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Old 12th Mar 2013, 21:09   #1
Azariel
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Rasberry Pi Competition: PiQu - Finished!! (19-04)

This competition had me from day one...but the ideas took a bit more time to develop, and finding the right parts took some more time! Still don't have all the parts, but with the deadline coming closer I decided to start working.

So without further ado I present to you Project PiQu!

PiQu is short for Raspberry Pi (duh) 'Qube' or in proper English Cube (Q just sounded and looked better, sorry) with the main idea to turn it into a mediaplayer to be placed next to the TV. As such it needs to be somewhat neutral (for the Missus to accept it) but still needs to be fully functional and all ports should be reachable (as the rules of the competition state).

Thats it...not gonna tell you more just yet, but will leave you guys with some images of the Hardware (just loved the case the Pi came in) and some parts which I started to make which will form the basic elements of the cube.

Thanks for watching, and as always, comments are more than welcome!

The Pi:



What are these? I know, but do you ?



USB Hub which will be put into the Cube to add extra ports for Wifi dongle and external USB drives.



Some cut rods which will form the skeleton of the cube



With an image to give it some size (atm 13x13cm)



And finally the main exterior material: a nice soft Fabric to make it look like a piece of furniture (or something of that order)



As said, thanks for watching and hope to see some comments!

Last edited by Azariel; 19th Apr 2013 at 21:31.
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 11:13   #2
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I love the idea dude, good luck with it!
Need to get back to mine!
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 16:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azariel View Post
What are these? I know, but do you ?

they look like magnets to me
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 22:42   #4
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Update 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phame View Post
I love the idea dude, good luck with it!
Need to get back to mine!
Thanks Phame! Hope that you'll like it even better when the project unfolds

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
they look like magnets to me
And we have a winner! (apparently its less hard than I thought)

Anyway, a bit more progress!

Started of with filing the rods down to their exact sizes to get all sides of the cube the same length. The plastic company which I ordered these rods with had these advertised as 1m rods of 10x10mm, however one rod was about 9mm, the other about 9.5mm or so (and both not fully square) so it will get a bit tricky I'm affraid...



After that started the actual gluing process using a 90 degree vice thingy which I picked up earlier today.



Then, as the glue has to set& dry (and I only have one of those 90 degrees thingies) I made a test piece for the outside 'cladding' of the cube which also means its time to unveil a bit more of the concept

The Materials:



And the first result



As you can see I'm going to make small, pillowy elements which will be placed on the outside of the case (3 per side) mounted to the cube with (you guessed it) the small magnets (1mm thick, 5mm diameter). The magnets will be placed all around the perimeter so per side of the cube I will have 12 magnets. This means I will be able to place the cladding both horizontal and vertical depending on which slot I want to have open.

This will create a flexibility which will allow me to access all ports but still close of most of the rest of the cube and if needed can even open up entire segments without having to take a screwdriver to it.

Anyway, as this was a test piece to find out if it would work, how the corners would work out, how much 'overlap' I should allow for the material etc, I messed up one end which just had too little material to staple to the backside. So I'll leave you with a few more images of the test piece

Open side



Closed side with the corners done



Doing this kind of upholstery is completely new to me so great fun to try However, any tips or tricks are welcome to make the end result better.

Of course also comments about the concept and other things that might be on your mind (regarding this build log that is) are greatly appreciated!
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 23:49   #5
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Yay! another PI.
Canvas stretching in such a small scale is new to me too. The bulk form the corner folds might give you grief at that size. If you keep the weave lined up it's a great indicator for keeping the stretch even. Just be prepared to re staple any lumpy spots and you are good.
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 23:57   #6
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im so waiting to see what's coming out of this, good luck!
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 01:15   #7
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Is it going to fold out to a Barbie sized bed?
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 01:42   #8
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Looks different, you've got my interest and that 90 degree vice thingy is such a cool tool.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 10:22   #9
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Very interesting, using the magnets to make port access easier is a great idea. Good luck in the comp!
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Old 15th Mar 2013, 19:53   #10
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First of all, thanks for all the enthusiastic replies! Makes posting and sharing much more interesting!

Anyway, getting kinda excited myself! So here is another mini update showing one of the sides of the cube, with the 3 of the 'cladding' panels

I ran into 2 small problems though. I wanted to place the magnets on both the inside of the cladding and the outside of the cube, for them to snap together. However, the upholstery does not really allow for millimeter precision. This might result in having them snap in wrong.

