Project Boxes

boxestmpCCAFor those few of us left in the world who don’t have 3d printers… boxes for our projects are always an issue…  I’ve decided I want to use DIN rail enclosures because in Spain, the large household Din rail mains boxes are dirt cheap – just need some enclosures for power supplies and SBCs and ESP8266 boards – and I hit this by accident..

Some of these are DIRT cheap – like a tenner for 5 boxes… I’m still wading through. So the question is – do others have links to similarly inexpensive boxes? 

OH! So there I was struggling to find power supplies that would fit in the box alongside my Pi (I ended up with orange boxes – not ideal, but cheap) – and I found this….. 2amps – just the job!!!!

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34 thoughts on “Project Boxes

  1. This is great Pete. I am contemplating the replacement of all my ageing and unreliable X10 din rail modules. Some of these enclosures will be perfect for the job. For the wall switch trigger, I need to design a mains sensing device with opto isolation to trigger an ESP to toggle a relay. Then I can fully integrate with MQTT and Node Red for the automation end.
    John

    1. Hi John,

      I've done something like this to get the status of the central heating system into nodered. I monitor the room thermostat's, hot water tank and pump. I used the MID400 opto isolator (£2.50 each). Which is rated for mains ac.

      I used Pete's code with a small modification to have 5 i/p's .

      Regards

      Paul

      1. Paul
        Just thinking... I could probably use a Sonoff board along with the MID400 inside one of these AliExpress boxes. I wonder how easy it is to access a spare input pin on the ESP to toggle the output. Also is it possible to use Pete's firmware to do this without alteration. Maybe using in_2bounce and letting node red make the switch?

  2. This is great guys that we are building a trail of good information. Today a single DIN box turned up for me - the size you would see for a standard single-pole switch - but with EIGHT screw connections... it is WAY too small for anything but... the NanoPi Neo Air which fits perfectly!!!! AND coming soon - WiringPi for this board - YES - I just had an email from FriendlyArm to say they've finally developed this - but - right now it is still partly in Chinese - I've asked them to come back to me to know when this will be fully translated and I'll do a write-up on it. MEANWHILE right about now, ARMBIAN is getting a preliminary better WIFI driver as you'll see elsewhere in here. All great stuff.

      1. It will be some time before I invest in a 3D printer - most (but not all) prints I've seen seem to end up either with a straw-like finish - or too shiny due to using a solvent to get rid of the straw finish - or have corners curled up etc etc. We need a step improvement in low costs printers at which point I can't see why anyone would NOT have one.

        1. the solvent (acetone) is useful only on ABS, which is quite difficult to print, too: requires heated bed, no cold air flux around, etc... PLA is more difficult to get shiny, although for a maker, not selling stuff, results are pretty decent using slow printing settings, reduced layer height and fan flow over the printed parts to block hot after extrusion... yes, still not suitable for everybody, but the real step is studying a 3D modeling software, if you don't want only to print stuff found on thingiverse...

          1. Well, right now some custom cases based on DIN but to fit some of my little boards with power supplies would be good..

            The thing is - we one time you got ripped by UK PCB suppliers charging over the top for small quanties of PCBs - and now the Chinese will let you have 10 boards for a tenner - good quality, quickly, no catches.

            What's needed is a Chinese manufacturer with huge, high quality 3d printers to take your designs and let you have, say 5 little boxes for a tenner.... now THAT would be a game changer for me.

    1. Hi Alex- yes I get samples from OKW - VERY expensive but nice - I'm waiting for one of their single vented Din rail boxes - looks like it might be JUST the job for one of my smaller SBCs.

  3. This enclosure from Phoenix is very nice and holds the Pi very securely. Not the cheapest but it looks very good. There is space to put your own PCB's (3) and they supply the headers (not cheap though) I have one here and making a custom power input board and radio board with the Enocean RF module.

    You can download 3D Step models of the enclosure and all of the parts too which is ideal for development.

    http://sg.element14.com/phoenix-contact/rpi-bc-107-6-dev-kit-kmgy/electronic-housing-raspberry-pi/dp/2550729

  4. Very nice indeed other than the cost - and of course - (I know it is hard to believe) not everyone has a 3d printer.. I looked at the cheap 3d printers and the quality simply isn't good enough.

    Anyway I bought 4 of these

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-pcs-lot-abs-plastic-electronic-industrial-enclosure-with-connectors-115x90x40mm-orange-color-din-rail-plastic/32513626644.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.pdKin9

    The only thing being - the connectors aren't included which is a bit cheeky - but easy enough to get. Got my DIN rail, about to buy my new DIN power supply... though thinking about it I might look out for a 5 amp model in case I want to keep adding more.

  5. Peter, My current project under development has a Teensy 3.2 with OctoWS2811 adapter and is on a wood board on the back of a large China Cabinet. 8 strips of 1.5 meter 60 neopixels per meter (90 neopixels per strip) in the cabinet. Still working on the ESP12E/ESP32 wireless interface to Node-Red to communicate with the Teensy 3.2 over a serial interface. I plan to hide the panel with extra wood around the back edge to hide everything as there are almost 1000 individual neopixels shining thru small fiber optics in the back wall of the cabinet. I'll post everything including videos and the code when I finish.

    1. But for one, slight TEENY problem - they're based in the USA. I just checked a really nice little case - a fob - a mere $3 - a good price comparable with something you might find in China - all very good until I checked the shipping options - $68 to ship it to the UK - so we'll just put that one to one side - and NOBODY is going to tell me that's even remotely what it costs them... I have relatives in the states and we ship stuff back and forth all the time.

  6. Just a word of warning...
    I bought some of the din rail boxes from AliExpress Pete linked to above.
    Total rubbish, terminal screws too small and won't tighten.
    Terminal cover lid hinge easily broken off.
    din rail click mechanism at rear flimsy and in some cases will not work at all.

    1. Wow, you must've gotten a bad batch John. Mine are Orange, the screws fit - and they seem reasonable. Clearly not top of the range as they are dirt cheap but nothing wrong with them.

    1. I've not used those - remember, AliExpress don't actually keep stock - all of their stuff comes from other suppliers - so it looks like you've hit a bad one - I get stuff from AliExpress all the time without issue. Good luck - I hope they give you a refund - they'll no doubt want pictures.

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