How to get what was working on a RasPi Z to work on a 3b

I have to upgrade my RasPi from a Zero to a 3B.

But I had one of these plugged onto it’s GPIO pins:
LED Strip

This allowed the Pi to sit there “sideways” with the LED strip visible.

It won’t be that easy - from what I can see - getting that with a 3B.

Any ideas how/what I can/could do to address this problem?

(How many wires does that thing need? I’m guessing only 3. But which ones?)
Just I was thinking of making a cable that plugs into the Pi then mounting the strip external to the case for the Pi.

Just as the power cable goes into the “side” of the 3B… (ranting)
The Zero was perfect for this as the LED strip was on top of the GPIO pins at one “side” of the RasPi, and the power plugged in at the opposite side.

Oh, and there is a USB memory stick plugged in. On the Zero what was beside the power connector and made for nice small space.

With the 3B, it is 90degree to the power connector and makes the area needed wider than what the Zero needed/used.

Hey Andrew,

Have you got a photo of your setup? I’m a bit unclear what you mean. But yes, you can get GPIO extension cables and Right angle headers as well.

Here are a few products that might give you some ideas:

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Ok, piccies.

1 - where the Zero usually lives.
It is dismantled in the picture but you can see where it sits.
The LED STRIP is at the front (outward facing) and it easy to see as it is down the side of the RasPi.
The power cable is plugged into the “Back” side as is the USB cable for the external USB stick.
Of course they aren’t plugged in now as the Pi is … “dead”.
You can just see the replacement behind it. But don’t get ahead of things.

As you can see it is a neat/nice fit in the space. Partly why I used the Zero.

2 - This is how the 3B presents itself when in that position.
The GPIO pins are down the side of the machine and so the LEDs would not be visible.
(But for the one at the end)
And you can see the power cable sticking out in pretty much the same relative position to the GPIO pins are on the Zero.

So: Turn it 90 degrees…
Don’t forget also this is in a case.
The Zero is in a nice case which leaves the GPIO pins nicely accessible and the LED strip plugs “neatly” onto it and it clearly visible.
The case the 3B is in doesn’t really allow plugging in the LED strip.
Unless I leave the top off the case.

3 - Turning it 90 degrees so the board is in the same orientation as the Zero was.

As you can see there is a problem.
The Zero’s USB port is beside the power input and so the USB stick isn’t a problem.

It doesn’t fit in the space the Zero did because of the USB stick.

At the end of the day, it would be nicer is the Zero came with more memory.
But as it doesn’t… I’m stuck.

Adding cables… Yeah, but I don’t want to make a “spaghetti city” with cables.
All I need are the 3 for the strip. I’m guessing 3. + - and the data line.

But how do I mount the strip to not make it look like a “dog’s breakfast”?
Seems I shall have to design a bigger “body” to hold the 3B and the LED STRIP in a fixed position.

I’m wanting to keep this as small as possible. And as neat as possible.

The “gap” at the front you see is 145mm. Maybe 145.5. I’m not going to get to that level of accuracy.
But holding up a metal rule I see it is about 145mm.

Oh, and have a good new year’s eve party.


Ahh, now I’m with you! :slight_smile:

Here’s some ideas:

USB 3.0 right-angle adapter:

Pi 3B+ alternative cases:

There’s also the Pi Zero 2 W:

They’re short on stock at the moment, but the same form factor as the Zero, and it’s Quad core (same SoC as on the 3B).

You could also design and 3D print a little mount for the Blinkit that hides the Pi and the wires behind (if you’re keen on the ‘out of sight out of mind’ philosophy).

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I’m tempted to get the new Zero, but I’m not sure there is enough “sheep” in it. (RAM)

I’m also not sure the single core on the existing is/was also a point of failure.
It worked fantastically on… Stretch (or Jessie) (Which was 2 before Buster?) for weeks without problems.

I can’t say exactly how long as I was doing a lot of re-work on the program/s it was running and so the timers got reset.

As soon as I put Buster on, I was lucky to get 3 days.
That worsened to less than a day and it would just lock up.