About this project
We will have two versions of HubPiWi - a newer version HubPiwi 1.3 will be delivered for the newer HubPiWi 1.3 in time - please see this update
The HubPiWi is a USB Hub with integrated Wifi especially designed for the Raspberry Pi Zero. It has 3 USB 2.0 Type A connectors and an on board Wifi Module with a PCB Antenna.
The key element of the HubPiWi is that it does not require any cable, connector and connects with Raspberry Pi Zero with Spring connectors. All you will need to do is - to just use the provided 4 screws and your are all set.
HubPiWi opens up a whole new opportunity for IoT applications. It can transmit any data recorded on the Hub Pi with the integrated wifi. You can connect any number of devices to the USB and the data collected could be uploaded to Internet. Since the software is drive by Linux, it is a more secure and low cost option for IoT applications. You can for example hook a thermal , Humidity, Smoke alarm sensors to the USB, collect the data for IoT applications.
You are also not limited to the USB devices - the 40 Pins on the Pi Zero is available for you - that you can leverage. These 40 Pins have General Purpose IO , I2C etc, that can be used to leverage your IoT applications.
Building upon the Success of Hubpixed
HubPiWi builds upon the success of Hubpixed, a project that was successfully funded at kicktarter in March 2016. It integrated 4 USB 2.0 and was received with enthusiasm by the community.
It turns out that Wifi is an almost must have for the Raspberry Pi to be useful. With Hubpixed you will need an external USB Wifi, which was not too bad, but an integrated Wifi makes the life much easier.
We then found a USB Wifi Module and tested it with Hubpixed - and that worked as expected. The Wifi Module was hooked on the other end of a USB Cable.
We then integrated the Wifi Module and ensure that it worked.
Finally we designed the HubPiWi that you see in this video.
The key differentiating factors of HubPiWi are
1. You do not need to do any soldering. You do not have to add any 40 Pin or whatever connector on the Raspberry Pi Zero. This allows anyone even without capability to solder component to use HubPiWi.
2. The HubPiWi will does not require any connector or cable. All you need is the provided 4 screws and you are all set. The current solution requires either a cable to extend the USB ports or requires you to solder a 40 Pin Connector to extend Wifi. The HubPiWi needs none of these.
3. The size of the board is still very compact. We left the area under 40 Pin vacant - you can use this area and the 40 Pin to add another board or use it for whatever you want.
Risks and challenges
We have still not decided on the manufacturing. We will start getting quoted in next few days and will know about it in a week.
The Wifi Module is a single source and its lead time could delay in the availability of the Wifi Module will affect the timely delivery of this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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