Adding wifi to the Raspberry Pi Zero with a hack


Shintaro decided he wanted to add wi-fi to his Zero. Rather than mess about with converter cables and adapters, he has instead taken apart the dongle and soldered it directly to the correct lines on the Pi. He carefully kept the two USB data line wires the same length to avoid messing up the signal and then wrapped the whole thing in clear insulation. You can see from the picture above what he did to the dongle (which is an Edimax). Using the raw 5V output from the power supply can be a bit dodgy, so caution is advised.

8 comments for “Adding wifi to the Raspberry Pi Zero with a hack

  1. Michael
    30 November 2015 at 10:44 am

    Won`t be possible to connect USB HUB to Pi zero and simple connect wifi dongle in to it ?

    • Michael Horne
      30 November 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, that’ll work too. I think the person in question was just proving that it ‘could’ be done. 🙂

  2. Philip Bedford
    30 November 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Fascinating and will give it a whirl bit actually I was looking for a way of configuring my PiZero to connect to my router/hub. I understand the process is ‘automatic’ when connecting via an Ethernet>USB but is a tad more complex when using a dongle. Can you point me in the right direction?
    Many thanks.

  3. Aidan Sciortino
    1 December 2015 at 4:17 am

    Is it still possible to connect to the micro USB connector with USB peripherals with the hack installed?

    • Michael Horne
      1 December 2015 at 10:22 am

      I don’t know for certain, but I think I read somewhere that the answer is ‘No’.

    • 1 December 2015 at 2:08 pm

      That will not work. The USB port has been occupied by this wifi dongle, and could not directly be used by others 🙂

  4. Shawn
    1 November 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks Michael,

    I had remembered seeing this a while back, and when I went looking for it, I was hoping to find on your site. With my new found Linux Mint appreciation, and easy wifi set up for RPZ from Linux terminal (modifying the wpa_supplicant.conf file right after flashing the sd card from the same machine), I will try this next.

    Thank you.

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