8 Aug 2016


A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 4, some finishing touches

In this fourth and final blog post on the Codify VSTS build light, I’d like to share some finishing touches I have applied to the build light to make it more robust for demonstrations as well as a little more portable.

If you’ve not read my previous posts in this series you can find them here.

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light–Part 1, the hardware

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 2, installing Windows 10 IoT Core

A Raspberry Pi3 VSTS Build Light-Part 3, installing the Codify VSTS Build Light software

After completing the first three blog posts and taking the Codify VSTS build light to a few user groups to demonstrate, I realised I need a more durable case as well as a way to plug and unplug the lights and power for travel.

The stock cases I could find from the usual Raspberry Pi online stores didn’t really protect the Codify board so I went looking on Thingiverse to see if someone had a suitable design for a case that I could 3D print. I found a design by UltiArjan which was a remake of a design by 0110-M-P. The case looked promising so I did a remake of this case to suit the two wire terminal blocks on the Codify board and also added a thin cover over the micro USB port usually used to power the Raspberry Pi.

I then loaded up my 3D printer with purple filament (for Visual Studio of course) and went to work. The result is a custom fit case that can survive both office environments and travel for demonstrations.

28 VSTS Build Light Cases

One of my other issues was the inconvenience of having to use a screwdriver if I wanted to remove the power of the light strip for travel. That was solved with the addition of two pigtails – one for the pwoer and another for the light strip.

29 Case including pigtails

I’m sending a few of these cases out to friends and people who have asked for them. If you would like a case, please contact me through the contact form on this blog. I can send you the STL files if you want to print your own or for the price of a roll of filament + postage, I’ll send you one.

Here are the steps to assembling the Codify VSTS build light in this case.

Step one, we start with the case, the Raspberry Pi and the Codify board. I’m including all the necessary screws and spacers in the case when I send them out.

30 Getting Started

The next step involves placing the Raspberry Pi board into the white part of the case and securing the board with a single screw in the back corner. (Diagonally opposite the ethernet port)

31 Installing RPi

You then need to add the Codify board. Don’t push it all the way down onto the pins yet.

32 Add Codify Board

Now you need to gently add the white plastic spacers between the Raspberry Pi board and the Codify board. Once these are in place you can screw the board down into the white case.

33 Add Spacers

In this close up below you can see where I have put a thin cover over the micro USB port port that is usually used to power the Raspberry Pi. You may recall from a previous blog post in this series that the Raspberry Pi is powered by the 12 volts going into the Codify board. As a result you should not connect the Micro USB port to a power supply.

34 notice USB Cover

You’re now ready to sit the white case onto the purple wall plate. The wall plate serves three purposes. Firstly it provides a convenient way to mount the case on a screw in any of four orientations. Secondly, it provides extra space between the white case and the wall or table to help with airflow/cooling of the Raspberry Pi. Thirdly, it has the nuts embedded in the wall plate to allow you to screw everything together.

35 Place on to of wallplate

Now you’re ready to put the largest part of the case on top and screw it all together.

36 Add top case

Once it’s all together here is the key to help you insert the appropriate wires into the terminal block.

37 Easy access to terminal blocks

I’ve added holes in the top of the case to allow you to get a small screwdriver into the terminal blocks to secure the wires.

38 Easy access to screws

Here’s a photo showing the nuts embedded into the wall plate.

39 Nuts are embedded in wallplate

Congratulations!  You’re Codify VSTS Build Light is in its new home ready to give you the good or bad news about your latest builds.

40 All finished