11/25/2021 at 14:51 •
I finally have a stable system and am ready to get back to work on a few projects. For this I installed Kid3 for editing metadata on media files, Krename for batch renaming files, and ConvertAll which I use for figuring out unit conversions without having to wait for the browser to load or needing internet. I try to do as much offline and local as possible. I don't always have internet access. I used to use Metamorphose2 for batch file renaming, but I haven't been able to install it for quite sometime. I wonder if it's been discontinued or something. Kid3 is what I normally use, so no learning curve there. I still need a backup solution since my usual TimeShift won't get through a restore operation without crashing. I've been cloning the boot drive to an SD card. Just finished doing so a few minutes ago before installing any new software. Just never know when something will ruin the OS like the audio fiasco after system updates.
Boot Drive Considerations
I really need to settle on a boot drive. I've found that my Samsung Bar 32GB flash drive is decent, but it gets incredibly hot and slows way down. I really want a 1TB super tiny portable SSD but they're about $160USD and I don't want to spend that on just a single drive right now. For the same price I can get 5 good SD cards, a SATA to USB 3.0 adapter to use with my 256GB Samsung flash drive, a cooling fan for the Pidock 400, 512GB SD card, and a 256GB Samsung Bar Plus flash drive. I'd just use the 512GB SD card as a boot drive, but I have had countless SD cards corrupted by the Raspberry Pi. A single system crash can be all it takes to ruin them. My 256GB SD card for 4K video recording was permanently ruined by this very Pi 400. That was fun AND expensive. I won't run from SD anymore. My recovery system is Raspberry Pi OS with a write protected OS so it's less likely to die when I trp a breaker and shut everything off by accident. For now, I will just use the SATA SSD I have as a boot drive. It will be tucked neatly under the Pi, and not attached directly to the super hot USB ports. It's older, but far faster than the flash drives and SD cards, and will be thermally insulated. I will also have the option to upgrade the SSD in the future. Ultimately I want an NVME SSD to boot from, but I may ot have enough physical space inside the Pidock. I don't want things dangling all over the place off my Pi. It's annoying and how things get broken or left behind. I'll be opening up the Pidock 400 soon to see what kind of space I have to work with. I'm not above drilling holes, cutting notches, adding fans and power supplies and batteries, and just generally hacking it up a bit. It's very close to a perfect Pi laptop already, might as well finish the job and share the results.
11/25/2021 at 00:48 •
I've always loved the library. Especially my local hometown library. I finally live close to it and want to spend more time there and contribute something useful. It's where I spent the most productive and peaceful days of my rather stressful childhood. I get the library email newsletter and it's always a good read. I love sharing knowledge and teaching as much as gathering knowledge and learning. It all brings me immense joy for whatever reason. I'm trying to think of ways to use my Pi and what I'm doing here to teach others. Maybe I could take it in and demonstrate what's possible with such a simple and affordable system? All I know is that I want to teach classes at my library. I just need to figure out what and how. I'm probably one of the most tech savvy person in my entire home town right now. I'm probably the only one with an interest in teaching classes at the local library. I'll keep thinking on it and see what I come up with. Maybe I teach video editing and creative work on the Pi and send a few people home with a Pi 400 kit and a custom OS image to work with. Endless possibilities. Oh how I miss the antique oak tables and plush leather arm chairs of that gorgeous old library...
11/24/2021 at 23:42 •
It finally happened: I got my tortured Pi 400 to thermal throttle. It took longer than I expected. I've been rendering videos on and off all day and finally did it with Handbrake. It rendered a short 4K clip at 1080p, very high quality settings, and I got the little flashing thermometer symbol in the top right of the screen. The system never crashed so I'm ok with it. Active cooling is definitely coming. I want to get the system set up for daily use before I start worrying about extra hardware.
Anyway, I hit an interesting milestone. I' considered turning down the overclock from 2.2GHz to 2.0GHz, but I want to see what happens and how long the Pi lasts. I may order a backup/secondary Pi 400 soon anyway. Good stuff.
