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🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => User Modified Devices => Topic started by: Tuicemen on May 05, 2018, 10:12:54 PM

Title: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on May 05, 2018, 10:12:54 PM
Several of these low priced Pi clone boards will work.
I used a Pi Zero W which has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on board.
This mod works with any build version of the CM15A, although the newer boards allow for more space giving more possible mount locations or a bigger board.
This mod means CM15 doesn't need batteries nor does it need to be connected to your PC ever again(although you could if you wished)
This mod requires no soldering skills, your only modifying the case.
The case mod takes about 1/2 to 1 hour.
The Pi Zero costs under $10, the 5 volt 2.5 amp power supply actually cost me a bit more. ::) :'
Since the Pi runs Linux any HA software which supports the CM15A will work. Add the HA-Bridge (software) to the mix and your CM15A also becomes a X10 hub capable of handling Alexa requests. :)%
A full write up with pictures can be found here:
http://forums.tuicemen.net/index.php?topic=1291.0
This setup is out performing the CM15 AHP combo for me so far.
Sure the WM100 has better  PLC strength but this does all 266 X10 addresses as well as X10 security codes.
I can access from anywhere and don't need a phone app though most of the available softwares has one available.
 >!
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 12, 2018, 09:25:07 AM
I installed Home Genie Ver 1.1 beta r525 on this although there are newer versions available.
It has been running well now for over a month at my city place.
AHP hasn't been in use since and I've yet to miss it as Home Genie is doing every thing it did plus a few more adds like integrating my IP cameras into my setup.
I disabled the desktop load to help speed things up as this board doesn't have loads of memory but then no Pi does.
 >!



Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 24, 2018, 02:31:23 AM
There seems to be  a fair bit of interest in this mod from emails I've received.
Many stated they have an old Pi board on hand but these won't fit inside the current case even if you have a newer CM15 with no RF daughter boards.

Noam brought up an idea I'd not thought of. Since this mod is basically a upper half case modification a 3D printer could be used to create a new upper half of the case. this could include openings for all the ports. Sadly I don't have one. :(
 -:) Since the  pi3 3b, and 3b+  (and maybe the 2 boards) can all utilize the same case there may be a market for just a new upper case half.

The reason the larger boards will not fit in the current case is the placement of the CM15 transformer inside.
Adding to the depth of the upper half of the case would allow a larger Pi board.
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Noam on June 24, 2018, 05:17:10 AM

Noam brought up an idea I'd not thought of. Since this mod is basically a upper half case modification a 3D printer could be used to create a new upper half of the case. this could include openings for all the ports. Sadly I don't have one. :(
 -:) Since the  pi3 3b, and 3b+  (and maybe the 2 boards) can all utilize the same case there may be a market for just a new upper case half.

Thinking about it some more over the weekend, I suspect it would be easier to 3D print a spacer ring that would go between the existing front and back halves of the shell. It would easier / cheaper / faster to print, and could be (relatively) easily adapted to a thinner version for the Pi zero, or a thicker one for the Pi 2/3. It could even be printed in multiple colors (white to match, or something else to provide contrast). You would need longer screws to replace the originals, but they could go through the same holes.

I don't (yet) have a 3D printer of my own, so I haven't tried to design anything like this in CAD yet. But given the abundance of 3D printed designs already out there for the Pi Zero, and 2/3, it might be possible to adapt one of those (with the proper openings and screw locations already laid out correctly), and stretch it to become the shell spacer for this.
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 24, 2018, 05:38:23 AM
It would be cheaper to print just the ring but with out removing  the battery compartment of the cm15 the spacer ring would need to be much deeper then actually needed. The CM15 doesn't need batteries with a Pi inside so the battery compartment is wasted space.

I've ordered a cheep white case for a Pi 3 which I had planned on adding to a CM15 for a 3B+ mod. I might getaway with just adding half the case to the top of the upper case shell of the CM15. ::) :'



 
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Noam on June 24, 2018, 07:30:40 AM
It would be cheaper to print just the ring but with out removing  the battery compartment of the cm15 the spacer ring would need to be much deeper then actually needed. The CM15 doesn't need batteries with a Pi inside so the battery compartment is wasted space.

