InunoTaishou
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:10 pm

Raspberry Pi Tower

Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:10 am

Here's the latest prototype of my Raspberry Pi Tower: http://imgur.com/a/Pp9aC

Here was the first prototype: http://imgur.com/a/WgjQf

Working on this project for a couple weeks now. The idea is to make a very compact and awesome looking tower using a raspberry pi (Initially wanted it no taller than 9" and no deeper than 7"). That ramp in the bottom/back of the case is to make the air flow across the bottom of the pi better, keeping the chip on the bottom ice cold. And I still need to add in the exhaust in the back of the case. Once I get the physical PSU and my male/female cables I can figure out how I want to situate everything and then figured out how I want to do the exhaust ventilation.

Current Specs: 205mm Tall (8 1/2in) 170mm Deep (6 3/4in) 66mm Wide (2 3/8in)

Hardware: 4 USB ports on the front of the tower (4 wired controllers for gaming)
PicoPSU power supply to power the pi, HDD, and fan 80mm fan (Massive amounts of air flow. It's big, waiting for a 60 and 40mm fan to see how loud they are. I want air flow + quiet)
Bracket + mounting point for a 2.5" HDD (Fun fact, 2.5" HDDs are not 2.5", they're 2 and 3/4")
Extending ethernet and HDMI to the back of the case (using a male to female, they're in shipping)

Ideas: Extending 3.5mm jack to the pack of the case with the HDMI and ethernet
Another USB hub (2 ports) to the back of the case for extra USBs)
Custom power button on the front of the case

Still need to figure out how to add the power button. Thinking of going custom but I don't know how well I could do it (I've never done anything really electrical except replacing a wall outlet or fixing some wires.) Also need to make all the circuitry to go with it. And there will be heatsinks! A nice big one for the cpu, 22x22x10 (still in shipping but it should fit without touching anything else). The heatsinks are complete overkill, especially with that much air flow, but It's like $1 for the 22x22x22 + a 14x14x7 for the chip on the bottom.

All and all it's coming out well. This is the first time I've ever used 3d design software. Using Sketchup it was extremely easy to make all the shapes and it's gotten easier.

InunoTaishou
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:11 am

Imgur updated. Specs are still the same, just added in the mounting points for the PicoPSU, Fan, Exhaust Vents, and HDMI female end. Also added the lip around in the inside of the case to hold the lid as well as the section to screw the lid into the case (to hold it all together)

One thing I forgot to order was the RJ45 female connector. After looking at available options on amazon and ebay, they're all really big. Getting a panel (has mounting points that will let it screw into the case) is about 36x22mm, doesn't sound very big but when I've only got like a 70x50mm area to work with and I need room for the HDMI panel, it takes up a lot of space. Plus I may want to add a couple of usb ports in the back of the case as well as the 3.5mm audio jack. I'll forgo it this print (since I'm using wifi anyway) and figure out how to fit it in the next version.

Also never got the power button worked out. I know how to turn the pi on/off using a button (even got the tactile push buttons ordered) but I want the button to turn the pi on/off and then the pi will turn the fan and HDD on, so they're not constantly on. The only way I found to do this was using a soft latching module but this only works on one rail, I need 2 (the HDD needs 12v and 5v and the fan needs 12v). So if anyone knows anything about pcb electronics please let me know how I can do this! I've got some capacitors, resistors, and some NPN and PNP transistors.

Zebu
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:57 am
Location: Australia

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:52 am

if it makes your project easier you can get fans that are designed for 12volts or if you choose carefully then one that is designed but will still spin at 5 volts

also 2.5" drives only need 5 volts not 12, 12 is needed on 3.5" drives

you can totally do your project with only a 5 volt power supply

InunoTaishou
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:59 am

5v fan does not push nearly as much air as I want (12v ~26cfm, 5v ~12cfm). I've got one of my fans already, it's so quiet. Waiting for 2 more I ordered (they were like $1~$2 a piece, so I want the best. Quietest with the most air flow). I know it's a small case but that OC'd pi with the HDD and a Psu in such a small area IS going to produce a bit of heat, and I want it out quickly.

The 2.5" HDD is not drawing the 12v, the fan is. The PicoPSU has a connector with a molex and sata power connector on one line, but this one line has two rails (5v and 12v). Hence, I need to control 2 rails with the raspberry pi, I'm just trying to avoid having to make two soft latching modules.

Zebu
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:57 am
Location: Australia

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:15 am

Pico PSU is an ATX Power supply so theres no need for two latching circuits.

you run your latching circuit from the +5vsb line which is always powered and have it toggle a relay/transistor/etc that grounds the "power on" signal line, on a regular ATX power supply with a cable this would be the green wire. Just run the pi and drives and fan from the regular +5v and +12v lines.

That's basically how a regular PC motherboard does it.

or if you are happy with a toggle switch/button rather than a momentary one then just have the switch conenct the "power on" signal line to earth

A 2.5" drive will produce very little heat, or you could use a solid state drive and produce none at all :)

InunoTaishou
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:01 pm

Zebu wrote:Pico PSU is an ATX Power supply so theres no need for two latching circuits.

you run your latching circuit from the +5vsb line which is always powered and have it toggle a relay/transistor/etc that grounds the "power on" signal line, on a regular ATX power supply with a cable this would be the green wire. Just run the pi and drives and fan from the regular +5v and +12v lines.

That's basically how a regular PC motherboard does it.

or if you are happy with a toggle switch/button rather than a momentary one then just have the switch conenct the "power on" signal line to earth

A 2.5" drive will produce very little heat, or you could use a solid state drive and produce none at all :)
Omfg yes! I thought I'd tested all the 5v connectors on the PSU to see if one was powered even when the power pin wasn't grounded but I must not have tested the vsb or I didn't test it very well. I hope it has at least a 2.5A output, I'll have to test it later.

Now that I've got this the 5vsb line will power the pi. The power button will control the pi and when it boots up I'll have it (the pi) trigger the latching module to complete the power pin on the psu and power the components. When it shuts down (safely) I'll have it trigger the module again to turn off power to the components.

I don't want the pi powered from any wires that are only powered when the power pin is connected to ground on the psu because this would cause the pi to hard shutdown (power completely stops). Button Pressed -> Power pin grounded -> Everything turns on (this is fine, it's safe for the pi). Button Pressed -> Power pin no longer grounded/power cut -> Everything loses power, including pi (cause it to hard shutdown)

I could use a SSD but I'm wanting a 1tb storage device. HDD (~$60) SSD (~$200+). Besides, I can't justify going for a SSD in something like this when it's only storage for games, possibly movies. And with the 12v fan heat is not an issue at all, 5v fan it might get slightly above room temperature inside the case. (Which isn't really a big deal, but when I can have a quiet 12v fan, why not use it? ;))

Zebu
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:57 am
Location: Australia

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:45 pm

http://www.mini-box.com.au/documents/PW ... manual.pdf

you can see in the manual for the larger of the pico psus that the 5VSB sustanied maximum current is 1.5A

even on a full sized ATX power supply 5vsb is only ever a couple of amps maximum

InunoTaishou
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Tower

Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:20 pm

Hmmm guess that won't work completely then. I guess if I wire the power button so it's connected to the pi and the latch.... I could make the pi do it's shutdown sequence and delay the signal to the latch for the few seconds the pi needs to shutdown. The downside to that is it also takes a few seconds from when you press the button to turn on too.

Idk anymore lol. I'll probably not even do a power button this version until I can figure out how to do it right.

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