About the SD Card Connector position on bottom side

Hi everyone :grinning:

I’m asking why the design of the Radxa Pi zero board doesn’t follow the same design as the Raspberry Pi zero about the SD card connector location.

The SD card connector is on the top layer for the Raspberry Pi zero and on the bottom layer for the Radxa Pi zero.

On some projects, it can be an issue because we can’t replace or upgrade a Raspberry Pi Zero board by a Radxa Pi Zero board for a mechanical incompatibility question.

Is there a technical reason ?

Is it possible to do it on a next release of this board ?


I can’t speak to any specific design reasons, but it seems to me a minor compromise given all the additional features of this board over the RP0. Other than form factor, I don’t think the Radxa Zero is intended to be a drop-in replacement for the RP0. The HDMI and USB ports are different too.

If you need something with more horsepower than the RP0 that also has all the same connectors in the same locations, take a look at the BPI-M2 Zero. I picked one up last year when Radxa Zeroes were out of stock. It’s not as powerful as the Radxa but it’s definitely faster than the original RP0.

About the BPI-M2 Zero, I saw it.
As you said, it is faster than the RPi zero and maybe equivalent to the RPi Zero 2W but it seems on the BPi-M2 Zero, pads are not “gold plated”. It could be a potential issue in my application (I’m looking for an alternative board for the RETROFLAG GPi Case)

Ah yes. The Radxa Zero is an excellent choice for a retro gaming handheld. It’s what I used for mine! Unfortunately, the Radxa Zero will not work with the Retroflag GPI case, and the location of the SD card slot is the least of the reasons why. The main reason it will not work is that the Retroflag GPI case uses DPI as the display interface and the Radxa Zero is not capable of DPI on the GPIO header.

Yes, you’re right !
I didn’t check more depth, firstly stop on mechanical design.
It seems BPi-M2 Zero and Mango Pi MQ Quad don’t have DPI too (not hardware implemented on H2/H3/H616 SoC series)

Right. You may need to consider a custom solution, something like the SimplyRetro Z5. I built one of these with the RP0 as designed, but quickly decided that the RP0 was too limited in power. I reworked the Z5 design around the Radxa Zero and also used the opportunity to learn and practice PCB design rather than handwriting as in the original Z5 project. I’m really happy with the result.

That’s impressive. What is the capacity of the battery and the autonomy you can hope with this custom project ?

My version uses a 5000mAh battery. Not sure what you mean by autonomy. I haven’t measured how much continuous runtime I get with it on a single charge but it’s quite a bit. I also added dual analog thumbsticks for better PSX and N64 support. I’ll try to post a picture of it.