My Banana Pi (AKA BPI, CPU AllWinner A20 @ 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 32 GB SD-Card as mass storage) is not fast, but nice to run 24/7. Barely draws power and thus could run on a battery for a while. When I saw this I thought “That’s a nice idea. Let me do that with my BPI too”. I always wanted to put the 5″ LCD somewhere permanent anyway: the LCD and the BPI were loosely connected by this fragile flat cable…it was a question of time when it would break. Unfortunately there is no nice case for both units.
So I searched for a usable case. As flat as possible, as small as possible. With or without space for a battery. I was looking for something made of wood, alas plastic took over the world, so I bought one of those. Not perfect, but the best I could find.
2 problems I had:
- How to attach everything inside (BPI and LCD) and what to do about connecting cables. The BPI has connectors on all 4 sides. And the cable to the LCD is not very long.
- The case opens completely flat, which would make the screen unreadable as well as it would break the cable. So I had to limit the top cover from opening too much. It’s now set at about 100º.
In the end, below you can see how I connected everything.
- The side of the SD-Card has enough space to remove the card easily.
- The side of the USB and NIC has enough space to connect normal cables, but many USB sticks are too long
- Composite video and audio are basically not usable
- Neither is HDMI and SATA
- Power connects via barrel connector (alternatively micro-USB, but I don’t use this)
- A longer and/or more flexible LCD cable would be nice
- Being able to connect cables (power, Ethernet) while the case is closed
- Run via battery. A small 800mAh 7.2V LiPo should last for 4h
- A custom made case for BPI, LCD, LiPo and charger circuit