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media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:24 pm
by secretreeve
so im going to be building a case for the Pi that will house the powered usb hub, 3.5" usb hdd, a slim usb dvd drive, and of course, the raspberry Pi itself.

i've done these basic images up in sketchup. although it shows the hdd in an enclosure, the actual enclosure for the hdd would be removed as its really not needed. mounting holes in the bottom for the hdd of course, probably just "hot glue gun" the usb hub in place.

3 DC jacks on the rear, one for the raspbery pi, one for the usb hub and an optional one for the external hdd. This means you can either use a 3.5 mains powered or a 2.5 usb powered.

i havent worked out a stable and easy way to move the RPI's power draw from somewhere inside the unit without making it the size of a large ITX case yet. keep hearing people say "dont power the PI on a powered hub" so i wont lol.

the round hole in the front is for a power switch, the rectangle is for a front mounted usb port and the small square hole is for the remote control receiver.

oh larger slot in the rear, mandatory "exiting cable" slot because moving ethernet and hdmi ports to the rear is a pain and i honestly cant be bothered. also acts as venting for the hdd lol



anyway, if you see somewhere for improvement, post up and let me know.

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:01 pm
by fodi
i'd say if you want to power the pi, a hard drive and optical drive you might want to look for PicoPSU
that way you only need one dc input and you can use a notebook psu-sized mains adapter and have molexes as well for the drives

plus you can use panel mount cable extenders for all the ports (all can be bought on ebay for a few bucks)

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:04 pm
by bursar
Just have one for the USB hub and buy a hub with a sufficient number of ports on it. Use a Y cable to power the HDD, and another one for the Pi. You can get bus powered USB DVD drives as well. Plenty of people here seem to power their Pi's with hubs and don't have any issues. You just have to watch for the hub supplying power over the data cable.

Position the hub so that you have some spare ports at the back of the case, and if you do need to plug in another drive that requires a power supply, you can do so easily.

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:11 pm
by secretreeve
sounds like some good points.

that pico power supply, i'd be warry about it because of trying to splice out the various cables.

looks like a good mains powered 7 port hub would suffice.

1 to the Pi
2 to the dvd
1 keyboard/mouse receiver
1 remove control.

2 spare (probably power the hdd mains anyway,

if anyone knows a relatively easy way to get that pico psu working with the pi and a momentary switch that'd be awesome.

am i right in thinking the VIN cables are the "power switch" cables on that psu?

if so, then i suppose that circuit board wouldnt really be needed would it? or could take wires coming from the "pins" and take em to where they need to go?

not 100% how would be best to utalise that psu, i am liking the idea of an "internal" power supply with just the one dc jack.

i'll also work on adding hdmi and ethernet + usb ports to the rear of the case.

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:33 pm
by fodi
the pico's inside part acts more-or-less the same as a standard atx psu (the main difference is that it creates the 12V-5V-3V3 rails inside)
anyway you can start the psu by shorting 'power on' with 'ground' (look for starting atx psu without pc)
then you can have molex Y cables to have enough plugs (and you can get 5 and 12V output of them)
this way all the cabling can start from this picopsu (the same concept as a pc has) and it has enough power to serve all your peripherals (although you need to do some manual wiring but not that much)

you only need a paperclip to power up the psu: (althoug you can change that into a switch if you want)

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:05 pm
by secretreeve
i know how to start up a atx power supply without a switch, the problem is this is a REALLY bad method of a permanent switch, it would need to be able to use a momentary switch to turn on and off. thats where it gets difficult i think.

and i assume you mean basically not using that yellow block to deliver power, just the sata and molex connections?

