Odd project casing ideas? - Lighting project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by snowbarrr, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. snowbarrr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    Hello! I'm working on a little project to control a light fixture with infrared. You can buy these things for around $30 (wireless light socket switch), but I thought it would be a fun little project, and I could do it a little cheaper.

    The problem is finding/making a case for it. I cannot come up with a way to make a case that would plug into a light socket, bow out to make room for a little protoboard, and end in a new socket to plug the bulb into. I've attached a picture of one of the commercial products you can buy as an example of what I need but I have no idea how to get a case like that! I don't want to buy one of these and rip out their electronics to install my own, that just ruins the fun. Does anyone have any ideas where to find a case like this? Or any crazy ideas on how to make one? Or maybe a completely new take on how to house the project?

    How do you guys house oddly shaped projects?
     
  2. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
    312
    Cat food tin.

    I have seen a project that was popular with the HAMs back a few decades ago.

    It was a transmitter that fit into a tuna can.

    Using plastic would be a tad safer, but if these are out of reach, then there is not a shock hazard.

    Tupperware/Rubber-maid are good.

    You can google for project enclosures and there are thousands available.


    You may also consider electric conduit and round junction boxes.

    They have a hole in the back where the bulb screw would protrude, and are easy to come by, and wont break the bank.
    [​IMG]

    Here are a few styles. You can see the plastic one here lacks the hole I was talking about, but the metal one has it.

    The covers are also easy to come by, and if you wish, you could fill it with potting and call it a day.
     
  3. snowbarrr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    Wow, i've been trying to figure this out for two days, and you instantly gave me several great ideas! I guess I didn't really know what to even look for. I need the project to be supported from the current light socket alone, so I don't know if the tins without covers would work. Your tupperware has inspired me!

    So, now I'm thinking about using something like this cute little cupcake holder to make it pretty, and a socket extender (see attached pictures). To attach it, I would cut a hole in the bottom of the tupperware, and use the fact that the extension is wider than socket to hold it.

    A couple issues with this though - I think I would need to make the attachment a little more secure. Is there a type of glue that would be safe in that location (not heat up too much and melt or something)?

    Another thing is, I'm not sure how to cut the holes in the tupperware so that they are clean, correctly sized holes. I can just see myself trying to cute through hard plastic using a dull exacto knife and just making a huge mess.
     
  4. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    You dont know how often I hear that. ;)

    HOT melt hot glue.

    If you dont own a glue gun, go get one.

    They are quite inexpensive and invaluable.

    You used to be able to get colored glues, so if you were to get a pretty cupcake case, matching glue would keep it pretty.

    There are tons of 2-part epoxies that will do the job. Just read the packages and be sure they are for plastics. Particularly the type of plastic you intend to use.

    Most plastics have a "Recycling designator" on it somewhere. It is the triangle recycle symbol with a number inside. Using that number you can google and find what type of plastic it is.

    I have to repeat... Hot glue guns are quite the handy device.

    A Hole saw kit from your local hardware store will make quick work of hole cutting.

    It attaches to a standard drill and cuts holes.

    This is how doorknob holes are made.

    Using your lightbulb extender, measure the diameter, and find a hole saw JUST larger.

    Or, the same size. Then you can heat the plastic a bit and push it through. That leads to a better fit, but if you have no practice, you can burn the plastic, melt it, ruin it.

    So a HAIR larger and some hot-glue and you are golden.
     
  5. snowbarrr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    Retched, you may be my hero! I already have a drill and a glue gun, so this could work out to be a lot cheaper than I even hoped.

    So, not that any would follow my silly project, but just in case - here are the last few pieces of the base.

    I found a round protoboard on sparkfun 2'' in diameter, and a cupcake holder that looks like it might hold it perfectly - although I'm unsure at this moment. The 'cupacake' website says they hold cupcakes 2 1/2'' in diameter, but I'm hoping there is enough cupcake squish-age that those grooves could hold this 2'' protoboard. I've emailed the 'cupacake' lady but she may assume I'm a crazy person, wanting specific dimension of a cupcake holder, and never respond.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  6. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Well, most of the past people that have called me their hero are in the mental hospital now. ;)

    Remember, even if you need a 2 and 1/2 inch circle, you can always use a 2 1/2 hole saw to cut something that will fit it, then use the 1 inch hole saw (or whatever the size is) for the bulb extender in the piece you cut.

    That will fit the cupcake holder. fine.

    Even if you need a 2 3/4 inch "bushing".

    A proper hole saw kit will fit the bill.

    (Watch out for the suits carrying the straight-jacket) ;)
     
  7. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    #1, #2, and #4 are Polyethylenes and #5 is polypropylene....Their advantage is nothing sticks to them!....Their disadvantage is nothing sticks to them! They can be thermally bonded though.

    Ken
     
  8. snowbarrr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    I guess I'll see what kind of plastic it is when it arrives. The lady isn't responding to email.

    I think I've got a good idea how to do this now. Thanks so much for the help!

    Maybe I'll post some pictures of the completed project later :D
     
  9. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Please do. Pictures showing progress would be nice. :)
     
  10. snowbarrr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    It will probably be at least a week or two before my cupcake holder arrives. What is appropriate forum etiquette? Do I post pics here, or should I start a new thread?
     
  11. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I guess that's up to you... :)
     
  12. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    It is still on-topic, so sure, BUT If you are going to get into the electrical side of thing, you may want to start a new thread.

    You are the OP - Original Poster, so this is YOUR thread.

    It may be good to have a complete thread from idea/concept, case design/selection, construction, to completion.

    So unlike Polyethylenes, stick with it. HHAHAHHAAHA!! OH Boy! oh...geez. sorrt, long day! ;)

    Actually, HOT MELT (As I mentioned) contains polyfins and should work with this case.

    Standard hot glue gun glue is not plastic glue and will release like an egg from a brand new Teflon frying plan.

    You are going to want the hot gun anyway. Give it a whirl.

    In a production environment years past, we used HOT MELT inside a device case that was LDPE. The outlet wire was glued with a little slack from the PCB to the corner of the case before exiting the case. This was done so people who pulled on the cord a little to much, would not directly stress the PCB.

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Hot_glue
     
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