Uri_ba's pit

DED – Building a box

Well, While still waiting on the boards to arrive, I’ve been starting to focus on mounting everything in the pit. The Indexers are the most complex items – and will probably require some 3d printing – however, my initial design of PCB for them is not correct in dimensions, as “Redneck” for ViperPits have shown. I’ve been working with him on a new improved design to fit a 3D printed model he is working on.. So that will be covered once I order the new PCBs – but till then, I’ll focus on the rest.

DEDbox - Prototype No.3  with screen and bezel
DEDbox – Prototype No.3 with screen and bezel

Next up is the DED box which will be covered in this post

I’ve been talking with Acef and Peten, both members of the 108th and pitbuilders – both more experienced then me in the construction department. We’ve been trying to find a way to fit the DED screen either the buydisplay 2.8″ or the larger 3.2″ – both interchangeable code wise.  I originally chose the 2.8″ due to the smaller PCB foot print, closer in size to the real DED.

the Real thing is 88mm*33mm in size. the 2.8 is 97mm*33mm, the 3.2″ is 100.5mm and slightly taller. the glareshield, with the cancellation of the flashlight – will barely fit a 100mm, I’ve decided to try and build a mockup of a casing for the 3.2″ to check if it will fit.  I’ve chose to use some black foamboard I’ve got lying around for mounting the Caution panel (more on that in on it’s own post).

Before starting to work I’ve been testing on how to fold the foamboard. I’ve decided to use hot glue to put it together and played around with several techniques.

And then I’ve made the first mockup and started trimming the box around to get it to fit.

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Once I’ve had the concept planned out, I sat down to make the design template to be printed and cut to size, without mocking around. I’ve decided to leave the top as a “door” and allow be to mess around with the electronics easly. To hold the door shut, I chose to use a strip of Velcro and because the glare shield is metal, a magnet strip from a home crafts store (used to make door/fridge magnets) to attach the whole thing to the glareshield – as it weighs almost nothing it should be enough. and it seems that the magnets a weak enough not to cause any issues with the screen.

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I’ve found some issues in the design and made some improvements. from this design, which gave me  prototype no.2. it still have some minor issues, but I’m very happy with it. And the fixes were  relatively easy.

The fun thing about working with these materials it is that every iteration is cheap. I got the entire sheet of foamboard for about 8USD and it’s 100cm*70cm – so It’s lots and lots of DED boxes 🙂

I worked out the kinks in No. 2, and went on to work on  No.3. it’s a bit longer on the folds, allowing the back end to look better. I’ve got a the whole assembly process recorded – but somehow I managed to get all the important bits and explanations out of frame :-/

So unfortunatly – No video demo today 🙁

And the three prototypes one next to each other

DEDbox - All three Prototypes
DEDbox – All three Prototypes

Now that the box is ready it’s time to get started on the “front bezel” – I’ve used another cheap materiel laying around. a plastic sheet I’ve been using as a photography background. it’s actully white and I’ve spray painted it black. I actually looked for a black one but none of the shops around my house had any – they only carry the creative colors – you know, the colors we men call them in one word names like “blue” and the women have two or more words names for them… but no black…

DEDbox - front bezel, plastic sheet
DEDbox – front bezel, plastic sheet

and the final product looks like this:

Unfortunately I still cant have the screen wired into position till the PCBs arrive (hopefully sometime next week).

And here are the DEDbox templates in PDF format: DEDbox Template (an SVG version will be available for download with the project)

I might even use it stuff of the PFD housing  – Blasphemy!!:)

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