Here’s a very neat solution to the Raspberry Pi Zero USB ‘problem’: an add-on board that provides a pair of full-size USB ports. Yes, there are a number of small USB hubs you can disassemble and attach to your Zero, but this one has one smart advantage: you don’t need to solder it to your Pi.
The Raspberry Pi Zero may have been out for a while, but it’s proving perishingly hard to get hold off. Unless, of course, you’re right at the head of the virtual queue when the online retailers put their latest batches on sale. Still, the little micro’s scarcity isn’t stopping hackers from coming up with ingenious solutions to its other limitations — too few USB ports, primarily — and accessory suppliers from issuing add-ons.
Raspberry Pi accessory specialist Pimoroni reckons it has the answer to one of the tiny ARM-based computer’s signal limitations: too few USB ports for all the add-ons you might want to hook up to it at any one time.
Pi users have dealt with only having a pair of USB 2.0 ports – and there’s only one on the cheapest, the Model A Pi – by connecting a cheap USB hub. However, Pimoroni reckons most of the hubs users attach are not up to snuff: they’re not sufficiently powerful, being driven by a transformer pumping out no more than 1 or 2A, or deviate from the USB spec in ways that hinder their compatibility with the wee microcomputer.