The Raspberry PiPod – version 1 – finished!

I’m calling an end to Phase 1 of the PiPod project. I have a working device and all the project aims have been completed.
There is a second Phase, but I need to get a couple of parts before I start doing that.

The original post showing the components of the PiPod can be found here.

Some photographs of my “PiPod”

So, this is it, the PiPod. As you can see, it’s a self-contained unit built around a small Really Useful Box. On top, you can see the 3.5″ car rear view monitor. This is held in place with friction from four screws and bolts. It was pretty secure in there, but I added some joined cable ties to reinforce the ‘holder’.
You can see the wires for the screen, including the power inlet (the red thing). You can also see the Belkin WiFi dongle connected using a small USB extension lead so it can be attached to the box.

This is a view of the side of the PiPod showing that I’m using the composite video output to connect to the screen. The white socket is a spare input for the screen, which I’m not using. You can see on the right a Velcro loop that I use to hold the power cable so it doesn’t drop off the table when disconnected. You can also start to see how the Pi is held in place inside the box… Cable ties again.
I hand-cut (with a craft knife) two holes for the sockets that side.

This is an end-on view showing the hole I cut out for the power cable. I know, it’s all a bit rough, but it was fun!

The other end of the PiPod showing the opening for the LAN port and the USB ports. You can just make out the nano Bluetooth adapter. One of the big problems with the Pi is that if your USB device plug is a bit on the large side (or the case of the device is) then it becomes very difficult to fit two plugs in, one on top of the other. That’s why the extension cable came in handy – it was short enough not to lose too much power and meant that the USB port didn’t get damaged.

This is the underneath of the Pi – you can see the SD card and the cable ties. Messy, but it works well.

I love my little flip-up screen! I could take it out of there and mount the screen direct to the lid of the box, but I don’t want to damage the screen by prising it out. It’s nice to have the built-in screen protection anyway.

And the top comes off… I needed to make sure that I could still get the SD card in and out, but to have it inside the box (rather than sticking out, which is how most of the ‘professional cases do it. It’s a bit fiddly, but with the cable tie going diagonally across, it’s still accessible. I cut a few of the small bits of the outer part of the box away so that the cable ties laid in the ‘grooves’ on the corners. I am covering the HDMI port here, with the USB dongle, but made it so you could remove the dongle.

View from the other side.
And it all works! I would’ve put a video up, but forgot to bring the power cable in today.
Speaking of power, the whole thing runs off two power cables – one for the screen (12V) and one for the Pi (5V). I would at some stage like to get the whole lot running off battery, but I think that might be a lot of expense just for this project, which does everything I wanted it to anyway!

In terms of power, the WiFi dongle is slightly underpowered, but my experiments with a powered USB hub were hit-and-miss and I didn’t want to buy another one. It connects to my home and work WiFi nicely anyway.

The last part of recording this project will be a video showing boot-up, X-desktop operations and using the Rii keyboard/touchpad. That’ll be tomorrow!

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