Doug's Raspberry Pi
'California Clear Case'


Like all the rest of the world wide geeks, I had to have a RasPi.

     Living on the left coast, I like things open, visible, approachable. Unlike Eben (the inventor of this terrific device), I have an aversion to carrying a computer (sans covering) around in my pants pocket. So, I wanted a case, but a minimalist one. Here's what I did.

     We have a plastic supply company locally, Tap Plastics.   They keep a collection of remnant pieces available, and they are free.  I picked up this piece, measuring 8 inches square.

Original plastic, with protective covers still on. The idea was to make a top, and a bottom, with columns to position the top and bottom pieces, and to act as stand-offs for the mobo.  I sawed the plate into two pieces about 3.5 by 4.5 inches, using my table saw. (This may require the assistance of an adult, that blade would just as quickly cut off a finger.)


Plastic on the table saw, against the stop fence.





















     Then, I went back to Tap and bought a hollow tube and some appropriate glue.  I cut two pieces, about a foot long, and glued them together.  Here's the result:

Single tube, on the left, and doubled, on the right.





















     After my RasPi arrived, I spent some time looking, and tinkering, and measuring, and finally settled on some dimensions: 1.5" long columns (with the top and bottom pieces 3.5" by 4.5"). (*1)  I cut the columns, with a hacksaw, using the miter box and a make-shift stop held in place with a clamp.

My Rube Goldberg miter box, with stop in place for cutting the columns.

     I also decided on placing the board about 3/8 inches above the base.  I moved the stop to the appropriate dimension, and notched one of the legs of each column.   (Gotcha!  I ended up putting two hacksaw blades in the saw, in order to make the slots wide enough so the pc board would fit.)
   They came out like this:

Glued, cut and notched columns, ready for assembly.






















     Then, I clamped the top and bottom pieces together and started drilling holes where I wanted the columns bolted in.
Partially completed drilling process.      Drill one hole.  Bolt column in place.  Figure out where to drill the next hole.   Repeat as necessary.

     About the "bolts": I tried to use #4 machine screws, but the longest ones avauilable were only 1.5", so I got some 3" pieces of threaded rod (#4 size), bolted everything together and then trimmed the rods with a Dremel tool with a cutting blade in it. They're still full length in the partially assembled photo.

     So, you can now see why I glued two tubes together; One for the bolt, one as a stand-off for the motherboard.   I bought some self-stick feet at the hardware store, and stuck them to the bottom of the lower plate.   (I thought they were black in the store, they look to be dark brown in the sunlight.)   Stuck a RasPi logo on the top of the lower plate, and I'm good to go!

Assembled case, with motherboard in place.





















Assembled case (the other side).























*1 - roughly translated:
     1.5" columns = 3.8 cm
     3.5" width = 8.9 cm
     4.5" length = 11.4 cm

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Revision: 01.2 Email Doug 12/02/2012