Testing Pi Zero Without Soldering Header




About: Make it yourself if you cannot buy one!

This instructables show how to test the Raspberry Pi Zero GPIO without soldering the pin header.


Step 1: Why?

Raspberry Pi Zero is very thin, only around 5mm thick. It can fit for many small projects with a thin box. e.g. I would like to build a Pi Zero version of sweet box game console similar to my previous project:


It is hard for development process without GPIO pin header. Soldering pin headers is easy but it cannot fit to a thin sweet box with pin header. It is very hard to de-soldering after development stage and very easy to break the board. Pi Zero is a $5 board but it still a rare product, so it need special care for this board.

Step 2: Preparation

  • Raspberry Pi Zero
  • 2x20 pin header

Step 3: Adjust One Side Pin Header

Put the pin header into the Pi Zero pin hole. The Pi Zero board down side is flat, but the pin header make some protruding. Use a plier to adjust one side pin header protruding to the board level.

Step 4: Bend Other Side Pin Header

Take out the pin header, use a plier bend the other side pin header a little bit outside.

Step 5: Adjust Other Side Pin Header

Put back the pin header into the Pi Zero board, the bent side near the board edge. Use a plier to adjust the remain pin header protruding to the board level. After the adjustment, you can see the pin header fit on the board and each pin header can touch the board. You may double check the pin contact by a multimeter.

Step 6: Happy Testing!

The Pi Zero is ready for testing.

I will post other instructables for testing the LCD and game console buttons in the future.

Step 7: Remove the Pin Header

After the development stage, it is time to do the real soldering work. Take some force push the pin header from inside to the edge side, then the pin header detached. You can reverse this step to re-attach the pin header.



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    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Nice project. Can I ask you what the size and name screen you used ? Thanks^^

    4 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    The screen is 2.4 inch with ili9341, it is small but not small enough to fit for my MINTIA game console project. I am ordering another 2.0 inch LCD and I will post a instructables about how to connect it.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Hello I love the Solder less headers worked great. But I was wondering how u wired up the screen. I have one and cant fine a way to wire it to the GPIO with out the PCB it came with.