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Beaglebone enclosed development system.

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@NurseBob  So you've show interest in this through another post. Instead of polluting that post, I figured I would respond here. Where to start. . .  My idea here started because I work remotely for a company who builds systems based off the beaglebone. Soon, I plan on traveling, which is not a problem when you work remotely, but you may still need to bring hardware with you to write, and test software while you're on the go . . . I looked all over the place for reasonably priced aluminum enclosures. They really do not exist. Then it dawned on me that there are plenty of mini ITX cases on the market, why not look into that . . .

My idea in a nutshell:

  • 1 Mini ITX case
  • 1 ODROID XU4
  • 1 Beaglebone
  •  Random capes
  • 1 1TB hard drive or larger
  • 1 USB 3.0 to SATA adapter
  • 1 5 port ethernet switch
  • 1 10A 5v power supply to power everything
  •  miscellaneous M3 mounting hardware
  •  pre-cut aluminum for motherboard tray, PSU hole cover, I/O plate cover
  •  miscellaneous panel mount adapters.

So, some of this is not completely thought out yet. For example, finding a network switch that is power via 5v input could prove to be hard, or impossible to find, Usually ethernet adapters use a 48v power supply.  At least that's been my experience. I have not looked in earnest yet. Then, just having looked, I notice the USB adapter I bought takes 12v input . . .

These I have already ordered and are on the way, or are already here:

USB 3.0 -> SATA adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005B3VO24/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Mini ITX case:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F2RRE1E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Miscelaneous M3 mounting hardware is already here, or on the way, the aluminum will probably be here tomorrow. Then I have no made up my mind on which hard drive ill buy, but I have a spare here now, and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD( I may use both ). 5 port switch, and power supply are up in the air. Then all the panel mount stuff will probably come from Adafruit. Not ordered yet.

So, I've had the Xu4 for better than a month now. Maybe even two. But I have not powered it up yet, because I've had this idea rattling around in the back of my head for a few months . . .

It should not be long before I start building this system. The purpose of this system when complete, is to serve as an ABI compatible development platform. Meaning the beaglebone and XU4 are, or can be made ABI compatible. Which means no need for a cross compiler, period. The XU4 will then take on compile duties, as well as acting as a support system for all beaglebone projects in the future. The entails code storage, as well as NFS, and Samba duties. So code can be accessed from any local network machine( OS agnostic ).

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So with the USB 3 adapter, and switch being the odd "man out" in power requirement. I think I've decided to forgo a network switch altogether, and just run ethenet panel mount adapters out through the back for both boards. Then, if I need a switch, I could do that externally. As for the USB 3.0 SATA adapter . . . Yeah not sure how to deal with that, The hard drive will only need 5v, but I've not idea what the USB converter will need for it's self :/ I may just use another adapter I have that powers from USB, and the XU4 should be able to handle that no problem.

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7 minutes ago, zeke said:

I think you need to supplement this post with some photos of this gear. I would like to see what you are working with.

What do you think?

I'll consider it. Will probably take a few pictures of the finished "product" non the less.

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So, almost everything I need is here. There only thing I'm missing is the non conductive M3 standoff washer( dont know what else to call them ), and the actual 1/4" screws that screw into the standoffs. Just playing around today, I took the main board tray piece of aluminum I have precut, and marked out the screw holes to mount it to the case frame. How I did this was cut a piece of cardboard exactly the same size as the piece of aluminum I had cut, put it into the case, pressed down on the cardboard until I got indentations form the mounting standoffs. Then I drill out the center of these indentations, and scribed onto aluminum with a fine point sharpie. I was not very happy with this result.

So something I was thinking about the other day, and wulf reminded me of today, was to go find the standard for mini itx boards, and get the measurments from that. Gee, why didn't I think of that, which I did, just forgot . . .but i did find this: http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/mini_itx_spec_v1_1.pdf

Perfect, so all I need now is daylight, and a bit of time.  Then I'll revisit / re-approach this problem and get busy. I did take a few pictures, but they're still on the phone, and I CBF'd right now to upload them ;) Perhaps later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I added a couple pictures here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106867156582775247949 with a short explanation of each. It's much easier for me to just make post on my google+ page and then link back here.

I am intentionally going slow with my project here. I want to make sure it all works out good. As it is, I will need to trim the aliminum tray part I ordered precut, to the mini ITX motherboard standard. After that, I'll also have to take measurements of the board, and mark mounting holes. Also from the mini ITX motherboard standard.




For those of you who also may be interested in the mini ITX specification: http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/mini_itx_spec_v1_1.pdf

The PDF also covers the mATX, and ATX standards if I'm not mistaken.

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