Raspberry Pi Zero $5

  • https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-zero

    For this price Pi can now bi used as node 😃

  • this would be all kinds of awesome

  • actually the more I look at this the more this really needs to be considered, cost wise it is right there with arduinos by the time you add in ancillary stuff. Reliability would be top notch too

  • Hero Member

    It's hard to take the Raspberry Pi Zero seriously. It's now over three months since it first went on sale, and it's rarely in stock anywhere for more than hours; when you can find it, you usually have to buy it with some kind of overpriced "kit" for $30-60, with a limit of one. If you did get one and you were to fry it, or want to build a second device using it, it may take you months to find another one. They've sold over 3 million Raspberry Pi 2's, so they know how to ramp up production if the want to. All this makes the RPi Zero seem more of a gimmick for "bragging rights" to a nominal $5 computer, than a serious option for our purposes, unfortunately.

  • @Zeph

    that has nothing to do with the hardware at all, just a shoddy supply and demand scenario. If they had called me I would have said it is a specialty product for a niche more advanced user than typical and said small quantity too.

    link text

    I am personally very excited because we know that the quality of these products will be very high and consistent, which is very unlike some of my purchases for components on ebay

  • Hero Member

    @punter9 Thanks for the link, that gave some good background info, and some hope that those of us who are interested in playing with it will eventually be able to get one. (By pure chance, I happened to stumble across it minutes after it was first released, but didn't order one as I didn't have an immediate need, and I already have too many processors which I bought hoping to find a good use for already! Nevertheless I'll probably get one someday.)

    I wasn't commenting on the quality of the hardware, just on the suitability for our purposes; parts which are only available in quantity one every few months IF YOU ARE LUCKY have some limitations.

    From the article you linked, perhaps that will eventually change. We'll see. how soon. It's so cheap that if they don't keep limiting the quantities, one customer could buy up the full month's supply for embedding in a commercial product.

    I'm wondering how it would be useful to us in DIY home automation tho.

    As a node, I'm not seeing it as a major contender. Let's compare it to an Arduino Pro Mini (under $2 shipped). The minimal RPi zero plus memory, shipping and tax is going to be several times that.

    The RPi Zero as node takes a lot more power to run and will not power up and down so quickly and gracefully, so it's not going to work well with battery power (and will have a larger passive load on mains power). It tends to require a whole OS which often gets in the way of direct interfacing with hardware, and requires system administering. There aren't as many sensor libraries for it. It has a much faster CPU and far more memory, but for most nodes that's just overkill. I'm not seeing that it would be competitive for most nodes even at the same price as an APM. But there must be some special purpose home automation nodes where it would be useful - any ideas?

    Of course, it would work as server for some Home Automation Controller software. But you only need one of those, and how much money would it save once fitted out (relative to total system price) compared to using a RPi 3 (with built in WiFi and BLE) or RPi B+ @ $25, or BeagleBone Green?

    So I'm still wondering what niche it would fill, within our domain...

    What ideas do people have for making good use of a RPi Zero as a MySensors node, if it was easily available at the nominal price?

    (Understand, I'll probably eventually get one to play around with because it IS cool, but not necessarily for HA. I also have a $9 C.H.I.P. on order, and a $19 PINE A64, and a RedBear Duo, etc. But those are to feed my addiction, I don't see them as changing the DIY Home Automation landscape).

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