Wednesday 6 November 2013

RaspberryPi Case; add a GPIO slot

Our Computer Science students have just started hanging components on the RaspberryPi GPIO.

However, the nice cases that protect the RaspberryPi also make it difficult to connect wires to the P1 connector.

Rather than removing the lid from all boxes completely, I decided to cut a slot in the top, just large enough for nimble young fingers to connect insulated jumper wires.

Before We Start

I'm not your mum, but still feel obliged to nag you into wearing safety glasses if you intend to follow this procedure.

Start by removing the lid from the RaspberryPi case, remembering to identify which part of the lid covers the GPIO connector P1.

Drill 2 pilot holes using a 3mm drill bit:-

  1. The first hole needs to be about 6mm in from the side and corner nearest P1.
  2. The second hole should be about 35mm away from the first, and also 6mm in from the side of the lid.

Now progressively enlarge the hole to 8mm (e.g. don't go from 3mm straight to 8mm, then come crying to me if you crack your lid!)

We need to create a slot by cutting the lid to join up the two 8mm holes.

Probably the easiest way is to use a Dremel with a small circular cutting disk.

The disk tends to cut and melt the plastic, so work in a well ventilated area. Clean up the slot by pulling off any knobbly bits of plastic by hand.

I also used a conical grinder attachment to straighten up irregularities.

Now remove any loose pieces of plastic and reassemble the RaspberryPi.

The first box that I modified turned out pretty rough because I was working in a dimly lit area, and I tried to move the Dremel with cutting disk by hand.

I then found it better to hold the Dremel against the edge of a table or bench and slid the box lid to make the cut. So the 9 boxes modified after the first (prototype) look much better.

The jumper leads that we use have insulated female connectors, which are fairly easy to push down over the pins. However, you could make the slot slightly wider if you have problems making a connection.

No comments:

Post a Comment