Cases for the Raspberry Pi


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by GizmoB73 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:55 am
Wozza365 said:


Thats pretty decent

how about making drilling some holes into the top cover to allow for ventilation?

You could make them into a pretty pattern :)



The thought had crossed my mind, but I've been far too busy trying things out in the Pi, such as trying to get Wi-Fi working...

I will probably return to the case later.  I was also thinking of using a Ferrero Rocher box to make a flatter Pi version of Orac (from Blake 7), a few coloured LED's a speaker and a Pi should do it.  That will have to wait until I have more Pi's available... and more time.
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by poing » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:44 pm
Interesting, so the person on this blog that several times made the point 'ventilation is not necessary' in case-threads was wrong?
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by Wozza365 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:54 pm
Perhaps he meant dedicated ventilation like fans?

Of course its gonna need some sort of ventilation eventually if its running for hours, the temps inside the case will slowly increase if there is no cool air
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by GizmoB73 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:55 pm
poing said:


Interesting, so the person on this blog that several times made the point 'ventilation is not necessary' in case-threads was wrong?



I haven't read most of the thread as it is some 50+ pages, but my personal experience is that after 3-4 hours of use in my box with the lid on and it was warm to the touch from the outside and I started to get some lock-ups (on 3 or 4 occasions).  I took the lid off and haven't seen those problems since.  Not very scientific.

You can draw your own conclusions, but to me it looked a lot like ventilation is required.
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by poing » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:51 pm
One of the remarks is at the bottom of this page where he shows an interesting link to some testing:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....38;ret=all

Very nice case BTW on the top of that page.
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by GizmoB73 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:04 pm
poing said:


One of the remarks is at the bottom of this page where he shows an interesting link to some testing:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....38;ret=all

Very nice case BTW on the top of that page.



Well, I hadn't bothered before, but I have just taken a measurement.

The ambient room temperature is 20C.

With the case open and Pi running for last few hours at pretty much idle, it is measuring 41.7C

I'll stick the lid back on and try again in a hour or two.
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by rurwin » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:08 pm
There is a world of difference between having a board open to the environment, however warm, and enclosing it in an insulator.

But as with power-supplies, font sizes and many other things, we are all just guessing until RaspPis start to ship. This is the first of those results. In theory, theory and practise produce identical results. In practise, they never do.
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by GizmoB73 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:33 pm
After an hour with the lid on the SoC is measuring 48.7C and still running fine.

My box is far from airtight, there's plenty of space around the connectors for air to get in, but nothing to really allow air flow across the SoC.

I will let it run a few more hours and measure again, just out of interest.

In my opinion though, I think passive cooling is required, in the form of some airflow slots, and those who want to overclock may require some active cooling if encased I would think.
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by rmwebs » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:32 pm
GizmoB73 said:


Here are a couple of pictures of my first case.

I used an old box that my business cards from work come in.

The plastic is a little brittle when cutting, so there are a few splits.



Here it is from above:



Here it is with the lid on:



Ventilation was a problem with the lid on, the heat would build up over 3 or 4 hours,

so I now use it without the lid.


Could I ask what case that is / where its from? I recall someone linking to an ebay supplier with something similar (or possibly this one) but I cant seem to find it :(

Thanks
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by jbeale » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:24 pm
GizmoB73 said:


After an hour with the lid on the SoC is measuring 48.7C and still running fine.


If that's the hottest chip, sounds like everything should be OK. However, if it gets hotter when it's doing more computations (likely) and/or you want to run in a hotter ambient temperature, then providing some ventilation sounds like a good idea. Or, use a metal case with some heat path from the case to the hot areas on the board. Without shorting anything out of course...
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by caulktel » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:25 pm
What about using this case? It is slightly larger than an Altoids tin so might work.

http://www.wa0itp.com/cleartoptin.html
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by rmwebs » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:25 pm
Think I've decided on a case. It's one I found on ebay and is basically just a project box that fits the Pi. I can cut holes in it then use some Sugru (I've got to use it up - it expires next month! :o ) in each corner to mount the pi! :D
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by cutpriceplastics.co.uk » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:41 pm
Seems like there are plenty of cases floating around, have joined here as had a few people ask me about them, one thing I see a lot of is the same design, seems that people are happy ripping each others work off.

If the exact measurements were provided by the founders (3d model even better) then some of us lucky folks (myself included) with access to CNC Equipement could design and machine some seriously cool custom cases.
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by texrat » Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:09 pm
rurwin said:


There is a world of difference between having a board open to the environment, however warm, and enclosing it in an insulator.

But as with power-supplies, font sizes and many other things, we are all just guessing until RaspPis start to ship. This is the first of those results. In theory, theory and practise produce identical results. In practise, they never do.


I have been searching for tiny fans, and found one that looks interesting:

http://www.newark.com/sunon/uf.....dp/96M8429

I plan to order one ($8.28!) to play around with if nothing else.

cutpriceplastics.co.uk said:


Seems like there are plenty of cases floating around, have joined here as had a few people ask me about them, one thing I see a lot of is the same design, seems that people are happy ripping each others work off.


I wouldn't go that far.  For the most part they're very conventional designs, which means it's only natural that they would share basic physical features.


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by GizmoB73 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:10 am
jbeale said:


GizmoB73 said:


After an hour with the lid on the SoC is measuring 48.7C and still running fine.


If that's the hottest chip, sounds like everything should be OK. However, if it gets hotter when it's doing more computations (likely) and/or you want to run in a hotter ambient temperature, then providing some ventilation sounds like a good idea. Or, use a metal case with some heat path from the case to the hot areas on the board. Without shorting anything out of course...



