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SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:54 pm
by peterburk
I have an exciting Raspberry Pi case mod to show you, but I'll wait until after MacWorld this week.
Meanwhile, the first step required me to trim down my SD card. Here is a photo-tutorial of my steps!

1. Buy a cheap SD card.
I used a SanDisk 2GB card, for 7 CHF = $7.55 in InterDiscount. This will void your warranty - you have been warned!
Maybe we should maintain a list of cards that have been successfully cut?

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2. Test the Raspberry Pi before cutting the SD card.
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3. Draw a line on both sides of the SD card using a permanent marker.
I first used a pencil, but my fingers made the mark rub off. Use a marker.
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4. Use a powerful light to check that there is nothing in the lower half of your SD card.
I used my iPhone 4S flashlight, although this picture is using my Pico Projector. Make sure that you can't see anything below your mark!
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5. Pry open the SD card with a screwdriver, and make sure there's really nothing inside.
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6. Attack it with scissors! Follow the line as much as possible.
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7. There really was nothing inside. Phew! That's a relief.
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8. Use a file to make the edge smooth.
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9. Seal the end with superglue.
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10. Cover the superglue in filing dust to add some surface area. This helps in sealing & colouring it.
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11. Colour the filing dust with a blue marker.
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12. The SD card now sits flush with the motherboard!
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13. Put it back into the case.
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14. It boots! Time to celebrate.
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I think that we should maintain a list or photo gallery of compatible SD cards, that have enough free space to be trimmed in this way. It was cheaper for me to do this than order a low-profile adaptor from Adafruit.
https://www.adafruit.com/products/966

Peter

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:37 pm
by Fluo
Great job! I must do it with my sd card.

I have a question, what is a name of program on the last screen(it's working on iPhone?)

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:17 pm
by peterburk
I'm using iTeleport as a VNC client, http://www.iteleportmobile.com.

Then my Raspberry Pi connects automatically to the MyWi network. That is easier to setup than having the RPi make its own network!

Peter

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:06 am
by dan3008
Quick warning to people doing this. Make sure you seal the cut end quickly, and dont let dust inside... I can cause problems with the card.

Epic tutorial peterburk :) Thanks a lot

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:02 pm
by yakko TDI
If you are buying a new card why not get a MicroSD and an adapter?

http://adafruit.com/products/966

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:56 pm
by peterburk
Why not buy an adaptor?
Because my new card cost $7.75, which is less than the $5.95+shipping with the adaptor.

Also, I used an adaptor with my previous card, which the Raspberry Pi managed to break. My old 8GB microSD card isn't even recognised by my laptop any more! Therefore I don't trust SD adaptors in the Pi.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:19 am
by yakko TDI
peterburk wrote:Why not buy an adaptor?
Because my new card cost $7.75, which is less than the $5.95+shipping with the adaptor.

Also, I used an adaptor with my previous card, which the Raspberry Pi managed to break. My old 8GB microSD card isn't even recognised by my laptop any more! Therefore I don't trust SD adaptors in the Pi.
Which brand adaptor did you use? I am curious because I am currently planning to buy a few of the Adafruit ones I linked to since they have a reputation for making quality parts.

As for cost $4.99 for a 2gb MicroSD and $5.95 for the Adafruit adaptor, both with free shipping, is only a couple dollars more and still leaves you with a warranty and a card you can use in other devices.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:24 am
by peterburk
I used an HP microSD adaptor with a SanDisk 8GB microSDHC card. I doubt it was the brand - I suspect that some voltage fluctuations on the Pi managed to blow it out. Anyway, I now feel safer with a cut-down full size SD card.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:18 pm
by Jim JKla
The adaptor is a solution but this is a cheap way to protect a fragile SD slot particularly one that's already had a repair. ;)

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:27 pm
by RichardBronosky
I was pleased to find that my local Walmart carried the a 2 pack of 4GB SD cards for less than $16. The packaging look identical to these 2GB cards (which were also on the shelf for <$11):
http://www.walmart.com/ip/PNY-2GB-Premi ... d/11078643

The plastic was so opaque that I couldn't even get a tactical LED flashlight to shine through it. So, I slowly split the card open with an Xacto to see how much room I had to play with. It turns ou that I was able to score a line along the back edge of the Pi's port and it just missed the memory chip.

Here are a few photos. I'll update more soon.
https://plus.google.com/103188493504862 ... 5jo55JdcdM
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I've been using it with no problems. I just had to add a Scotch tape tail to it so I can get it out of the SD slot on my Mac. I'm currently working on a bootstrap script that requires me to re-image an SD for every test cycle. It's really nice to have 2 cards for that!

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:06 am
by loudaslife
I just tried this myself and look what happened.

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I'm not making this up. There isn't even a mark on the SD card.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:31 am
by Davespice
loudaslife wrote:I'm not making this up. There isn't even a mark on the SD card.
Unlucky.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:44 pm
by ramstrong
The very definition of Hacker. I salute you. Too risky for me, though. I'll stick with Micro adapter instead, even though I have Dremel I can use for the project. ;)

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:59 pm
by chairsgotoschool
Nice but i find it easier ot just rip it in half, measure how much to cut then cut the halves separately then put it all back together with glue. also if you want a small sd to micro sd you can do something similar, its harder and riskier but i just my adapter and ripped it open, bent the pins back so instead of going away from the circuit board it went over it, then i got the top half and cut roughly the shape of the micro sd out and adjusted the pins as need then cut it all down and glued it together, the top half should help hold the pins against the micro sd. like i said its a little risky, chance of breaking pins, its hard to get them all to make a good consistent connection but it was worth it to me at least.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:04 pm
by Fr4gg0r
Has anyone tried with a more expensive card, for example a 32GB card from Samsung?
I have the model MB-SSBGAEU, as you can see on the photo, the inner part is completely sealed. Apparently the card is waterproof..

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:40 pm
by Jim JKla
Getting a micro SD converter has to be cheaper than a wasted 32G SD

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:43 pm
by DougieLawson
Jim JKla wrote:Getting a micro SD converter has to be cheaper than a wasted 32G SD
One like this: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/10/25 ... -macbooks/

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 4:58 pm
by Fr4gg0r
So cost of new micro sd card + adapter < 0 .. :)

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 5:02 pm
by Mortimer
Fr4gg0r wrote:Has anyone tried with a more expensive card, for example a 32GB card from Samsung?
I have the model MB-SSBGAEU, as you can see on the photo, the inner part is completely sealed. Apparently the card is waterproof..
Looks like an MMC card like that.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 5:55 pm
by Jim JKla
Or this one

Link to e-bay page

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 6:29 pm
by patrikg
Look at this sd card trix, also know that many sd card's can be cheep copys.

http://media.ccc.de/browse/congress/201 ... _xobs.html

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 8:13 am
by Mortimer
Thought so here is an old MMC card I had lying around...
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Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 12:51 pm
by Fr4gg0r
It's an SD card

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:19 pm
by Mortimer
It is in as far as it will plug into an SD-card slot and in many cases actually work, although 512MB is hardly useful nowadays. The form factor is different though. It is much thinner than an SD-card, and doesn't have the 'fences' between the contacts like an SD-card. An SD-card has a stepped profile if you look at it from an end. The widest part is the same width as this MMC card, the stepped in part is missing from this card. Also notice that one of the contacts is missing compared to an SD-card.

Re: SD Card Cutting Tutorial

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:29 pm
by Fr4gg0r
http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/downl ... hp?id=6964

According to Wikipedia an SD card has 9 contacts, which my card has. An MMC has 7.