Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Casing the Raspberry Pi

Sound of Music: Favourite Things

The Raspberry Pi IMHO makes the ultimate 2018 Home Automation Glue Computer, Educational Tool and so much more.

But once you have finished prototyping, your Pi needs casing.

The case will help protect it from the elements and protect people who think a 5V 1 ampere powered computer can electrocute them  (it can't).

Marcus and Agata have settled on 2 cases.

Closed Case: FLIRC

So this is going to cost you a huge 15 GBP but since all cases start from 6GBP I think of it as a 9GBP tax for something robust and beautiful

Yes it is really metal.  There is a sticky pad you attach to mate with the CPU to transfer heat into the case

First time installation required a bit of jiggling.   My second case installation took seconds.    Single set of screws puts on the ventilated bottom case and holds the Pi securely inside at the same time

Oh and the Micro SD card is easily accessible to slide in and out, unlike with many other cases.

Finally the FLIRC case fully supports the Pi 3B+, and at the time of writing in April 2018 you are unlikely to be buying anything else.

Open Case

The PiBow 3 Coupe is the case we chose where you need a Pi 3 B+ and access to the GPIO pins.  It is just under 9 GBP

 Fun self assembly of <5 minutes is required.

Your Own Case
Owners of 3D Printers can really get smug, for they can print a Raspberry Pi 3 case without issue.  If you know a friend with this technology then please contact them immediately.

Pi Zero?

Initially it might seem attractive to use the 10 GBP Pi Zero W computer.   But remember this is a single core 1GHz 32bit CPU vs a 1.4 GHz Quad core ARM CPU (albeit run in 32 bit mode).

For any future project we think to standardise on a Pi 3B +.   When you consider the delta between the zero and 3B+ including case and memory card, to Marcus the 3B+ seems like a small increment for a much more powerful computer.

However, if you really think that this computer will be powerful enough to perform the task you want, then I'd recommend the official case.    Here is a portable camera that we built earlier

The duct tape attaches the Zero W to a powerful Powerbank which also has a solar panel and bright LED light to light up any night-time scene.

Family Shot

Some Pi we built earlier.  The Pi 3B+ in FLIRC case, with fast 32GB Memory Card  and powered from a Masterplug  comes in at about 60GBP.  Simply astonishing.