I've ordered a cheep white case for a Pi 3 which I had planned on adding to a CM15 for a 3B+ mod. I might getaway with just adding half the case to the top of the upper case shell of the CM15. ::) :'

Cutting out the back of the battery compartment *would* certainly free up that space, would keep the look of the front shell "stock" on the outside, and would still allow the use of the original screws to attach it. At the same time, though, there are no connections (that I can tell) being made to the guts of the CM15A. So, attaching a Pi case to the front of the CM15A would be a another way to go (and that's what I was planning on doing, if I ever find the time to play with this).
Printing a new front shell would probably be the most space-efficient way to do it, but would require more filament than printing a slightly thicker ring. And as I understand it, large flat things are more difficult to print without distortion than things that don't have as much surface area on the bed. I also think that designing it as a ring might be an easier task.

But that decision is probably best left to each person who decides they want to do this mod. :-)
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 24, 2018, 08:32:39 AM
A Pi zero ring would allow access to all ports.
 The only issue I see with doing any ring print for the larger boards  is the inability to easily get at the SD card slot because of how the board has to sit . :(
However the only reason you would need to get at the SD card slot is to replace the card its self.
A pi case for any of the models will mount to the front of the CM15A this was my original idea for ordering the 3B white case (Mine is currently black)
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: bkenobi on June 25, 2018, 04:27:52 AM
I have no dog in the fight, but I'd recommend considering printing a new cover.  The reason is that you can then add attachment points for the RPi to the new shell, you can have openings (maybe even snap off or replaceable) for access to ports, and it would look sleeker.  The second choice for me would be either removing the battery compartment divider.  I suppose if I didn't want to cut the case up yet, I'd also consider simply using the ink pen spacer approach (maybe find something nicer looking though).
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 25, 2018, 04:38:24 AM
I have no dog in the fight, but I'd recommend considering printing a new cover.  The reason is that you can then add attachment points for the RPi to the new shell, you can have openings (maybe even snap off or replaceable) for access to ports, and it would look sleeker.
If I had access to a 3D printer this would be my first choice. This way you could add ventilation slots too as the newer Cm15As run a bit hotter then the older ones with the daughter boards, I suspect the 3B+ also runs hotter then the 3 or 2 PIs.
 >!
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Noam on June 25, 2018, 05:21:29 AM
I have no dog in the fight, but I'd recommend considering printing a new cover.  The reason is that you can then add attachment points for the RPi to the new shell, you can have openings (maybe even snap off or replaceable) for access to ports, and it would look sleeker.
If I had access to a 3D printer this would be my first choice. This way you could add ventilation slots too as the newer Cm15As run a bit hotter then the older ones with the daughter boards, I suspect the 3B+ also runs hotter then the 3 or 2 PIs.
 >!

After reading the comments after my initial idea of the 3D printed ring, and after I took a look at one of my spare CM15A units last night, I want to change my vote in favor of the "replacement front cover" idea - over my original "spacer ring" one.  That's just a better idea for a lot of reasons.

Since I don't have a 3D printer (or someone to design the cover for me), I'll probably end up using one of the spare Pi 2's I have, taking an off-the-shelf case, and sticking it to the front of the CM15A -with the USB/Network end facing down. I just have to find the time to do it :-)
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: originalevil on June 25, 2018, 02:06:23 PM
Thanks for sharing this, Tuiceman!

I've got a 3D printer but am no good at the design side, or else I'd take a stab at it.

Sure makes me want to order a Zero to toy with, though!
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 26, 2018, 12:08:51 AM
For $7 I figured I can't find chreper entertainment. It kept me busy figuring out the how to part..putting it together didn't take long but the play time with the software continues to provide me something to do on rainy days  rofl
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Noam on June 26, 2018, 03:40:37 AM
For $7 I figured I can find chreper entertainment. It kept me busy figuring out the how to part..putting it together didn't take long but the play time with the software continues to provide me something to do on rainy days  rofl

