The Raspberry Pi 5 has barely been on the scene for two months and makers are already looking for their next slice of Raspberry Pi. YouTuber Explaining Computers has built what they consider to be the Pi 500, a Raspberry Pi 5 based version of the Raspberry Pi 400.
Explaining Computers is the channel name for Christopher Barnatt a freelance academic with 25 years experience of lecturing at Nottingham University’s Business School. Barnett is a leading name in the Raspberry Pi community.
Barnatt’s project involves a Raspberry Pi 5, a chiclet keyboard (we don’t think it will make our list of best keyboards) and a SATA SSD connected via a USB to M.2 SATA adapter. Barnatt mentions that the build may use the upcoming M.2 HAT once it is released.
Image 1 of 4
The Raspberry Pi 5 is buried deep within the case, but Barnatt has a plethora of ports broken out to the back of the case thanks to a series of extension cables. Including a full size HDMI port. The Raspberry Pi 5 can be removed from the case, a fact that Barnatt highlights early in the video. This means that it can be replaced for another model of Raspberry Pi.
How did Barnatt construct the case? Using the best 3D printer or laser cutter? Nope. Barnatt went old school using the ABS plastic sheet, better known as Plasticard. Yes the age old model making material, used to construct Star Destroyers, rebel bases and architectural models was chosen as the material for the case. Plasticard is easy to cut, just score and then “snap” to produce a clean and sharp edge. Barnatt took his measurements and went to work.
Using lots of plasticard and model filler, Barnatt integrated the keyboard into the case and then performed a fit test. Routing the cables and holding them in place to get a feel for how the project will look in the final build. Barnatt’s clever idea of using plasticard shims to raise the USB, Ethernet and HDMI ports is something that we shall use in a future project.
The final part of the project is where the case gets its color. Barnatt elected for a beige color, similar to the Amiga 500 and Apple II. We hope that the build won’t need “retro-brighting” for many years to come. Unlike many Amiga 500s (ours included).
Barnatt has released the build instructions via the Community section of his YouTube channel.