install in internal hard disk cage?

dear BBB experts:

I would like to mount a beaglebone black inside a computer in a front-removable rack. my goal is to have the BBB and a small SSD in one bay that is accessible from the front. the power from the SATA can provide power to the BBB; the motherboard can use the USB client port on the BBB for communication (and for USB power), and I can bring out the BBB USB host port female to the front of the bay somehow. (eventually, I want my BBB to play a role in orchestrating my server.)

the stated dimensions on page 115 of the BBB manual on the dimensions says I need 87 by 55 by 5 mm. (I think they just mean the PCB board height?? 5mm seems too low. the connectors are higher. I don’t need the Ethernet connector, so I may just rip it off.) the logic supply case for the BBB is 21mm high.

the standard 3.5" form factor is 25mm high. it has more than enough volume to cover both a small SSD and a BBB.

a dual 2.5" if it could be made to work would be even better, but the ones I have seen expect two 10mm drives: I would love to put a small flat 2.5" SSD hard disk in the lower tray [SSD connects to the computer itself, not to the BBB] and a beaglebone black in the upper tray. this may be a completely crazy idea.

instead of the BBB just dangling, it would be nice to have a kind of tray for it to sit in to pretend it is a 2.5" hard drive, with the standard screw locations. does a 2.5" “converter” exist??

because the repurposed sata space has a sata power connector, I would like to run a cable from the sata power to the BBB to get the full speed of the BBB. this needs some sort of SATA power to 5vdc coax power connector. is this kind of cable easy to come by? is it sold commercially? it should be very simple. it just needs to change the power form factor.

it’s late, I am babbling…anyone tried something related to this?


It’s a nice idea. I wonder if it would make getting access to the GPIO ports difficult though. I suppose it depends on what you are using the BBB for.

You might consider something like this to bring the USB port to the front panel:

I’m using one for a robotics project and it works fine.

You can design your custom cage using any CAD program that exports STL files.
You can send the STL to a service like ShapeWays to have it 3D printed and shipped to you.

ahhh…but this means that I would have to know CAD and STL. this would take me a long time for a one-time task.

instead, it would make much more sense for me if I could find someone who is good at this, who has an interest in this, and who I could pay for this. the design would end up open-source to the BBB community.

anyone out there?


Please contact me off list :smiley:

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