Instructables

Raspberry Pi + USB hub Lego case

Picture of Raspberry Pi + USB hub Lego case
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Greetings! This is my version of a Lego case for a Raspberry Pi 2nd revision (the one with mounting holes) that incorporates a USB hub. This particular Raspberry Pi revision allows it to be powered via the hub itself which is really handy because:

- It eliminates the need for a dedicated Pi power supply (the Pi is SAFELY powered through backfeeding from its USB port)
- Adds plenty of 500mA USB ports (instead of the two 100mA the Pi comes equipped with, which can't fully power most peripherals)
- Provides a stable power supply for your Pi
- Eliminates the hassle of carrying/plugging lots of different cords

The case also has a handy cover for the SD card (I never really liked the fact that it's sticking out like that) but if you don't like it you can always use another Lego piece there to make a "classic" case that reveals the SD card inserted.
There is also a special Lego piece (the windshield) taken from a Lego car set that lets you view which LEDs light up.

The USB hub used is a Belkin 7-Port Powered Mobile Hub which is quite handy since it's a somewhat smaller same size as the Raspberry Pi and can be fitted right on top of it. Unfortunately, the design eliminates one USB port but I have found this to be trivial, since I have never used the Pi with more than 4 peripherals at the same time and if such a need arises I can always use the remaining port on the Pi itself. Here is a link to the USB hub used: http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F5U701

I have created detailed instructions on Lego Digital Designer and included them in the steps of this guide. The instructions are divided in 3 parts:

- Part 1 is the base of the case (you will put the Pi in there when you finish the assembly)
- Part 2 is the first "roof" of the base (this covers the Pi and is also the base for the USB hub)
- Part 3 is the second "roof" (this covers the USB hub and completes the structure)

Although this design is pretty solid (no Pi rattling - USB hub rattles a LITTLE) I plan on improving it in the future to include even more useful stuff (like another floor for a card reader, or a "basement" floor below the Pi for a small external HDD).

This is my first instructable everyone, I hope you like it! You are free to modify this design anyway you like and even post your modification in another instructable (a link to the original would be very much appreciated). Thank you! :D
 
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ytumer1 year ago
Hi,

Great instructable. I just wanted to know if you have a list of lego pieces required to build this. Basically a bill of materials.
emdarcher1 year ago
Wow! I did the exact same thing with my homemade lego rasperry pi case and usb hub with my first setup and am still using it like this until i get a better case and dedicated peripherals for my raspberry pi. right now i actually have my raspberry pi powered through a usb port on the hub (2.5 amp external powered usb hub) so it only has i power wire and is pretty compact. nice job on the instructable.
Xqwzts (author)  emdarcher1 year ago
Thanks! It needs a bit tidying up though! First instructable, i had to learn the editor a bit etc. The case is pretty handy like that (i power the Pi through the USB via backfeeding and i also have a micro USB plugged in the "normal" power input as a failsafe method). Right now i am working to see if i can fit 3 small heat sinks in the case that i got from an old gpu (though i must say, the pi does not need them that much, it runs pretty cooly even with that plastic roof and USB hub on top). In the future i will tidy up this guide and maybe make a new one on heat sinks (or add them to this one, i dont know). Cheers!
love the translucent sd card holder! what program are you using to generate these lego images?
Xqwzts (author)  amandaghassaei1 year ago
It's called Lego Digital Designer and it's a free download from the official site! Quite powerful and very helpful, it can generate a building guide like this one (and you have to manually capture the screenshots) or an HTML guide which i am planning on hosting on a public Dropbox folder sometime later in the future.

I am so glad you liked the case, i was in a lot of hurry to enter for the contest and my guide sucks a bit, i plan on making it better with some text and more steps!