Do you prefer the Zipit with or without a backlight?

You decide!


The Add-on Board for the Zipit has: EL backlight supply, 5-wire RS232 mod, and a microSD card socket.

A fully charged Zipit, with backlight turned on, will run for 130 minutes before the battery is exhausted. This was tested on stock Zipit software in which the power management was set to "off". There wasn't any keyboard or network activity whatever, it was sitting idle. A unit without the backlight will run for 169 minutes, under the same conditions.

About a 23% reduction in usable runtime when using a backlit unit. Not bad.

Purchase card Addon Board

With microSD card inserted.
With microSD card ejected.

The microSD card is recessed into the case edge and the miniUSB connector is flush with the rear panel. To eject the microSD card, you must use your fingernail to depress the card into the Zipit case, then release to eject. I doubt that the card will be mistakenly ejected!    :-)   Unless, you "flick" the SD card when it releases, it will then come sailing out!     :-/

The miniUSB connector was chosen for it's small size and readily available, off-the-shelf, cables. This is not a USB port! It is merely a conveniently sized connector. The connector has the RS232 TXD, RXD lines, plus the DBG signal to force an upload into the Flash memory. See the schematic for more details...

The wiring.
Closeup of the finished modification on the rear panel showing the cutouts and a microSD card inserted.

This is a bottom view of the Zipit (bottom cover removed and looking at it from beneath the keyboard) showing where the PCB is located. The new board is in the upper right corner. The mini-SD connector (with the RS233 + DBG signals) is located at the left rear corner (back panel) when the unit is "righted". This board layout requires two very minor mods to the interior of the case and two notches in the bottom cover rear panel.

Assembled addon board with a U.S. Quarter to show scale. Unlike the version 2 board, all components are now on one side (top).

Note that the two resistors to program the backlight voltage, and frequencey, are those located near the board center. The microSD card and miniUSB connector peek out the rear panel of the Zipit. The board fits perfectly inside the case, the measurements for the location of that plastic post were somewhat in doubt...