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Author Topic: Looking for enclosure with a slot for dip switches?  (Read 1538 times)
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Kansas City
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Hey Guys,

I've developed a product based around the Arduino and it has a few dip switches the end users would want to move based on their setup.  I don't want the end users to have to open up the case and move dip switches and then close it back up.

I've been searching google for hours and hours trying to find enclosures with a slot on the side for dip switches to be located.  It seems like this would be a common thing.  I know Iv'e purchased various products over the years that are setup like this.  Where does one find such enclosures?

Thanks
Malcolm
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Dallas, TX
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One way is to select an enclosure and the have the manufacturer laser cut a slot where you need it.Call Polycase and ask them what they would charge.

 Edit:
Finalizing a product with no consideration of how it is to be packaged is a rookie move that hopefully OP recognizes. There is no simple and/or inexpensive solution for that mistake.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:53:00 pm by PapaG » Logged

Kansas City
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One way is to select an enclosure and the have the manufacturer laser cut a slot where you need it.Call Polycase and ask them what they would charge.


I did notice some websites offered that service but no pricing is displayed online.  I was hoping to find something out there easily and readily available.  It would also keep costs down.

If I did decide to go with the custom case route, have them cut it then I might as well go all the way and have my company logo printed/painted on too.  Which company do you guys recommend for that?  Searching google returns so many thousands of results it's quite overwhelming sifting through all of it.
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One way is to select an enclosure and the have the manufacturer laser cut a slot where you need it.Call Polycase and ask them what they would charge.


I did notice some websites offered that service but no pricing is displayed online.  I was hoping to find something out there easily and readily available.  It would also keep costs down.

If I did decide to go with the custom case route, have them cut it then I might as well go all the way and have my company logo printed/painted on too.  Which company do you guys recommend for that?  Searching google returns so many thousands of results it's quite overwhelming sifting through all of it.

I'm only familiar with Polycase. If your local hackerspace has a laser, you can tweek your design before you send it out for production. Depending on volume, you might be able to produce enough cases yourself.
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Can you design your circuit to fit in one of the polycase standard boxes and ask them or others to laser cut? If you already have your circuit design, looking for a box to enclose it is hard. If you design around some enclosure already in existence, it's much better.
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Kansas City
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Can you design your circuit to fit in one of the polycase standard boxes and ask them or others to laser cut? If you already have your circuit design, looking for a box to enclose it is hard. If you design around some enclosure already in existence, it's much better.

Circuit is already designed and tested.  If the enclosure was a little larger that would work too as long as I could slide the PCB up against the side with the dip switches exposed out a little hole.  It's an enclosure with a little hole out the side that's hard to come by.

I found a rough price guide on polycase's website and unless you order units of 10+ it's really pricey.  Hard to start out and get a few units made to finish out prototyping like that.  It'd be so much nicer if any standard square enclosure had a small slot on the side for dip switches.
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Quote
I found a rough price guide on polycase's website and unless you order units of 10+ it's really pricey.  Hard to start out and get a few units made to finish out prototyping like that.  It'd be so much nicer if any standard square enclosure had a small slot on the side for dip switches.

There are at least two hackerspaces in the Kansas City area. If you are not a member and are not using them you are wasting a valuable resource.
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Circuit is already designed and tested.  If the enclosure was a little larger that would work too as long as I could slide the PCB up against the side with the dip switches exposed out a little hole.  It's an enclosure with a little hole out the side that's hard to come by.

I found a rough price guide on polycase's website and unless you order units of 10+ it's really pricey.  Hard to start out and get a few units made to finish out prototyping like that.  It'd be so much nicer if any standard square enclosure had a small slot on the side for dip switches.

