Pi Pan: A Raspberry Pi Case
Pi Pan is our aluminum Raspberry Pi Model B case with a black powder coat finish. Simply put, this case has options. It's designed by AVIES in Shawnee, Kansas and manufactured just down the road in Kansas City, Kansas. Quality is key, so we are working in the metal shop with our fabricator, during each step of the process. This will allow us to produce a top-notch case, in decent quantity, during a short period of time.
The third prototype is complete and production has begun. As they are formed, we spot check each piece for tolerance issues. After powder coating is finished, we will verify each lid and base fits properly and keep them as a pair. Screws, shipping containers, and labels have been purchased.
How do we know our reward delivery dates are realistic? Take a look at one of our similar completed projects below. Pictured is a Mini-ITX chassis designed for Keywest Technology in Lenexa, Kansas. The idea was to create a mountable and further adaptable chassis for their "MediaZone Pro" line of digital signage players. The Pi Pan and our Mini-ITX chassis share many fabrication techniques; however, the Mini-ITX chassis is much larger and has more steps. Our manufacturer is able to complete 100 powder coated Mini-ITX cases in 2 weeks with no quality control issues. We are confident they can match that for the Pi Pan. Please read the Risks and Challenges section at the bottom of the page for our delivery timeline and possible risks.
There has been some interest on various Raspberry Pi forums for an all in one chassis. Send us your feature requests and we will draw a modified version of the Mini-ITX design.
Our case is unique because it uses a universal base with interchangeable lids. The base features two standoffs which mount your Pi and two PEM nuts that attach mounting brackets. Rubber feet are also provided for desktop use.
Our lids are designed to fit a variety of applications. The standard lid encases your Pi and has holes drilled to view the LED status lights. You have access to the audio and video outputs, the SD card, Micro USB power, GPIO, USB, and LAN connections. We think this design will suit most users, here is our third prototype:
Our latest drawings have the RCA connection slotted so the lid easily slides onto the base. Stay tuned for the 2nd prototype.
Four screws sit flush on the lid for aesthetics and functionality, see the mounting section below. GPIO access is located near the HDMI connector. This means you must pay attention to pin orientation when using expansion boards and use longer ribbon cables.
We can also install a reset switch at the top of the case. It connects to a two row header at the P6 thru-holes. You will have to solder a header to the board yourself or have it done for you. A switch will make manually resetting easier and help reduce wear on the Pi's micro USB connector and power cable. If we have enough interest, we will make it a reward.
All case bottoms have six flush PEM nuts installed as a standard feature. Four on the sides which attach the lid and mounting ears. Two on the bottom for various sized flat panel mounting brackets. If there is a strong demand, we will also offer plates that mount the case and use standoffs to hold GPIO expansion boards.
Tamper Resistant Lid
Our tamper resistant lid covers the SD card from the top and leaves access to most connections. If there is demand, we can ship these lids around January 15th. Let us know and we will add them to www.shopavies.com.
Tamper Proof Lid
We also have a tamper proof case designed, which should be ready to ship by late January. This lid is an over-sized version of our standard lid. Our thought here is secure Pi use in public places. The audio and video outputs sit flush, while the SD card, USB, LAN, and Micro USB connectors are covered. We left slots at each connector which allow complete functionality and help route cables. Hex screws and washers are provided for additional security.
Lids for small GPIO boards.
There are a handful of compact GPIO expansion cards with exciting features. A few examples are the AbioCard by Axiris.be and a current Kickstarter project called HotPi by Karl Lattimer. With just a few modifications to our current lid design, we can make a nice solution for those cards. If the demand is there, we will add a reward.
We have a 1U rack mount option for those of you working with multiple Pi's. Our Serving Tray design features mounting holes for double sided use; mount up to 8 units enclosed in Pi Pans or add standoffs and leave them open.
Risks and challenges
The third prototype is finished and it turned out great. We are still on schedule and production has started, see update number six! During production, human error could lower the quantity of available cases. That's why we are working in the shop with the fabricator, as they are built.
Depending on demand, one challenge will be getting the first batch units ready to ship. According to USPS.com/holiday, first class mail must be shipped by 12/20/12 for a calculated arrival date of 12/25/12. As of 11/27/12, we estimate 100 standard cases will be ready to ship on 12/17/12. Of course, this date is dependent on a smooth production run. We see another challenge in collecting post-funding surveys quickly. This is how we get your address so when it comes, fill it out ASAP!
We also run a successful eBay store under the name "aviestech". We have over 1100 positive feed back and should exceed $100,000 in sales this fiscal year. In our experience, anything can happen when it comes to the post office. All cases will be properly packaged and tracked but we always run the risk of a damaged or lost item. We set aside 6 cases to cover such incidents.
We will provide updates often and answer questions as fast as we can. If you are on the fence, just know maintaining our reputation at AVIES is a number one priority. If things go wrong, we will pull the plug and restart.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It will work with some modification but we don't recommend it. You would need to insulate the standoffs and GPIO pins to prevent shorting. A tight fitting plastic case seems to be the better option.
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