Build a DIY Raspberry Pi Keyboard Case for $20 or Less

Source and idea from Instructables.

Do you want to buy a Raspberry Pi case? You can always get nice, fancy cases for your Pi, but they aren’t exactly cheap. So, for this tutorial, we will help you build your own DIY Raspberry Pi keyboard case for just around $20. Even if you don’t like the result, we promise you’ll have fun. So let’s get into it.

Step 1: Gather the components

⦁ A USB hub like this, but any will do
⦁ A Raspberry Pi – We recommend this starter kit as it comes with everything you need to get your Pi up and running once your case is built
⦁ A USB keyboard
⦁ Any old keyboard that has some space under the keys – Make sure to pick a keyboard that has ample space to house the RPi. Skip below to step 3 if you need clarification here.
⦁ Three sets of washers, screws, and nuts.
⦁ Hour-glass shaped rubber bumpers from any old hard drive
⦁ A cardboard piece
⦁ Sandpaper
⦁ Tape
⦁ Utility knife
⦁ Tin snips
⦁ Marker
⦁ Rotary tool
⦁ RJ45 connector
⦁ Safety goggles
⦁ Twistie

Most of these components will come from your hardware drawer or your basement (if that’s where you keep the old technology). If you don’t have some of the listed components, it shouldn’t cost you more than $20.

Step 2: Remove the keyboard cover

Begin by removing the cover of the keyboard. Take out all the screws. It should look something like this:

Step 3: Find the space for RPi

As outlined above in the component list, you need to have a keyboard with some space for the Raspberry Pi. See the image below:

Step 4: Clean up and remove some material

Set the keyboard aside. You’ll only need the metal shelf for this part. Use the rotary tool to eliminate the unnecessary plastic supports. This will create a spacious flush mounting spot for the RPi. Here make sure that you wear safety goggles as plastic may fly everywhere. Remove as much support area as you see fit.

Test your Pi against the area to see if it would fit perfectly. See the images below for better understanding.

Step 5: Make room for the cables

In this step, you will have to figure out how to run the cables. You need to make sure that you can access the audio port and that everything is easily accessible. In this project, we are using Cat 5 ethernet cable. You can expand the original keyboard cable gaps to adjust other cables.

Step 6: Put everything in place

See the following diagram for rubber bumpers placement. Note that the rubber bumpers serve as great insulators and keep the screws from coming in contact with the RPi.

After the rubber bumpers, add the USB hub. The red circles in the image are the spots where retaining screws should go. The washers and the screws contain the rubber bumpers. You can use the twistie to hold the cables together. If you want to make your project portable, use Cat5 coupler. See the blue circle. Once you are done, you can wrap all the cables up so it doesn’t look messy.

Step 7: More keyboard work

Now disassemble the old keyboard to get hold of the metal shelf. See the image below.

Step 8: Create a hole for an HDMI cable

Create a hole as shown in the figures below.

Step 9: Cut the metal shelf

You may have to cut more plastic supporters to make sure you have a perfect fit.

Step 10: Plot your keyboard cover

Use the market to plot out your keyboard cover as shown in the figure below.

Step 11: Use the cardboard to increase the height

Cut the cardboard and attach it to the bottom of the keyboard to raise it. Use as much cardboard as you need until the height is where you’d like it. Your Raspberry Pi keyboard case should be at a height that is easily accessible.

Step 12: Screw the cover back on

This is how your final product should look like:

Now hook it up and enjoy!

You can get started with your Raspberry Pi Starter Kit here.

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