Solderless USB for Raspberry Pi Zero spied on Kickstarter

Here’s a very neat solution to the Raspberry Pi Zero USB ‘problem’: an add-on board that provides a pair of full-size USB ports. Yes, there are a number of small USB hubs you can disassemble and attach to your Zero, but this one has one smart advantage: you don’t need to solder it to your Pi.

Diableco USB Shoe
Diableco’s novel solderless USB add-on for the Pi Zero

Devised by Spanish company Diableco and now seeking backers on Kickstarter, the USB Shoe is a Pi-sized board with USB and power connector pins attached. When fitted to the underside of the Zero, these pins make contact with pads on the Zero circuitboard. Diableco says it will provide suitably sized spacers and bolts to keep Zero and Shoe the correct distance apart.

You can see how it works from this picture:

Diableco USB Shoe
The Shoe sports pins that contact pads on the Pi

With the pins in contact, you have not only your extra USB ports, but a single power jack (on the Shoe) for the entire rig.

How well this works remains to be seen, of course. We won’t know how effective the solution is until the device ships, in April if Diableco gets its funding and meets its promised release schedule. The USB Shoe is also quite expensive for what it is. It’s €26 for board and spacers, which is £20 — four times as much as the Zero! Still, £20 is not exactly a bank-breaking sum, so I’ve backed the board anway. I’ll do a full write-up when it’s delivered.

1 thought on “Solderless USB for Raspberry Pi Zero spied on Kickstarter

  1. Don Bradman

    Reference Designer’s Hubpixed is another solution that you may like to consider. It has 4 USB ports and is less expensive.

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