Boxes Galore

Boxes from Banggood

Nothing special – just boxes. Those with working 3D printers please ignore me. For the rest… I just took delivery of 20 boxes at less than 50p each and I think this is the best box purchase I’ve ever made – got them from Banggood though I’m sure you can get them elsewhere. The link is above.

Inside size is 50mmx70mmx 25-26mm deep. There is a keyhole in the back for mounting and vents top and bottom.

I have to tell you I have a million uses for these – you could easily get an ESP12 plus whatever sensor in there and having the vents at top and bottom is great. There are mounting posts in the bottom, 2mm x 62mm and you’d need holes 5mm dia.

So ideas…. wall temperature sensors. Something I’ve done with this kind of box in the past is to put a sensor in there (at the bottom – important) and mount 2 opposing RGB LEDs in the middle pointing up and down – when the heating is on – the thing glows red, when off it glows blue – looks MARVELLOUS. But I was paying a hell of a lot more for the boxes! 

I can see these getting a LOT of use – from access points, thermostats, movement sensors – you name it – ideal size and sooooo cheap.


38 thoughts on “Boxes Galore

  1. It does look very good and reasonably flexible. If this company has paid for the plastic injection mould to produce this box then the price isn’t unreasonable for the box and basic PCB. I would image in most situations it will get the WAF.

  2. I have been using these boxes for a while now and they are very nice indeed.

    I’ve created a small PCB to use them with a NodeMCU v1.0:
    The only thing with rev2 of my board design is that you cannot screw them to the board with 4 screws (error on my side with the location of the holes)
    But mounting them with 2 allows for a very nice experiment board as can be seen here:

    N.B. Rev3 of the board is not yet finished and certainly not tested.

    1. Oooooh that loooks nice do let us know when the new version IS finished.. I like the idea of an ESP with oled but the price of those combined units is way above the price of the individual bits – would be good to check out this board especially given the really cheap prices for PCBs from China these days…

      1. Well, version 2 is described in the on my Github.
        Revision 3 will add extras like room for capacitors and one of the capacitive touch sensors you “made me buy” in one of your previous blogposts 🙂
        Also some pads to select what pin the touch sensor should connect to.

        Still to add to rev. 3 of the board:
        Room for a super-capacitor to power the 5V lines, to allow for some sensors that will need a lot of power for a short time (e.g. CO2 sensors). Those may cause a voltage dip on the USB port, which may result in stability issues when using a cheap USB charger as power supply, or cheap cables.
        These super cap’s are so small, they would fit below the OLED.

        Also one of the other changes in rev. 3 is that the NodeMCU is located a bit more to the side of the PCB. Otherwise (in rev2) not all micro USB cables would fit using the cases you describe here. You then need a micro USB connector with 7 mm header, which is not standard.
        And ofcourse, the mounting holes should now match the holes of these cheap boxes.

    2. @Gijs,
      no doubt that looks nice but how you supplying power to NodeMCU? i mean is it battery powered?

      thanks for sharing link for boxes last time in got time from amazone/ebay for 4euro each 🙁

        1. Your blog is fascinating – I first found it a year or so ago, then, as happens, forgot about it, and have found it again in the last few days.

          Power supplies is the area that I really don’t understand – I see extremely cheap ESP8266’s and Arduino clones from China, but I’m puzzled what to use for powering them – UK power supplies probably cost more than the ESP8266 or Arduino. For rank beginners here, could you say a little about where/how to get cheap power supplies for the end devices, please?

          1. It depends on your needs. I usually use ESP boards which have the 3v3 regulator on board and I feed them power from any old 5v plug in the wall usb supply. £1.50 to £2.50 from China. I rarely buy anything from UK think of a price and double it merchants. Certainly not low end stuff like supplies.

  3. Hello,
    My first comment…
    I have used these very boxes that Pete is showing.
    I ordered 10 a while ago, so I guess they’ll be back in stock.
    I use them with MySensors nodes for humidity and temperature with NRF radios and arduino pro mini. These run on batteries and according to the rate at which the batteries are going (Normal ASDA branded alkalines,) I should have 2 to 3 years before they run out.
    They sent to an MQTT master node. This then gets “translated” into “normal” MQTT topics and they get dealt with Node-Red and Openhab. I use them to drive individual radiator valves and the boiler so that I can control the heating in the house room by room.

