THE PI ZERO POWER CASE
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So I already showed you how to perform a few modifications, and turn the Pi Zero in a little USB dongle computer.

This video will show you another mod, which turns the zero into an always-on networked computer - all in a tiny form-factor. I call this prototype, the Pi Zero Power Case. It uses off-the-shelf parts, and is modular, so you can add and remove the zero, without any soldering or permanent modifications.

- Youtube link
- Archive.org mirror
- Torrent
- Keybase mirror

PARTS/MATERIALS

- Raspberry Pi Zero
- Zero4u USB Hub
- Official Raspberry Pi Charger
- Sugru

DESIGN

This prototype uses three main components; the pi zero, the official raspberry pi USB charger, and the zero4u extension board, which gives you 4 full size USB ports.

Besides being good quality, I decided on the official charger because it also has multiple plug adapters, so will work in the UK, Europe, US, and Australia in case you want to make your own.

I used sugru on the rear of the charger to level it out, and then I simply attached the zero4u USB board.

I then stripped the 5v and ground wire from the plug, and soldered it directly to the USB hub.

The zero4u hub board uses pogo pins to make contact on the test pads underneath the pi zero, so you can attach, and detach the mini computer whenever you need to.

This leaves you with a tiny little computer you can plug into any extension lead, or wall outlet.

USE CASES

The main features of this are it's compact size, and it's ability to be always on, so I'm thinking this could potentially be useful running as a server, or node of some kind.

The 4 available USB ports could be used for a mixture of extra storage space, or perhaps multiple network interfaces, and this could be useful for something like a tiny onion pi, an access point, personal VPN, media server, cryptocurrency node, or some other self-hosting server.

IMPROVEMENTS

If the plastic case was developed further, it could also be designed to look like an ordinary power plug, so it both protects the zero, and looks inconspicious.

And with a bit more work, I could also see the overall size being reduced.

CONCLUSION

This is the second time I've created a mini linux plug computer, though this version is much better since it doesn't involve the potentially dangerous task of disassembling a power supply.

What do you think of this? Would you be interested in either a kit to build your own, and/or a more polished final product for the NODE shop? Let me know. Thanks for watching.

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BY NODE