THE POCKET NODE (RASPBERRY PI 3 SSD SERVER)
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The Raspberry Pi 3 is perfect for use as a little Bitcoin node or file server, but many implementations of this are kind of messy, with lots of cables, flash drives, or other peripherals plugged in. I wanted to create something small and sleek that you could potentially just plug and play.

I call this The Pocket Node, and it is a kit for the Raspberry Pi 3, which transforms it into an all-in-one node or server, with expandable SSD storage.

- Youtube link
- Archive.org mirror
- Torrent
- Keybase mirror

DESIGN

From the outside, it looks like a slightly larger Raspberry Pi case, but there are a few more features to this, which make it more useful.

It's designed to run as a headless server, so the case is simplified and covers up unneeded ports.

The bottom half of the case contains the SSD, and a micro USB breakout board, which, allows all cables to trail out of the back of the device. If you're using wifi for network connectivity, this means you only need one cable to run this.

The design is also modular, so you can easily add or remove the Pi3, without permanently modifying it.

SSD STORAGE

I've incorporated an SSD adapter, which takes mSATA SSD drives. You just need to insert the SSD drive, and plug it into the Pi using the custom USB plug, and you can expand the storage to whatever you like.

Depending on the drive you use, the speeds reached can be pretty fast, albeit within USB 2.0's limits. Not bad though for such a small size, and definitely faster than thumb drives or memory cards.

The adapter is also compatible with USB 3.0, so if a future version of the Pi uses this, it could be modified for even faster speeds.

COOLING

Both the Pi3 and the mSATA SSDs are notorious for their heat generation, so I added a few things to the design to combat this.

Firstly the Pi3 has a couple of mini heatsinks to help draw some of that heat away from the board.

The 3D printed case also has a bunch of air vents, and when combined with the built in fan, it allows for fresh air to constantly be circulating around the components.

USE CASES

The original use-case I had in mind for this was as a bitcoin full node. You could pick up a 256GB SSD for fairly cheap, and that would be more than enough for the current size of the blockchain.

Obviously this would also work for all sorts of other kinds of cryptocurrency nodes, as well as other file server or internet of things applications.

It would be ideal for a home media server, network attached storage, or some other self-hosting use.

OPEN SOURCE

I've added the 3D files for this to github, so you can 3d print and make your own if you want.

There's also a write up on the NODE website, which details all the parts used, and how to put it all together.

https://github.com/N-O-D-E/PocketNode

CONCLUSION

So that's the Pocket Node.

I'm going to add this to the shop soon. I'm also considering selling a complete bitcoin full node kit, which includes an SSD with the latest blockchain blocks pre-downloaded. What do you think? Thanks for watching.

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BY NODE