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Community Netduino case ?!

netduino case community variable

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#1 nhale

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

Hi,

I know there are some topics about the "case" topic, but my intention is a little bit different.
Let me explain.

I bought a case from an electronics supplier, which is not specifically made for a netduino or arduino. For my prototype it works fine, but now I'm searching for a case which fit's to some of my needs.
1.) What I found was the e.g. the duinoCase-NP which looks nice, but is too small for my needs. And btw. is not available in Germany ;-(
2.) Others I found are made of thin plastic, which might break when used in rough/harsh environments.

3.) A self-made case would be the ideal way, but might be very costly for just 2-3 units. On the other hand I'm not good at CAD or whatever the manufacturer requires.

 

As this is a community, isn't there a way that we build an extendable case which can be used for several use-case - together?

 

As several cases only work for the Netduino itself or maximum 1 shield, most cases don't work if you are using 2 or more shields. On the other hand in most cases they are so small, that even adding some additional wires and plugs is very hard or impossible.

 

------ IDEA -----


    [*]Build a case which can be stacked, like the shields do. Take a look at this one from thingiverse. That's somehow the groundplate, which contains the Netduino and how it could look like.
    [*]Additionally there could be some extension units, like 19" cases, in different heights which can be mounted on top (1 height for 1 shield, 2 heights for two shields etc.)
    [*]And then there is another cover on top. That's it...
    [*]To make it usable for different scenarios, some space on the side and back to be able to add additional stuff inside (cables, plugs)
    [*]If it's made of plastic, everybody can drill an additional hole.
    [/list]

     

    As an example what I mean with space for additional plugs and wires, I attached the current version of my project. There you see the height of 2 shields and that there is little space left.

    I just need some connectors which are reliable when it comes to vibrations and movement. Additionally there are two more connectors planned and 3 LED's.

     

    What do you think, anyone good at CAD or knows someone who can built it using injection molding or similar...

    Additional ideas are also welcome. Maybe describe what are your special needs and how do you think they could be solved generically?

     

    Maybe also SecretLabs could produce and sell it ;-)

    Attached Files



#2 nakchak

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:00 PM

I think unfortunately that case needs are too bespoke to do anything which really works well for most use cases.

 

If you look at most enclosure designs they often use off the shelf boxes and then just create custom front and back panels.

One way of making very pro looking front and back panels is to get a pcb fab to produce them for you, i.e. design a pcb with no tracks just holes and silk screen....

 

i often use extruded aluminium channel for housing projects, (also works well as a heat sink ;)) with pcb panels covering the ends.

 

As for the connectors, have you thought about using rj45 sockets (you can get them in either idc panel mount, or pcb mount versions)?  quite a bit more compact than then plug you are using in the photo's and much easier to get hold of plugs plus you have 8 connectors (plus a shield/screen connector if you got for shielded plugs and sockets).

 

Nak.



#3 nhale

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

Regarding the use case, this has to be discussed. Anyway I did not found any case which is big enough for 2 shields...

If you have ever used the Speakon connectors from Neutrik you know how reliable they are. The one I used now is the power connector from Neutrik called Powercon. This one is much more robust and once fixed you will not be able to remove it without unlocking. As my box is placed in race cars which drive on bumpy racetracks (Caroussell, Nrburgring) you need something which does not disconnect accidentically. The problem with the RJ45 is, that the latch/nose and the connector breaks quite fast, if mechanics don't take care. The Powercon has 3 connectors and the Speakon is available with 2 and 4.

 

For the front/back plate I already thought about Laser cutting them. There is a german company providing a software for that. http://www.schaeffer....php?id=183&L=1

The idea was that there is maybe a demand for more variable cases, which already provide mounting holes at the right positions and just work without any adaptations.



#4 nakchak

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:57 PM

I am a fan of neutrik connectors, just seem bit chunky (probably as I have been doing lot of smt work recently) xlr plugs work well too. It is possible to get screw collared rj45 sockets as well but what ever works :)

As far cases go I think the main problem is determining the dimensions needed...

Whilst hobby boxes and other readily available enclosures may lack suitable mounting holes I tend to use industrial double sided foam tape http://www.vikingtap...-3mm-x-25m.aspx (super strong, use it to mount touch screens to kiosks and coin changers) also has the benefit of keeping ip rated enclosures ip rated without additional sealing.

Nak.





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