11/24/2021 at 19:00 •
I finally got this thing working and am ready to try to make a video. I'll start by outlining the overall process. After I install Handbrake...
There are two ways I can do this right now, as I am starting with 4K video files. The first is to just shove them into Kdenlive and let it render them down into proxy versions that I can actually work with. The second is to run all the files through Handbrake ahead of time to compress the files down to 1080p before I try to edit them. If I do this, I'll be rendering the files twice: Once to drop from 4K to 1080p, then again in Kdenlive to drop them down further for proxy versions. Thinking about it, the proxy render is unavoidable due to the low power nature of the Pi 400. Proxy rendering may be faster if I start with 1080p videos, but I'm not sure. If I know I will be making a video and have time, I'll compress the video files ahead of time. Otherwise, I may just see if Kdenlive can make proxy files in a reasonable time. I was writing this log as I go in Firefox, but want to free up system resources so I will switch over to WordGrinder and paste the log back into here when done. Saving the draft. Never mind, can't get what I have into WordGrinder, using notepad... I forgot to install VLC Media Player. The whole audio failure has really thrown me through a loop here. At least I get to open a ton of programs and windows at once and see how the system handles it. I'd say far better than before. I'm guessing there was an update somewhere that crippled the entire system. It feels much ore responsive.
Testing Kdenlive with a 4K file first, as I have them handy. I suspect the videos I have labeled as "final" are already 1080p, judging by the file size. I'll try to find the 4K version of one of these files and test both in Kdenlive. VLC codec info confirms this is a 1080p version of the file. Labeling it in the file name. It turns out I don't have the original 4k file handy. I do have a bunch of 4k files shot from a different point of view. They all need converted to 1080p for this project, which will be a good test. I just spent the past 15 minutes or so just organizing the media for this project. It really needed cleaned up. I have a folder template for video projects that makes it easy to organize everything. I have a log file where I typed up notes originally. I need to go back through it and figure out where I left off. Had I not done all of that, I'd be rather overwhelmed with this project right now. Most of the work here is just organizing and preparing for the creative work. So far, the Pi has hadled things admirable. Pop!_OS has done exactly as it was supposed to and stayed out of my way. I haven't had any OS distractions after I set up the floating windows exceptions, which stops certain windows from resizing automatically. Specifically I set up VLC and Kdenlive to ignore tiling requests. This means they both open full screen every time. VLC freaks out when it opens a video and tiling tries to put it somewhere. It was slowing things down.
I need a to do list for this right now:
Set up battery bank as UPS for the Pi as the power in my camper goes out randomly when I turn on too many things.
Watch, name, and organize the unsorted 4k files. Requires modifying the config.txt to allow 4k playback, which I disabled. Alternatively, I can simply let Handbrake compress them down to 1080p. This is the better solution as it needs done anyway.
Switch to a text editor with autosave in case the system locks up or power is lost.
Test Kdenlive with 4k and 1080p videos.
Do the actual creative work and render the final video.
There is a lot to do here, but it is coming along nicely. I will start with setting up the battery bank as a UPS to make sure I will have stable power. Well that failed quite nicely. The battery bank was causing the Pi to throw the low voltage alarm, so I went back to wall power. I have a 12 volt battery bank in mind that can run the Pidock 400 and Pi 400, but it’s nearly $200 and I have other things to worry about. I hope to add an internal battery some day.
I finally got Kdenlive running with audio. I set up proxy clips to use the vaapi h264 encoding profile and added a small 4K clip. It works surprisingly well so far. Adding a second, larger 4K clip and waiting on the proxy clip to generate. The experience, even when scrubbing through clips is quite good. It’s a better experience on the Pi 400 than my MSI GE60 laptop with Shotcut and a dedicated Nvidia 765m GPU. Proxy clips really is the key to getting this working. It failed to even play the 4K clips and froze the program the first try. I am very pleased and surprised so far.
