Lime AC Case

by HackerGadgets

An active-cooling aluminum enclosure for the LimeSDR product family

$5,891 raised

of $5,000 goal

117% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$79

Lime AC Case: Mini

One case for LimeSDR Mini, including one fan.


$129

Lime AC Case: Tetra

One case for LimeSDR USB Type-A, with one fan and with 12 U.FL to SMA cables. This case allows for all on-board RF and CLK lines to be externally available.


$129

Lime AC Case: Tetra (Micro USB version)

One case for LimeSDR micro USB Type-B, with one fan and with 12 U.FL to SMA cables. This case allows for all on-board RF and CLK lines to be externally available. Limited quantity available!

Details

Recent Updates


As Featured In

Myriad RF Blog

"Designed to provide both a protective enclosure and active, rather than the more usual passive, cooling, the Hacker Gadgets Lime AC Case connects heat sources on the LimeSDR Mini or LimeSDR USB to an aluminium chassis."

Lime AC (Active Cooling) Cases are designed for LimeSDR users who want to better manage heat generated by their devices. The cases also make LimeSDRs more portable - protecting the PCB from damage - while they provide RF shielding for enhanced performance. We’ve designed one case for the LimeSDR Mini and three versions for the LimeSDR USB Type-A.

For LimeSDR Mini

  • Compatible with both LimeSDR Mini v1.1 and v1.2
  • All major chips are connected to the case by 1 mm thick thermal silica pads
  • Active cooling fan included
  • LED indicator visible through the top of the case
  • Fully-shielded - the vulnerable USB socket is especially protected

Installation note: In order to install a LimeSDR Mini in the case, the on-board RF shield must be desoldered. This allows for proper thermal conductivity. An RF shielding sponge replaces the functionality of the on-board shield.

For LimeSDR USB Type-A

  • All major chips are connected to the case by thermal silica pads
  • Active cooling fan included in Nano and Tetra pledge levels
  • On-board U.FLs routed to external SMA connectors - appropriate cables included in pledge levels
    • Thin version: 2 CLKs, 4 RFs
    • Nano version: 2 CLKs, 4 RFs
    • Tetra version: 2 CLKs, 10 RFs
  • LED indicators light-piped to the USB side of the case
  • Fully-shielded - the vulnerable USB socket is especially protected

Thin

  • Slim design with no fan
  • 2 SMAs towards the USB port - intended for CLK signals
  • 4 SMAs towards the rear - intended for RF signals

Nano

  • Radiator fins and active-cooling fan
  • 2 SMAs towards the USB port - intended for CLK signals
  • 4 SMAs towards the rear - intended for RF signals

Tetra

  • All on-board RF and CLKs are made externally available
  • Radiator fins and active-cooling fan
  • 2 SMAs towards the USB port - intended for CLK signals
  • 10 SMAs towards the rear - intended for RF signals

Protect Your Board

The PCB is tightly clamped in the case. The LimeSDR Mini fits snugly in its case while the LimeSDR-USB Type-A is fixed to the base case with screws. These designs will prevent your board from being damaged from falling.

Active Cooling with Fan

Anyone who uses a LimeSDR Mini for an extended period of time knows that it gets pretty hot. That’s why we added a fan to actively cool your LimeSDR so you can keep using it longer and without fear of heat damage (to the board or your hands). The fan is detachable from the case if you don’t want to use it all the time.

RF Shielding

The full LimeSDR board is shielded by the aluminum case to isolate external electromagnetic interference.

*The case shown here is the Lime AC Case: Tetra.

LED Indicators

LimeSDR boards have indicator LEDs that are quite useful, so we wanted to be sure those are still properly visible in the cases. So those LEDs are sent through light pipes to the outside of the case. Our philosophy is that once the case is assembled, you’ll never have to disassemble it.

Comparison Table

How does the Lime AC Case compare to other available cases?

Lime AC Case Acrylic Case From LimeAluminum Case From Lime
MaterialAluminum Acrylic Aluminum
Heat SinkYes NoneNone
Thermal ColumnYes None None
Active CoolingYes None None
RF Connectors Export6/12 4 4
Price (Mini)$79 $49 $140
Price (USB Type-A)$129 $99 $300

Aluminum Case Development

Along with thousands of other people, we are big supporters of the LimeSDR and LimeSDR Mini devices. But in our extended daily use, we noticed a few things that could be improved. As the SDR is a naked PCB, it can be damaged easily. Plus, the board generates a lot of heat - so much that you can’t even touch it after long-term use. So we decided to do something to solve these problems. First, we made a passive cooling case which you can see below.

This case worked well, so we took our design even further and added a fan for active cooling.

Manufacturing Plan

We will begin a manufacturing run of 100 units for LimeSDR Mini and 50 units of each LimeSDR-USB Type-A case after the crowdfunding campaign succeeds - the first batch will take about a month to be manufactured. After that, the factory can manufacture batches of 200 units for the Mini and 100 units for each of the LimeSDR-USB Type-A cases. The rest of the orders will be fulfilled according to this production schedule.

Fulfillment & Logistics

All cases will be delivered to Crowd Supply’s warehouse for final distribution to backers worldwide. For more information, you can refer to this useful guide to ordering, paying, and shipping.

Risks & Challenges

There are very few risks with this project, as all the Lime AC Case designs are complete and have been manufactured in sample runs. However, as with any manufacturing project, the production progress could experience delays and unexpected shortages can occur. If this happens, we’ll be sure to keep you informed via updates to this project and we’ll work to quickly resolve any issues.


Credits

HackerGadgets

HackerGadgets is an open electronic hardware design team based in Guangzhou, China. We focus on open source hardware, including consulting on embedded systems design and hardware manufacturing. HackerGadgets is passionate and actively committed to Open Source projects and electronics education.


vileer deng

Ring Bei

Woody Wu

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