There is no denying, Agron One (review) case by Argon40 is one handsome case! It merges great aesthetics, GPIO functionality and cleans up the I/O by moving all ports to the back of the case. The power button issues received a software patch, so there is even more to love! The boot from USB for Raspberry Pi 4 is upon us, so I found myself in a peculiar kerfuffle. Do I plug SSD and ruin the looks, or continue with the micro SD card? Thanks to Creality Ender 3 (review) 3D printer I can have both! Meet Argon18 the Argon ONE SSD modification.
Argon18 aka Argon ONE SSD mod
Argon ONE SSD modification actually fixes one more problem. I use CC2531 ZigBee USB dongle to automate my home. It’s not a pretty board and at this point, I’m very against anything that sticks out from the Argon One. I have a solution for that, inspired by the conversion kit used for the USBpi I made ages ago. The Argon One case will require no modifications at all, so if you want to go back to the original design just keep the bottom part of the original enclosure in a safe place.
mSATA vs M.2
There are only 2 drive types that you can fit inside the ArgonONE: mSATA and M.2. The adapter boards have the same layout, so you are not limited in your choice. M.2 standard is faster (in general), but the drives are more expensive and you are not going to benefit from that speed boost using Raspberry Pi 4. Both standards can saturate the board’s capabilities.
I went with mSATA as 64GB SSD are priced on AliExpress similar to microSD cards.
To complete the build you will need a couple of things. I linked the components for you – but you are encouraged to do your own research for better prices!
- Argon One case (obviously)
- access to a 3D printer: I use Ender 3
- X857 mSATA extension board and mSATA SSD
- X862 M.2 extension board and M.2 SSD
- 12 x 12mm stand-offs
- 6 x M2.5 screws
And if you are interested in internal USB 2.0 conversion:
Argon18 case STL
At the moment, the STL is not available via any 3rd party stores (I’m looking at options, I will update the post) but you can get one through me. It’s probably going to be cheaper this way considering the commission that 3rd party will deduct.
To get the STL:
- Make $6.49 (USD) PayPal payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send me a follow-up email (EMAIL SUBJECT: ARGON18) with the transaction number (I will reply with STL file to that email)
- Specify STL options:
Argon18 logo: YES*|NO
MicroSD access: YES|NO*
*(default values if not specified in email)
- (optional) for an additional fee, I can customise the front panel with an SVG logo of your choice.
I will process email as soon as I can, usually with a couple of hours.
If you want something more off the shelf Argon40 got inspired and released ArgonONE M.2 case with M.2 HDD support. I was there first, but they have better manufacturing setup so give it a read and see if you want it.
I tried the bottom to fit as best as possible, but upon closer investigation, my Argon One isn’t square. It’s off by 1mm from side to side and the chamfered corners have different profiles too. At this point, I’m not sure if this is a manufacturing discrepancy or conscious design. I decided to keep the values straight angles in case I have a “wonky” case.
With that said, STL is made to true square and fits Argon One within a 1mm. The true dimensions of your 3D print will hugely depend on your 3D printer’s accuracy. For the final enclosure I used PLA with the following settings:
|Setting in Cura||Value|
|Printing temp||200 ℃|
|Bed temp||60 ℃|
|Layer height||0.1 mm|
Other settings were defaults set by Cura 4.6 for Ender 3. The STL is sold “as-is”, but if I make any small design tweaks in the future, you will be able to get these for free. You can see the pictures of how well it matches here.
I hope you like the mod and enjoy it as much as I do. If you decide to purchase the STL, I have no objection of you sharing it with close friends. Please refrain from posting the file online. You can link this post instead so others could enjoy it as well. I believe the model is priced well. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in this Reddit thread.