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Q: cheap case for Advantech boards?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Jonathan, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan Guest

    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, Jun 25, 2003
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  2. 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

    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, Jun 25, 2003
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  3. Jonathan

    Alex Pavloff Guest

    That's the beauty of the english language -- you can add words to it
    whenever you feel like! Consistency? Tenses? Hah!
    We use some of the biscuit SBCs, but we put them in a panel, with
    custom designed metal and all that.
    Alex Pavloff, Jun 25, 2003
  4. I've got several different Advantech 3.5" biscuit SBC's that I'm playing
    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,

    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
    Buy my book! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0750676094/zws-20
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards, Jul 11, 2003
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