So this is my first project, I decided to start it because I've seen a lot of projects trying to make a laptop out of a RPI but they don't really made much sense because there was nothing better than a real laptop. I buy a lot of hackware from a lot of places and this box let me protect my gadgets and have them with me. Also having raspbian is a good thing because there is a lot of tutorial to install this gadgets in this OS and then use them.
Another main goal on this project was to NOT TAKE Rpi appart, first I wan't to be upgradeable, so if a new RPI comes out I can just put it on it's place without any work. Another reason to do this is because I took appart a RPI 2 and 1 before, It is really hard to do and then if you wan't to sell them later it is really hard if you don't have them all together.
So basiclly it is a fully portable RPi system that you can use to carry all your stuff too!
I forgot to take pictures of every single step, but the idea is still the same. I live in Chile so i get everything on Ali but if you live in the us you can just look on Ebay or the original retailers. You will need:
- A metal makeup box. something like this:
You just need the box, not the makeup so maybe, just like I did, you can get it from someone or but it in a good will store or garage sale. Make sure both sides are not that thin because we want to put all the RPi setup on one side to leave the other one completely empty for storage.
- Some wood. I used 3mm MDF I paid less than 1 dollar at the store for what I needed.
- Raspberry pi 3 or any raspberry will do, but i like that because of the wifi and bluetooth.
- Usb cables. I cut most of them.
- HDMI cable.
- black paint.
- A knife to cut parts.
- some small bolts.
- A dremel or something like it. It saves you a lot of time.
- a saw.
- soldering iron.
- external battery.
- carbon fiber vinyl sticker. Or any color will do.
- 7 inch eleduino screen.
Ok that is important, I used that one because that way I don't need to modify the battery or anything to give it more power, it is plug and play, and it is touch screen so you don't need a keyboard for this.
- Bluetooth keyboard.
I used this one because it is small but yet the keys are big enough for a human to use. I don't like those super tiny setups that you can't write anything really on them.
Step 1: Step 1 : Screen Hole.
First you have to measure the screen on the wood and start cutting. A dremel will help if something is hard to do. Start by drilling a hole so you can put the saw inside and start cutting. Don't worry if it doesn't comes out straight because we are going to use vynil at the end. Also thake all the contents of your makeup box so it is completely empty and take off the protective cloth that was inside.
Step 2: Step 2: Paint and Vinyl
So there are a few thing here. First I made a support to put the screen, as you can see in the box there is some wood supports, they don't have to be that big because you are just going to put some bolts to hold together. I used wood glue to hold all together.
After that was done I paint everything black. You can use the color you want.
Also after you know the screen edge will fit, cut the vinyl. I made the USB holes using just a knife. Because the wood is so thin, you can just do it, just be careful.
Step 3: Step 3: Battery.
You have to buy any powerbank you want' just make sure it is thin so you can put it in without much trouble. Also I bought the cheapeast 10000mah battery I could find and it had leds to show the power. This is really important because you want to know if your setup is running low on battery to charge it. There are some more expensive that have a small screen showing the power level but you can just use leds like I did.
The only thing to know on led is that there is + and - side. You have to put them that way to allow them to work. The pcb on this battery showed what side was positive so I didn't have to measure anyhthing, just solder. I took the battery off its case as you can see on the picture and then attached the leds.
Step 4: Step 4: Doing the Cables.
I bought the cheapest cables I could find. I was going to cut them anyways to make them shorter.
Be careful because there are some usb cables that are only for charging, you can tell because when you cut them there are only 2 cables instead of 4. To put them back together you just have to match the color.
If you have some that are just for charging that is fine because you can use them for the external battery.
The HDMI was a lot of work to put back together. I recommend that you find a really short cable, there are some on ali but if not, make sure you have a lot of time and you are good soldering because there are a LOT of cables to put back together.
Step 5: Step 5: Put Everything Inside the Case
You have to make some holes on your case. Do them from the side that you have the wood, that way you can control everything. As for the square holes, that I did for the usb and the power switch I cut the metal part with a knife, it was really thing like a soda can or not even that, after I got to the wood I used my dremel to do it better and make a good fit. Then I put everything inside, I used double side tape for the battery and used some bolts for the Raspberry Pi. I drilled some holes and thats why I put a sticker on the case so you can't really see them.
There is also a power cable I put to the battery, power switch and rpi so the pi turns on with that switch.
As you can see on the last pictures that is not the end on the wires, I had to cut them a lot, make them shorter to fit everything inside. As total I left 2 external usb that connect to the rpi. 1 usb that connects to the battery, so you can charge your cell phone without having the Pi on, and the one that goes outside the case that is to charge the battery. Sorry for not having the final pictures.
Step 6: Put the Screen and All Together
Just put the screen on top and you are ready to go! I put a nintendo controller on front so you can see the size of the whole project, but as you can tell, you can use a smaller box if you want, or even a bigger one will make it easier to put stuff inside.