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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Microcontrollers and Programmable Logic
Raspberry Pi Zero W
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1608
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Raspberry Pi Zero W Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Rpi Zero W is the latest improvement in the Raspberry Pi Zero.

It is basically the same as the original, except 1GHz (which is faster). It also has both bluetooth and Wifi.

A description for initial startup can be found here: https://davidmaitland.me/2015/12/raspberry-pi-zero-headless-setup/

I should be receiving mine in a few days from Adafruit. Note that when you visit their site, they are usually out of stock, but you can set an email alert when they are back in stock. Not sure how long one can dilly-dally after getting that, but I went to adafruit the same day and got an order confirmation. Also, once you get to order it - you cannot order more than one. (I wanted 2).

Note that the bare board is just that - a bare chip/connector populated board. In fact, the GPIO is only etched, if you want pins you have to solder them yourself. Also, the HDMI (if you plan to use it) needs a mini HDMI adapter cable and the USB OTG needs an OTG adapter. For USB, I opted for a 3 port OTG adapter hub which will plug into the Rpi0 OTG port. An OTG adapter with at least one port is required to do initial startup unless you want to use NOOBS, but NOOBS needs to use HDMI.

To be honest, at the moment, this is just a toy. I have no idea what I'll use it for. It's too light weight (IMO) to make a synth out of it, but it could be one helluva controller. Maybe a sequencer that works over ethernet to other pi synths I have.

_________________
FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff

Time flies like a banana.
Fruit flies when you're having fun.
BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?
corruptio optimi pessima

Last edited by JovianPyx on Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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emeb



Joined: Dec 16, 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've been playing with an older RPi Zero for a little while and built an FPGA board for it:

http://ebrombaugh.studionebula.com/embedded/icehat/index.html

These are fun little chips - somewhat limited compared to Xilinx stuff, but I was able to implement a Yamaha-style 8-op 32-voice FM synth in it with room to spare. The RPi acts as the front-end "brains" for the FPGA, loading the bitstream from a file on the SD card and then controlling it through the SPI port.
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1608
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Looking back over the post I wrote I see an error - I don't believe an OTG USB adapter is necessary to do a non-NOOBS setup. I had been looking at an initial setup guide that was written for the original Pi Zero which doesn't have interal Wifi. The setup required a USB Wifi adapter, so the text said that is required to do the setup. From my review of that, it looks like I should be able to use the internal Wifi adapter.

I also intend on copying the file system to my network and boot the pi zero W to use an NFS file system. Shouldn't be hard since I've done for a Pi2 and a Pi3

_________________
FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff

Time flies like a banana.
Fruit flies when you're having fun.
BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?
corruptio optimi pessima
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1608
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

emeb wrote:
I've been playing with an older RPi Zero for a little while and built an FPGA board for it:

http://ebrombaugh.studionebula.com/embedded/icehat/index.html

These are fun little chips - somewhat limited compared to Xilinx stuff, but I was able to implement a Yamaha-style 8-op 32-voice FM synth in it with room to spare. The RPi acts as the front-end "brains" for the FPGA, loading the bitstream from a file on the SD card and then controlling it through the SPI port.


So you designed that little FPGA "hat" board for it? Nice.

_________________
FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff

Time flies like a banana.
Fruit flies when you're having fun.
BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?
corruptio optimi pessima
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1608
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some things I learned recently about the Pi Zero W -

NFS root file system might be possible, but not without a lot of fooling around. Neither the wifi nor a USB ethernet device can do NFS root file system because the drivers aren't available at the time the interface is needed. Wifi is worse because of how long it takes to establish a connection. Ethernet would need an initramfs with the ethernet device driver. For what the pi zero w is, in my opinion, this is too much trouble. I just won't run it 24x7 and will keep good backups of the SD card. I did at least use tmpfs for the parts of the file system that are commonly written such as for logging and /tmp. For continuous operation, I'll use either pi2 or pi3 because they support NFS root filesystem by default.

_________________
FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff

Time flies like a banana.
Fruit flies when you're having fun.
BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?
corruptio optimi pessima
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Spikes



Joined: Feb 10, 2012
Posts: 14
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I now have three Pi's and am really unimpressed with them, the general Pi community and the cost of peripherals.

Retropi is pretty good though but because it's Linux, no light gun support, which, for me is a deal breaker.

I was in contact with a pi developer who claimed his super synth could run ALL vst's just not any I wanted to use, as they were all dead projects. Not very useful.

A friend suggested I build a WiFi clock radio/music player. Bob Rathbones internet radio is pretty good but locks up sometimes. Something called Moode Audio has potential but the developer seems determined to keep it headless. An LCD is cheap, as are volume knobs for when the phone I am controlling it from rings and I can't turn the damn music down.

I'm not throwing in the towel yet with them, someone will come up with something worthwhile eventually, just surprised it hasn't happened already given that the concept of pi was to teach children programming.

This is just my experiences in Pi land so far, as it is said on the internet YMMV.
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1608
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 190

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What I see in the Raspberry Pi community is not necessarily a replacement for all things that run under Linux.

For me it actually started as a do-it-myself project to make a MIDI synthesizer out of a RPi.

So I started with ALSA and learned how to interface using ALSA to connect to the kernel drivers with C code.

I've had pretty good results so far and I'm hopeful with a bit more work I can get what I want.

IMO, advancement in something as complex as VST implementation requires that an interested party or team writes or adapts the code to the pi hardware platform. I consider myself lucky to have a kernel compiled in audio driver for the board I have and then work from there with respect to my own objectives. Maybe there's a community project already out there? I dunno...

_________________
FPGA, dsPIC and Fatman Synth Stuff

Time flies like a banana.
Fruit flies when you're having fun.
BTW, Do these genes make my ass look fat?
corruptio optimi pessima
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