Costing just $10, the Raspberry Pi Zero W computer is a great way to get started with simple coding and hardware hacking projects.
But the Zero W can’t be wired up to new hardware out of the box, requiring new users to break out the soldering iron before they can get started.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has removed that barrier with the new Raspberry Pi Zero WH.
The WH is a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a pre-soldered header containing the pins needed to hook the Zero W up to other boards and start making your own hardware.
The pre-soldered 40-pin header bumps the price of the board up to about £13.25 ($18.25). However, it promises to do more than just lower the bar for those new to hardware hacking.
Alex Bate, of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, says the new Zero WH could help make it trivially easy for PCs to control hardware.
Any PC running the foundation’s official Raspbian OS can be set up to automatically recognise a Pi Zero when it is plugged in via USB, allowing the Pi’s pins to be easily controlled using drag-and-drop coding tools such as Scratch.
Describing the ease of setup, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s community manager Ben Nuttall, wrote: “You can live boot the Raspberry Pi Desktop OS from a USB stick, use Linux PCs, or even install [the Pi OS] on old computers. Then you have really simple access to physical computing without full Raspberry Pi setups, and with no SD cards to configure.”
The foundation has this simple guide on how to use Raspbian on a PC to control the Pi Zero’s General Purpose Input-Output pins.
Other than the pre-soldered header, the Zero WH is identical to the Pi Zero W, offering 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 alongside the same single-core, 1GHz Arm-based processor and 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM.
At present it seems tricky to find the Pi Zero WH on sale via US resellers, although it is available from UK outlets.
Read more about the Raspberry Pi
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- How to give your Raspberry Pi ‘state-of-the art computer vision’ using Intel’s Neural Compute Stick
- Raspberry Pi 3: The inside story from the new $35 computer’s creator
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