Tobberoth
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How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:34 am

Hello,

I finally got my Raspberry Pi Rev-B yesterday, hooked it up and installed Raspian, everything going well so far (slightly surprised at just how slow browsing is, but I realize it's a the GPU issue).

At the moment, I do not have a case and I simply put my R-Pi as is on my wooden desk. How worried do I have to be? We do not have any pets, nor carpets, so I would think the risk of static electricity is small, but is the raspberry pi sensitive enough that I simply should avoid touching it? I plan to use it by my TV later (either with RetroPi or XBMC), is there a higher risk of static electricity by a TV?

How about dust? Electronics tend to collect quite a bit of dust when running and I assume this would be an issue when running it without a case... is it safe to clean it?

Might seem cheap to worry this much about something instead of just buying a case for 12 dollars or so, but I just want to know and I've seen lots of people in youtube videos who have their R-Pi caseless like me. I also assume it would give better aircooling if I overclock it.

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:03 am

I've used Pi's for two years, without a case with no issues.
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:45 am

on issues with dust and one of mine,
other others have cases for ease of moving them
blu tak works great for sticking it to a table
browsing is slow because of the CPU not the GPU [the GPU is not really used under x]
elinks works great for the terminal
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simplesi
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:19 am

I think its a good idea to have at least something underneath your RPi just to avoid it accidently touching a peice of metal (coin/paper clip/bit of wire etc)

I used various bits of plastic that I had lying around - an IPod packing case being the most "professional" one that I used :)

I know have most of mine encased in £1-99 acrylic cases from ebay :)

Simon

PS Of course, I never put the top on any of my cases as I'm always plugging/unplugging add on boards :)
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:17 am

Dust.
Generally, dust is pretty innocuous, being relatively non-condutive. Try looking inside the back of a tube-TV after a couple of years' use.
Of course a TV tube has a rather high voltage - 25kV - which attracts dust electrostatically (and could be a fire hazard). The Pi doesn't have that so won't suffer so much.
Also, there's a lot less power around, and it doesn't get hot, so the fire hazard is so low as to be nonexistant.

One problem with dust is with mechanical parts - connectors particularly don't like it. But unless you eat breakfast over it, oxidation of the surfaces is going to be a bigger problem.

In your desktop PC or your laptop, the major culprit for dust-gathering is the fan. It continually provides fresh dust-laden air, with heatsinks especially designed to break up the air flow so the dust can settle in the fingers. Since the dust has low thermal conductivity, the chips get hotter, so the fan blows harder, increasing the dust-gathering
You can increase your dust-gathering by having a barbecue - the volatile hydrocarbons will condense on the dust and cure into a really lovely gunge.

Unfortunately, the Pi doesn't have a fan, nor does it have any heatsink, so you won't see the full glory of gunge on it unless you live in Glasgow and deep-fry your Pi.

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:59 pm

I have seen no problems at all with an uncared RasPi. If you really would like it cased, then there are the punnet cases you can print out of heavy card paper. They work well and can be replaced easily when needed.

As to cooling; cut out the raspberry logo, or just a few small holes in the corners, on top of the punnet case it it has plenty of cooling.

The only problem I have seen with dust is in the (Ethernet) connectors. An air can cured that quickly.

Really all a case does is make it easier to connect and disconnect cables without snapping anything off the board.
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:51 pm

Hello,

for my first PI, I just have cut holes into the paperbox. Think the greatest problem are pieces of wire, usb-cables (the metal end) or alike falling into the precious electronics.

Greetings
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:56 pm

My problem with no case is that the sharp bits underneath the board scratch the wooden desk.
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:14 pm

Don't stress about it, though you might as well get a case - they're cheap enough nowadays, and it'd be good for your peace of mind if you used one...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:04 pm

:)
I have seen no problems at all with an uncared RasPi

You've either not seen much RPi or your desk doesn't look anything like mine :)

Currently got bits of wire, solder, usb adaptors, screws,pliers etc etc lying next to 3 RPi :)

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:46 am

simplesi wrote::)
I have seen no problems at all with an uncared RasPi
You've either not seen much RPi or your desk doesn't look anything like mine :)

Currently got bits of wire, solder, usb adaptors, screws,pliers etc etc lying next to 3 RPi :)

Simon
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:22 am

No - they are all in cases :)

But I had "events" in the past when I wasn't so careful :)

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creeper1105
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:01 pm

I've been using the RPI 3B as a server and its been on my desk at the TV on the floor (carpet) and even in my backpack at school so its really not that important but it does offer extra protection. 8-)

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:31 pm

creeper1105 wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:01 pm
I've been using the RPI 3B as a server and its been on my desk at the TV on the floor (carpet) and even in my backpack at school so its really not that important but it does offer extra protection. 8-)
Whether static electricity is a problem depends greatly on the humidity and whether you are standing barefoot on marble floor or in rubber shoes on a wool carpet. Not knowing these details makes it impossible to advise or compare risks. Since plastic boxes are significantly cheaper than Pi computers, a box seems very reasonable. Having said this, I'll admit I used coat hangers and plastic tubing to mount six Pi computers to a block of wood.

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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:33 pm

Don't worrier to much about using the Pi in a case or out of case,
It was designed for learning programming and electronics ,So
Just us some common sense that is all you need, It is more robust
Than you think, Use it within It's specification and you won't go wrong

But if it is bothering you a lot Wear a hard hat and rubber gloves mask
And a anti static wrist band ( Joke )
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Re: How worried should I be about not using a case?

Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:31 pm

Usually its "...to each his/her/it's own..."

Whether you put your RPi (or any other personal electronics projects) in a suitable case or not it's your choice and yours alone to make (unless enacted as part of a law/ordinance and strictly enforced with stiff penalties in your country)

Risk are inherently greater on unprotected electronics.
Just use some common sense, that's all you need...
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