I read you. That's why some of my projects don't get enclosures cause I did it just the way you did it and I couldn't afford custom boxes. But if you don't design your board with a particular box, where do you put your mounting holes? They need to align to box standoffs (bushing). Circuit can be redesigned and reprinted. That's not the problem (unless someone else did it for you). Best way to get cutout is on the top cover, then bottom. Side is slightly harder. There are also cases with removable side panels that you can have cut and insert back into the box. Anyway, if you're planning for small production, plan around an existing enclosure.

Disclaimer: I'm not an engineer (at least not having an engineering degree).
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I'd look for a local "Precision Machine Shop" or a "Precision Sheet Metal Shop".   Then, you can bring your box in and talk to them about approximate prices, and if it seems resonable you can get a formal quote.

If you are in the U.S., the set-up time (for each run/batch) is probably going to run a couple hundred dollars.    So, the per-unit cost will depend on quantity.   If you are making 10 or 20 units and you need to keep the cost down, doing it yourself with a hand-nibbler and a file might be the best option.

Quote
If I did decide to go with the custom case route, have them cut it then I might as well go all the way and have my company logo printed/painted on too.
A full-custom (sheet metal) box will probably become economical at around 100 units.      Silkscreening & painting should be the same for a modified box or a fully-custom box.   Again, the set-up costs for silkscreening & painting will be a significant consideration if quantities are low.

Where I work, we use a small simi-custom box.  The box-bottom is sent out for machining (probably in quantities of 100) to add a couple of countersunk holes.   The aluminum front & rear panels are custom made by a sheet metal shop.    These might be made in smaller quantities because the same basic box is used in several different products.   The rear panel is brushed-& silkscreened.   There is a custom adhesive plastic front-panel overlay with printing, a cutout for a switch, and windows for LEDs.   The cost of all this stuff adds-up to about $35 USD per unit.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:20:36 pm by DVDdoug » Logged

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unless you order units of 10+ it's really pricey.

For very small quantities, hand drilling and filing would probably be your best bet. It would need some crafting skills, but it doesn't seem that you're asking for anything especially difficult.
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I've seen similar dollar numbers as DVDDoug. Thanks for the $35 price tag. I never went all the way.
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I've seen cases for the Uno that were meant for the ethernet shield and had a pre-drilled hole for the ethernet cable (typically called RJ-45, though I've read that technically it should be called something else).  If you aren't using the ethernet cable, you can pick up RJ-45 breakout cables at Radio Shack, Lowes, Home Depot, etc so that you can convert up to 8 wires to ethernet cable, and then on the other end do the reverse, and have a little connection for the dip switches.

Adafruit resells some weather sealed cable glands that you can attach to sealed enclosures, and they have a pointer to a tutorial at freaklabs.org on how to make a weather sealed case with wires coming out:
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Not to dismiss the usefulness of these arduino cases but if the OP has designed circuits and is still using an UNO, he/she should get rid of the UNO.
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Not to dismiss the usefulness of these arduino cases but if the OP has designed circuits and is still using an UNO, he/she should get rid of the UNO.

I'm using the nano not the UNO for the finished product.  It's not a specially designed circuit.  I'm using generic pre-drilled circuit board with lots of rows and holes that looks similar to a bread board.  I just lay in all my parts very similar to building it on the bread board and then solder it all up.  I'm not apposed to outsourcing a fancy custom designed board, just don't know who I'd use for that.  Many years ago I've made my own custom boards in Eagle, printed, etched and all that but this board is more complex than I plan to tackle myself.... or maybe I will re-visit the Eagle thing again.  The nano is small enough it probably fits in the free version of Eagle.

I'm starting to think an aluminum extrude housing with the removable side plates is going to be my best bet.   Then I just need to find some sort of dip switch or variant of it that I can integrate into the side without it looking to home made.  Perhaps drill a hole and then try and file it square.
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Something else I thought of.  Maybe I can find a round dial type dip switch.  One that you put a tiny screw driver in and turn.  Then I'd only need to drill a round hole for the end user.  That would have the potential of looking much less ghetto lol smiley
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