Apple Pi Media Centre

Hello there, this is just my step by step on how i made my raspberry pi apple case!

in short, it is an apple airport extreme case which i have gutted and replaced the circuit boards with a raspberry pi and a powered usb hub.

i used; Apple Airport Extreme (broken one i picked up for £7 off ebay), Powered Usb Hub, bunch of wires which include mirco usb cables, Ethernet extenders, hdmi extension, wifi dongle, blue led, usb extenders, 2 circuit switch (to control both the pi and the powered usb hub), red spray paint and clear coat.

TOOLS; dremel, Hot glue gun, screwdrivers, pliers, soldering iron.

check out the Youtube video on the step by steps!

Apple Pi Media Centre

Step 1: Gutting the apple airport extreme

Gutting the Apple Airport Extreme

firstly youll need to take off the rubber base which is held on by glue. (be careful and apply heat to it to loosen the glue to take it off easily.)

there are 5 screws located on the bottom after removing the rubber base.

Step 2: Taking out circuit and heatsinks

Taking Out Circuit and Heatsinks

once you’ve removed the screws, just pull out the circuit board and you’ll be left with heatsinks.

with abit off force they come off but i found the quickest way to do this was to use a soldering iron to melt the little plastic bits holding them. (just put the soldering iron into the holes).

then just use a flat heat screw driver to get them off.

follow this to get out the metal casing (BEWARE: dont break the metal casing as you will need this to screw it back together if you opt not to use magnets like me)

Step 3: Cutting the metal

Cutting the Metal

cut the metal a tad just to free up some space for the powered usb and hdmi/ethernet ports on the back.

i used a dremel and pliers to do this.

Step 4: Cutting out the space for the new ports

 Cutting Out the Space for the New Ports

i basically decided to cut this out to optimize the space at the back. i simply used the dremel to cut and then got a piece of a4 acrylic to make the new ports.

Step 5: Front usb/switch

Front Usb&switch

i opted for a front usb for convenience and also added a power switch at the side.

i cut the power wires going to the Raspberry Pi and the powered usb hub and soldered them to the switch.

i also put in a blue led into the already cut out led hole and connected that to the pi at a later stage.

Step 6: Attaching back panel

Attaching Back Panel

I then hot glued the back panel to the casing. (in hindsight I would probably have opted to use adhesive instead for a neater finish)

Step 7: Testing


its always good to test everything while making a project so i just plugged everything up and tested it.

Step 8: Fitting everything in

Fitting Everything In

after everything was working successfully I then shortened usb wires and other cables by cutting them and soldering them and then fitted everything into the case. This took some time as it was very important that i tightly packed everything up so the lid would close.

Step 9: Magnets


i decided the screws weren’t going to cut it and for convenience i decided magnets would be the best way to close the pi case up. this was convenient as if i ever wanted to change the sd card I wouldn’t need to faff around with screw drivers.

I purchased the magnets on ebay for 3 pound for 50. placed 4 on the case and 4 on the lid in the corners. this was enough to securely hold everything in place.

Step 10: Openelec


I installed openelec to the sd card as i found it to be much faster on the pi then raspbmc was. Well after the Gotham update anyway.

there are may tutorials on Youtube on how to install openelec on a pi.

Step 11: Testing

Step 11 Testing
again test you have everything working!

Step 12: Spray Painting

Spray Painting

I decided that the best way to finish off the case was to put glue in the gaps were i cut out to accommodate the usb ports and hdmi ports etc and then spray painting the whole thing after sanding and wet and drying smooth. I also spray painted my wireless keyboard and mouse to match the pi. (just masked off all the keys with masking take and paper)



and there you have it… just let the paint dry, whack the pi back into the case, close the lid, and done! enjoy. please check out my YouTube video on how i did this and thumbs up if it was helpful or you liked it. thanks!


Source: Apple Pi Media Centre

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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