Prop in Metal Enclosure

RaymanRayman Posts: 9,716
edited 2018-04-02 - 18:14:46 in Propeller 1
Just thought I'd share the design of this Prop board in a metal box. Maybe metal is better sometimes for EMI or ruggedness or something.
Anyway, the box is a Pomona 3311. The board was designed in Eagle and the front and back panels are from FrontPanelExpress.

BTW: The purpose of this box was to interface with a Flir Lepton via DB9 cable.

Prop Info and Apps:


  • Nice work Rayman!

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • A client needed a custom enclosure for a gaming (laser tag) accessory. A colleague recommended PolyCase; they have standard enclosures and will machine them to your specifications. They will actually machine a single box -- but you still have to pay the $100 setup fee, and the cost of the box will not be cheap.

    I had created a prototype box with a laser cutter, just to test fit and form, and I made the box to a size than matched one of the PolyCase enclosures. Since I had previously cut plastic I knew that I all of my parts would fit. The PolyCase engineers were really easy to work with -- the only thing the needed was a PDF of my holes and their location. Our client just ordered 50 boxes (price becomes more reasonable) that were machined and pad printed. Assembly of that product is a breeze, and they look great. The attached image shows the 3D model of the case; this was the "check print" from PolyCase.

    BTW, PolyCase has a few metal enclosures as well.

    I haven't used FrontPanelExpress in a long time -- perhaps I should have another look.
    1120 x 883 - 174K
    Jon McPhalen
    Hollywood, CA
    It's Jon or JonnyMac -- please do not call me Jonny.
  • JonnyMac, yes, Polycase is definitely a good choice for enclosures, especially when you are talking 50+ in quantity. At work at any given point in time, we have about 200 Polycase made enclosures on the production floor. Machined and pad printed. Since we typically buy them in quantities of 400-800, the cost of machining and printing is nothing. Their NEMA enclosures are quite nice as well, I used a WC-23 enclosure for a prototype of a pond pump controller and it looks like it was designed for it.

    Rayman, nice design and the box looks very rugged and clean. I always prefer metal boxes, but since I don't have a CNC to make my own front panels, I usually end up with plastic enclosures. I didn't even realize that Frontpanelexpress was still around.
  • If you want a cheap case you have to use a supplier in Indian, China. Like Gaurang India. Real cheap 50-100 cases at $1-$2 each.
  • I usually only make 1 or 2 of a thing and FrontPanelExpress is great.

    It took me a couple tries to get everything lined up perfectly on the panels.
    But now, I put a lot of different circuits into the same box and I can use these holes as reference to make the panels come out right on the first try...
    Prop Info and Apps:
  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 8,641
    edited 2018-04-04 - 06:45:16
    Here's a commercial Prop design in a metal case that has DB9 full 5+3 RS232, dual RS485 or single RS422, USB, Ethernet, and SD card etc. The cases are quite cheap to make and I designed them in such a way that I don't need any mounting screws, just a flange on the pcb fits into a slot and the rest is supported by the connectors. Originally we had polycarb labels we applied to them but these days the cases are printed on directly. It saves on label cutouts and placement.

    This photo here is of one of my hacked proto boards and an old case. (btw, I use LibreOffice Draw to make up precision artwork, and print protos on Avery polyester laser label)
    1499 x 837 - 189K

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