After a few hours of not doing very much (with the Feb Debian image) and the lid on, I was getting about 57.6C at the SoC.

I am not planning on testing that any more, as I'd like to keep it cool.
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by poing » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:45 am
Thanks, proves to me ventilation is necessary when the chip is in constant use, like when running XMBC.
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by Phil Spiegel » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:59 am
Ideally a case would provide sufficient ventilation for a hot day eg 35C as few schools, in my experience, (or UK homes) have air conditioning ... and then there is the rare prospect of the sun shining directly onto the the case which will probably lift it another 10C (if its a hot  day, then the probability is that he sun is shinging!).

At the other end of the temperature range, there is protection against cold, when it is used for external temperature measurements or similar.

Of course, with the range of cases being offered, there is no need for a single case to cover the entire temptarature range 8-)

[When teaching electronics in school, many years ago, in the Science lab, the power-adapters were plugged into the sockets around the perimeter benches - many PC classrooms seem to be set up similarly -  and the sun shining in caused several to blow their internal thermal fuses - even if not in use!(?) ...nice black body absorbers!]
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by iloverasps » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:25 pm
How about using a Silicone Case?

I use a Hanitape Silicone Case for my work credit card sized swipe-in card and I think it would be a great case.

http://www.haniboi.com/?view=store

Looking at the dimensions for the Hanitape I think the only problem is the height lying on its side;

http://www.haniboi.com/?view=s.....;info=size

1.1cm - 1.4cm

while the Raspberry Pi Height is 2.1cm.

Also the case has a magnetic closure but I'm sure it could be taken out before manufacture.
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by gordon@drogon.net » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:35 am
Just noticed the chap in Devon who was doing the transparent red cases now has clear ones: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/110868765268

(No relation, etc. just passing on info!)

Gordon
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Gordons projects: https://projects.drogon.net/
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by georgetaylor » Wed May 02, 2012 8:23 pm
GizmoB73 said:


jbeale said:


GizmoB73 said:


After an hour with the lid on the SoC is measuring 48.7C and still running fine.


If that's the hottest chip, sounds like everything should be OK. However, if it gets hotter when it's doing more computations (likely) and/or you want to run in a hotter ambient temperature, then providing some ventilation sounds like a good idea. Or, use a metal case with some heat path from the case to the hot areas on the board. Without shorting anything out of course...


After a few hours of not doing very much (with the Feb Debian image) and the lid on, I was getting about 57.6C at the SoC.

I am not planning on testing that any more, as I'd like to keep it cool.

Found this my case almost perfectly fits underneath my case:)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayI.....0949989194

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by georgetaylor » Wed May 02, 2012 8:31 pm

Abishur said:

oh the pun, it hurts! If you wanted to grab a 5v fan (should be held in electronics store like radio shack or fry"s or online) then there"s a spot next to the gpio holes that is on the 5V rail meaning you could solder your fan power leads right onto the pi board and be good to go


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayI.....0949989194

Maybe this? It can even plug into the Pi itself. Im gonna get one :)
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by GizmoB73 » Thu May 03, 2012 6:44 am
Personally I think that unless you are overclocking, then a fan is probably not required. If powered from the Pi, it would probably just put more stress on the internal fuses and possibly the power supply.

I would just make sure that your "case of choice" has some sensible ventilation holes for passive cooling.
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by Montala » Thu May 03, 2012 8:19 am
I fully agree with what Gizmo has just said, and I consider that the use of a a cooling fan is just a bit OTT (over the top!) for a device such as this.
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by Mike Lake » Thu May 03, 2012 4:13 pm
Don't hide your Pi away - and keep it cool man!

Anyone want an "at cost" PiHouse?

I have made some for friends and colleagues and I am thinking of having a production batch made.  Price will be cost plus 10% plus postage.  I will get commercial cutting costs ASAP (laser or water cutting) - the ones I have done so far have been on my CNC milling machine.

You can see it in action on http://www.ThePiShop.org/cases.htm.

Spec:

* 3mm clear cast acrylic (not the nasty, horrible, extruded stuff),

* protection top and bottom,

* protection for the SD card when in place,

* access to all sides,

* access to all on-board connectors including GPIO (very important),

* location points for daughter boards on top or below to create a PiStack,

* slots in base for cable clips to hold battery pack in place,  A 2300mAh NiMH pack (http://tinyurl.com/d9ldssm) should power your RPi for over 4 hours.

* slot in base to allow battery power plug to pass up to RPi board,

* transparent plastic feet to ensure it does not slide across the desk,

* full air-conditioning (well, air circulation) to keep things cool - at least one of the chips on the RPi runs pretty warm,

* a little bit of extra weight so the RPi does not dangle in mid-air suspended by various leads,

* slot fixing - mounting holes are not available on the RPi but the slots in the PiHouse ensure that the RPi is not held rigidly in place but can move slightly,

* transparent - to show off the RPi at its best!
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by texrat » Thu May 03, 2012 4:42 pm
GizmoB73 said:


Personally I think that unless you are overclocking, then a fan is probably not required. If powered from the Pi, it would probably just put more stress on the internal fuses and possibly the power supply.

I would just make sure that your "case of choice" has some sensible ventilation holes for passive cooling.


Very likely true.  However, I want to play around with the idea anyway.  One never knows what uses might develop, and having some data on fans could prove helpful to "envelope pushers" (like myself).

I also think it would be cool (another pun!) to design a case that resembles full sized cases as much as possible, including a tiny fan or two.  Just for fun.  ;)
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