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He used a Pi Zero -- cost is $5, the cheapest ESP8266 module on Sparkfun is $6.95.

While the ESP8266 would save some power, the Pi reportedly uses around 0.7W with a USB Wifi adapter, or around 6KWh/year -- so would cost less than a dollar a year to operate. So he wouldn't save huge amounts of power.

http://www.jeffgeerling.com/blogs/jeff-geerling/raspberry-pi...




Please, please tell me where I can get five Pi Zeros for $5 each, including shipping. Because I've been hearing the "Pi0 is $5" trope for ages, yet I still haven't been able to find one, let alone at quantity, let alone at that price, let alone with free shipping.

Meanwhile, I just bought ten of these for $46.5:

http://m.aliexpress.com/item/32684725642.html

Let's not kid ourselves. The Pi0 is not $5. It just pretends to be $5 for marketing.


Oh huge bump for recommending the Wemos D1. Built in USB to serial. Easy integration with arduino platform. Not magic button presses to enter flash/upload mode. A very easy way to get started with ESP8266. Worth the extra dollar or 2 per unit.

Also check out this one. A wemos made in the shape of a Uno so you can use shields and everything for only $6.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-WeMos-D1-R2-WiFi-uno-base...


Ah yes, the big WeMos is also good, but the Uno form factor is just too monstrously large these days.

I also designed a tiny breakout board that's pretty much the size of the ESP8266 12E plus some pins (https://github.com/skorokithakis/tiny-ESP8266-breakout), but it's just that, a breakout. I definitely prefer the WeMos for most things, nowadays.


Any idea what serial chipset these use? (for USB->TTL)


Unfortunately its the CH340 USB-TTL. Serviceable but not great by any stretch. OTOH, windows won't ever brick it because it thinks its a fake.

Been meaning to have a go at rolling one of these myself using the mighty microchip MCP2221 instead.


AFAICT the FTDI bricking code was taken out of the Windows Update driver.

I'm glad it's a CH340 - I've had no problems with those, unlike Prolific or (fake) FTDI devices.


Adafruit will sell you a single Pi Zero today for $5. So there you go, you found one.

https://www.adafruit.com/products/2885

No free shipping, but their ESP8266 modules don't come with free shipping either.


"MAX PER CUSTOMER: 1"

Non-starter. Doesn't even matter if its free if I can only get one. If its "the" pi zero on my bench it means it gets used much differently than if its "a" pi zero.


You're moving the goalposts. Information proving that a Raspberry Pi Zero is available at $5 was provided.

The point is, the Raspberry Pi Zero is $5 and stores sell them for that amount. There is more than one vendor out there. There's also a large demand and shortage of them.


He's not. My original post said "five Pis".


Your original post said "Because I've been hearing the "Pi0 is $5" trope for ages, yet I still haven't been able to find one, let alone at quantity..."

So I was pointing out that you can find one for that price, even if not at quantity.


Yep, basically, the Pi Zero gets put onto a pedestal and admired from afar.


I don't think anyone ever marketed the Zero as being $5 after shipping, or even said it'd be $5 in every country.

I can buy a nearly endless supply of $5 Zeros at my local Microcenter, so it's not all marketing. They are manufactured in-house and for various reasons haven't kept up with demand.


Oh, they sell $5 Zeros in-store? Where is this? Are they original Pi Zeros, or are they another brand?

This sounds odd, I regularly see them going for $10+ on eBay. Why don't people just go to a Microcenter and get a few?


Many major US cities have a Microcenter. They're the most recent, name-brand Pi zero. The one with the camera ribbon attachment.

Not everyone is near a Microcenter, but there's an entire subreddit dedicated to people buying and shipping them out for people. Supposedly they don't make much if any money off it, mostly just covers gas+shipping+$5.


Interesting, I'll grab a few on my next trip, thanks for the tip!


I bought mine from Pimorni. The unit was £4.

I don't mind paying for shipping, as the shipping isn't the computer.


Pimoroni doesn't ship to my country. What does it matter if the shipping is the computer or not? I'll sell you a brand-new MacBook for $5 ($2000 shipping). The only thing that matters is the total that comes out of your wallet, and there is currently no way to get a Pi Zero for anything close to $5, at any quantity or from any provider.


I am somewhat confused by your statement. I am sorry Pimorni isn't available in your country however that just means that you can't get one for $5 as opposed to not being able to get them anywhere. Regards to shipping, my point was that the Pi and the shipping charges are two seperate things. I don't see why a Pi should be sold with free shipping just so the total amount spend is $5.

I agree that they should be ramping up production to meet the demand there is. I also find given the educational angle that 1 per order is a quite fair way to go about distribuing them given the lack of supply.


Because I can't even buy 10 and have shipping remain the same. The limit of 1 per customer means that I effectively have to pay $25 per Zero, which is completely the opposite if it costing $5.


When I'm hacking around on things, I hate to have only one. OK, it's not booting now and I don't understand. How do I quickly tell whether I fried it, the SD card is bad, or whether my code is bad? Use another one is the answer.

The point on the delivered cost being the key is that many of the boards that would also be suitable for simple tasks like this are either free/very cheap shipping, or at the worst case you can amortize the $5-10 shipping charge across 10 units instead of 1.


Exactly, I wouldn't mind paying for shipping if I could buy 10-20 units and amortize that way, but I haven't found anywhere that will let me.


I guess given this endevour was started with an educational focus the philosophy is on spreading the platform to the largest number of people, as opposed to letting a few people purchase many.


Maybe, but if I need five for what I want to do and can only buy one, it's not going to spread, since I won't use it.


Have you made contact with the RPi foundation? If you registered an interest for a larger number and state your educational goals they may well be able to help you out.

What are you looking to do with them out of interest?


But that's the thing, I don't need hundreds, I just need five or ten, so it's just amateur usage but one doesn't work (one could easily fry while experimenting).

I just make weird things out of them. My latest one is an RC car that I was hoping could get some mapping software onto, and turn fully autonomous, although an ESP8266 talking to a laptop is acceptable (and what I'm currently doing).


And a $8 USB Wifi dongle.

And a $4 USB micro adapter.

And presumably a flash chip for the FS.

Add that to the fact that I've never been able to get a Zero into my hands for less than about $15 after shipping and all that when I can find one at all. (Sparkfun's shipping is only $5 for the ESP)

Its worth learning how to use the ESP8266. Once you've mastered it, you can get them for about $2 each with free shipping on ebay and aliexpress.


What's the best resource for learning the ESP8266? I'm interested in expanding my knowledge if there's a not-too-arcane way to do it.


Get a WeMos D1 and use their examples and read the WeMos/ESP2866 forums. If you want to save $2 per project you can get a USB/TTL adapter and use plain ESPs.


I just order my ESP8266 bare bones from Banggood, about $3, free shipping and if you order them in bulk you save even more.

The ESP8266 works great as a standalone device and you can even flash it with the Arduino firmware, though I prefer NodeMCU.


ESP8266 12-F is roughly $1.80 on aliexpress, including shipping. Takes a while to arrive but these things are crazy cheap




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