Rendering my first clip now. It’s 1 minute long, going from 4K to 1080p as fast as possible. That failed beautifully. The render consumed all of the RAM and crashed the entire system very gracefully. There is no swap space on this system, so I think I will address that. I need to find ways to reduce the RAM usage, but not sure if that is possible. It was going at 5fps and would have taken less than 10 minutes to render a 1 minute 4K clip. That’s not unreasonable. A 10 minute video would take about 100 minutes. Start the render, go do something else, done. LibreOffice Writer did an admirable job recovering this log file after the crash. I created an 8GB swap file and got it running. Trying the render again. RAM usage never went above 2.3GB of the 3.8GB available and swap was completely untouched. It held steady at 18fps with spikes of 38fps. I used the same settings in both tests as Kdenlive recovered the project after the crash. I did set it up to render using all 4 cores, and all 4 were indeed at 100% nearly the entire time. The OS was still reasonably responsive. I’m quite surprised with performance here. The video quality was terrible, but that was to be expected at the fastest setting. I turned it down to the slowest setting for this next test. Holding steady around 2.6GB of RAM usage, and 1fps. ETA of 7 minutes for a 1 minute 4K clip. Still not bad. It’s not “needs to run overnight” slow. More like “might as well eat your lunch” slow. I’m ok with that. Very good for a $100 pc trying to work with 4K video files. I can work with this. The system is still quite responsive, considering the CPU is completely maxed out. ETA has jumped up to 18 minutes for the 1 minute clip. A 10 minute video would take 180 minutes at that rate. 3 hours. Still not bad for dealing with 4K. I don’t need to be editing and rendering full time. Just a video every few days or weeks. It can run overnight no problem. I still plan to build a Pi CM4 based video editing system at some point that can sit around rendering all day while I use my Pi 400. I don’t recommend this set up if it can be avoided, but you definitely can get some editing and real work done on the Pi 400. We’re down to 0fps now. Hasn’t crashed yet. I am running a 2.2GHz overclock, but it may be thermal throttling for all I know. Going to let it finish and see what comes out the other end.
Bored, opening Firefox to see if I can do something productive while this poor thing tries to spit out that video file. 3.0GB of RAM used(80%). It is working by some miracle. I’ve read a few HaD articles without incident. The boot drive is painfully hot to the touch though. I chose a Samsung Bar as it’s what I had on hand, but it is working very well. Being metal, it does help conduct the heat away. The poor Pi is burning up though. Even maxing out the entire system, it is still far more responsive than when I had the system fully updated. It seems there was something going on before that caused the entire system to slow down. It’s almost responsive as a cheap smartphone, even under full load. Good job Raspberry Pi. Rendering completed in 32:35. Just realized I didn’t have the GPU overclocked. Setting to 750MHz for now.
The latest video render has completed and the results are hideous. Very blocky. On the next test I’ll use the “lossless” x264 codec option. I’m still learning the basics here, but I am making progress. The 1080p videos that came out of handbrake on my old laptop look fantastic. The ones from Kdenlive look like crap. If I can fix that, I will be ok with video editing on this Pi. After I shut down everything, LibreOffice Writer started acting weird until I shut it down and restarted it a few times. Video playback on VLC was also terrible until I set it to use 4 cores under the Codec section. It was far better. Even fairly good. Restarting the Pi and trying again with the lossless codec. I also went and found a way to check if hardware acceleration is in use and how to make various programs use it. It was enabled and working by default in Pop!_OS, which is fantastic and unexpected. I guess I should expect it from System76. I am a huge fan these days. I had to enable it in Firefox and VLC Media Player, and install the H264ify extension in Firefox, but they are minor changes. Going to re-enable 4K output over HDMI and see just how well it works in VLC. 4K videos still get stuck on one frame and play audio. No luck at all. 1080P playback is better, but still a little choppy. YouTube at 720p in Firefox is acceptable, 1080p is not great.
