I just got my RPi3MB and dont use a case yet and feel like every time i plug/un-plug e.g HDMI/power cable that its pulling too hard. Am I just being paranoid that the input ports will loosen up and the board will take damage in general? I dont feel i can hold it many places without touching everywhere

EDIT: made a quick case with an iphone box which is pretty solid, so i managed to mount the pi board into the box with screws, its pretty tight now lol.

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  • Why not disconnect it at the other end? You are not being paranoid, it is possible to damage the connectors. Aug 28, 2016 at 2:53
  • atm i only have that many cables available so while i set up my server etc i had to. I just had one eth cable, hdmi, and keyboard lol So it was some back and forth with my other computer, if I only had an eth cable i could ssh to it instead.
    – vasper
    Aug 28, 2016 at 2:54
  • @vasper I would suggest you to buy a case as early as possible due to couple of reasons. one because its safe to handle and second because if accidentally water or some fluid falls on the device you may end up in trouble. Also if it falls down the GPIO pins may also get damaged. So its always better to buy a case.
    – Varad A G
    Aug 28, 2016 at 4:09
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    The green LED definitely means that it's performing operations on the SD card. One sure way to tell if you've imaged a card directly is on first bootup. If the green light does not have any activity, it means it can't boot from the card properly.
    – stevieb
    Aug 28, 2016 at 15:21
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    made a case. updated OP. its pretty sufficient actuallys ince the box is pretty sturdy. Wish i didnt mess upp the end the, cut too high :P
    – vasper
    Aug 29, 2016 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


Am I just being paranoid

No. One of my first Pi's, a model B that is probably a little over three years old, has a very sightly loose microUSB power jack. It isn't a problem as long as I don't wrench the cord around too much, but I've been fairly careful with it, so I don't think it counts as the result of "abuse" but rather gradual degradation. Like what often happens to headphone jacks. And I am not a gorilla, honestly.

Some cases may help with putting a bit of pressure on the jacks to hold them in place but I am not so sure how much help that really amounts to. In a sense, they may increase the wear and tear if they make it impossible to grip the connector yourself while getting a cord out.

If you have the pi mounted somewhere or in an enclosure, use some kind of cable clamps or hangers to prevent the cords placing stress on the jacks.

I found the microUSB port on the Zero (not the power one, just the actual OTG port) so ridiculously tight that I've greased male connectors with a drop or two of skateboard bearing oil (high grade, synthetic, low viscosity -- note oils are non-conductive and safe with electronics) before putting them in so that I did not have to wiggle them as much getting them out. That's probably my best tip. And whenever possible, use two hands and grip that jack with your thumb.

I dont feel i can hold it many places without touching everywhere

Well, I think that is something not to get too paranoid about unless you live in a very static-y environment. Also, as long as the power is in, the outer metal of the jacks are grounded. You are not going to short anything by holding the HDMI port with two fingers. If you have a case that won't allow for that don't sweat it too much, just always be gentle.

  • Or just pull the power when you have to swap the HDMI on the Pi side...
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 29, 2016 at 1:15

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