Design considerations

A project log for Pi ZERO Arduino programming station

Just a PiZero Pocket Computer case, with ability to plug any available Monitor (Component Video, HDMI, LCD) and a keyboard via USB HUB

sergeySergey 03/16/2016 at 15:000 Comments


I'm currently re-wiring the Pi Zero Qwerty Hat board, with Arduino adapters on the left side, because Pi's Serial is on the left side of the GPIO header.

In the meantime, I need to decide what are going to be components of my Pocket Zero device. I want it to be portable and as small as possible at the same time powerfull.

So, for good and portable Arduino programming, what do we need?

  1. Full Keyboard (it's somewhat complicated on touch keyboards)
  2. FTDI/Serial connection
  3. Chip Programming device (preferably, to work with bare-bone chips)
  4. A monitor
  5. Power for our Pi (preferably with charging)
  6. USB hub (which in some case could be all we need)

In a signle hat we cannot fit everything. So I need to group them by priority.

- FTDI/Serial First - if you have it you can already do anything you need with help of your Smartphone

- Power. If you have power - you don't need to bother how to power your Pi and Arduino

- USB Hub. It's easier to connect your smartphone or Bluetooth or WiFi, or even Arudino via stand-alone FTDI

- Keyboard. I feel like real programming cannot be done with reduced or touch keyboard

Montior and ASP Kind of nice to have.

Now an interesting facts:

- If you combine Power+USBHub, you don't need FTDI and you can live without Keyboard

- If you add FTDI and keyboard it's a perfect match.

But there simply not that much space on a Zero hat to put them all together.

So, my thought right now is the following:

- Bottom hat. Power (based on LiPo Rider) + USB hub (reduced to 2 or 3 ports). This hat doesn't need to use GPIO header

- Top hat. Keyboard + FTDI/serial (this is already in Eagle and under testing)