I found a nice metal case to house a Raspberry Pi for a project. It has near-perfect dimensions and properties, but it lacks space to attach a power supply via Micro USB. I think the main USB ports are too close to the walls as well. Red and black wires on the GPIO you see in the picture are going to a LED.

RPi in metal case

Without attaching (any) USB plug, is there any other way to supply wired power? How would I do it?

I might be willing to solder on some cables.

  • 1
    i wonder how your wireless/mouse (?) dongle will perform inside the metallic case? =)
    – lenik
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 9:19
  • It's a WiFi dongle. The top of the case is not metallic, I'll see :)
    – myhd
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 9:29
  • FYI- Red and Black is standard for Vcc and GND - It confused me I thought you had power via GPIO there.. but its somethign else.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 12:40
  • 2
    OH Yea and remember to put something under the Pi. Like a sponge or cardboard so that it does not scratch the paint of the metal by mistake and make short circuit! Or some rubber feet or stips.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 14:26

4 Answers 4


Connect 5v and GND to your power supply. Red for +5volt and Black for GND or -5volts

3.3volts does not need to be connected.

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Issue 6 of TheMagPi mentions (on page 9) that you can connect power to TP1 and TP2 if you want to, but everywhere else I've read says that those points are for measuring rather than powering. Elsewhere I've seen mention of it being possible (but not necessarily recommended) to power from the +5V and Gnd pins of the regular GPIO connector (P1) as Milliways already mentioned.

But that still might not fix your USB A port access (if you need it), and it still doesn't solve the problem that your Pi is going to rattle around in that case if you don't use the board mounting screws like a proper Pi case has. Plus your box is much bigger than it needs to be, mounting diagonally and wasting space, and you're still going to have at least a power cable coming out of the lid (if you don't want to drill holes in the metal).

All in all, maybe this case isn't quite as "near-perfect" as it first appeared?

  • You are right regarding the perfectness of the case indeed, I like to see it as an intermediate step on the way to the final product. Thank you for your answer.
    – myhd
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 16:53

Not wanting to go around the polyfuse, I went this way: Bought a easy-to-dremel-open Micro USB plug...

micro usb plug

... then removed the plug casing and voila! Also, I decided to shorten the SD Card a bit:

shortened SD card and micro micro USB port

The green tape tab is to remove the shortened SD card from card readers.


You can use a hub which back powers the Pi via the USB port, or you could connect to the +5v and Gnd on the P1 connector or even to the P5 Secondary GPIO.

All of these methods bypass the polyfuse, which may or may not be of concern.

Of course, you could just find a case which fits.

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