Technically, the OrangePI Zero supports a type of Power of Ethernet, but this makes it compliant.
..and uses a cheat – you can buy POE splitters off Aliexpress – this hack removes the Ethernet port off the OrangePI, and permanently attaches the splitter. I also 3D printed a case for it, which is the interesting part, as I experiment with post production.
I use an OrangePi as a server for my Flic bluetooth buttons. I use POE to power it, so I don’t need to bother with plug packs, however, it all looks a little untidy (why do Pi clone manufacturers always put the power plug on the front!?).
I’ve also been meaning to experiment with sanding and spray painting 3D prints, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.
Adding the POE splitter to the OrangePi
- Desolder the Ethernet socket from the OrangePI. I used a desoldering needle.
- Desolder the ethernet and power cable from the POE splitter
- Use ethernet cable to join to the two Ethernet pads. Make sure you maintain the twists between pairs. I also soldered two pin headers into the support holes either side of the Ethernet sockets, to give some physical support.
Printing the Case
- You can download the models from Thingiverse
- No need for to print supports – 20% infill is fine. Once printed, you need to cut off the board support clips at the top of the pylons – they don’t work. Drill two 2.5mm holes in the two rear pylons.
- Insert brass inserts into the corner holes.
FDM 3D printing is quite streaky, and looks… well, like it was 3D printed. I print in PLA, so acetate vapor is out off the question, making good, old fashioned sanding and painting the easiest way to get it looking it good.
The first time I tried this I sanded the thing completely smooth, and it took ages. I found other people have had success using automotive primer/filler which fills smaller scratches.
I tried this, but the gaps were too big. I went aggressive, and started with 120grit wet-and-dry sand paper. I added another two coats of primer/filler. Next, I went to town with 400 grit, then 800 grit.
I wanted to see if I could paint a logo in the top, so I did an undercoat of satin silver, placed a sticker over it and then painted a top coat of satin grey.
It looked terrible.
- The sticker lifted, so the edges off the logo were blurry.
- Satin shows up ALL the gaps, so even after all the sanding, the lines were still visible
- I over painted, so there was drips, and it looked thick and gross
- The colour wasn’t… great.
I re-sanded with 400-grit to get rid of the paint, and polished again with 800-grit. This time I omitted the extra coat of primer/filler, and just applied two LIGHT coats of flat (matt) black paint. This time the result was great!
Matt paint actually fills gaps a little bit, so the result is much better. There are still some visible lines (in the right light), so clearly I need to sand more. Also – I missed some bits on the bottom section. Clearly I still need some practice.
I wouldn’t mind trying the satin finish again, with out being so heavy handed on the pain