Do you have a good tutorial you can share for the software side? I'll be putting it on a Pi2 (most likely), so I likely won't be able to use an existing image with the software already installed.
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on June 26, 2018, 05:38:56 AM
I started a thread on my forum Pi & HomeGenie for Dummies (http://forums.tuicemen.net/index.php?topic=1292.0)
( http://forums.tuicemen.net/index.php?topic=1292.0 )
First post covers the initial install of HomeGenie On a PI.
The next post has a link to an old how to, Mike has put together a more detailed Publicly editable how to (https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ybc1im6yvsn8a5/HomeGenie%2C%20HA-Bridge%2C%20Broadlink%20RM%2C%20and%20X10%20living%20in%20Harmony.doc?dl=0) which includes setting up other things for Homegenie on Windows. I believe it also includes the original how to.
I'll update the thread to include a link to Mikes How to.
 >!
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on July 05, 2018, 11:07:23 AM
Since the Pi Zero W proved to be such a successful pair up I've been looking for another board with possibly more power that will fit in an existing CM15A
Today I think I may have found one. ::) :'
https://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G145326484280&tab_idx=1
The Odroid C0 is more expensive then the Zero W and also will require some soldering skills as the USB ports are not populated but allows for 1 or 2 (full sized)USB ports. It also has much more memory but no onboard Wi-fi.
It has the option for an emmc which is much faster then a sd card if you wished.
I believe the CM15 will power this directly as the battery option is less then the power supply route and the CM15a available DC is about halfway between the two voltages. the board has a power step up converter so that should help.
The $1.80 connector pack should supply the needed USB extras Plus.

Although the Pi Zero W runs my HA setup just fine some may wish the extra power this board would supply.
It also may allow for a cleaner looking finished conversion project. (provided one has some soldering skills)
Title: Re: Single board PC inside CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on July 13, 2018, 06:03:14 PM
I found a local dealer (actually a couple) that carry the ODROIDs along with a few other boards.
Looking over some specs I see the Orange Pi Zero will fit as well though the ODROID has much more power.
I ordered an ODROID C0 and it arrive yesterday. This initially looks like it was made for the newer CM15As.
The whole battery compartment will still need to be removed not just half like the Pi Zero but I believe this board will provide the most options from what I've found for add-ons. The connector pack gives me a few things to play with like the IR sensor for a remote. It does supply a single and double USB port as a choice but initial measurements look like the double port will fit.
Also there is a add-on Serial to USB port ( not in the kit) which would allow a third port if needed.
The SD card slot and EMMC case may need to be opened to access those but I'm hoping I can mount the board so simply sliding the battery cover off will expose them.
This was intended to be a 2018-19 winter project but I'm getting itchy fingers. rofl

Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on July 27, 2018, 06:16:08 AM
So I started to modify a Cm15 case for the ODROID C0  on rainy days. I just can wait. rofl
I only have the battery compartment removed so far as I'm still working out mounting points.
I'm doing this mod a bit slower and it appears if one is to use the SD card over the emmc the board can only be mounted one way.
This only allows for one USB port to be mounted. This isn't a big deal as I planed to wire the second directly to the Cm15 USB port.
I also wasn't a fan of having the USB port on the side of the antenna.
As well going this route will allow (I believe) a larger heat sink if desired.
This mod will be for the newer Cm15A modules that don't have the RF daughter boards however once done I'll see if it is possible to use with the older CM15As
I also ordered a serial to USB addon  board I'll attempt to use with this. once it arrives I'll know for sure if it is usable with this mod . If not it will work with any Pi.
Once completed I post a complete how to (with Pics) on my forum. >!
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on September 12, 2018, 05:56:27 PM
While working on my ODROID/CM15A mod I discovered the Pi Zero has USB test solder pads on the back. :)% These are used by several USB addon daughter boards which add up to 4 full sized USB Ports.
This should allow an easy way to do away with the USB cable I currently am using, providing a cleaner look and also free up a USB port. I added links to the mod thread on my site in case some one wishes to do this prior to me getting to it. http://forums.tuicemen.net/index.php?topic=1291.msg8083#msg8083
In any case I will continue to update that thread (with additional pics) once I have that mod addition completed.
 >!
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on September 25, 2018, 05:36:50 PM
Rainy day here at the cottage so I embedded my ODROID C0 into a CM15A.
With this mod I soldered the USB port connections of the CM15 to the spare USB connector pins of the ODROID  I soldered a single USB port to the board to allow an external Wi-Fi module since this board has no Wi-Fi.
I'm in the midst of setting up Domoticz on this SBC now. Tests with Mochad have been successful so my soldering was a success.
 It may be some time before I get this mod fully documented with pics but I just had to post my success! :)%
 >!
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: dave w on September 25, 2018, 07:51:27 PM
WOHOO!!
Please note that a "wohoo" denotes a far greater excitement level than the more sedate "wahoo".
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: brobin on September 26, 2018, 12:46:18 AM
Congrats Tuice!  #:)  You get more done on a rainy afternoon than the Willie devs do in a year.  >!
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on September 26, 2018, 07:33:31 AM
 rofl I guess now that this winter project is done I'll have more time to dig into the willy and see what I can do with it.
I do want to hard wire my PI Zero which will free up a USB port for maybe a Zwave dongle hook up. ;)
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on March 07, 2019, 09:46:43 AM
Update:
The Odroid C0 isn't the way to go.(at least for me) :-[ I can't get this to stay running anymore then 4 hours and that's if I'm lucky.