Moving onto the next render test: Lossless. This went better than the previous test. RAM got maxed out and 1.2GB of swap was used, but the render finished. The results are far better. I can’t actually play the file with VLC, but the single video frame that rendered looked very good. The lossless x264 codec is the way to go. I started with 692MB of 4K video files and ended up with a single 1.5GB 1080p video file. That’s a very large file for a 1 minute clip. Going to check render options in Kdenlive and may just compress with Handbrake if there aren’t any good options there. The quality is more than good enough to upload to YouTube. This is excellent progress. I have been at this for about 7 hours now, and am happy to get such good results. I just realized that I only ever adjusted the encoder speed, not the actual quality settings of the h264 encoder. I’m very tired, so I will try again tomorrow and post this log.
I feel that the Pi 400 is acceptable for video editing, provided you have the time and patience. It will not hold up to production environments, and even playing back files can be problematic. I feel I’ve given this Pi the best chance I can for the time being. Running Pop!_OS, with hardware acceleration enabled, an overclock, and running from fast storage devices makes a huge difference. I may test video editing with a stock Pi 400 and OS at some point, but I suspect it will be significantly slower. I have some hardware upgrades planned that should speed things up even more. I recommend the Pi 400 for anyone who needs a cheap and capable PC. I recommend running Pop!_OS on it as well, provided you do not update the OS and just install the software you need until the audio issue is fix. I will clone this drive and eventually make a system image of it, both for my personal use, and to distribute to anyone who wants to try it out. I am still new to much of this, but feel I’ve made decent progress.The following pictures show the difference between the first attempt and the second attempt.
It may be hard to see the difference, but the video quality differs greatly. I can make this work for simple projects and will finish my fish video on the Pi 400 soon.
11/23/2021 at 22:33 •
After the recent audio failure under the OS, and losing an entire day to sorting it out, I've decided to create my own system image. I'll install and test everything needed for daily use, then clone the system to an image file, write to a drive, and verify it still works. I couldn't imagine a non Linux or non tech savvy person trying to sort this crap out. I'm struggling with it and I've been daily driving Linux for a few years now. When done, I'll have an image that can do video editing and all the stuff I need. I'll get hardware acceleration sorted out as well. I'll find a way to share the images I make in case anyone ever wants them. I'll add the to the "Files" section of the project page and maybe my GitHub page as well. This has been a nightmare. I'm still creating a new recovery drive that I can use to flash drives with on the Pi 400. It's very tedious.
Anyway, keep an eye out for up to date, verified system images on this page. They'll be Pop!_OS at first and maybe some Raspberry Pi OS images later down the road.
11/23/2021 at 15:18 •
I'm sitting down to start creating a video I started a while ago and never finished. I'll be doing it on the Pi 400 of course. Pi 400, Vilros Pidock 400, in ear monitors, kdenlive, Audacity, extra patience.
The first step is to review all the footage and decide what I want to use in this video. This is probably the most difficult step for me. I could use so many different clips in so many different combinations with may different audio clips or music tracks. It's the part where I have to decide what story to tell and how to tell it. I have a little YouTube channel where I experiment with videos, and a mascot named Mr. Fish. It's one of those electronic flopping fish cat toys. I have footage of him flopping about and doing different things. I call this video project "A Day in the Life of Mr. Fish." It's fairly simple, but I have to find the most hilarious order to put the clips and find the audio I want to use. Having started this months ago and forgotten about it, I only vaguely remember where I left off. Luckily I started taking notes and sorting files. I have a folder called "Final" that has all the video files I originally decided to use. They're good, but I will review all files again and revise the list. Just watching all the files can be tedious at times as they're 4K and the Pi does struggle ever so slightly to play them. Luckily VLC Media Player seems to be rather quick about it. I couldn't imagine streaming 4K to the PI. I could actually edit 4K video and render in 4K on the Pi as long as I use the kdenlive proxy settings and be patient. I'll try a 4K project later. Perhaps just a 4K version of the same video. I'll be rendering this one in 1080p. I've found that shooting in 4K and rendering in 1080p actually gives a better picture than shooting in 1080p.
