Build a project for the Adafruit Pi Zero contest. Still throwing around ideas
Now that I have a few more Pi Zeroes, I have done a little more work on what I should do to make one useful.
I saw this on the blog the other day and it inspired me. I bought the same screen and now i have a similar setup. Mine doesn't have the accelerometer, but it is just as small. Here's the blog post if anyone is interested:
This thing is pretty thin, if only the Pi Zero wasn't as wide, it would be the form factor of a smart watch. As is, it will be about the form factor of a Gameboy Micro.
Which would be perfect, because I would like to make a tiny portable emulator machine now. I have the screen working, but I needed to order more buttons to make the controls and finalize the design.
So after much debate and weighing my options, I have finally decided to use my first Pi Zero to bring life to an old Apple display I have just sitting on the workbench:
I soldered straight to the TV out header, since by some miracle this old display has an RCA input. The ground goes in the circular plated hole:
And here it is from the backside:
Does anyone know what that "J5" header is for? I haven't really figured out my use case for this, other than general development and Web browsing so I don't have to fire up the Alienware for every little thing. I might be able to use it to display things that I look up all the time, like the price of cryptocurrencies or use gpredict to show me what satellites are overhead or when to expect the space station. Maybe even a couple emulators to kick back after a hard day's work, lol.
I have quite the collection of Raspberry Pis and Pi flavored accessories. The new Pi Zero is right up my alley in terms of cost, size, and power consumption. It's so cheap, I don't mind soldering something onto it and devoting it to a project. One of my Bs is pictured here soldered directly to a screen, along with my A+ and Pi 2:
I saw the page that announced the upcoming Pi Zero contest just a few days after mine had arrived in the mail. There's not any real details yet, but I know I want to make something with this Zero, so hopefully February 1st will bring my project into more focus.
So far, my idea is to make a Gameboy Micro form factor device with a small screen, inputs (buttons and maybe a PSP joystick), and a battery. Tests with my A+ a while back say it should be able to at least emulate up to Gameboy Advance, which is perfect for me. As you can see above, the screen is just about the same size as the Zero board. I might even need to find a smaller screen to drop the size of the finished unit even more. But for now I have bigger problems: I can;t get anything to work! I tried hooking up various things I had lying around, but the Xbox 360 chatpad wouldn't work after hours of fiddling with it. There's a great tutorial with drivers and a step-by-step walkthough for installing it from the command line.
The last install script game me some errors, but a Google of the error said it wasn't important and it would be fine, but no dice. So next I tried this screen I had sitting around, thinking it would be easy because Adafruit had a nice tutorial on it. They even had a preconfigured disk image that ran Jessie, just like the Zero wants! The image wouldn't even boot for me, so I tried the long way with still no luck. I think tomorrow I'm going to try to get my little 128x64 OLED screen working with it. Maybe I'll have better luck with that. I'll keep you posted!!!