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.
Better late than never. An edited version of this review appeared in The Register in August 2014. I intended to reproduce the original here, but never got round to it. At long last – and a tad late now the Pi 2 is out, of course – here for the record…
You might think that were you a purveyor of a nifty compact computer selling by the millions, you’d consider two years after the debut of your first offering that it was high time you tempted back buyers with a go-faster, more capacious and shinier model. Heck, Apple and others don’t even wait that long: they upgrade products year in, year out.
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.