Sourcing ZeroPhone parts

From ZeroPhone
Revision as of 01:25, 14 November 2017 by Admin (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

This page is work-in-progress, not all the components are added - so don't yet use this page to make an order.

If you see broken links or have other improvements to suggest but don't have a ZeroPhone Wiki account, please let us know at wiki at zerophone org , or in ZeroPhone PCB GitHub issues!


ZeroPhone Gamma PCBs panelized with mod boards, as ordered from DirtyPCBs

The last stable PCB release is Gamma release, with files available here.

Sourcing PCBs can be easily done using one of the various hobbyist-grade PCB houses. The PCBs you need are:

Board name Board size Layer count Board thickness Board folder name (on PCB GitHub)
Front board 4x10cm 2 1.6mm front_pcb
Back board 4x10cm 2 1.6mm back_pcb
Keypad board 4x6cm 2 0.8mm keypad_pcb
18650 holder carrier board 4x7cm 2 1.6mm 18650_pcb

Describing these options in detail:

  1. "4x_cm" are the board dimensions. "Dimensions exceeded" when ordering?
  1. "X layers" means number of copper layers. In our case, all boards have 2 layers, that is, they're double-sided.
  2. "1.6mm "is the recommended board thickness for front&back boards, while keypad board can be 0.8mm. Why these?

Additional options

Here are the suggested places you can get the PCBs from (that is, PCB houses):

Want to look for better deals?

How to save money by using panelization

Could I make these boards at home?

Pi Zero

As of now, there are multiple resellers for Pi Zero - recently, about 30 more have been added. The site-to-go for looking up Pi Zero availability used to be, but now there's , which has all the online resellers listed, so the latter is the recommended site to find a place to get a Pi Zero.

You can get either a Zero or a Zero W - the Zero W has Bluetooth and doesn't require ESP8266 (thus freeing some pins that can be used for mod boards). However, due to lots of metallic parts around Zero W antenna, WiFi range is slightly decreased, and Bluetooth is not yet supported.


1.3" SPI OLED screen

The officially supported OLED breakout (made by Heltec)

The screen for ZeroPhone. Do keep in mind that there are different breakouts for this screen which mainly are different by pinouts, you will need the 6-pin "VCC-GND-MOSI-CLK-CS-D/C" one ("MOSI" is sometimes called "D0" or "SDA", and "CLK" is sometimes called "SCL" or "D1"). There's a version that has "RST" pin instead of "CS", it might be cheaper but it won't allow SPI on the 13-pin expansion port to work properly, so if you want to use SPI on the 13-pin expansion port, avoid that breakout (it also has GND and VCC swapped, so make sure you connect this screen right if this is what you have to work with.)

  • On TaoBao (seller: leehunter8801) Not yet verified
  • On eBay (seller: horizon_electronic) Verified


A SIM800 breakout (picture from an online retailer), along with a PCB antenna

A simple SIM800 breakout, doesn't give access to all the capabilities that SIM800 chips have, but still breaks out most important connections for ZeroPhone to work as a phone. Only analog audio is accessible, so that is what's used, with an analog microphone&speaker. The breakout has 12 pins, only 11 of those are soldered to the ZeroPhone board - 12th is an antenna pin, which, in addition to not being necessary (as ZeroPhone is supposed to use an u.FL-connected antenna), could probably decrease reception quality, because something something RF something something black magic.

  • On TaoBao (seller: zhangyongweng998) Verified
  • On eBay (seller: worldchips) Verified
  • On eBay (seller: alice1101983) Verified

GSM antenna for SIM800

An antenna that's suitable for usage with SIM800 modem

If an external PCB antenna (like on the photo to the right) is not supplied alongside the SIM800 breakout you'll be getting, you'll also need to get an antenna separately, since the "gold-plated coil" antenna that's included by default doesn't fit the breakout as installed in ZeroPhone, and it's not clear whether its performance is good enough. PCB pattern of the antenna you get might be different from the antenna pictured on the right, as well as from the antenna in listings below, it's important that the antenna you get is an antenna suitable for GSM.

