Tippecanoe Electronic Datum

Raspberry Pi System

RPi Project RhinoCAD Preview

I am designing and building a Raspberry Pi (RPi) micro-computer system. I have acquired two RPi4b Single Board Computers (SBC) and will use one of them in my design.

My intent is to build the project in a small compact space. I chose a small but high resolution 10-inch display. The design is to 3D-Print a base to hold the screen in a viewable position and include the RPi and a 12/5 volt combined power supply in the holder base behind the screen.

The keyboard is wireless with a touchpad built in for mouse control.

Using a SBC and monitor usually involves a mass of wiring running in every direction and requiring considerable space. Two power supplies (wall warts) are required as the SBC is 5 volts, and the monitor is 12 Volts. If the voltages were the same there would still be two power supplies required.

I am not discussing or listing specific components as this is a very early work in progress.  Subject to change if things don't turn-out as I expect.

Shown are the two candidate RPi4b's. The one with the fan is booting from a 125GB USB connected SSD. Fast start and fast data save. It has 2 GB of RAM. I received this RPi from friend Mike in Michigan. Thanks Mike!

The other is a passive heatsink (no fan) and boots from the 128GB SD card. It is slower in boot-up but has 8GB RAM.

In operation both are functionally the same. Presently nothing I do requires the larger RAM. My intent is to design a mount so I can use either RPi, and compare performance difference (if any). Only noticable difference now is the fan version runs 10 deg C cooler, but neither get hot enough to lower performance due to CPU throttling.

RPi4b Fan Cooled

This RPi4b is the one sent to me by Mike. He included the 120GB SSD. I designed the yellow case hold them both.

RPi4b with Heat Sink Case

This is the 8GB RAM RPi with no fan. 128GB SD card. The SD card is 4X to 5X slower, 100MBS compared to 500MBS max transfer for a USB3 SSD. 

Transfer speed is a relative term, depending on the purpose or use.  The USB/SSD is definitely the winner as a boot drive and application start-up drive. A USB/SSD boot drive would be a good future addition to the fan-less RPi.

The following pictures show my first attempt at designing a monitor stand. The PS and RPI will be installed on the rear tray area in separate 3D printed case components.

Printing on Little MamaCetus

This maxes out the build platform on the Cetus 3D printer. The Cetus build area is 180mm X 180mm X 180mm. 

Just Finished 

 No where maxed out in height. The print was 4 hours using a 0.3mm layer. with PLA+ filament.

Light But Strong 

I determined this was a good viewing angle. The hi res (2K) monitor needs to be viewed  close. This is a HDMI monitor and the speakers are built in. Better audio than most laptops.

Display Shows ThunderBird Email

Excellent display with it's 10 inch diagonal screen. A 13 inch version is available but this one fits my needs for a small system. 

I will post more on this project as it progresses.  I admit at this point it is one of those "Because I Can..." projects, and does not (yet) fill a specific need. Mostly I like "playing" with the LINUX operating systems and intend to find practical use for the SBC class of micro computers.

FUSION360 CAD Drawing 

I decided to add a M-2 SATA dive to the fan-less RPi4b by extending the base to hold the SSD. The original base is the blue one visible in a picture near the top of this post.

New Base

 Here is the new base printed in Yellow PLA. The blue original was printed in TPU (rubber). The M.2 SSD has not arrived so base was designed with published dimensions. I will soon discover if they were accurate. Ha!

Much more is going on in this project. I have a deluxe manufactured case on order called the Argon ONE M2. More about that when I have it in hand. I am continuing to work on other RPi4b configurations. One fact is certain. They all will be booting and operating from SSD rather than the standard SD card. So much better performance.

Big MamaCetus is Hot


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Monday, 14 June 2021

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