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Can I upgrade my original Pi-Top with a RPI3?

I own the Pi-Top from the original Kickstarter and was wondering if it can handle a Pi3? Any changes or caveats I need to be aware of? Thanks!

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I have upgraded my Pi-Top with an RPi3 and yes I believe there are some important issues that need to be thought of carefully. (see the 3 photographs attached)


1.) The use of a passive heat-sink for the CPU is insufficient especially if you are going to keep the cover in place, perhaps to keep any pieces of metal falling in and causing a catastrophic short circuit! If you plan to run lots of videos or crunch lots of numbers then you may find your RPi over ripensvery quickly.

        I have a second RPi3 in a (x)orilla case that provides a breakout and holes for a 3cm 5v fan

        The fan is a perfect choice as it connects to the power pins of the GPIO keeping the RPi3 perfectly

        cool. Unfortunately there has been no consideration for active cooling with the Pi-Top and as the 

        RPi4 is already being prepared it appears a solution is required. A suitable 3D printed solution is

        clearly needed and the STL files could then be distributed through such as Thingyverse. A pattern

        for drilling the Pi-Top cover needs to be produced so that the active cooling solution can draw fresh          air down onto the heatsink.while I think it needs to be screwed down onto a £D frame that in turn is 

       screwed or bolted to the RPi.

2.) The use of the new Pi-Speaker(s) especially when set up for stereo sound forces the RPi3 or even RPI2 to the far right of the Pi_Top case as for some reason the design has not anticipated the provision of these Pi-Speaker(s) or the size of the speakers was not realised to be too big for the case! It is odd that such a miscalculation could happen, but clearly a mistake has been made.

      I have a Pi-TopPROTO board that connects the two speakers with one selected as Left and the other

      selected as Right - so they were anticipated for use as a stereo pair. But to do this the RPin was 

      forced hard up to the right edge of the case with the Keyboard USB cable fitted to the upper right 

      USB so that it protruded significantly through the USB orifice effectively blocking all the other USB 

      sockets bar one, into which I have fitted a (RPi) Bluetooth USB micro dongle. So far no wired 

      Ethernet connection for a RPi-NAS (another project I'm trying to fulfill via xddaFruit -or a hard-disk 

      Pi-TopOS with a hard-disk installed within the Pi-Top?) So far the only disadvantage  I can see is

      the keyboard USB plug protrudes far outside the casing so that an accidental drop could certainly

      smash the RPin circuit-board and a sad day until a replacement can be found?


It would have been far quicker to have simply said "Yes! You can"

I do hope this helps...

In these 3 pictures you'll notice the latest incarnation of the Pi-Top OS 

The first gives you the general layout as proof of concept

In the second and last the issues are the skewed displacement of the RPi3 and the protruding Keyboard USB. take from me there is little chance of any further cabling that will fit through this highly restricted opening. No doubt a case of careful widening. Again a printed pattern will standardise a widened aperture, with an inkjet print and some alcohol applied to the opposite side of the paper will print the pattern to the Pi-Top shell for reaming out with care.


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