RPi Zero: combined power and ethernet connection

The Raspberry Pi Zero (RPi-0) is a wonderfully small PC-board with a lot of  functionality but without an internet connection, either wireless or ethernet. For many stand-alone applications, such as a surveillance camera, a power connection and an internet connection are sufficient. Of course one could use a wireless connection (WiFi) but these are not that reliable and often temporarily drop connection. Therefore an ethernet connection is preferred. The wiring to the RPi-0 would then involve two items: power cable through one micro-USB port and the internet connection using the other micro-USB port. Both a WiFi-connection or an ethernet connection require a relatively bulky piece of hardware: the beauty of a tiny processor with camera is lost!

But in many applications, USB-cables are used both for power and communication. So, if one uses a standard micro-USB (B male) to a standard male USB A cable all further gadgets can be in another place, for instance in house. Cable lengths can be 3 meters and maybe more! At the other side one has to split to ethernet and power or to USB and power. For the latter, splitter cables are available. For the first I used a standard ethernet to USB converter and added a power cable and a female USB A connector, see above. The latter connects through the cable to the RPi-0 and the other to a power supply. For the power connection I could also use a USB connector but that would be confusing.

The USB to ethernet converter needs some rewiring, see below. The USB cable has been removed and replaced by a cable with the USB female connection. The wire colors are not always following convention, so testing the cable with a multimeter is advised.  The power cable was connected in parallel, the connector is a standard power cable as used on the better wall plug power supplies. Note that at least 2 Amperes are required to run the RPi-0 reliably.

The cabling is already in use with a home-made surveillance camera and runs uninterrupted for over a month now.

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