Stick PC computers are popular at the moment. These computers are the size of a USB dongle that you pop into a monitor. Novaspirit has started a project, called Pi Zero USB Dongle, to create a stick PC from a Raspberry Pi.
I’ve been trying to find ways to make better use of my Raspberry Pi Zero," says Nova Spirit, "and I think I have found one! Turning your Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB dongle and shared the internet with your PC!"
To build the project you take a Pi Zero, and put it in a custom 3D printed case. Then you take apart a male USB connector and solder it onto the Pi Zero board. The USB connection provides power.
There is a good video demonstration of the build. This video explains the build process in more detail. The hardware itself is relatively straightforward, but there are software customisations. Customising the software makes it run more smoothly.
Stick PC built from Raspberry Pi Zero
The list of required hardware is minuscule:
- Male USB connector
- 4 wires
- Pi Zero
- 3D Printed case
It runs the latest build of Raspbian Jessie with PIXEL. Which for our money makes it more viable than many PC Sticks (many run a stripped version of Windows 8). You can plug the device straight into a power source and use the USB-on-the-go port to connect a keyboard and mouse (and the Micro HDMI attached to a monitor).
Or you can plug it into a laptop and use SSH to access the Raspberry Pi itself. The Pi Zero USB Dongle gives a separate computer space to develop hardware and software projects.
"With the Pi Zero USB install services like Webmin, cloud, and VNC," says Novaspirit. "[It] makes for a very compelling PC in your pocket!"