The First Usage of Pi Zero

Introduction: The First Usage of Pi Zero

About: My name is Bay Yolal, hello everybody!

Today, I am going to show you that how to use Raspberry Pi Zero for the first time!

"Ladies and centlemen, please welcome to the big Raspberry Pi family's new child:PI ZERO !!!" Bay Yolal

The Need List:

1. Raspberry Pi Zero (It was so hard to find it in Istanbul. But today, I have it.)

2.1. HDMI converter connector and HDMI cable

2.2. Mini HDMI cable

3. Voltage source for Pi Zero (***See the step two***)

4. A mouse (For installing the operating system and to see the desktop, a mouse will be enough for the first time. For further, you may consider to have a set of mouse and keyboard)

5. OTG cable (If you are lucky, you can find this otg cable for further tasks.)

6. Micro SD card (Class 10 and minimum 4GB is the prefer reason.)

7. SD card reader

8. Your computer

Step 1: The Operating System and SD Card Processes

Raspbian is used on this instruction. To do that:

  1. Download NOOBS
  2. On the left you will see "Offline and network install", click on "download ZIP" or torrent if you want.
  3. When you download the ZIP file, create an empty folder on your desktop and extract all files into this file and rename it as NOOBS
  4. Plug in your SD card into card reader then connect it to your computer.
  5. Go to the SD card on the file manager, right click then format as FAT32.
  6. Copy all files from the folder named NOOBS located on your desktop to your SD Card.
  7. Eject the sd card from your computer by right click from my computer.
  8. Plug in your sd card to Pi Zero.

Step 2: How to Give an Energy to Raspberry Pi Zero

While I am developing on other Raspberry Pi boards like Raspberry Pi 2 Model B v1.1, I use 5V 2A adaptor to give an energy.

For Pi Zero, I tried to use this adaptor, and it is worked fine. But, I think 2A is maybe high for Pi Zero, although it is working very well with 2A. I need to warn you! You can use 5V adaptor with micro USB pin, that's okey, but consider the ampere range of your voltage source because you may harm and make your board burn! So, you may try to use min 700mA as mentioned on the datasheet of Pi Zero.

Here is my advice, for the first time to use, if you feel that you are in stress of the power supply, you can give an energy from your computer's one of the USB ports. I made a test, and it is working good from computer's USB port's energy level.

On idle, 65mA is need for Pi Zero. The source of this information

On Adafruit's page about Pi Zero, there is no information about the ampere level for Pi Zero. (Checked on 10.02.2016) Also none on here on Adarfruit Pi Zero PDF.

Step 3: How to Connect Pi Zero to Screen Via HDMI Cable

There are two options to choose:

  1. HDMI-HDMI cable
  2. Mini HDMI-HDMI cable

If you have mini HDMI to HDMI cable, you don't need to use converter connector.

If you have HDMI to HDMI cable, you should use mini HDMI to HDMI converter connector.

I have got both. Also both way works. It is up to you to choose. By me, if I lost the converter connector, I need to use mini HDMI to HDMI cable to progress.

Step 4: First Time Run

When you are ready, give an energy to Pi Zero and check your screen.

I prepared a video about that. Check the subtitles as English soon.

Step 5: SD Card's After Usage Error

When you close Pi Zero, and plugged out the SD Card, connect it to your computer via card reader, you will see that your SD card's storage area are went down. To make it back, read my instructions about it.

Step 6: Bonus: What I Think About Pi Zero?

I think, Raspberry Pi Zero is full of success! Very special thanks are going to the developer team and the producer team. The price is also a perfect point for makers, users, computer world members and for everyone. I think, the dimentions will narrow in the future. We will see tiny boards, and they gonna achieve different tasks easily.

On Pi Zero board, the developer team may consider to change the power socket except for using micro female usb. That's maybe chosen because of micro usb socket's popularity, I mean, in today's world, anyone can easily find micro USB pinned cable. But, some people may confused between OTG pin and power pin in a minute. That may happen if it is the first time to see Pi Zero. If you are not familiar with electronics, you can easily see two micro USB are just for general purpose; the left is for mouse the right is for the keyboard. But this is untrue. When you cover the Pi Zero, you can't able to see the board directly, so you have got the same micro USB slots. Which one is for power? Think about it. And maybe open the plastic cover. That's maybe not a good idea for everytime.

Why don't we use square board instead of rectangle? And even flexible board. Or, why can't we bend the board from the middle to minimize?

I think, for the further, there is no mini HDMI slot. I guess, the developer team will use micro HDMI slot to gain more space on the board.

I think, the developer team will consider to add camera and display slot on the board for next boards. They may be use bottom side of Pi Zero to do that.

I think, there will be more sensors and connection methods will be used such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, XBee, GPS.


That's all !

Step 7: BONUS: Reading This Instructable

NOTE: This instructable's step is aimed for visually impaired people to hear the sentences to learn what's going on here. Watch the video, it explains all steps.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Bay Yolal: You are the first to write an article on the Pi Zero! Thanks. I really need to know how fast it can turn on and off one GPIO line (fastest pulse possible). This is a very simple task in software and you can measure the pulse with an oscillicope. (Hope you have one.) Even though it runs at 1GHz I am afraid that the operating system might slow it down somehow. Many thanks. DGW


    4 years ago

    Hi, power adapter's capability is 2A, but it will not output 2A to your Pi Zero if Pi Zero don't need 2A.

    Bay Yolal
    Bay Yolal

    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, it is true. Thank you. Also it is hard to say but I need to mention that when you plug in the energy on micro usb pin, you will face a sudden shock wave. This may over the voltage and even current for a microseconds. Even this shocks are enough to burn your board. Designers choise to minimize this side effect is using diodes on power lines.