Q: cheap case for Advantech boards?

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Hi,
I've got several different Advantech 3.5" biscuit SBC's that I'm playing
around with.  Since I'm only a hobbyist, I would like to find cheap cases
that these boards can go into.  Since they're different models, they all
have different connectors and in different positions.

Is anyone doing something like buying a Radio Shack "project box" and
Dremmeling the cutouts for the connectors, where needed?  What are most
people doing?  I don't want to have to source cases from Advantech.

thanks for any ideas,
Jonathan



Re: Q: cheap case for Advantech boards?

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I hadn't known "to Dremmel" was a word of the English language :-),
but yes, that pretty much describes the usual approach.  You get your
hands on a prebuilt vanilla case; or you use sheet metal plus profiles
for the edges to build your own box from scratch.  If you feel bold,
just "borrow" some Tupperware from the kitchen and suffer the
consequences...

Then you cut out what openings you need.  Traditionially this would
have been done with a drill in a fixed stand and a set of files (as in
"nail file"), but a Dremel should do, too.  You may still need files
for holes with sharp corners, though.  Be careful using fast rotating
tools on thermoplast material, though --- melting plastic may ruin
both your tools and your health.

For more hands-on laboratory setups, just mount the PCB on top of a
plate of plexi with some screws and distance cylinders.  Only
high-voltage stuff really has to be covered even on the lab table.


--
Hans-Bernhard Broeker ( snipped-for-privacy@physik.rwth-aachen.de)
Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.

Re: Q: cheap case for Advantech boards?
On 25 Jun 2003 16:33:49 GMT, Hans-Bernhard Broeker

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That's the beauty of the english language -- you can add words to it
whenever you feel like!  Consistency?  Tenses?   Hah!  

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We use some of the biscuit SBCs, but we put them in a panel, with
custom designed metal and all that.  
--
Alex Pavloff - remove BLAH to email
Software Engineer, Eason Technology

Re: Q: cheap case for Advantech boards?
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For my hobby projects based around 3.5" SBCs, I use cases salvaged
from unwanted external SCSI CD-ROM drives and hard drives (my day job
used to be an all-Mac shop, and the back room is - or rather WAS ;) -
full of old CD-ROM drives that went with the really ancient 680x0
Macs, most of which recently made their way into the trash).

These cases already have an acceptably meaty power supply in them,
with the right connector and the right voltages to run those SBCs. In
some cases they also have space on the back for one or two DB25s,
which is very handy.

I constructed templates out of 3mm styrene sheet, one for a 2.5" hard
drive and one for a 3.5" SBC. I drilled these templates to indicate
the positions of the screw holes. I work with a few different SBCs, so
that SBC template is triple-function; I indicated on it with magic
marker which screw holes correspond to which boards.

I mount the hard drive on the bottom of the casing, with screws coming
up from the underside. If the casing was designed to sit flat on a
surface, I add rubber feet to the underside so the screw-heads don't
make it sit crooked.

I mount the SBC on nylon standoffs above the hard drive. Actually, I
don't often use a hard drive with these systems; more usually,
CompactFlash.

I blank out the front of the housing, if necessary, with a sheet of
1mm styrene glued from behind.

Check your SBC vendor's site for panel cutout templates. I usually
just bring out a couple of ports, but when I want access to all the
connector area I use a cheapo Dremel clone to cut holes for those
connectors. The cheat's way is to cut a single slot 15x140mm and
expose the entire edge of the board, but it looks much more
professional if you cut individual holes for each connector.

Necessity is a mother...

-- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards
http://www.zws.com /
Buy my book! (Amazon.com product link shortened)

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