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Raspberry Pi: Combine a Raspberry Pi with up to 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros for less than US$50 with the Cluster HAT

Combine 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros with a standard Raspberry Pi using the Cluster HAT v2.3. (Image source: Pimoroni)
Combine 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros with a standard Raspberry Pi using the Cluster HAT v2.3. (Image source: Pimoroni)
The Cluster HAT v2.3 does what it says on the tin. It allows you to combine a Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2/3 with up to 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros. The latter connect via a Controller Pi GPIO and are configured to use USB Gadget mode, making it easy to simulate or test small-scale cluster computing. The Cluster HAT v2.3 is designed by Pimoroni and is available to order from SB-Components for US$49.22.

The Cluster HAT v2.3, as its name implies, brings cluster computing to the Raspberry Pi. Specifically, it allows you to connect up to 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros to a Raspberry Pi A+/B+/2/3. 8086 Consultancy, the creators of the Cluster HAT, states that it will work with any mix of the Pi Zero 1.2, Pi Zero 1.3 or Pi Zero W. The HAT also comes with standoffs, screws and a short USB Type-A to micro USB cable.

Please note that the Cluster HAT does not come with a Raspberry Pi or Pi Zero. These must be purchased separately. Pimoroni provides assembly and control instructions on its product page, along with 3 ways of setting up the Cluster HAT, which it separates into simple, intermediate and manual. You can find the set-up instructions here.

The Cluster HAT uses USB Gadget Mode either via Ethernet or Serial to get the Raspberry Pi Zeros communicating with their host Raspberry Pi. Pimoroni also stresses that you will need at least a 2A power supply, or 2.5A if you are using a Raspberry Pi 3. Presumably, you will need to invest in a higher amp power supply if you plan to use the Cluster HAT with the newly released Raspberry Pi 4. You will also need at least an 8 GB microSD card for each Raspberry Pi Zero and the host Raspberry Pi. You can find the full assembly instructions here.

The Cluster HAT is currently out of stock on Pimoroni. It can be ordered on SB-Components for US$49.22 though, from where it ships worldwide.

(Image source: Pimoroni)
(Image source: Pimoroni)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > Raspberry Pi: Combine a Raspberry Pi with up to 4 Raspberry Pi Zeros for less than US$50 with the Cluster HAT
Alex Alderson, 2019-07- 4 (Update: 2019-07- 6)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.