Instructables
Picture of The LittleBox | A Raspberry Pi PC
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Over the last year and a half I have bought four Raspberry Pis. Each Pi has been the centre piece of four different projects.

The first Pi navigates the FishPi Proof-Of-Concept Vehicle, the second manages the FishPi POCV Base-Staion, the third has been tightly packed into the worlds first Raspberry Pi Netbook, and the fourth now powers the LittleBox prototypes.


So what is a LittleBox?

  • Raspberry Pi Powered All-In-One Desktop PC.
  • 14" Widescreen LED Back-light LCD.
  • Resistive Touch Screen.
  • Integrated Amplifier & Speakers.
  • Integrated USB Hub.
  • Built-In Power Converter.
  • GPIO Header.
  • Laser Cut Birch Plywood Frame & Stand.
  • Build-It-Yourself Kit.
  • Runs from a 12v PSU.

This instructable follows my development of the LittleBox from a thought bubble, to a prototype, and finally to a KickStarter project.

The LittleBox is on Kickstarter | http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1008225922/littlebox-the-diy-raspberry-pi-all-in-one-desktop

Although the LittleBox didn't reach its funding target on Kickstarter the LittleBox is still available as a bare-bones kit. Details are at http://thelittlebox.co/theshop

The LittleBox came runner-up in the Epilog Challenge V! Thanks to everyone who voted | http://www.instructables.com/contest/epilogv/
 
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Step 1: The Thought Bubble

Picture of The Thought Bubble
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Crossing the Atlantic is a complicated challenge, and one that I have decided to accept. The FishPi Project hopes to use a Raspberry Pi to navigate a drone across the Atlantic Ocean.

The first step in this quest has been the building of a Proof-Of-Concept-Vehicle (POCV), and a controlling terminal called the Base-Station.

The Base-Station is an aluminium flight case fitted with a Raspberry Pi, a screen, keyboard & trackball, a USB hub, and a wireless router. It will be used to manage the POCV, handle the telemetry, and monitor the POCV's performance.

I'd like everyone to be able to follow the POCV during testing, watch as the FishPi makes it's way across the Atlantic Ocean, and monitor our progress along the way. What if everyone had their own Base-Station to do this?

To build the FishPi Base-Station has taken over a year. It's also designed for a specific purpose; that of controlling the POCV. Any Base-Station for use by everyone else would not need to be quite so specific in its use.

Better yet, rather than a Base-Station, what about a Raspberry Pi Desktop PC?

Brilliant idea!


So what would I want from a Raspberry Pi Desktop PC?

  1. I'd want to be able to build it myself. The Raspberry Pi has sparked a maker revolution, it would be rude not to design a Build-It-Yourself kit.
  2. One thing I learnt from the Base-Staion, the POCV, & the LapPi Netbook is that you'll always need access to the components. I spent a lot of time taking the three apart just to wiggle a wire, or change a part, so the LittleBox electronics must be easily accessible.
  3. The SD Card must also be easy to reach. I'd like to be able to swap SD Cards around so I can have multiple Operating Systems and distributions easily available.
  4. Not too big, or not too small. Screen Size. Widescreen so I get the best cinematic experience if I want to watch films on the LittleBox, but I don't want it too heavy or cumbersome in case I want to take my LittleBox out to a HackSpace or a friends house.
  5. I'll need sound to go with the films. Decent speakers and an amplifier are essential.
  6. Powered USB, the Raspberry Pi suffers if too much current is drawn from it. I'll need a powered USB Hub, and I'll need a power source to drive it.
  7. Access to the GPIO Header. I don't want to have to poke around if I fancy plugging in the GPIO header to a breadboard. I'll need to bring the GPIO in from the cold and out in front of the LittleBox.

Now if I can get all of that into one design I might be onto a winner!
pixel521 days ago
I can't find a suitable screen, can anyone help me out?
SilverJimny (author)  pixel520 days ago

eBay.

sholz21 days ago

Oh dear, i am always too late for the cool things of life. I dont saw barebones on your website, is there any way to get one? Or to get the files for the frame to build one by myself? :) I love the Design!