  • On TaoBao (seller: shop469692262) Ordered but not yet verified

ESP12-E or ESP12-F

Suitable and unsuitable ESP12 types

It's important that you get the version that has 6 pins on the side opposite to the antenna (labeled "SCLK,MOSI,GPIO10,GPIO9,MISO,CS0"). ESP12-E or ESP12-F will fit ( -F is claimed to have a better antenna and would be therefore preferred)

  • On TaoBao (seller: zhangyongweng998) Verified
  • On eBay (seller: diybox) Unverified

TP4056 LiIon charging+protection board

Suitable and unsuitable TP4056 boards

There are multiple versions of this breakout, too - boards based on this schematic are popular, and it seems like there's a new version that was designed to decrease the panel space it'd take while manufacturing. Beta boards were designed around the old breakout, but Gamma boards were designed with old breakout in mind - and the new breakout proved to be problematic. So, Delta boards will be using the old version of the breakout - only get the new version of the breakout if you'll be using Gamma boards.

  • Old version (for Delta boards) - on TaoBao (seller: tb314395) Ordered but not yet verified
  • Old version (for Delta boards) - on eBay (seller: alice1101983) Verified (5PCS order)
  • Old version (for Delta boards) - on eBay (seller: inglesab) Unverified (5PCS order) (ships from UK?)
  • New version (for Gamma boards) - on TaoBao (seller: shop131282813) Verified
  • New version (for Gamma boards) - on eBay (seller: c_enjoybuying) Unverified (2PCS order)

5V step-up DC-DC breakout

Suitable and unsuitable step-up DC-DC breakouts

This breakout is used to add a 5V step-up to ZeroPhone - for powering the full-sized USB port, as well as providing 5V on the bottom expansion header. This has to be a step-up, not step-down - pictured are suitable and unsuitable boards. You'll also need to desolder the USB port before using this board, as described here (TODO: describe in assembly checklist).

  • On TaoBao (seller: d[s116297067]) Verified
  • on eBay (seller: cici10086) Unverified
  • on eBay (seller: chip_partner) Unverified

Arduino Pro Mini

Suitable and unsuitable Arduino Pro Mini boards

ZeroPhone uses an ATMega328P with a 16MHz crystal for reading keypad, as well as controlling the vibromotor and the keypad backlight, reading the system voltage and some other things. To avoid sourcing an ATMega328P and the corresponding crystal separately, then having to program the bootloader&firmware into the ATMega through SPI, you can get an Arduino Pro Mini board, then harvest both the crystal and the pre-programmed ATMega from that board. You'll need a hot air gun for desoldering these.

Make sure that the Pro Mini board you'll be getting will have the ATMega328P in TQFP package (not QFN!), and the crystal in CSTCE package (small rectangle with three SMD pins on the underside). You can also get same IC and crystal from an Arduino Nano. Moreover, you can use 3.3V/8MHz version of Arduino Pro Mini/Nano boards - it's not tested, but should work.

  • On TaoBao (seller: zhangyongweng998) Verified
  • On eBay (seller: chivazhu) Unverified
  • On eBay (seller: cayin35) Unverified (3.3V/8MHz version)
  • On eBay (seller: worldchips) Unverified (3.3V/8MHz version)

Active components


TODO: photo

  • On TaoBao (seller: nuoyaxindz) Ordered but not yet verified
  • eBay link
  • Farnell link


  • On Taobao (seller: shop102835340) Verified
  • eBay link


16MHz crystal

Passive components


  • Taobao (seller: zhangyongweng998)

100nF capacitors, 0805

10K resistors, 0805

100uF 16V tantalum capacitors, Case D (2pcs)

  • TaoBao (seller: zhangyongweng998)

100uF 6.3V tantalum capacitors, Case D (2pcs)

  • TaoBao (seller: zhangyongweng998)

Mechanical parts

2x20 2.54 (0.1in) female header (1pcs)

  • Taobao (seller: zhangyongweng998)

2x20 2.54 (0.1in) male header (1pcs)

5-pin 2.54 (0.1in) angled female header (2pcs)

3-pin 2.54 (0.1in) angled female header (1pcs)

13-pin 2.54 (0.1in) angled female header (1pcs)

6-pin 2.54 (0.1in) male header (2pcs)

6-pin 2.54 (0.1in) male header (2pcs)

4-pin buttons

  • TaoBao (seller: zoxmow)
  • eBay link

2-pin buttons

TODO: photo

  • TaoBao (seller: zoxmow)
  • eBay link
  • Farnell link

4-pin side buttons

TODO: photo

  • eBay link
  • Farnell link

Li-Ion battery holder

TODO: photo

  • TaoBao:
  • eBay link
  • Farnell link