I picked up a few more Zero W boards since my original purchase. I played with a few different mounting locations and have found a way to mount a Zero W board in a new Cm15 without removing the battery compartment it also doesn't require cutting or drilling holes in the CM15A case. You simply file out slots where the two halves fit together for the SD card and ports.
If your up to soldering you can solder the cm15 port connections to the test pads of the Zero W. I used a piece of old PC hard drive ribbon cable. I had planned to take snap shots of this but ended up shipping it off to Authinx before I got the snapshots done :-[.

Sadly soldering the Cm15A USB to the test pads of the ZeroW didn't allow the USB port of the Zero to be used for my Zwave stick as I had hoped :-[
I found an add on board for the Zero W which provided 3 full size USB ports and utilizes the ZeroW test pads this will still fit in a newer CM15A with the battery compartment removed. It also allows connection of the CM15 and a Zwave stick with one USB port to spare. I've not tested with all ports in use just with the Cm15 and Zwave stick, the Zero W handles both without any issues.
My plan is to mount this in the Cm15 which the Odroid was in however that case will look like swiss cheese when done, and that Zero is currently handling my Zwave, WeMo, X10 and Alexa ::) :'
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Noam on March 07, 2019, 11:44:39 AM
...however that case will look like swiss cheese when done ...

Authinx might be able to send you an empty shell - or you might consider 3D printing one.
I've also heard Bondo can work wonders in situations like this - just use some non-metallic mesh as a base, slather it on, sand it smooth after it dries, and paint it ;-)

Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on March 07, 2019, 12:11:40 PM
Authinx might be able to send you an empty shell - or you might consider 3D printing one.
I've also heard Bondo can work wonders in situations like this - just use some non-metallic mesh as a base, slather it on, sand it smooth after it dries, and paint it ;-)
The last time I asked Authinx for a case they sent me a whole new CM15A. rofl
I have considered doing a patch job as I don't have access to a 3D printer. :(
I'll see how my case mod goes for the addon board before I try patching holes as some will overlap.
Hot melt glue may also work for this as it comes in several colors.
I also may modify the addon board to reduce the amount of modifications required to the case. ;)
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Noam on March 08, 2019, 10:27:39 AM
Authinx might be able to send you an empty shell - or you might consider 3D printing one.
I've also heard Bondo can work wonders in situations like this - just use some non-metallic mesh as a base, slather it on, sand it smooth after it dries, and paint it ;)
The last time I asked Authinx for a case they sent me a whole new CM15A. rofl
Well, you could ask for another shell, and if they send you another whole unit, you can just take the shell you need, and put the rest on the shelf for later.

Quote
I have considered doing a patch job as I don't have access to a 3D printer. :(
Neither do I. I have a friend with one, but he doesn't have the time to do the CAD design for the stuff I want him to print. If I find an existing design, he's usually pretty good at printing it for me. Eventually, I'd love to get myself a printer.

Quote
I'll see how my case mod goes for the addon board before I try patching holes as some will overlap.
Hot melt glue may also work for this as it comes in several colors.
I also may modify the addon board to reduce the amount of modifications required to the case. ;)

Good luck. You could always add flames or racing stripes to hide the patch job a bit :)
Title: Re: SBC inside a CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on March 08, 2019, 12:09:26 PM
Well, you could ask for another shell, and if they send you another whole unit, you can just take the shell you need, and put the rest on the shelf for later.
I'll see if they have a returned, damaged or non repairable unit they can send me, I doubt they have empty shells laying arround. I can use the swiss cheese looking shell as a templet.