    I haven’t put the blue and red LEDs in it though (too much power!) but I love the idea and I’ll implement it on the mains powered ESP that is controlling the boiler. Can’t wait to see what it look like!

  4. Oh nice find 🙂
    The problem I have though, is that most projects I have in mind that I could put in a box like this for an ESP8266 would really only work when battery powered, and as far as I can see they are simply not very battery friendly. Still looking for an “easy” alternative that doesn’t cost a great deal more.

    1. I would generally prefer to run a wire to projects – nothing worse than spending your life changing batteries. As for ESP and low current consumption – it is mainly the peripherals that are the problem. Most ESP boards have uart-to-serial convertors – which take current constantly – and cheap regulators which have a significant standing current – strip all of that away and you can do things like sleep for hours – wake up – send a package, go back to sleep. Indeed we were talking about this the other day… there is enough RTC RAM to save up several readings – which means very little on-time and send them out once a day – of course this all depends on the application – no good for a thermostat!!

      1. Entirely agree about running wires, unfortunately the nature of my house makes that a little difficult without major work for some of it. Why can’t they put cable ducts to all areas of the house when they build them! It would cost very little and make life so much easier!

        1. I agree with you 100% – the lack of sockets in a typical house and lack of ability to modify cabling – you’d think the builders were expecting electricity to go out of fashion.

        2. I had this troubles before change one room ceiling to suspended ceiling. And after that I change them in all rooms. Now I am very happy with cables in my home. Even I can use sensors or control them without visibility and very comfortable for me. But I understand that this is not an advice to everyone. Just for info. ( I am electro engineer, not young, and now have time to do this. )

          1. Nice videos. Jonathan however was reconstructing his house and thus was able to run cables anywhere and everywhere he wanted. Yet I did get some ideas off of him like the wall mounted led switches

            1. Its easy to say”just use wries” when you own your own home, and you have stud walls, and both under floor and ceiling access, and its economically viable to do so. I must admit that I’m lucky enough to have all of these luxuries, but I also understand that not everyone does. What Jonathan has done is relatively easy in Aus, as we dont have the contraints of stone walls and solid plaster renedering etc etc, but it doesnt easily translate to other countries. Its a no brainer to run wires if its possible, for power at least, but I’m not sure about running discrete circuits for every switch, this just limits future scalability.

              1. ?
                he shows how he reached the actual setup… starting with mains in every wall socket and ending with just an ethernet cable that drives POE and brings the switches to a central unit, where all the logic resides… or better, where the logic is passed to nodered or other sort of home automation systems…

                he can go from a single switch wall mount to 4 ones just by changing the front panel, no recabling needed… and you need low voltage there, not mains as in quite every wall mount plate we have…

                but, as in a previous video he said that a manual override is always good (if the central management goes nuts, you can’t even turn on a ceiling light…), i asked him how to deal with this and his actual setup, and he was a bit vague…

              2. Well, I can only relate what works for me – and yes, some places in the house are difficult to run wires but usually I can at least manage the power lead from a plug-in the wall to a wall unit – which then usually contains an ESP8266 and is therefore wireless apart from power.

    2. Same issue for me living in apartment block where all of the walls are just about solid concrete with rebar. Wireless is the only way to go in most cases although I have had to put and extender in to ensure I get full wifi coverage. 🙂

      1. I have in total 3 routers/access points – at our last home I had 5 – in Spain I have 3 also… solid walls…

          1. In the UK, cable – in Spain – one is hooked up to the Internet – and it’s output goes to through-the-mains devices. The other access points pick that signal up. Not ideal but beats digging holes in a cave wall.

              1. I have those and no – not really good enough for streaming so the TV box gets it’s own cable. Bright blue. Looks good along a white wall.

  5. Hi Pete,

    I ordered a job lot of these some time ago and already have a couple ‘in the field’ to package up some ESP8266 projects – one housing an LED controller and another housing a DHT22 sensor in the lounge of my holiday home as part of my heating control.

    Previous, alternative sensor enclosures from China have required some filing away of internal mountings in order to fit my boards inside but these are much more straightforward and much more versatile.

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