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Assemble RPI5 3M Board Stack

These instructions show how to assemble a stack of RPI5 boards for your PicoCluster. These photos show how to assemble a 3 board stack.

Please contact support@picocluster.com if you encounter any difficulties.

Step 1 – Prepare the Boards

Open the packages and apply the heat sinks as shown. Each heat sink has a peel-off backing allowing it to stick to the chips.

There are 2 different heat sinks. The large heat sick goes on the large CPU and the smaller heat sink goes on the next largest black chip just towards the USB ports from the CPU chip.

 The Pico M is more complex as is each Raspberry PI5 boards has a companion Pimoroni M.2 Baseboard. The following images show how to assemble this board stack.

If you are imaging and assembling your own Baseboards and M.2 SSDs, you need to upgrade your RPI5 to the latest firmware image.


Step 2 – Assemble the Board Stack

Start with the 1/2" F/F standoffs on the bottom and the 1" M/F standoffs on the top as shown. Once screwed together, then tighten slightly. The standoffs only need to be snug, not wrenched tight together.

Continue to add boards to the stack using the 1" M/F standoffs as shown.


Step 3 – Mount the PDU

Attach the PDU to the top of the stack using the 1/4" screws as shown.


Step 4 – Connect the Power Cables

Connect each power cable to each PI as shown. The RPI4 uses USB-A to USB-C cables.There is one USB-A to 5.5mm DC Power cable to power the switch.

Plug each power cable into the PDU on top as shown. The cables can be tied to the standoff with a cable tie as shown.


Next Steps – Assemble Your Cube

Move on the the assembly instructions for your particular cluster cube. The Pico 10M requires 2 board stacks and the Pico 20M requires 4 board stacks.

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