Give Thanks for Zipit Breakout Boards

While most Americans were probably eating turkey and watching football today, I was eating sushi and finishing up the layout on a Zipit breakout board. It’s been a long time coming. Hopefully it’ll be here before Christmas.

Way back when, projectgus designed a breakout board for the Zipit in Kicad. His board breaks out the gpio’s to a camera interface, i2c, misc gpio, pwr pins, and has a 3.3V-5V regulator for USB host. The board is very well designed but was not produced in any substantial quantity.

I recently decided to revive the idea and got started on my own board. I’ve played with EagleCAD and Kicad before but they both seem clunky and over complicated. This board will be the third board I’ve ever designed which makes me definitely not an expert and therefore needed something easy. In my searches for other CAD software I found Diptrace which has a free version available. Diptrace is available for Windows and Mac but ran very well for me under Wine on Linux. The tutorial videos on their site were short, to the point and got me going quickly.

After some talk on #zipit I decided on a board with these features:

  1. 3.3V to 5V Regulator
  2. USB Host Port
  3. Micro USB port for OTG & Charging
  4. Jumpers for USB PWR and USB Host/OTG
  5. Misc GPIO header
  6. Audio / I2C Header
  7. Power Header (3.3V, 1.8V, DC IN, USB IN, Regulator 5V Output, GND)
  8. 3 x 5V Relay Control Header

I went with OSH Park to fabricate the board since I can order small quantities at a reasonable cost. The images above are provided by OSH Park after uploading the gerber files. The boards cost $5 each in quantities less than 50 then it drops to $3. The total cost of parts and board is about $19 without the 0.1” headers populated (jumpers are populated.) I’ve only ordered the minimum 3 boards for now so I can build and test them to make sure I didn’t screw anything up. If there’s enough interest and all the testing goes ok I may do a larger batch. Please post a comment if you’re interested. You are welcome to modify and/or make your own with these:


  1. Thinking of getting a zipit for it's usb host...

    one of these pcbs might be of use... How big are they?


    a Sun, 30 Nov 2014

  2. great work mozz. im interested!

    — walrus45 Mon, 1 Dec 2014

  3. @a, the boards measure 1.9" x 1.5".

    @walrus45, thanks!

    mozzwald Fri, 5 Dec 2014

  4. yea, I'll have one please.

    a Mon, 8 Dec 2014

  5. I'll definitely grab one around mid-end of January. Please do email me.

    — Jon Mon, 29 Dec 2014

  6. I know in Eagle you can use a polygon pour, set the top side to be the VCC or DCIN or the + side of the circuit, and then the bottom ground plane, then using the OSHPark DRC rules it will automatically draw the clearance between the traces and the polygon pour.

    I saw you were having issues on the testing...for power traces definitely make them a wee bit larger.

    You have some wicked cool designs and projects, keep up the great work!

    WarHawk-AVG Tue, 6 Jan 2015


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