Raspberry Pi Mounts and Cases

Raspberry PiA Raspberry Pi is a small inexpensive computer.  There are several generations available with varying configurations, processor speeds and memory.  The Pi is a small computer board that typically gets inserted into a case or sometimes is used as a bare board.

This article will look at some challenges in mounting a Raspberry Pi.  We will also suggest some options for mounting your Pi.  The current generation is the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and this article will concentrate on this form factor.

Typical Challenges

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ in the photo is a typical setup.  This generation has four USB ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI connection, speaker jack and mini USB power connection.  That’s a lot to fit into a roughly 4 x 3 x 1.3 inch case.

A problem with such a small and lightweight case is that the weight of the cables will drag the Raspberry Pi around.  I have three Raspberry Pi setups.  One is a print server with cables leading to several printers.  It’s difficult to keep it flush with the desk that it’s on.  Try adding a Velcro strip to the bottom of the case.  It will keep the case still and allow access to the entire case when needed.

Many owners have two, three or even more units.  Add in all the cables and suddenly, you start running out of desk space to store these.

Raspberry Pi Mount Recommendations

Most owners house their Pi within a plastic case.  Like the Pi itself, these cases are very inexpensive.  There isn’t a lot to them.  No fans because these are low power devices and (under normal usage) create relatively little heat, however attaching a heatsink to the processor is a good idea for added protection.

However, there are a few unique mounting solutions to discuss beyond the typical plastic case which is commonly used.

For those accumulating multiple setups, consider the iUniker Raspberry Pi Cluster Case.  This allows the stacking of up to four computers within the foot print of a single Raspberry Pi.  The cluster case even includes a cooling fan for each layer.  While the fan may or may not be needed depending upon the application, it’s a nice feature.  The fan is powered directly from the Pi.

A VESA mounting pattern is typically used to mount a television to the wall but can be used on these devices too.  The Raspberry Pi 3, 2 & B+ VESA Case features a case that attaches to a standard VESA mount.  This isn’t a bad idea.  Attaching to a wall mount keeps the cables out of the way and the case stable and accessible.  Many VESA mounts have swivel options which allows the device to be swung out of the way when access isn’t needed.

Combination Cases

Combining the Pi with peripherals within the same case is a good way to keep things organized and compact.

Some projects integrate a display with a Raspberry Pi.  The SmartiPi Touch case for The Official Raspberry Pi 7″ Touchscreen Display combines the Pi with the display.  The case swivels or can be attached to a wall.  The Pi attaches to the back of the case.  Fairly clever design which even includes a camera attachment.

Another popular project involves adding a camera to the Pi.  The camera often comes on a small board with an attachment ribbon.  Some like to use an acrylic case to house the camera but there are combination mounts that facilitate attachment to the case.  Consider the Dorhea Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Case Supporting Camera Installation.  The case facilitates camera attachment to the top which can be shut. There’s a small cutout for the camera lens to peek out.  It’s a good way to minimize space and hides the ribbon within the case.

Do It Yourself Case Mounts

Raspberry Pi is for those that like to do it yourself so why not create your own solution?  The AMPS pattern is a standard mounting pattern for small devices.  It’s common in radios and many cradles.  Drilling two or four holes in the bottom of the Pi case will allow attachment to a variety of AMPS mounts.  These mounts are available for attachment to a variety of surfaces including a wall, suction cup or even around the arm of a chair or rail.