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James R.

"Assimilation" The Retro Pi console

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"We are the modders."

"You will be assimilated."

"Your physical uniqueness will be adapted to our will."

"Resistance is futile."

 

So, this project had a bit of a weird moment for me.  It was the first time I had done any sort of computer build where my focus (and budget) had focused so heavily on looks rather than power.  Admittedly that isn't hard when you work with a Raspberry Pi but, still it felt a bit foreign.

 

 

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The "case" for this project is a Borg Cube from the Star Trek Attack Wing game.  I originally considered putting an itx board in this instead but, eventually I decided against it.  

 

The first step was disassembly.  The cube is made of six separate pieces.  The trick was to find one of the two that had the pegs holding it in place rather than just glue.  This was to keep the pins intact both for strength on the other end and easily "locking" the top back in place when I'm not plugging in cables or something.  

 

Even with the pins, the edges were still glued enough to not separate on their own.  I used a thin bladed knife to slowly split the edges apart and cut the glue line.

 

Upon doing some test re-assemblies, I did come to see how tight the pigs fit into their respective holes.  To remedy this I used three or four drill bits to slowly expand the peg holes to make removing and replacing the lid simpler.

 

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Even with reasonable caution taken, I guessed wrong on the first panel I tried.  So, in order to reinforce the internal corners,  I taped the outside of the cube to hold the corners in place.  I then applied a thick coat of clear silicone adhesive to the eight interior edges of the cube.  Upon drying, the cube appeared to be more rigid than it was originally.  

 

The panels were actually dual layered.  The more visible layer actually has holes that allow you to see the solid translucent green layer below.  I left most of the green layers in place for effect but, I did remove that layer from the bottom.  Removing that layer made work a little easier and allows some air flow.

 

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While I know that plastic shouldn't conduct electricity and a Raspberry Pi shouldn't get warm enough to hurt the plastic, I still wanted some standoffs to mount my board.  I ended up using some small rubber grommets i found at a local hardware store.  They have the added benefit of having some give so that over-tightening my screws would show before the board would be damaged.

 

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One unexpected turn was when I salvaged a small cigarette display from work and found it had several small led strips as well as the 12v power adapter.  This allowed my to very easily add lighting and a fan to the build.

 

The power plug and fan were simply mounted with double sided tape.

 

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The only problem I had with this set up was the fan.  I had to snip the lead wires going to its own led bulbs because the blue was bleeding through.

 

The last issue was cable routing.  The plastic on the cube is not exactly top quality so, using a grinding wheel on a Dremel was the simplest solution for making cable slots.

 

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First the hole in the bottom to allow controller cables to easily attach.

 

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Secondly was the slot for the 12v power, hdmi, and usb power.  All of which routes neatly and can be stored inside when not in use.

 

So with all of that finally done, now its time to sit back and fire up some old Nintendo classics.

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Thanks Bill.  

Great video find too.  I've always had a certain fascination with the Borg.  I had never thought much of their history though.

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