New Raspberry Pi: Zero WH promises cheaper and easier homebrew hardware

Raspberry Pi launches the Pi Zero WH to make it simpler to use its new GPIO expander software.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: A guide to Raspberry Pi in 60 seconds

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a variant of the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W for cases where users need a GPIO header but either can't, or don't want to, solder it on themselves.

The header variant is called the Raspberry Pi Zero WH, which offers a pre-soldered 40-pin GPIO header.

While the Pi Zero W is useful for projects that don't need a header, the purpose of the Pi Zero WH is to make it easier to use the recently released GPIO expander tool for controlling GPIO pins from a USB-connected PC.

As noted by LinuxGizmos, the Raspberry Pi Zero WH with a "professionally soldered" header can be found at authorized dealers in the UK for £13.40 ($18.25).

Though that may sound like a lot for a bit of soldering, the Raspberry Pi Foundation argues it actually decreases the setup costs of experimenting with physical computing in schools or at home.


The Pi Zero WH aims to make it easier to use the recently released GPIO expander tool for controlling GPIO pins from a USB-connected PC.

Image: Pimoroni

The decreased cost is in part a benefit of the recently released GPIO expander software tool, which helps make the Pi Zero a little more like a full single-board computer.

Normally you can't control the GPIO pins on the Pi Zero, but the GPIO expander makes it possible from a PC connected via USB. It also means the user doesn't need to buy and configure SD cards, and the project can use a PC's processing power rather than being limited to the Pi's CPU.

Download now: Internet of Things policy (free PDF)

Using the expander tool via USB currently only works on Linux, but support should be coming to Windows and Mac at some point in future, according to Raspberry Pi community manager Ben Nuttall.

Nuttall says the GPIO expander application is a "game changer" for those building physical computing projects.

"You can live-boot the Raspberry Pi Desktop OS from a USB stick, use Linux PCs, or even install Raspberry Pi Desktop on old computers. Then you have really simple access to physical computing without full Raspberry Pi setups, and no SD cards to configure."

Previous and related coverage

Raspberry Pi: Hands-On with the PiServer tool

The new PiServer package included in the latest Raspbian x86 release provides a very powerful client management tool. Here's an example of how to configure and use it.

Raspberry Pi: Adding an SSD drive to the Pi-Desktop kit

The Pi-Desktop Kit add-on board includes a connection for an mSATA SSD drive. I am going to look at adding one, and using it for simple disk storage expansion and for booting the Raspberry Pi.

Kali Linux 2017.3 hands-on: The best alternative to Raspbian for your Raspberry Pi

The latest release of this excellent security, forensic, and penetration testing Linux distribution is everything I have come to expect from the software and more, with both PC (32 and 64 bit) and Raspberry Pi images.

Raspberry Pi supercomputer: Los Alamos to use 10,000 tiny boards to test software

Los Alamos National Lab finds its answer to 'exascale' software development in the tiny Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi 4: A specs wishlist for the next $35 computer (TechRepublic)

Here are some of the most-requested upgrades for the Raspberry Pi 4--and how likely they'll be to make the cut.

A DIY tablet for kids (CNET)

MakePi will soon be offering a Raspberry Pi-powered tablet that children can put together as easily as a Lego kit.

Editorial standards