I currently have a Pi set up as a media centre. The case is an old freeview box. This works well enoug, but a lot of space is taken up with connectors and adapters, and the positioning is tricky and messy to get access to the network and USB connectors.
So here are my plans for this Pi (a rev1) when I get a new one (in the next few months). I just want to sound it out here before I go ahead, and ask some questions.
First off, using uUSB for power is inconvenient. It blocks access to the SD card. Now I don't intend to be taking the card out very often, but it would be nice to be able to do so easily. How safe is it to supply power directly to the 5V GPIO pins? IIRC it bypasses some protection circuitry, but is anyone else doing so?
Next thing is the SD card itself. It sticks out a long way. Does anyone know of any way round this? For example, a shortened micro SD adapter or similar?
Now we get to the more advanced bits. The biggest problems with my setup are the composite and audio connectors. How difficult would it be to remove these connectors from the Pi and put pin headers (or similar) in place? I have plenty of soldering & desoldering experience, but have never dealt with something like the Pi, specifically with it being multi-layered. I currently use a SCART connector for AV, and would like to connect them directly to the board.
Finally, I would like to do the same with the USB and network ports. This would allow improved mounting options. The Pi could go anywhere in the case, and I could just add my required connectors where I want.
I kind of wish the Pi had been made like this from the start. If pin headers were used initially, and adapters supplied to sit on them, it would be much better for my purposes. This would be my biggest feature request, before even gigabit ethernet. I do understand it probably wouldn't fit with the intended purpose of the Pi, and would probably increase the cost, too.
Anyway, any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.