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OT: OrangePi Zero connector case mod

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I need to attach some devices via spi and i2c to an orange pi zero but would like to keep it in its original case.
Just soldering a few wires to the gpio pins and drilling a hole in the case isn't really an option. I am looking for
a nice and clean way.  Browsing through AliExpress looking for connectors has not revealed any suitable options
so far. I already thought about adding an 2.54mm 2x26 Pin Male Double Row Right Angle Pin Header and
cut a suitable hole to the case but I guess it would protrude too much.

Which connector do you recommend? It should have at least 4 contacts.

Has anyone modified the case and added some small connectors? Photos?

Looking for your suggestions
 

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What's about a 3d printed case? Something like this or this? Cause OPi 0 runs often into overheating I'm not sure if it is a good idea. Maybe I'll print one for my self and test how it works..

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Well, I have the original case with the expansion module.

If I had a printer I wouldn't have asked :-)

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Don't know where you're come from but there are so many print services arround the world. So send the stl files and get your case for arround 10$. ABS looks often ugly if you drill holes into it (did this once for a RPi case).  Going out through near to the USB from the expansionboard isn't an option? If you're sure that you never use more cables on it just solder the wires directly on your board without any pinheader. 

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4 hours ago, data said:

Which still leaves my questions unanswered...

which one?

14 hours ago, data said:

Which connector do you recommend?

 

13 hours ago, chwe said:

If you're sure that you never use more cables on it just solder the wires directly on your board without any pinheader. 

The more connectors, the more possibilities for errors. If this is a fixed system, why using connectors?

 

14 hours ago, data said:

Looking for your suggestions

 

13 hours ago, chwe said:

Going out through near to the USB from the expansionboard isn't an option?

 

If I see it right on the pictures the expansion board does not overlay the 26 pinheader.  There are two possibilities, bent or not bent pinheader (bent is for sure more expensive, cause for the linear you can use two rows of 13 pins). Male or female connector (does not really make a difference, as long as you don't stack your own expansion board directly to the opi).  

Going out of your case depends on your needs (e.g. on which side of your case do you need the wires, should it look "perfect" or just work).  Quick and dirty solution: If you don't use the 3.5mm jack from the expansionboard, just cut it out and you have your hole or melt a hole with your soldering iron  into the case (ABS is a thermoplast so melting would be the easiest way). 

If you want the nice perfect solution, download a CAD, design the perfect case for your needs bring this to a printservice and you're happy to have a nice case.:).

 

This is mostly a software related forum and all the support is for free. You get some hints (e.g. about ABS), IMHO it's time that you start to think about your needs.  Seems that nobody who have the OPi 0 case used the pinheader or they don't saw your topic. 

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(edited)

I used the case yesterday with a v1.1 PCB OPi zero for testing. It was just running "aplay" looping though some songs (strictly less than %5 CPU load). The test started at 46 C and reached 65 C in 10 minutes (full power limit). And 5 minutes after that I had a full system failure and it did not start again (I'll look into it when I have time). So I threw the case away.

 

In this current status the box is not usable without active cooling. As the expansion board covers the SOC a fan on the top does nothing and the sides are also not an option. One side is covered by the expansion board's header and I wanted to spare the other side for I/O as you will do - and that would require a ribbon cable which also should prevent airflow. 

 

I asked for an alternative design in their forums but I think a 3D-printed case designed for you application is the only viable option as @chwe suggests.

 

Edited by bozden
typo

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2 hours ago, bozden said:

I used the case yesterday with a v1.1 PCB OPi zero for testing. It was just running "aplay" looping though some songs (strictly less than %5 CPU load). The test started at 46 C and reached 65 C in 10 minutes (full power limit). And 5 minutes after that I had a full system failure and it did not start again

Hmm, interessting. I thought the rev. v1.4 board is the troublemaker in terms of overheating. Could you repeat this experiment with your v1.4 board? I plan to do some thermal stresstests with the board as soon as my second one arrives (with current&voltage measurement on different spots on the board). 

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@chwe

I can do that on Wednesday. But what do you expect? When the old version crashed there was a nice odor of electronics (I'm not sure if the board is OK yet).

 

But my point is: It is the OPi Zero case that causes the problem, as there is no airflow design.

 

Without the case it ripples around 55-56 C with "aplay" running.

 

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More or less, just cause i'm interessted if it gets worser or not. If it would be that unstable I'll make a new case for the OPi0 with active cooling possibilities.

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