This project can be done with any Raspberry Pi, but for the most adorably compact version we're using a Pi Zero W - this has enough power to do what we want, and has built in WiFi too!

Pi Zero W base parts

Its easiest if you pick up a Pi Zero W budget pack as it contains most everything you need

Raspberry Pi Zero, SD card, cables, headers and case
Remember those cereal commercials that would always say, "part of a complete breakfast"? Well the Pi Zero's a lot like that bowl of cereal - while it's...
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But you can also just DIY with the minimum requirements:

1 x Pi Zero W
the type of low cost game-changing product Raspberry Pi's known for - the super light, super lean microcomputer we've come to know and low, but now with built-in WiFi.
1 x 4G or larger SD Card
You will be burning this card with Raspbian Jessie Lite so its ok if its blank or pre-burned
1 x Adafruit Pi Zero Enclosure
Adafruit's classic, sturdy plastic enclosure. Keeps your Pi Zero safe and sleek.
1 x 5V 1A USB wall adapter
This one is plenty good and you can use any Micro USB cable with it
1 x 5V 2.4A USB wall adapter
Super powerful for any uses, and comes with a built in MicroUSB cable

Pi OLED Display Addition

If you want to add an OLED display (which is suggested!) you'll also need:

Top view of assembled and powered on Adafruit PiOLED - 128x32 Monochrome OLED on a Pi Zero. The OLED displays a data readout.
If you're looking for the most compact li'l display for a Raspberry Pi (most likely a
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If you are using a Pi Zero W you'll need to add 2x20 headers too 

1 x 2x20 Male Header
Solder this in to plug in Pi HATs, GPIO cables, etc as you would into a normal Pi. Requires soldering


1 x 2x20 No-Solder Hammer Headers
If your soldering isn't quite up to scratch, or you just don't own a soldering iron yet, then these nifty hammer headers from Pimoroni might be just what you need.

Other things you may need...

You also need a way to burn that SD card!

Using a Pi 3 Instead of Pi Zero W

Instead of a Pi Zero W you can directly substitute in a Pi 3 which also has built in WiFi, you won't need the 2x20 header in that case

1 x Raspberry Pi 3
Raspberry Pi 3 with WiFi built in!

This guide was first published on Aug 15, 2017. It was last updated on May 28, 2024.

This page (Project Parts) was last updated on Aug 15, 2017.

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