docgreen81
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Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:52 pm

Hi Guys!

I'm prototyping a Raspberry Pi-based appliance for the company I work for, and I'm trying to find a better way to organize the absolute mess it's creating at my desk. Basically I need a way to mount and organize 5-10 individual RPi's at my desk while they're baked, configured, tested, etc. We've settled on a secure modular case that has 2 screw mount holes on the bottom, so I COULD just grab a hunk of wood and some screws, but I was hoping to find a more elegant solution that would also help organize all my cables.

Has anyone happened to see anything that might do what I need?


Photo of the current fiasco:
Image

Bottom of the RPi case:
Image

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HawaiianPi
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Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:20 pm

More information about how this "appliance" will be used could be helpful.

For example:
If the Pi computers are going to be housed in the same location, then something like one of these could work.
stackcase.jpg
stackcase.jpg (70.91 KiB) Viewed 507 times
clustercase.jpg
clustercase.jpg (29.91 KiB) Viewed 507 times

But if they are going to be deployed individually, then another solution would be needed,
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

wildfire
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Location: Dundee, Scotland

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:48 pm

docgreen81 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:52 pm
I was hoping to find a more elegant solution that would also help organize all my cables.
Have you looked at the Argon One case?

Not secure regarding SD access and no wall mounting (though those can be achieved with a couple of velcro strips and a blob of super glue). All cable connections are at the back and the uSD is accessible from the front. Active and passive cooling. Easy to tidy cable spaghetti (a couple of cable ties does the job) and you have complete access to the GPIOs if required.
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ejolson
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:51 am

docgreen81 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:52 pm
.We've settled on a secure modular case that has 2 screw mount holes on the bottom, so I COULD just grab a hunk of wood and some screws, but I was hoping to find a more elegant solution that would also help organize all my cables.
You can tack the cables to the wood to keep them organized. For elegance hire a carpenter to construct everything out of a suitable furniture-grade hardwood and stain it to match the office decor.

W. H. Heydt
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Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:13 am

docgreen81 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:52 pm
Photo of the current fiasco:
Image
If you think that's a fiasco, you REALLY don't want to see my desk.

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Gavinmc42
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:52 am

Or mine :lol:
There is a reason I prefer compact keyboards, no room for bigger ones.

I have had one stack in the corner for years, for the security Pi's basestation made from a hardware store DIY 300x600mm wide shelf $5.
Two 90 degree shelf brackets, one front and back keep it upright.
The shelf is vertical and at 45 degrees to the corner walls with power board and power supplies hiding on the back
Pi's in any old cases and 100Mb/s switch on front screwed to the shelf.
Very ugly, but not touched for years apart from the occasional SD card fix or Hard drive swap.
Vertical mounting reduces the places dust collects ;)

Most of my 24/7 older Pi's are distributed around the property.
Lunch boxes/storage containers from the supermarket are good low cost weather proof cases.
Some have very clear plastic, good for the cameras.

But now with so many Pi variations and OS's, using just one Pi as a desktop is not enough.
Solutions for a stack of fan cooled Pi's are of interest.
One Pi4 is a low end Desktop replacement, but when I have a bramble of Pi's I am into new territory.

Using Pi's for development requires a stack of Pi's as no one OS is winning yet.
It's like a horse race, Gentoo64 leading Buster by a nose, followed two lengths back by Arch, then Ubuntu and these rest in a group with the favourite PiCore coming in last.

Back to cleaning the desk to make room for the new 1GB/s Switch stack.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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rin67630
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Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:38 am

My "organizer" is called VNC + 5 GHz WiFi.
I just need a 5V power bus.
It leaves room for a 32" QHD screen and a full sized keyboard on a neat clean desktop.

docgreen81
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:05 pm

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:20 pm
More information about how this "appliance" will be used could be helpful.
Each individual Pi will be deployed to a different customer location. We're pretty locked in with the modular case we're using now because it allows us to block access to everything but the ethernet & power ports so that customers aren't tempted to mess with them.

At my desk, I assemble them, install Raspbian from NOOBS, install remote control and auditing software, and configure them for a specific customer account. I can complete most of the installation and whatnot via SSH, but for the initial install and setup, I need direct access.

The goal is to come up with a way to mount 5 - 10 RPi's (each in their individual cases) in a way that will keep my desk from becoming a mess of cables & Pi's. Bonus points if it's something rack-mountable, as I have them all connected to a rackmount switch and could pretty easily find a small rack to put at my desk. I also intend to add a KVM to the mix, to cut down on the disconnecting/moving/reconnecting the monitor/kbd/mouse cables.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:10 am

I have used DIN rail mount Pi cases.
Maybe a Din Rail adapter?

Yep remote admin via SSH saves lots of hassle :)
Midnight Commander, Putty and Filezilla are my software tools.
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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rin67630
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Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:07 pm

docgreen81 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm
Each individual Pi will be deployed to a different customer location. We're pretty locked in with the modular case we're using now because it allows us to block access to everything but the ethernet & power ports so that customers aren't tempted to mess with them.
At my desk, I assemble them, install Raspbian from NOOBS, install remote control and auditing software, and configure them for a specific customer account.
It would have been MUCH easier and A LOT FASTER to work with a single master preconfigured Pi on your desk, enter the specific customer account, clone the SD card and plug the cloned SD card into the target Pi.

ejolson
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:34 pm

rin67630 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:07 pm
docgreen81 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm
Each individual Pi will be deployed to a different customer location. We're pretty locked in with the modular case we're using now because it allows us to block access to everything but the ethernet & power ports so that customers aren't tempted to mess with them.
At my desk, I assemble them, install Raspbian from NOOBS, install remote control and auditing software, and configure them for a specific customer account.
It would have been MUCH easier and A LOT FASTER to work with a single master preconfigured Pi on your desk, enter the specific customer account, clone the SD card and plug the cloned SD card into the target Pi.
If doing that, there would be no quality assurance that the newly cloned card would work in the untested Pi. With goods built for consumers it is reasonable to perform some testing before deploying them in a commercial setting.

Formatting the card on the Pi in which it will be used and performing additional configuration is likely enough of a test to reduce the not working on arrival return rate and other problems in the field. It would be reasonable to perform other tests while each unit is being set up to further ensure proper functioning and maybe record the MAC address.

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rin67630
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Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:05 pm

Nothing prevents you to swap the SD cards after cloning and perform your tests on the new Pi. So you have a maximum of 2 Pis on your desk.
You can even test while cloning the next one...
I am doing that almost daily and had never found any non working clone.

By the way: I use the Sandisk Industrial 8GB SD cards. They have proven to be rock solid.

Andyroo
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Re: Looking for a mounting solution for RPi (in case)

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:26 pm

You could try something like the BitScope Blades

Not sure where they stand on the Pi 4 range yet though as I've not seen any press release from them.

And yes; your desk is tidier than mine despite me having a wireless keyboard and mouse. Oh for wireless USB
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

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