One of the biggest issues with computers like the Pine64 or the Raspberry Pi is that they take up desk space.

I thought I’d try and mount the small computers that I use to run my home network on a 2′ x 2′ square of plywood to see how it turned out, and I’m quite pleased with the result!

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I started by placing the various components on the board and marking where they would look best.

In no particular order, I’ve got the following equipment:

  • Lightwave RF Bridge
  • Banana Pi (Yellow case) running OpenHAB for Home Automation
  • Pine64 (White case) running NXFilter (internet security) and Mosquitto MQTT Server for my Internet of Things devices
  • RaspberryPi (Transparent case) awaiting a re-install with mopidy/snapcast
  • Netgear 5-port 1G Switch
  • 2 x USB Power Supplies (one with six 5v@2A sockets, the other with one 5V@1A socket and five 5V@0.5A sockets)
  • A six-way surge-protected multisocket

Lined up on the board, the equipment looks like this:

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Annoyingly, all of the cases have their SD cards, HDMI-ports, network sockets, and USB power-in sockets in different places making it a bit of a nightmare to wire up in a nice neat way.

Where the devices have screw sockets on the back of them, I’ve used some small screws to affix them to the board.  Everything else is secured using sticky-backed Velcro to allow me to remove them from the board when required.

Once I was happy with the  positioning and had affixed all the devices to the board, I plugged in all the cables to make sure they would reach.  It’s not pretty, but it proves the point:

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The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that I’ve now moved from the dining room to the Garage, and mounted the board on a wall using some cup-hooks and some holes in each of the top corners.

Even those of you with bad eye-sight will have seen what a horrible mess the wiring is, so I came up with a plan.

I used a 18mm spade-bit to drill holes in the board so I can thread the wires through them, disconnected everything and then re-threaded it through all the holes.

NOTE: If you do attempt this yourself, drill the holes and thread the wires before you hang the board on the wall.  I didn’t, and now my shoulders hurt… 😦

The board now looks like this:

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and, when my monitor is back in place:

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Some of you are probably wondering what the large blank space of wood on the left-hand side is for.  The answer is “more stuff”!

Given that the power-bank on that side is the one which has multiple 0.5A sockets, I’ll probably use this side of the board for Internet of Things devices such as Arduinos or ESP8266-based boards running the Homie framework.

Questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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