New Raspberry Pi Zero... Will It Work?

Whilst we are waiting, yes NodeJS is a very interesting topic because it’s designed to abstract the host/environment and now has hardware abstraction both on Linux and Windows IoT (Microsoft appear to be very committed to that).

The PXFMini is an interesting form factor and price but you have to remember it has no GPS which brings us to the >100 dollar mark again, but without dual IMUs and extra external hardware. Let’s see what a Navio looks like without the bulky pin headers and stand-offs…

We can also do a similar job for the full Pi2. I was thinking about a ribbon-cable attach around a different 3D printed case to provide some heat shielding between the hot Pi chips and the Navio barometer/temperature sensor for example. If the main board is wired-up on top rather than below, maybe that is better for the barometer.

Specifically a “sandwich” case with some heat/RF shielding between too. Like a “double-decker” 3D printed case with copper flash or plate in the middle. The Pi Zero could even be dropped-down close to the board, hopefully thin enough so the GPS connector is still accessible from above. On a full Pi2 of course the GPS connector would be an issue so it would either not be feasible or require some kind of quick release or extension for maintenance.

I agree on you point. However, we may take more attention on vibration interference on accelerometer. So that very light flat cable connected and vibration isolated IMU is took my curiosity.

If I’m reading this right, the idea is a case with heat sinks build in so you can arrange the navio, pi(s), other pcb’s together in close proximity. Am I on the same page? I really like this idea and the possibilities it would provide.

I wish one could purchase pi’s and navio’s without connectors / ports, just bare. Then one could add only the connectors that are needed and eliminate weak points by directly soldering things together, moving ports to more vibe friendly places on the aircraft, etc.

It would require significantly more work. But for real integration that can handle lots of duty cycles, these kind of modifications are a must.

With a case like what you are describing and bare pcbs you could really make a computing platform that would be highly optimized for flight and it’s unique operational characteristics.

Yes exactly. A combination between RF shielding layers which double as heat sinks plus a soft heat conducting layer for internal dampening (thermal adhesive layers - I buy sheets of them for my water cooling mods), and 3D printed PLA or ABS to hold it all together (actually with non-conductive layers in-between we could probably make a design for people to DIY without 3D printers). Probably with integrated gimbal ball base as desired (easy to add or remove when it’s a 3D printed model).

The cold air from props and movement along the side will draw all the heat away from the barometer and other chips. Also cooling on both sides of the Pi, and potentially cooling the Navio although I’m not aware of any heat issues with those types of sensors (perhaps only the PWM chip?).

The Pi Zero already has the pins removed, and there are examples of people stripping the ethernet, HDMI and USB ports off the full PIs. The Navio pin receptor is quite low profile already so maybe for the sake of keeping the warranty on the most expensive item we should not attempt to remove that.

Perhaps my quick diagram has too many heat sinks (could do away with the ones along the top. It’s difficult to express the whole length of the design in one cross-section. Smart placing around the components would obviously be done. It looks almost as big as the full version in this quick diagram. I really mean super compact, super low, just slithers of material between the components (as thin as effective = needs experimentation).

Then of course we can vary this design, with the PiZero flat, and also sticking-up vertically or to the side like a T (one row of pins connecting to top and other to bottom of Navio may also be neater). Depends on the drone frame design and the overall results to heat disapation and shielding (the flat one most likely being the best all round).

p.s. of course we cannot completely cover the barometer chip and LED. All these limitations need to be factored into the design.

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Nice job Tony :smile:

Ok good I was getting the concept.

I’ve got a partially stripped pi here that I need to finish, I’m going to move usb connections off board and it will be complete. It’s a pi b+ that I plan to use for some auxiliary tasks. If the mods work, I will do the same to my pi 2.

The removal of components takes some patience. Naked boards would be nice, less heating up the componets unnecessarily. Thus my comment earlier.

For the sake of brain storming I’ll add this to the mix…

Integration of a pitot system would also be a nice addition. On some configurations sampling the baro pressure from a static area away from low pressure created by the props is crucial. The baro cover could be integrated into one of the composite layers. With a generic tube connector that could go to a 3d printed thingy that collects the pressure.

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My Navio2 has shipped but in the meantime, hooked up a ADNS3080 optical flow sensor to the SPI bus on my pi zero. Got some python running now too on the zero :wink:

I am going to add a Zero to my Quad so that I can have a seperate camea to take photos and video along side the camera on the RP3 that will be used for FPV