Second issue is that I realized that the upholstery would result in a slightly thicker part on the back, but I didn't realize that the magnet would have to be fairly close to the edge. Most likely messing up the upholstery.

So, I came up with the following idea. I can put the magnets on the cube and use a thin sheet of metal on the backside of the panels. This would give me much more flexibility in placing the panels, and I could just go over the layer of cloth...What do you think?

Anyway, here are a few more pictures. Its far from perfect, but what would you expect for a first time





So imagine this, but then as a full cube, with these panels on all sides!



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Old 24th Mar 2013, 11:36   #11
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Update!

Took me a bit longer than intended, but here's the next update for Project PiQu!

Over the past 2 weeks I've put together the cube skeleton and worked on the midplate which will be used to mount the Pi, but also the USB hub. Finally I also started 'mounting' the magnets to the cube after some trial and error to find the best method

Anyway, as always pictures say more than words, so here we go!

Not that many images of putting the cube together, but its a continuation of what can be seen in the previous updates. Eventhough I used my 90 degree vice thingy, the complete cube isnt fully square at all corners, but I think you will hardly notice it in the end.

So, mounting the magnets. I experimented with drilling, squeezing, gluing in a hole and finally decided on gluing on top as that worked best in combination with the cladding.

So here is me starting with the magnet glueing. I made the mistake to do 2 sides at once, meaning the ones on the side would 'sag' down...put some 'clothespins' on them (worked, but was kinda annoying)



The next problem I ran into is that magnets being magnets, they wanted to pull towards each other when doing the ones on the same 'leg' of the cube. Tape proved to be much more effective than my previous solution!

This btw is also the last side I needed to do, so cube itself is done (except for some painting maybe)



After that it was time to make the mid plate which will be used to mount both the Pi and the USB hub to. But I needed some space to route wiring etc and increase the flexibility (more options to run the wires through).



After some filing etc (no images, sorry) I went on to make a mounting bracket for the USB hub. As the USB hub has a protruding part, I decided to make a bracket, going all across the hub, 'clamping' it to the plate





And end result also showing the finished mid plate



And finally the mid plate with the mounted Pi and USB hub!





Next step will most likely be to continue with the cladding (still need to make 12 more) and mount the midplate in the cube. After that I might consider painting the cube in a nice flat black to reduce the amount of light coming from behind the cladding (havent fired up the Pi yet, so no clue how bright the LEDs are...)

Btw for reason I had in mind the deadline was the 1st of april...not the 30th...did I just misread? Anyway, means I still have a few more weeks to finalize this tiny project

Hope to see some comments and or feedback from you guys!
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Old 24th Mar 2013, 15:55   #12
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I was thinking early April too for the deadline.
Everything looks good. You might get a more even look on your padding if you use packing foam instead of Dacron.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 08:02   #13
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tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!tekonivel - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!
Looking sweet! You still got month to go so no worries. Keep up the good work.
And good luck for the competition.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 12:02   #14
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Watching.
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Old 6th Apr 2013, 12:41   #15
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Log 5!

And another small update to share with you guys! Getting closer and closer to the finish line

The USB hub cable needed some serious shortening and also the connector needed to be an angled one (to fit inside the cube). So USB cable with angled connector and USB hub with standard wire became one



The heatshrink I used to cover it all was slightly too wide, but it did the trick



Tested the setup on my main PC and it still worked *phew*

Test setup on the Pi itself. I was rather careful not to make the wire too short, but in the process actually made it too long. However, it does the job, and stays within the cube so might leave it like this.



After that I started working on the cladding again, mass production this time. Forgot to make a picture of the stacks of panels etc, but you get the idea After the production I started with gluing on small metal plates on each side of a panel to make it work with the magnets.

(Photo shows the cladding 'resting' for the glue to dry)


Kitty quality control check



Anyway, next step will be to putting the cladding onto the cube for the first time...keeping my fingers crossed that it will all fit!

For now I wish you a great weekend and comments are more than welcome!!
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Old 6th Apr 2013, 12:50   #16
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Yay!

An update! Looking good dude!
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 10:33   #17
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Thanks Phame!

Couldnt resist putting the cube together this morning



Its not fully done yet, some loose threads hanging left and right and plates not fully lined up as I just slapped the cladding on there. To be honest, it actually fits really well as it all went on in 1 go!

Anyway, all that remains now is to glue the mid-plate in place and possibly paint the frame black, but then its done!
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 11:05   #18
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Ohhh that looks nice, it's getting to about that time that they're all due in. The pads work really well.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 11:22   #19
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 13:33   #20
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It is really nice. Looks like a toy.
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