Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

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NT1K
 

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Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

Hello All,

I've been working on a sheet metal enclosure for the (tr)uSDX. I've came up with a first draft but of course will need major improvements or multiple re-designs. Since I don't have a unit in hand, this is just a rough rough draft.

I'm open to any ideas to improve the case but please note price is a major consideration. Can't be adding custom machining (milling) operations. I'd like to keep it simple as possible.
NT1KtruSDX-Draft1.jpg
NT1KtruSDX-Draft1.jpg (222.17 KiB) Viewed 3583 times
PDF @ https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u-M_-M ... sp=sharing

This is a two piece design involving a inner case with pressed standoffs that slides into an outer shell. The big issue I have with this design is that the SMA and Cw Key jack are somewhat inline (in the Y-Axis) that will leave a gap between the top of the SMA and the bottom of the phone jack.

There will also need to be spacers placed between the PCBs and the outer case is secured to the inner case using M3 screws from the front sandwiching everything together.

Any thoughts?
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
wa2t
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by wa2t »

Hi Jeff,

Neat idea, good luck with it. You'll need to share the file you linked if we are to be able to access it.

73,

Robert, WA2T
wa2t
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by wa2t »

Hi again Jeff,

I have a couple of comments.

- I don't care for the slotted holes much but see why that was needed.

- Have you considered exploring a "clamshell" approach (two "U" shapes)?

73,

Robert, WA2T
NT1K
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

wa2t wrote: ↑08 Jan 2022, 00:02 Hi again Jeff,

I have a couple of comments.

- I don't care for the slotted holes much but see why that was needed.

- Have you considered exploring a "clamshell" approach (two "U" shapes)?

73,

Robert, WA2T
File should be able to be viewed without permission now.

This is why it's a draft. I am open to redesigning the whole thing if needed. I personally not a fan of the slotted design either.

I've thought of clamshell (2 pcs with the same ODs) as well and would like to go that direction. Only thing that was holding me back from doing that was how to secure the units together. I can use the same method as above but I am worried about the seams blowing out. I can use what's known as an "offset" bend but that's something a home user can't make (unless they 3d print an offset press brake tool and die).
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
G4OKA
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by G4OKA »

Hi Jeff,
as the son of a sheet metal worker, I've got a lot of love for a piece of bent metal.. though I think Manuel's 3D-printed plastic case is a really neat design.

Some comments on your design:

Do you need the slots at all?
- if you made the top edge of the jacks flush with outer surface of the inner shell, the hole size here would match the outside diameter of the jack housing.
- if the corner edges of the inner shell are not fixed, you should have enough spring/give to insert the the boards at an angle with the antenna connector edge going in first, then push the boards into place so that the jacks snap into position in the holes on the opposite edge.
- then, the outer shell could have over-sized holes for the jacks (to clear the body of the jack plugs, so that the plugs go all the way home)
- you'd need 1 slot in the outer shell, for the antenna connector.
- the corner edges of the outer shell can be sealed with metal epoxy, then filed smooth (not indestructable, but I've used this technique in the past and got a good result)

(hope that makes sense)

regards,

Neal.
Faraaz VK4JJ
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by Faraaz VK4JJ »

Watching this thread with interest. It is a really neat idea and the fact that users will have a choice as to metal or plastic housing is great.

Once a design is finalised, I'll brave the Alibaba fab houses and see if I can get some quotes.
NT1K
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

Here is attempt number two.
NT1KtruSDX-Draft2.jpg
NT1KtruSDX-Draft2.jpg (143.21 KiB) Viewed 3336 times
PDF HERE (Should Work This Time)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UnDaYJ ... sp=sharing

Shrunk the OD in the X dim and added side plates. Basically replaced the pressed in pems with a tapping operation. I am not too familiar with metric fasteners and what's commonly used so I went with a 2mm screw. It can't be any larger (M3 is too big).

This design involves more metal but makes it more possible for the home user to make.
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
va3rr
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by va3rr »

πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘Œ That looks great, Jeff. I appreciate your efforts! πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘

Just for planning purposes, I'm deducing that the 'stacking' distance between RF board and mainboard is 6mm? If so, I will probably need to order some 6mm spacers, as a metal case doesn't maintain board separation like the printed case...
Slava Ukraini!
M1KTA
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by M1KTA »

Faraaz VK4JJ wrote: ↑09 Jan 2022, 12:30 Watching this thread with interest. It is a really neat idea and the fact that users will have a choice as to metal or plastic housing is great.

