I'm building a Pi media center (your typical OSMC + RetroPie) with a difference: I'm tossing in the biggest heatsink I could find, a massive fan and a custom-built case. I'm also looking into adding real SEGA Genesis controller ports because I love them.
Is this project necessary? Heck no.
Is it excessive to cool a pi like this? Heck yes?
Then why am I doing it? Ask George Mallory.
All ports, including HDMI and the Micro-SD card must be routed to the back of the unit, above or below the USB and Ethernet ports
The unit must have both passive and active cooling to an extreme degree just because
The unit must power up and down with a single button, with an LED indicator (built-in to the button is ideal)
The Raspberry Pi must be easily-removable from the case (Currently considering a slide-out drawer-like solution). This is one of the most important factors in the project
The case must be weighted with rubber feet, so that it is stable and not pulled around by cables
Can the Pi power the fan effectively on its own, or will I need more power?
Answer: The pi should be able to power a 5v fan via GPIO.
The case I've designed provides ample room for the fan, Pi, ventilation and possible expansions. It has a clean, simple design with some aesthetic curves. The pi and all attached hardware (except the fan jumpers) will slide out on a small shelf for easy access. A few things to implement into the design:
I'm considering adding an LED underneath the unit for a simple glow/status indicator
Megadrive DP9 ports are still on the cards
My insanity is telling me to add an X820 or X850 with a massive drive but I'm not sure yet. Doing so would change the case design substantially (which is fine)
A push button will be added either to the top or front for power up/down
The fan works perfectly on the 5v GPIO. It blows incredible cold and a ton of air for its size. I've no doubt that it'll keep the OverPi frigidly cold! This fan actually has PWM too, but I don't think I'll bother with it.
I love the Raspberry Pi, and while the it's for the best that they are, the HDMI, Audio and Power ports being on the side make them difficult to work with and integrate into a case. A lot of the time, projects can become a bit like spaghetti with cables coming out both sides which is something I absolutely want to avoid in the OverPi. To solve this, I'm rerouting the HDMI and USB connector to the back of the case. Additionally, I will be redirecting the SD card there too.
For the HDMI, I purchased this interesting HDMI cable (I contacted them for a custom A-3 to A-Female cable). I'm excited to try it as it seems like an ideal, low-profile solution, way better than soldering a new connection or something.
This just in: I've found a 5v version of the Noctua fan I was going to use! Sure, lower voltage means lower RPM but this will be more than enough, and it's the one I wanted which is the most important thing in a dumb project like this, right?
Thanks to Quiet PC USA for being the only place I could find this item and for reducing the shipping cost by half for me!
I'm pretty set on that Noctua fan because of its great size, power and reviews (especially when it comes to silence). Unfortunately, it's a 12v fan, and the pi only supplies 5v. I'm considering either using a different fan (boo) or coming up with a solution to power the media center on a 12v power supply. More on this story as it develops.