the first 10,000 run.

      My two RasPi Zeros have Kodi on them, I'm going to get a Zero-W for the same reason. They quite happily output 1080 movies on LibreELEC and are powered from the USB port on my TV.
      .
  • So it's a lot like a slightly more expensive CHIP only without its built-in 4GB storage and mini HDMI instead of composite output?
    • So it's a lot like a slightly more expensive CHIP

      More so than you would imagine. getchip.com has been reporting CHIP as being unavailable for months, too.

  • That's nice. It's almost like the Orange Pi Zero [orangepi.org], only with a single core instead of quad, and only running at 1GHz instead of 1.2.

    I only mention this as I recently wanted to become more acquainted with the RasPi ecosystem, and this looked like a cheaper option than the Revision 3 Model B, albeit still sufficient for my purposes, so I picked an OrPi up just today.

    At least the included networking should make either Zero board easier to set up in a headless configuration than the plain Zero.

    Costs in my loc

  • Half the reason I'd like a device like this is so that I can Bluetooth enable all my old audio gear on the cheap. However, I found decoding bluetooth mp3 streams to be so sluggish (a2dp-sink) on Pi 2 and Pi 3, that it's unusable. I'm not sure what it is about the hardware / software that makes it this way, but it's sad.
  • The idea behind these devices is that they are a cheaper version of the Raspberry Pi, however they are never available at the listed price. You can get the Zero's - as part of a bundle with a range of marked up peripherals you probably already have, so it's likely to be just another PR stunt.

    If you are after a small, embeddable Linux+ARM device I'd recommend you forget the Raspberry Pi and get an Orange Pi Zero. They exist, you can buy them of AliExpress, and they work just fine.

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