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:11 pm
by tech_monkey

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:13 pm
by fodi
well you can use the yellow block as well (to get 5V for the pi maybe), however i guess that the molexes are enough
for the switch you would need something like that then: ... itch.phtml (it makes your momentary switch act as a latching/permanent one)

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:49 pm
by secretreeve
i think the switches have a momentary and on/off settings on them depending on how you wire them.

lamptron anti vandal switches you see lol.

thanks for the help as well

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:57 pm
by fodi
secretreeve wrote:i think the switches have a momentary and on/off settings on them depending on how you wire them.
no, as they have different mechanical parts inside (so the on-off/latching one stays pushed in closing the circuit, while the momentary closes while pushed and goes back to original position opening up the circuit)
that's why you need to build a circuit t use a momentary switch in a latching position (so the circuit acts like the button is still being pushed)

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:28 pm
by secretreeve
nah, check search for the wiring diagram,

it ships with one set of diagram and has a either/or setting. the switches are pretty good like that, i'll hook one up to an led system later to make sure though,

on a side note, is it possible to hook up an LED to the Pi for "power on"?

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:15 pm
by secretreeve
well i spent a little time measuring up some wire, soldering on crimps and insterting said crimps into the "housings" for the screen connections. used double crimp holders so they're nice and stable.

also grouped them up into pairs and added some heatshrink over them to keep them clean and tidy. then the 4 pairs will have a larger diameter shrink to group them all up into one length.

gives the wire some strength and insulation.

just need to add the splices for the + and - and then they're ready to be wired up to a screen. then its ready to accept programming on the Pi.

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:06 pm
by smith_morten
"on a side note, is it possible to hook up an LED to the Pi for "power on"?"

Yes, do anyone know this? I've got the same problem with a case I am making. I need an extra "power on"-led!

Re: media center case

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:04 am
by secretreeve
well i ordered the screen, will be ordering the enclosure ABS box next week to start work on that.

i'll be working out how to secure the Pi inside (probably some plasticard framework lol) and cutting the case to accept the screen and a power switch on the front until i can get the dimensions of the disk drive i want to use, then i'll cut that out too.

also be cutting out the rear panel to accept a panel mount hdmi extension, ethernet extention, panel mount usb ports ( i already have 2 of these, one for the rear, one for the front. but they're pcb header endings so need to convert that to usb male lol)

so basically, next week things should progress quite happily.

pics to follow when progress is made.

Re: media center case

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:08 am
by secretreeve
screen arrived and i got it wired up.

hoping someone will volunteer to make the raspbmc plugin for it.

will post pictures tomorow after sleeping lol.

hdd caddy is on its way, still waiting to order the enclosure for it all though, but i have its dimensions so i can begin working on a cardboard mock up :D

Re: media center case

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:51 pm
by secretreeve
alright progress.

so far heres where im at, cutting around the enclosure to mount the screen and the screens contrast pot. organising inside it.

things to do for now is securely mount the hdd and Pi oh and get the lcd working properly

got a usb to panel mount usb socket coming tomorow so that needs its holes cutting and then mounting.

after that to do: (these parts need buying as well)

mount hdmi male to female panel mount hdmi on rear
mount male ethernet to female panel mount ethernet on rear
mount 2 male usb to female panel mount usb on rear
mount and modify internal power supply
mount 7 port usb hub
mount power switch
cut slot for bluray drive
mount bluray slimline usb drive

so far its coming along nicely. going to give it a coat of paint as well. possibly gloss black or "polar white"




Re: media center case

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:55 pm
by secretreeve
got the front usb port wired in and the screen working in python. ...

its coming together rather nicely just need to get the other ports brought and installed (rear usb, usb hub, hdmi, sd slot and ethernet)

then i can work towards getting the internal psu and usb hub

Re: media center case

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:48 pm
by MetabolicCloth
what are you planning to do with the LCD Display

Re: media center case

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:42 pm
by secretreeve
going to try to get play file information.

file title
current playtime/total playing

Re: media center case

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:57 am
by secretreeve
ignore the really crappy stability but here it is working away ... plpp_video

Re: media center case

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:48 am
by falbhan
Curious if this project is still alive. Looks promising and very cool.

Re: media center case

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:41 pm
by secretreeve
nah it was scrubbed due to inconsistancies with the little screen, also the hdd psu blew up on me