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I'm trying to devise a solution that will connect multiple Raspberry Pi zeros together for communication between them. I'm using a touchscreen on each of them, so GPIO pins 1-24 are taken. Also, I'm using the RPi zero model without wifi. Would I be able to use pins 25-40 to communicate? Can I use SPI on these pins? I would prefer a daisy-chained solution but hub and spoke is ok if necessary.

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  • What physical communication media are you planning to use ? For example "point to point wire "? Are you describing using GPIO pins or hardware header pins ?
    – Jan Hus
    Aug 16, 2018 at 18:57
  • Why don't you just use the UART? You should be able to create a second one to daisy chain (the one that's used on the bluetooth versions and lacks a proper clock), or else you could stick with hub and spoke and come up with a protocol to prevent conflicts.
    – goldilocks
    Aug 16, 2018 at 19:14

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You still have USB on RPi Zero, meaning you could attach any USB communication dongle you want (including WiFi or Ethernet) and use the appropriate networking architecture. Daisy-chaining is not out of the question with Ethernet, but that would require 2 network adapters per RPi, so a hub+nodes architecture will be more efficient.

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  • if you want to go fancy and really wish to make a linear topology you can also choose some usb to serial adapter and go for CAN or MODBUS (or other buses) without using hubs and switches
    – kyjanond
    Jun 16, 2020 at 9:22

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