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I would like to be able to put a computer in the wall. With decent-performing boards as small as the Raspberry Pi, has anyone ever attempted to put one inside of a power box? If so, which ones and how did you wire up the power itself?

Here is the kind of box I am talking about:

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I would be mindful of the heat that could potentially be generated by something like this. Make sure there's no risk of a fire! –  Darth Android Nov 20 '12 at 16:23
    
There were some mini linux systems that fit in a standard electrical outlet but this was years ago, Guruplug is about the only one that is currently available that I can find, but does not fit in the box. Also see this –  Moab Nov 20 '12 at 16:27
    
I think the problem here is that while something like a Raspberry Pi might fit, if you're thinking about wiring it directly to the mains, you need somewhere for the power adapter to go and that's hard to shrink. You could put the whole thing BEHIND the wall socket but that's cheating. Now, I've seen small boxes that plug INTO the power outlet... EDIT: Like what Moab just posted. –  Shinrai Nov 20 '12 at 16:27
    
I don't think the Pi will quite fit unless you remove/bend the connectors on the ends. It appears to be about 11cm long with connectors, which is about 4.33. A standard box is 4-9/16 (4.56) on the outside, but you must subtract at least 0.25" from that for the wall thickness of the box. –  Daniel R Hicks Dec 14 '12 at 21:02
    
You can, however, get larger boxes with a "mud ring" to reduce the visible size down to the standard 2x4. Of course, access would be a b!tch. –  Daniel R Hicks Dec 14 '12 at 21:03

4 Answers 4

Have a look at ChipPC products

Tom's hardware write up

.

enter image description here

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That doesn't look like a standard North American power outlet box. –  martineau Nov 20 '12 at 17:46
    
@martineau, that is a 4x4 box with a custom faceplate installed on the front to provide the necessary connections. In thoery, one could utilize this for initial set-up of the server and then remove and replace the cover. –  Sarge Nov 20 '12 at 18:09

While I don't know of any full computer systems that can entirely fit within such a box (unless you want to talk about cell phones, which could conceivably be used as a low power computer) there are several very small, thin computer systems out there. What you could do is use the outlet box as a terminal for any outwards facing connections (usb, dvi) and put the rest of the computer directly underneath the box inside the wall itself.

Here's the smallest computer I could find: http://www.thebookpc.com/product_info.php/cPath/68_91/products_id/485

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I think you could pretty easily fit one of the new Android PCs that are shaped like a USB thumb drive in an outlet box without too much trouble. The AllWinner A10, for example, would fit. Have a look also at Miniand Tech's MK802 and the UG802.

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I think a gumstix board would be small enough, but you would need to fit a power supply as well.

enter image description here

Length   11.0 cm (4.3 inches)
Width    4.4 cm (1.73 inches)
Height   1.8 cm (0.71 inches)
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