Introduction: Pi Zero on the Breadboard

This instructables show how to plug the Raspberry Pi Zero (or Zero W) on the breadboard without soldering.

Step 1: Preparation

Raspberry Pi Zero

I know it is cheap but very hard to buy one, if you want built-in WiFi feature, Zero W is easier to get one

Breadboard

830 points breadboard is good enough

Breadboard Wire

Breadboard's best friend

Fishing Line

0.3mm Nylon fishing line, it helps to fix pin header to Pi Zero without soldering

Pin Header

2x40 18mm pin header

Actually it only require 2x20 pins, but the pins is very easy broken while patching, so buy more for backup purpose

Step 2: Familiar the Breadboard

In case you do not know what is breadboard yet, at least you should know the built-in connection between the points. Attached diagram show the built-in connection of a 830 points breadboard, you may know more about breadboard in Cew27's instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Breadboard-Basics-...

Step 3: Design Layout

Here is the design summary:

  • Use patched pin header map 2x20 Pi Zero pins to breadboard 20 upper component columns and 20 lower component columns
  • Raspberry Pi Zero place at the middle of the breadboard
  • Pi Zero even number pins connected to upper part of component columns
  • Pi Zero odd number pins connected to lower part of component columns
  • Since Pi Zero board will hide the lower part of point, it need to line out the pins to beside column
  • Pi Zero border still hide 3 more lower columns on both side, lined out pins need to re-line out to the upper part
  • Upper power row connect to Pi Zero 5 V pin
  • Lower power row connect to Pi Zero 3.3 V pin

Step 4: Split the Pin Header

It is hard to patch whole 2x20 pin header at the same time, so I recommend split it into 4 parts. i.e. 2x5 pin header

Step 5: Fix Pin Header Short Side on the Breadboard

Step 6: Bend the Pin 1by1

Step 7: Bend Pin With 0.1" Apart

Step 8: Same Bend at Other Side

Step 9: Ensure Patched Pin Header Can Plug Into the Middle of Breadboard

Step 10: Make 3 More Patch

Step 11: Plug Patched Pin Header Start From 23th Column

Step 12: Tips on Breadboard Wire

Breadboard wire bundle with a few standard size, but it may not fit every connection. In order to make a neat and professional layout, it is better to trim the wire to desired size.

Step 13: Strengthen One Side and Remove the Sleeve

Step 14: Cut the Sleeve to Desired Size

Step 15: Put Wire Into Cut Sleeve

Step 16: Bend Wire Alone the Sleeve

Step 17: Cut Wire Spare Part

Step 18: Install Breadboard Wire

Install breadboard wire according to the design layout except power wire.

Step 19: Tape the Masking Tape

Tape the masking tape between upper component column and power row.

Step 20: Label the Component Column

Start from 14th column the labels are:

GPIO  2
GPIO  3
GPIO  4
GPIO 17
GPIO 27
GPIO 22
GPIO 10
GPIO  9
GPIO 11
5V
5V
GND
GPIO 14
GPIO 15
GPIO 18
GND
GPIO 23
GPIO 24
GND
GPIO 25
GPIO  8
GPIO  7
ID_SC
GND
GPIO 12
GND
GPIO 16
GPIO 20
GPIO 21
ID_SD
GPIO  5
GPIO  6
GPIO 13
GPIO 19
GPIO 26

Step 21: Install Power Wire

Step 22: Weave With Fishing Line

We don't want soldering pin header to the Pi Zero board, we need some tricks to fix the pin header to the Pi Zero board. 0.3 mm Nylon fishing line is good enough to squeeze pin header closely touch the pin hole. Weave Fishing Line in the pin hole just like weave the shoe string.

Step 23: Take Out the Pin Header

Step 24: Install Pin Header to Pi Zero 1by1

Step 25: Install Pi Zero on the Breadboard

Step 26: Happy Breadboarding!

Enjoy to develop your Raspberry Pi Zero testing!

If you are not yet have one, LED blink is a good starting point:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Your-F...

Step 27: What's Next?

Base on this project, I will build a Breadboard RetroPie in my next instructables.

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