Currently copying all the project files from a flash drive to the main boot drive. I could leave them on the flash drive, but I want to make sure I have access to them even if I have to plug something else into the other USB 3.0 port. It's copying very slowly for some reason. About 5MB/s. Not sure why. Hoping the read speeds will be better when I go to edit the videos. Researching what kind of video editing/gaming machine I could build with a Pi while I wait... $75 for top of the line CM4 module, $35 for the carrier board. $110, plus a GPU. Not bad. It has 2 camera connectors on it, which would allow me to actually use the thing to record the videos as well as edit and upload them... I think I'll revisit my idea to make a portable video production studio made using Raspberry Pi hardware... If this project goes well, I'll create a project page and get started on it as I go. Still copying files...Copy complete. Waiting on Jeff Geerling to get a GPU working to really worry about the GPU aspect of the CM4 video station idea.
Reviewing files and such. No audio...No audio devices available... Saving log draft, restarting PC... Many hours have passed working on this and I'm now so annoyed I've decided to reinstall the entire OS and start from scratch. I really hate this about working with Linux. I was keeping plenty of TimeShift backups on an SD card, but the restore doesn't work and just crashes the program. I have no simple way to restore the system. From now on I will just clone the damn boot drive for backups and be done with it. Creating a new boot drive now so I can format the current one. Very frustrating. Luckily I keep all on OS files on separate drives so I don't have to worry about pulling personal data and can just wipe the drive. Now I have to waste all that time to reinstall all my programs and set everything back up again... I guess that's one of the hidden costs of using a beta OS. Adding my overclock settings to the config.txt file on the fresh install to help speed things up initially. I could have used my other laptop to flash the drives, but I want to stick with the theme of only using the Pi 400. Makes things really interesting with only 3 USB ports and a messed up OS.
It's the next day. I'm going in to work early to quit, so I'll have plenty of time during the Thanksgiving Holiday period to work on projects before starting a new job. I've gotten a recover SD card made with Pop!_OS on it and got the Raspberry Pi Imager program installed. That was harder than I thought. The Pop Shop won't work as it thinks the system is offline... It's not. I remember dealing with this before but forgot the solution. I think it requires a system upgrade. I installed Snap and the Pi Imager through Snap. Wrote the OS to my main boot flash drive, got it set up. I haven't installed any software yet. I'll be doing that later. After I set up a Raspberry Pi OS boot drive so I can use the SD Card Cloner tool to make backups of the system. Such a tedious process. I could use dd to create a system image, but I don't feel like learning that right now. I need Pi OS for testing other things as well. This has been a nightmare so far. First major problem. I will have it sorted soon and get back to work in the Pi.
I'm surprised to find that this project is slowly gaining a following. Hopefully my work on this, as amateur as it may be at times, will help other people out. I would have loved something like this when I was first getting into computers. I had a thrift shop $3 Dell running Windows 98 and the slowest broadband you could get. Still, I had a computer at a very young age. It was old and slow, but worked. I can't imagine what kids could learn and do on something like the Pi 400 these days. Good stuff.
