Thursday, 7 May 2015

lukse.lt LP0225C Raspberry Pi B+ / 2 Model B Aluminium Case Review




Saulius Lukse, a keen photographer from Lithuania and Raspberry Pi enthusiast, decided to design and manufacture his own raspberry Pi case. No stranger to industrial design and having previously designed replacement enclosures for Logitech's C920 webcams, that allow the addition of replaceable CCTV lenses, the results are impressive...



Manufacturer: Saulius Lukse
lukse.lt
Vilnius, Lithuania

Model: LP0225C Raspberry Pi Case
Product code: LP0225C
Material: CNC Aluminium Black Anodised
Dimensions: L: 92mm W: 67mm H: 26mm
Compatibility: Raspberry Pi B+ & Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
Price: £39.40 or $60  through eBay including international shipping


Package Contents...


Compared to the Proto Armour, the KKSB parts list is minimal

Enclosure Top
Enclosure Bottom
8x 5mm M2.5  Socket cap machine bolts
4x Rubber Feet
2x Thermal Pads
2mm Ball End Allen Key



Assembly...





Assembly of the LP0225C is a simple and straightforward affair...



Once installed the Raspberry Pi PCB is a perfect fit.

Four of the eight supplied M2.5 socket head bolts hold the Raspberry Pi PCB very firmly









The package contains 2 thermal pads for the Broadcom processor and the LAN/USB controller



Unlike the Proto Armour, the heatsink is actually cut from an aluminium block which, also forms the enclosure top during the CNC machining.

Although Saulius designed this case for the Raspberry Pi B+, the positioning of the heatsink columns still give good area coverage on the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B+.


On the underside of the enclosure top, you can see a mounting point for the Raspberry Pi Camera.
I am unsure as to why this was left undrilled, but at least it is somewhat present. It would be a simple procedure to drill the hole to the required size. Maybe, this was done for aesthetic reasons perhaps, if the user did not require the camera functionality.


Finally, the two halves of the enclosure can be mated together and secured with the remaining four M2.5 Socket cap bolts. The fit between the top of the enclosure and the bottom is snug and precise.




The LP0225C's feet are made from a high density foam rubber



Once inserted, the MicroSD card actually resides slightly recessed from the surface. I found it necessary to insert something to eject the memory card. The ball ended allen key seemed the perfect choice. When ejected, the card protruded just slightly from the surface, just enough for long finger nails to be able to grasp it!
I appreciated the microSD card did not have to be removed during disassembly. I have often been caught out on other case leading to potentially damaging the SD slot on the PCB, or the card itself.


The power and activity light are clearly visible however, they are quite receded due to the thickness of the aluminium case.



I would have liked to have seen a larger cut out for a standard IDE cable plug here, due to the narrow slot only a flex cable could be allowed to enter or exit.
Additional mounting arrangements are possible, due to the inclusion of four M3 threaded bolt holes on the side and four on the bottom of the case.

One example below shows a custom bracket, maybe a VESA mount, to aid fixing the LP0225C to the rear or a monitor.


Other Products...

As I mentioned previously, this is not Saulius's first attempt at designing an enclosure for his various hobbies.

All of which are available through his eBay store for others to benefit from.

The C920_CS
A custom aluminium Logitech C920 Case for  CS CCTV lens, if you are not confident with disassembling your C920 webcam, Saulius can also supply a complete unit which is ready to go.




The LP0262A
An Industrial low light 1080p@30fps USB camera (with h.264 on-board codec)



Pros...


Compact durable design, fit and finish are superb.

High quality CNC machined aircraft grade aluminium.

Flexible mounting options.

Great cooling, due to the huge mass of the integrated heatsinks.


Cons...


SD Card can be fiddly to insert and remove.

GPIO cable slot is rather limiting.

The integrated heatsink design, whilst a plus, does block the use of any Pi HAT for future expansion.

Conclusion...


We really like the smart design of the LP0225C it would be perfect for a Kodi home media box  not, looking out of place next to high end audio equipment.
When assembled, the LP0225C has a reassuring weight of 180 gr which, gives the case a great footing, especially when moving cables connected to the Raspberry Pi.

The addition of a mount for the camera is a welcome feature although, it would have been nice for the Raspberry Pi camera hole to be pre-drilled.

We think the price is very reasonable at £39.40 or $60 considering, this includes free International shipping (taking into account Saulius isn't making these in huge quantities).

Despite a couple of negatives, the LP0225C is definitely one of my favorite Raspberry Pi cases and I look forward to Saulius's future designs...

Gallery...














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