Raspberry Pi Zero W: just say no

Discussion in 'RFinderPi - Open Source radio interface based on R' started by AD5MB, Oct 9, 2021.

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  1. AD5MB

    AD5MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought a Raspberry Pi Zero W. The POSness of this device can not be exaggerated. It boots slower than a 386-40. When you click on Chromium, go make a cup of coffee. When you try to read HTML files off the OS SD card, go mow the lawn, but you have to come back 4 times to click the "this page is taking longer than the California earthquake which has been overdue for 50 years: continue?" button. It simply will not run Angry IP Scanner.

    It does not have CAT5 or USB-A ports. you have to buy a second module, which costs more than the Raspberry Pi Zero W. It has bluetooth. You could use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, in theory. In reality, the bluetooth mouse which works fine with the tablet will not connect to the RPi 0 W.

    Spend your hard earned on a clockwork orange, a fish bicycle, or Powerball tickets before you spend any on a Raspberry Pi Zero W
  2. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wrong job for the tool. Pi Zero is not a desktop machine. If that's what you want, get an RPi 4 with 4GB RAM.
  3. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is this for real? The Pi Zero W is amazing, for what it does. I use one in one of my MMDVM hotspots, another in an ADS-B tracking app, and another with DietPi to run Jackett and a bunch of torrent type apps. They excel at countless things, none of which are replacing a desktop PC. Complaining that it isn't a good desktop is like saying that a riding lawnmower is a POS because it won't tow your Airstream.

    Look at the Atomic Pi, or at least a Pi4 if you want an SBC with anything close to desktop performance.
  4. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Pi Zero W is more of an IoT device than desktop computer.

    I've used them around the house as Pi-Hole servers and most recently as my DV hotspot. I've never connected a monitor or any other external devices to them.

  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page


    The zero is a nice little computer But....

    You need a RP13 or 4 if you want speed.
  6. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Coincidentally, I just bought my first Raspberry Pi Zero W this week. So far, it's meeting/exceeding expectations. It joins three full-sized Raspberry Pi computers which I have running security cameras, one that I have running an APRS igate, and one that is operating as a stratum-1 NTP time server. All of mine are running "headless", without keyboard or display, accessible over the net via ssh and other protocols.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi Zero W, here's the info https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w/

    It's a $10.00 linux computer, about as long as a stick of Wrigley's chewing gum, but a bit wider. It's ideal for embedding into some other device, to run a dedicated task. It has small connectors, some of which are non-standard, and it's got a comparatively slow processor. For more general purpose computing, I'd recommend splurging $35.00 on a full-sized Raspberry Pi, which is roughly twice as big as the zero, with faster processor, more RAM, multiple USB connectors, an ethernet connector, and HDMI. Or perhaps you should consider a still bigger laptop/desktop computer if that would be a better fit for your needs.
  7. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Raspberry Pi Zero W is an awesome piece of gear. It runs Linux, and WiFi, and is $10!

    It's not a desktop computer. Wrong tool for the job. I still have an original Raspberry Pi pulling data from my weather station and posting it online - it's been doing so for years.
    AG6QR and W7UUU like this.
  8. KX4OM

    KX4OM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Pi ZeroW is for a dual 24 hour NTP clock with two separate TM1637 4 digit displays. Since it is wireless, I can put it anywhere near the station. It is based on "RaspiDigiHamClock" and runs under Python. Do a web search; it is an Instructables project.

    All the components for the clock are still in a storage facility since July 2020 along with my ham equipment, and 3 other Pi machines: a PiB+, a Pi Zero and a Pi3B+. The latter is set up as a file server, which will be replaced with a Pi4 which can transfer files a lot faster over USB 3.0 SATA interface. I prototyped the file server with the PiB+. The server originally was on a linux Quad core CPU machine with 8GB RAM, sucking up a lot of amps from the AC line.

    Ted, KX4OM
    KY4GD and KA9JLM like this.

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