tr1p1ea
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:19 am

Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:01 am

Hi, I know this may seem a little crazy since its so very small, but has anyone shaved some PCB off the Pi Zero 1.3 to make it smaller?

I have a case that it *almost* fits into and was thinking about removing the camera connector and trimming some of the board if it could tolerate it.

Can anyone recommend a suitable method to remove the camera connector?

Thoughts?

User avatar
B.Goode
Posts: 11194
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:07 am

tr1p1ea wrote:
Can anyone recommend a suitable method to remove the camera connector?

Thoughts?

Find someone with an early Zero without a camera connector and arrange a swap?


(There are probably PCB tracks you can't see within the board: any surgery is likely to kill it... But it's your board, your risk.)

rotwang
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:12 pm

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:20 am

Basically, don't even think about it. I've seen the result when somebody here tried to trim a Pi Zero (very small paperweight for very light papers).
Roger

User avatar
bensimmo
Posts: 5148
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:23 am

Search for the X-Ray image and you'll wee there isn't much room.
Here's the older version
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ultrapurple/25263371932

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ultrapurple/26487109633 v1.3

beta-tester
Posts: 1412
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:57 pm
Location: de_DE

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:34 pm

bensimmo wrote:Search for the X-Ray image and you'll wee there isn't much room.
Here's the older version
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ultrapurple/25263371932

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ultrapurple/26487109633 v1.3
very interesting x-ray images :D
looks like you can cut the outer row of the GPIO for sure and the upper half "pin vias" of the second row of the GPIO as well.
everything else would be too risky to me.
but you should polishing the cut very well, so that there is no copper left on the cut, that could shortcut traces.
be aware for electrostatic load. even cutting and polishing can produce electrostatic load.
do everything at your very own risk :lol:
Last edited by beta-tester on Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
{ I only give negative feedback }
RPi B (256MB), B (512MB), B+, ZeroW; 2B; 3B, 3B+; 4B (4GB)

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 40822
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: A small cave in deepest darkest Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:40 pm

B.Goode wrote:Find someone with an early Zero without a camera connector and arrange a swap?
I've got an early Zero and would swap, but it's got a full set of header pins soldered in.
Any language using left-hand whitespace for syntax is ridiculous

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.
Fake doctors - are all on my foes list.

Any requirement to use a crystal ball or mind reading will result in me ignoring your question.

tr1p1ea
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:19 am

Re: Trimming down the Pi Zero 1.3

Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:30 pm

OK excellent information, thanks all!

I didn't even think to look for x-rays of the respective board versions, so that is very useful.

I figured what the heck and ended up removing the camera connector and trimming the board back to just before the contacts (to the edge of the LED internal trace). In total it is around 5mm off the end which is a fair bit. That said, the board still boots ok - remains to be seen how it behaves with some of these traces cut.

Image
Image

Who knows if it will survive...

Return to “Advanced users”