I've finally made some progress on this. I've set up a micro SD card with a fresh install of Pop!_OS and set it up. I then cloned that to my main boot flash drive, expanded the file system, then verified it boots. Now I've got an SD card that I can experiment on safely. I installed Kdenlive, Audacity, Inkscape, and Kmahjongg on the SD card, rebooting after every install to verify audio output wasn't broken. So far so good. I have all the basic tools to edit videos, as well as something to do while I wait for things to go. Currently cloning that SD back to the flash drive using the SD Card Cloner tool under Raspberry Pi OS. It's known as piclone, but I can't get it to install under Pop!_OS. I just use another OS to run it. I also updated the wifi binary blob and firmware. I copied the two files to my storage flash drive and wrote some scripts to install them from that location. I added over locking to config.txt and put a copy in the same storage drive. Now I can easily add overclocking and the wifi firmware updates to a fresh install if needed. I plan to write a script file that will take care of all this for me in the future. This has been a real challenge so far, simply due to a bug that kills audio support on the Pi 400 under Pop!_OS. I've narrowed it down to an update, but unsure which one it is. For the time being, I'll avoid updating the system until I can determine which one is at fault. System76 may get to it before me. If so, great. I'm ok with this otherwise. I'll end this log here and start the next one with some actual video editing. I enjoy trying new and weird things as I learn stuff and usually find weird bugs. I now know how to get this particular set up at least running and stable. I've done some research and decided to upgrade my boot drive to a 256GB Samsung Bar Plus flash drive. I was considering using an NVME SSD over USB, but that gets expensive and bulky, and is out of reach of many people like kids who may not have the means to set it up. The goal of this project is to use REASONABLE means to run a Pi 400 as an every day computer. Even my Pidock 400 could easily be replaced with whatever tv or monitor is available.
11/23/2021 at 13:06 •
One of my favorite hobbies is video production. I feel I currently suck at it, and am still learning the workflow and deciding on tools, but I enjoy it all the same. I have an MSI GE60 from 2013 that I've been using, but wanted to get away from that giant old power hog and try out the Pi 400 as a video editing system. I've got all my project files from an unfinished video project loaded onto the Pi, and have decided on a few software tools already. I will be using kdenlive for the video editing, Audacity for audio editing, and Inkscape for image editing. kdenlive is set up to create proxy clips for any video file over 480 pixels. This will allow me to play back and scrub through the files at a decent speed on this Pi. I will be working with 4K video files shot with a GoPro Hero 7 Silver, and audio files recorded on a Zoom H5 audio recorder.
I'm using a Pi 400 overclocked to 2GHz, running Pop!_OS 21.10 from a 32GB Samsung Bar flash drive on the USB 3.0 port. The project files reside on that boot drive. Read and write speeds are acceptable, and far better than running from micro SD. I'll be using the display on the Vilros Pidock 400 for the video monitor, and either my MEE Audio M6 Pro in ear monitors(fancy headphones), or my Creative Stage Air Bluetooth sound bar for audio monitoring. I'll likely edit with the monitors and check the final result on the sound bar.
Between the 4K video files, high bit rate audio files, limited power of the Pi 400, heat issues caused by the Pidock 400, and untested GPU hardware acceleration, this should be a great test of what the Pi is really capable of. I know there are a few videos out there where kdenlive is used to make videos n the Pi 400, but I want to know what it would be like to learn the entire process on a Pi and use only the Pi for video production. In the future I will add active cooling to the Pidock and overclock the Pi even further for better performance. When I get around to verifying GPU hardware acceleration for FFMPEG, I will turn it on in kdenlive and test performance on various file types and resolutions.
For now, I am going with a fairly stock Pi set up running under Pop!_OS using the software available from the PopShop. This is a setup attainable for the average person who just needs something super cheap and simple to get started. Results of the next test in the next log entry.
11/21/2021 at 22:59 •
In the image above, notice the little round thing in the top left corner. It's a little self adhesive rubber foot I got at Home Depot. I have one on each side. I put them on the lid instead of the deck to avoid having them get in the way. I don't even notice them up there, and I can close the lid with confidence now. Without them on the screen lid, the screen touches the keyboard of the Pi 400 and will damage it. There is already some back light bleed on the edge of the screen from such unwanted physical contact. The rubbers keep such unwanted contact at bay, while still allowing for a pleasurable experience. Cheap, simple, easy protection. Highly recommended.
