RPI Zero W Day 4 – Upgrades!

My Raspberry Pi Zero W is now a Raspberry Pi Zero WH. Here are all of the parts before the were cobbled together. This created a USB dongle for me that allows me to log into the Pi and have a Linux based environment to work in at any time. I am no expert and with this simple how to build anyone can do this project.

dongle-header1
dongle-header1

The first step is to solder the USB connector to the SparcFun Pi Zero USB Stem (pictured).

dongle-header2
dongle-header2

Once you have the main grounding legs soldered to the Stem, flip it over and solder the actual USB data and power connections. As you can see I am not using a fine tipped soldering tip but if your careful and have a steady hand you can do this fairly easy.

dongle-header3
dongle-header3

Once I had that all soldered together it was getting fairly warm so I set that off to the side and then started to work on soldering the header. This takes a little time to solder all of the connections and it also required some patience. This allows you to practice your soldering skills.

dongle-header4
dongle-header4

About 15 minutes later I had the header all soldered on and I used some Isopropyl alcohol to clean it all up. Since the Stem was now cool I fastened that to the board with the parts provided.

dongle-header5
dongle-header5

There is a good tutorial over at SparcFun showing how to solder castellated holes (or castellations). This might come in handy if you need to solder a module or PCB to another PCB. These castellations are becoming popular with integrated WiFi and Bluetooth modules.

dongle-header6
dongle-header6

Here is the finished soldered and assembled project. A Raspberry Pi Zero WH dongle. Now time for the final test. Will it power up?

dongle-header7
dongle-header7

Success! As you can see in the picture the new Raspberry Pi Zero WH powered up and booted with no problems. I immediately had to log in and run quick test or two.

Tims-RPI-0-WH
Tims-RPI-0-WH

I just ordered Pimoroni Inky pHAT for Raspberry Pi – 3 Color eInk Display and it should have it for installation in the next day or so. I wanted to have it by the time I posted it but we know how life gets in the way. Expect a post on that in the next few days.

Final Thoughts

This has been a fun project! I hope I have shown you a few things that have piqued your interest. This reason I started with the Raspberry Pi Zero WH is that out of all of the Raspberry Pi versions that are available this is what I would consider the base model. Everything I have show you so far can be, and will be used on higher models of the Raspberry Pi and other Single-Board computers. I’ll see you in the next post!

RPi Zero W – Day 3 – Test Bench Setup

Today I wanted to share how I am setting up my test bench for those that are curious. I have decided to use the DINr plates from the folks over at http://www.dinrplate.com/ since their design and implementation are second to none in my humble opinion.

As you can see from the photo below the board is securely fastened to the plate and then that plate is secured to the rail. All of the cables are zip tied to the plate which makes sure that the connections to your Single-Board Computer are not stressed out. The left micro-usb is power, the center micro-usb is for the WiFi dongle and the right is the micro-hdmi to hdmi converter.

dinrplate-dpz1
dinrplate-dpz1 holding the RaspBerry Pi Zero W

I highly recommend this setup if your going to be testing with your boards like I am since I have not found anything that is even close to the features and stability of this since I worked at Kodak. Amazon link to the setup I am using – DIN Rail Mount for Raspberry Pi Zero

Today’s test is with “stress-ng” – Bogo Ops

Stress-ng measures a stress test “throughput” using “bogus operations per second“. The size of a bogo op depends on the stressor being run, and are not comparable between different stressors. They give some rough notion of performance but should not be used as an accurate bench marking figure. They are useful to see if performance changes between kernel versions or different compiler versions used to build stress-ng. One can also use them to get a notional rough comparison of performance between different systems.

NOTE:
They are NOT intended to be a scientifically accurate bench marking metric.

To install this program copy and paste:

sudo apt install stress-ng

To learn more about the program you can read the options:

stress-ng –help | less

and you can read the manual

man stress-ng

Then to run it you would copy and paste:

stress-ng –cpu 0 –io 2 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 1G –timeout 30s –metrics-brief

Even more information if you want to really understand the program:

http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~cking/stress-ng/

Here are my results on both systems:

Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests
Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests

I will be working with stress-ng over the next few months to see just what I can do with it for future testing. If you know some good commands please share them below.

Here is the command I used on my brothers RaspBerry Pi 3

stress-ng –cpu 4 –io 2 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 256M –timeout 60s

stress-ng –cpu 4 –io 2 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 256M –timeout 60s –metrics

Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests2
Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests2
Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests3
Tims-RPI-0-W-stress-ng-tests3

 

The idea behind these benchmarks is for you to see what the default setting provide you and then, if you want/need to, you can overclock your Single-Board Computer. Overclocking I will cover in later blogs.

So what’s next?

I have started with the command line testing with the RaspBerry Pi Zero W since that is where we can get the basic testing out of the way. The desktop environment on the RaspBerry Pi Zero is not very good for any kind of Internet testing. We will save that for the RaspBerry Pi 3. I will do all of the same tests on the RPi 3 so we can compare them against the RPi Zero W.

zero-project
zero-project

I has also planned on making this RaspBerry Pi Zero W into a USB dongle and I am also going to be adding the GPIO header to it.

raspi-gpio
raspi-gpio