DIY Raspberry Pi Rack from Napkin Holders

DIY Raspberry Pi Rack from Napkin Holders

Step by step instructions including photos for assembling a rack, from two steel napkin holders and cable ties, to hold 8 Raspberry Pis, in standard Raspberry Pi cases. What you need:

Step 1: Zip up the napkin weight

Use cable/zip ties to hold up the napkin weight on one of the napkin holders so that it is approximately level with the sides of the napkin holder.

Step 1: Zip up the napkin weight

Step 2: Attach the second napkin holder

The napkin holders that I used have feet that prevent aligning directly atop each other. Rotate the second napkin holder 45 degrees relative to the first. Use cable ties to attach. Make sure you use enough cable ties sufficiently tightened to ensure that the top napkin holder won't move. Specifically, use two cable ties on each of the three corners that come into contact with the bottom napkin holder. Additionally, use one cable tie to attach the napkin weight of the bottom holder to the bottom of the top holder.

Step 2: Attach the second napkin holder

Step 3: Trim the cable ties

Well, do what the heading of this step says.

Step 3: Trim the cable ties

Step 4: Zip the napkin weight to create a shelf

Use cable ties to prop up the napkin weight of the top napkin holder. I connected three cable ties in sequence to span the width of the napkin holder both below and above the napkin weight. I repeated this a couple inches away creating a shelf, which I'm using to hold a network switch.

Step 4: Zip the napkin weight to create a shelf

Step 5: Arrange your Raspberry Pis and Route Cables

Each napkin holder is large enough for four raspberry pis in standard cases, each rotated such that ports are accessible via two sides at the corners. If you're using wired networking, you can sit a switch on top of the shelf you created in step 4. I'm using a couple phone chargers as a power source. I currently have them simply sitting next to the rack. Route your power and network cables through the lattice sides of the napkin holders. I used 3 foot long cables, which is partially to blame for the messy wiring in the photo. One foot length cables would be better (and neater). The cable routing will also turn out better if you are more patient than I am.

Step 5: Arrange your Raspberry Pis and Route Cables