A few months ago I showed you how to modify the Pi Zero to turn it into a USB dongle computer, well I'm back today with an updated version which has a sliding USB plug, and can be attached and detached easily.
This version of the dongle simply screws onto the bottom of the Pi Zero. You use the slider to reveal the USB plug, and you power it by inserting it into a USB port.
The addon is 3D printed, is 10mm thick, and fits within the footprint of the already tiny zero.
There's not much else to it other than the M2 screws and bolts I used. The standard M2.5 will obviously work as well, but I didn't have any on hand.
HOW IT WORKS
Inside the addon there is a USB breakout board which is wired to some pogo pins.
These pins are glued into holes inside the case, and when the Zero is screwed into place, the spring loaded tips make contact with the test pads underneath it, meaning you can add and remove the Zero without soldering directly to it.
The sliding mechanism consists of 3 main 3D printed parts:
- The base, which has a slight depression in the bottom.
- The slider and handle, which sits inside this groove
- And the top which pushes the USB breakout board down, and keeps it from moving laterally.
WHAT IT'S FOR
Like the original video shows you, this removes the need for extra cables or adaptors to get the Zero working.
When you plug it into a computer, you can SSH directly into it, share the internet connection, and set up a VNC server allowing you to use the desktop interface as you'd normally do it.
Since the new Pi Zero W has wifi built in, you could also set it up so it is only powered by the USB plug, making it easy to plug into any USB port or charger to power directly.
There's lots of potential uses for a small device like this, such as a duckberry pi keyboad emulator, a stealth wifi enabled computer, a simple linux system or server to have at hand, and a lot more.
If you'd like to 3D print your own, I've included all the printer-ready STL files on github.
I'm also thinking about making these for the NODE shop. Let me know in the comments if you'd be interested in a pre-made product. Thanks for watching.