On a semi related note, The above image was too large to upload to this log, so I used Inkscape on the Pi to compress the image. Well, lower the image size, which reduced the file size. It was 7.8MB and the limit is 5MB. I divided 5 by 7.8 to get about 64, which I rounded down to 60. This gave me 60%. I reduced the image dimensions to 60% of the original size, exported as a png, and uploaded the now 4.5MB file to this very log, on the Pi this log is about. Pretty neat. Inkscape was perfectly responsive, to the point I forgot I was using a Pi to run it.
The Pi 400 daily driver experiment is going quite well so far. I was able to watch Futurama with a nice bluetooth sound bar while eating popcorn before dinner. I call that a success.
11/21/2021 at 18:24 •
Last night before bed, I decided to put my idle Pi to work while I slept. I've got a movie file that needed converted to a modern format as the Pi was struggling to play it. I fired up Handbrake and put in the file. Went to bed and woke up with a finished file. One more small piece of a very large project completed. I am going to run a few files through every night to get things ready for when I hit the road. I'm ordering a new laptop soon which can churn through videos very quickly, but I really don't want to tie up my main machine with such things. I very well may order another Pi 400 to just sit around on a UPS and chug through my entire library until it's all done. $70 to free up my main work PC and my development system seems a reasonable price to me. I know some would consider it a waste, but it's basically spending $70 to set up a project to finish itself while I do more interesting things. I'm ok with that. I want to really push one of these Pi 400s and see what happens, and CPU video Encoding is a great way to do it.
When done with this project, the secondary Pi 400 would be set up as a permanent lab computer, freeing up my Pi laptop to live in it's travel bag so it's always ready to go. I'm just tired of my main PCs being tied up with random work such as backing things up, file compression and co version, and downloading software.
I realized that I need another Pi 4 to finish my camcorder project. I could even use that to process things when it's idle to free up the lab computer. I'm starting to collect Raspberry Pis... I'm ok with that. They're wonderful little machines. I'll get an 8GB model for that. It can be my camcorder/storage server. Strange combination, but that's quite alright. I have strange requirements.
So far, the Pi 400 is making a decent every day computer for me. I installed Kdenlive last night and will test it out soon. It's still a little sluggish, but will speed up eventually when the GPU drivers are sorted. No luck installing Steam link yet, but I haven't given up. I will download the 32 bit Buster version of Raspberry Pi OS and try again later. So far, so good.
11/20/2021 at 13:45 •
I have 2 old SATA SSDs laying around, and wanted to use them with the Pi 400 in the Pidock. Sadly, they're far too large to fit under the Pi in the tiny space where the cables run. I've never opened an SSD before so figured I could try to fit the bare board. I didn't have the right screw driver, so I used a tiny flat head to get one out, then tore the case apart after peaking inside to confirm it would be small enough. I was surprised at how tiny the PCB was, and quite happy. I threw the mangled case away. I'm able to fit the board nearly under the Pi, and may be able to find a SATA to USB adapter that will fit as well. If so, I'll have a SATA boot drive tucked neatly underneath the Pi in my little laptop. It still takes up a valuable USB 3.0 port, but I find the added responsiveness and reliability well worth it. After the Pi corrupted and destroyed my 256GB SD card, I'd had enough. I'm currently booting from a 32GB Samsung Bar flash drive, with a 32GB SD card used to hold TimeShift backups. The otherwise unused SD slot has been great for just adding extra storage. I plan to add a 512GB SD card for media and backup storage, and will carry extra cards to swap out as needed. I'm currently using a 256GB Samsung Fit Flash drive to store media, but it's already full. Once I buy a new laptop and compress all my media, I should be able to take my entire collection with me.
I took a few pictures as words don't do it justice.
I hadn't considered doing this until I started researching USB M.2 drive enclosures,and realized that I have SSDs laying around. I need a SATA SSD to USB adapter for data recovery as it is, so I'll just make sure to get the smallest one I can find, or one that can be trimmed down easily. I may even be able to get 1TB+ drives that would fit in like the one above. I'll order the adapter sometime next week and get it set up. May also order cooling fans for the Pidock. It needs a little help.