After finishing the breadboard prototype of our little Raspberry Pi Zero W Audio Streamer, I wanted to move the prototype to a nicer “home”, making it small and easy to carry on travels – we planned on using it as a travel-friendly baby monitor. So after evaluating the options, we decided to make a little Bonnet using Adafruit’s Perma Proto Bonnet Mini Kit.
What is a Bonnet? Well, it’s a little hat 😉 seriously thou, in Raspberry terms, a bonnet is a small board add-on (literally, a small hat, which is the term they use to refer to the Raspberry “shield” extensions) to the Raspberry boards. It’s exactly the size of a Raspberry Pi Zero, so it matches perfectly. It’s a nice, minimalist way for prototyping an extension for the RPZ. And how is this any different from using a regular protoboard? Well, this board resembles a lot the format of a breadboard. It has power rails and a series of rows with connected holes where you can solder components. This is how it looks like:
It’s like a representation of the Raspberry Pi itself + a tiny breadboard. Best thing is that you can easily connect this piece to any Raspberry, making it truly modular at a hardware level. Like any other Hat or Bonnet you can buy to extend your Raspberry, but this one is totally custom! Cool, right? Imagine the possibilities…
It was super fun to use this kit for the audio monitor, I even added an LED to indicate when the microphone was active (now I think that’s a must-have). The end result was quite OK considering I wanted to avoid soldering the I2S microphone directly to the board:
There’s still space for more add-ons we plan on including later.