SilverJimny (author)  sholz20 days ago

There is a new version coming out soon....

priemarius1 month ago

22 | Click on the Folder Icon to load the default configuration (.config).

I have http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00GZCUNQ8/ref=oh_...

this touchscreen and don't know where I can get the default .config ..
Please can anybody help me?

Thank you very much

SilverJimny (author)  priemarius1 month ago

it is part of the source code. it will be in the folder.

konon2kt6 months ago
Where did you get your parts cut
Oliverhall8 months ago

Your project is very nice! It looks like an iMac…

Here's an other source for parts: http://voltatek.com

codegamc8 months ago
Where did you get the screen?
SilverJimny (author)  codegamc8 months ago

eBay

thanks. this might be my next project!

nerd747311 months ago
sorry that it didn't work out nice instructable though
SilverJimny (author)  nerd747311 months ago
Thanks mate.

Win some, lose some!
hope you come up with ideas that stick so to speak
SilverJimny (author)  nerd747311 months ago
Cheers!

Have a look at my latest Instructable, The MicroSlice. It will be on Kickstarter soon!

http://www.instructables.com/id/MicroSlice-A-tiny-Arduino-laser-cutter/
cool man! I have a kickstarter account but I don't know what to do when I make a project and stuff I need more info on it in order to make some of my ideas a reality
tomzbeast1 year ago
mate can u buiild me one ill pay cash moneys
SilverJimny (author)  tomzbeast1 year ago
http://thelittlebox.co/theshop/
no i mean can i have it pre assembled with all components,
SilverJimny (author)  tomzbeast1 year ago
Ok. It will be £400 delivered, fully assembled and tested, I'll even include an 8gb SD Card.

Payment is required beforehand and must be made through PayPal.

Delivery time is upto 5 weeks.

If anyone would like one please message me directly.
private message me with an email mate, i actually like your little silver case one bettter. I seriously want to talk
nerd74731 year ago
awesome dude I may make my raspberry pi portable
luxstar1 year ago
Another threaded brass insert source:   https://sites.google.com/site/arctareproducts/home/industrial-parts        
progers41 year ago
What USB hub did you settle for in the end? Does it come as the PCB or did you dismantle it? Does it come with a PSU?
Do you have a make/model/revision or a source link?
Thanks.
SilverJimny (author)  progers41 year ago
It's a slim & port USB hub, bought off ebay. It comes in a case which I then removed.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/480Mbps-Speed-Ultra-Slim-7-Port-USB-2-0-Hub-Splitter-Adapter-White-/360677338591

Mirio46x1 year ago
Respect ..great project ;)
Edgar1 year ago
Nice!
Voted, and went to my Blog:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/07/um-pc-raspberry-uma-camara-raspy-imanes.html
Overkill. Overkill to the max.
thegrendel1 year ago
A very well thought out and creative application for the Pi.
Best of luck with kickstarter.
SilverJimny (author)  thegrendel1 year ago
Thank you.
Daniel Zf1 year ago
So, i can use one of you'r kickstarter's to make my old laptop scree and speakers usable again? if so i think i'll start saving cash to get some since the R-Pi ain't sold here in Mexico
"runs for days at a time without problems"... ???

What sorts of problems do you run into after only days of running? Doesn't sound very impressive.
monty3241 year ago
wow. I love it. Great instructable and amazing project
SilverJimny (author)  monty3241 year ago
Thanks!
This has inspired me to think about raspberry pi and also kickstarter. I have some good ideas that could be 3D printed and im thinking about using your circuitry for a nicer interface and I might kickstart them so I can print them at home. If I do, you will be first to know. Good luck with fishPi.
Well done, very organised amazing project. Wish luck
SilverJimny (author)  francis_young1 year ago
Thanks :)
iOskr1 year ago
I think that you will win!!!... Congrats excelent project thanks for sharing.
SilverJimny (author)  iOskr1 year ago
thanks, fingers crossed :)