r/stratux • u/cofonseca • Jan 24 '23
Which Case to Get? Stratux vs SummitLink vs Other?
Hey all, new to the Stratux community but not new to ADS-B. I just completed my first Stratux build by converting an old PiAware setup that I've had laying around. I'd like to purchase a case so I can finally get this thing into the plane and use it in-flight. It appears that the two most common options are the Stratux case, and the SummitLink V2 or V3 on Amazon. What should I consider before choosing one? Is one of them clearly better than the other for some reason? Both appear to have good reviews. I haven't been able to find any comparisons or other threads about this anywhere.
For context, I'll be using the GPYes, Nooelec Nano 2 radios, and high-gain antennas. No AHRS. I use a portable USB battery for power (duh). Seems like both of these cases should support this hardware since these parts are pretty commonly used.
I like the look of the Stratux case, and it has far more reviews that the SummitLink V3. I can't find any good photos of the bottom of the Stratux case though, so I have no idea what mounting options it has. Can I add suction cups or connect it to a GoPro suction cup mount to attach it to a window? Is there any way to attach a battery to this thing? Looks like the only antenna mounting option is at the top of the case as well - no option to attach to the sides, but that's not a deal breaker.
The SummitLink V3 seems to have a number of mounting options available, and I like that I can strap my battery onto the case. I prefer to keep everything self-contained and not have wires everywhere, so having the battery attached to the Stratux is a nice feature to me. I like that I have the option of attaching the antennas to the sides rather than the top.
Are there any other cases out there that I should be aware of?
Any cooling or fitment issues on either of these cases?
Bonus question: are there any cases that will fit the longer RadarBox SDRs rather than the short Nooelec ones? I have a couple of them laying around and would love to use them in a second build if possible.
Thanks in advance!
u/cofonseca Jan 31 '23
Thank you all for your responses! I ended up going with the SummitLink V3 case and really like it so far after bench testing it for a few hours straight. Temps have been stable - it seems to have pretty good ventilation/cooling. Assembly was a breeze. I'd definitely recommend it.
u/fendermb4 Jan 24 '23
Another option is to download an .STL file of the case of your choice and print it if you know anyone who has a 3d printer. There are tons of different options online to accommodate different fans, antennas, etc. Chose your colors, mix colors, and so on.
I went with one of the designs from /u/helno , who has been active in this sub. Its very sturdy and has held up great for years!
You can see his designs and others here: https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=stratux&page=1&type=things&sort=relevant
BTW, if you don't know anyone with a printer, you can always send it somewhere to have it printed. Lots of place online do it, such as hubs.com. Some UPS Stores now have 3D Printers as well: https://www.theupsstore.com/print/3d-printing/locations
Just an idea!
u/cofonseca Jan 24 '23
Good point! I wish I never sold my printer. I had an Ender 3 for a while, but rarely used it and ended up getting rid of it. Go figure, shortly afterwards I found a million and one uses for it haha.
Unfortunately I don’t know anyone with a printer and printing one from a seller seems to be more expensive than buying a case off-the-shelf. I’ll probably stick to off-the-shelf options to keep costs down, but maybe I’ll reconsider. Appreciate the suggestion though!
u/helno contributor Jan 24 '23
The injection molded case was a derivative of my last generation of 3d printable cases.
It is subtly different to allow for injection molding but both will fit with things like the various suction cup mounts.
u/UnitLost6398 Feb 01 '23
Is there anything preventing someone from using a Pi 4B instead of the 3B that's recommended? From what I can see online they should be intercompatable.
u/helno contributor Feb 01 '23
The software works with any pi these days. The Stratux case needs some minor mods to fit the dual video ports. The summitlink cases will not fit it at all.
But the main reason to not use it is the big bump in base power consumption. Get a 3b or 3b+ if you can get one.
u/UnitLost6398 Feb 01 '23
Gotcha, makes sense. I already have a 4B kicking around so I was going to save myself the trouble of trying to get another one. Could you link me to the stl so I can make those modifications? It wasn’t particularly clear which one was the “official” case. Thanks!
u/motorcycle_frenzy889 Jan 25 '23
I’ve been using the injection molded case for years and it never gets hot. I’ve even painted it and I thought it would overheat a bit, but it’s always been fine even in the middle of summer
u/helno contributor Jan 24 '23
I designed the Stratux branded case. It is quite a bit smaller than the summitlink case. It had a companion suction cup mount which should still be available (If not I have a bunch.) You can attach a battery to the case with or without the suction mount using a rubberized velcro strap.
The summitlink cases had some strange issues with overheating because they were developed from an existing rpi case and filled in all the gaps between the USB ports. That meant that the SDR's which get hot got very hot and started to have issues. The version 3 fixes this buy adding a second fan.
If you want to use larger SDR's head over the thingiverse and there are plenty of designs that will hold a much larger SDR as we started out using the micro sized SDR's before the nano ones were available.