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Topic: *duino project boxes (Read 2675 times) previous topic - next topic


Hello all, the project I am working on requires a couple things:  

a small display and some buttons for user input
I know I can use a standard project box and just cut out a place for display and buttons.  What I'm hoping to find is a nice looking project box that comes with display and buttons integrated, so I can just wire them to the board and have a nice looking finished product.  Do such boxes exist?

The ability to dock/undockAre there any project boxes out there that do this (or male female dock connectors blocks I can wire?) .  If not, an acceptable "plan B" would be a dongle.  

I am new to sourcing electronics supplies, so any links are appreciated.


Lego Mindstorm NXT might fit your bill perfectly.



Nov 14, 2010, 05:15 pm Last Edit: Nov 14, 2010, 05:22 pm by mrmeval Reason: 1
Premade is going to be very hard to find.

I have used: Glad's disposable containers. 2 liter coke bottles. Cardboard boxes, Gutted electronics such as alarm clocks, VCRs, etc.

I like ABS plastic sheet as it can be sawed, drilled, cut, shaped with heat and it glues together well.

I made a flashlight out of PVC pipe. :)

There are silly little dollar gadgets that can be torn apart and reused. This is where you might find something with a display and buttons but you will still probably need to toss the electronics.

You can use about any connector as a docking connector. Nothing says you HAVE to use a USB cable for USB. There are USB extension cables that have a male and female end you can cut it in half and use those.

You can use any male female connector that presses together. I've torn the shroud off of others like 5 pin DIN connectors to make them do the same.

This looks like a thermostat enclosure that takes a stick on keypad. You could drill holes for the switches and find a display that fits.


These keypads are available if you have a larger enclosure. They peel and stick on.


"Lego Mindstorm NXT might fit your bill perfectly."

YES except its $150! :-?


Do such boxes exist?

They might, but ...

"*duino" encompasses everything from "mini" versions that are about the size of a 28-pin DIP chip to a Mega with a couple of shields stacked on top.  Similarly, "display" could mean anything from a single 7-segment digit to a PDA-sized graphic LCD.

You need to get more specific about what you want to enclose,  and what size/type display you want.

That cheap surplus box mrmeval suggested looks interesting.  Another good possibility is a PacTec-type enclosure.  They're kinda spendy if bought from a distributor,  but there are surplus deals available from places like Alltronics.  The gray cases that Alltronics and others sell are a Chinese imitation of PacTec cases.  The quality is ot quite as high,  but okay for hobby use.  They have many more mounting bosses than PacTec boxes,  which is a real plus if you're mounting an Arduino along with a couple of protoboards for op-amps,  FET switches,  or whatever.

The neat thing about PacTec(-like) boxes is that you can easily change out the end panels.  You can make a "standard" front panel with,  say,  a display,  a few switches,  and a pot or two.  Then you can make different rear panels for different projects,  and re-use the case.  You can buy 1/16 inch black ABS from plastics supply stores to make custom panels,  or even use PCB stock in a pinch.


Nov 16, 2010, 01:10 pm Last Edit: Nov 16, 2010, 01:12 pm by flapjackboy Reason: 1
Adafruit makes a nice enclosure. You do need to supply your own display and buttons, but it has mounting points for them.


My ROV controller is housed in a plastic pencil box that I picked up at a back-to-school sale for $2.  It's got tons of room and I like the clear lid so I can see all the LEDs blinking.  Everything's just tied down inside with cable-ties passing through holes I drilled in the box.


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