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Case for CubieBoard and 2.5" HDD

Started by crusty, April 13, 2013, 08:46:14 am

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April 13, 2013, 08:46:14 am Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 08:48:24 am by crusty
I had a local plastics shop make me a case. It was difficult because there are sockets on three edges of the board. That fact limits the width of the case to exactly the longest dimension of the board. That is the same as the length of a 2.5" hdd but is shorter than the hdd plus a 90 degree connector so it is not possible to stack the board above a drive.

The length of the case is not limited so I turned the hdd at 90 degrees to the board and both are mounted on the same surface of the case. That defined the length of the case.

The height of the case is defined by the SATA connector and its plug. I was not able to find a 90 degree adaptor for this plug so the case height is about twice as high as it could be.

In this layout, the supplied SATA cable is about three times as long as it needs to be and the penalty is that the cable must loop to keep it close and inside the case. I could not find a suitable replacement for both the data and power cables that are combined in the supplied cable.

So, if there is any thought being given for a new board layout, I suggest the following:

1. Limit the external connectors to two adjacent edges of the board. Case tolerances are relaxed if it does not require that opposite edges of the board must be exposed through cutouts.

2. Place the power switch, power socket, network socket, USB socket, and OTG socket on the same edge. For my application as a network server, this will permit use with a case having cutouts on just one side.

3. Consider mounting the SATA socket parallel to the board to reduce the overall height required.

4. Consider the possibility of a board design without the GPIO headers for those of us more interested in software instead of hardware experimentation. Or  consider moving these headers to the interior of the board. This will increase the length of available edges for other connectors.

5. Consider offering the supplied SATA cable with a 90 degree bend on the main plug and the data plug. I found two 90 degree adapters and was able to turn the cable back over top the hdd, but I could not change the data plug to reduce the case height.

I'm looking forward to using my CubieBoard as a dedicated server. Thanks for building it.





April 14, 2013, 03:58:45 pm #4 Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 06:09:40 pm by ikeeki
Good idea. My idea was so pathetic in comparison with this one that I don't want to share it XDXD

Edit: well, why not, it would be something like a hdd dock, like this one


Or similar toasters...


A hdd dock is a good way to be able to use 3.25" disk since it has it's own power supply and it obviously can be used as a rack.

I plan to use an old ATX PSU case for my cubieserver : you can easily put the cubie and a 2.5" drive side by side and even adding 4 more disks (one by side and two on the top) you can add one or two fans at 5 or 3.3V to produce some refreshment. The options depends to the choice of the case : I firstly thought about using a recent PSU (dead to young) with a 120mm fan on the top but an old fashioned one with a 80mm on the side gives more free space.


Nice work OP. I am curious, where did you get the 90 degree SATA adapters? I have been looking for those a long time now.



I've just designed a new case that'll hold your cubieboard A10/A20 together with a 2.5" sata drive, I've attached a quick pic so you can see it in-situ.

If there's enough interest I'll do a small production run.




Hi there,

That's actually the one i've got for sale at the moment :)