Once a design is finalised, I'll brave the Alibaba fab houses and see if I can get some quotes.
Interested in what comes of this.

73

Dom
M1KTA
NT1K
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

M1KTA wrote: ↑19 Jan 2022, 17:31
Faraaz VK4JJ wrote: ↑09 Jan 2022, 12:30 Watching this thread with interest. It is a really neat idea and the fact that users will have a choice as to metal or plastic housing is great.

Once a design is finalised, I'll brave the Alibaba fab houses and see if I can get some quotes.
Interested in what comes of this.

73

Dom
M1KTA
At this moment in time, I can't do much until I have a built (tr)uSDX in hand. Not comfortable in releasing something that I'm not certain will work. Once I get a unit (I'm currently in a group buy where parts have been purchased), I'll be able to test various cases out.
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
NT1K
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

Image

First test with metal enclosure. You'll notice there isn't anything for the speaker, mic or 12Vdc input.
As of right now the only tools you'll need are pliers (or just your hands) to bend the metal and an M2 or M3 tap.

This is for using a local metal fabricator. On the right side of the image you'll see slices to relief the metal to make it easier for bending at home. Care must be taken to no overbend because the tabs can tear.
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
wa2t
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by wa2t »

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your efforts. The honest (no disrespect intended) feedback I have for the design is it is not "sexy" enough. I understand the sides folding concept you've implemented, but the end result is not pleasing, at least to me.

73,

Robert, WA2T
vtanger
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by vtanger »

I'm no metal worker, but how about this idea as we are already folding metal anyways (manually, not really suited for mechanized packaging) - all in one piece of sheet metal, with screws only on bottom:

A top with full-length left+back+right sides that also have a short (1cm?) inward brims on the bottom side.
The left+right flaps also feature these brims.
The front has the bottom attached.

Mounting process:
drill all necessary openings,
drill through-holes into the bottom, drill pre-tap holes into the brims,
bend all brims,
bend the back into position,
pre-bend left+right,
insert boards-stack into top,
fully bend left+right into position, fitting plugs through the holes,
fold down front, screw everything together with self-tapping screws from the bottom.

To hold the boards in place we might need to glue some plastic blocks to the left/right and/or front/back parts that fit snugly between boards and top/bottom.

Any thoughts from the metal-working faction on the feasability of such a design?
M1KTA
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by M1KTA »

NT1K wrote: ↑20 Jan 2022, 14:26
M1KTA wrote: ↑19 Jan 2022, 17:31
Faraaz VK4JJ wrote: ↑09 Jan 2022, 12:30 Watching this thread with interest. It is a really neat idea and the fact that users will have a choice as to metal or plastic housing is great.

Once a design is finalised, I'll brave the Alibaba fab houses and see if I can get some quotes.
At this moment in time, I can't do much until I have a built (tr)uSDX in hand. Not comfortable in releasing something that I'm not certain will work. Once I get a unit (I'm currently in a group buy where parts have been purchased), I'll be able to test various cases out.
Looking at the pictures on this thread I cannot help but think of cutting up a biscuit tin or some tin plate sheets and making an enclosure. Or perhaps fab one from FR4 PCB with those little qrpme corner clamps?

73

Dom
M1KTA
M1KTA
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by M1KTA »

NT1K wrote: ↑22 Jan 2022, 15:27 Image
On the right side of the image you'll see slices to relief the metal to make it easier for bending at home. Care must be taken to no overbend because the tabs can tear.
I love it... Do you have a PDF etc of this?

73

Dom
M1KTA
biged147
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by biged147 »

I like this ideal but as someone else said PC board would work and is easier to work with...This radio is a perfect candidate for metal ammo can go bag aka go can :D...You can add along wire antenna, battery, and a small foldable solar panel...The dimensions would help and A pdf file to
John
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by John »

My first thought is that a metal case would be good for RF isolation. My second thought is a concern that a metal case will detune the tuned toroid LC circuits that are nearly (or actually,) touching it. As much as we read that the magnetic fields of toroids are held entirely within the toroid, they actually aren't. Toroids noticeably interact with nearby metals. Has anyone done any proximity tests yet?
NT1K
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by NT1K »

I'm not able to dedicate the time to manufacture and distribute cases in bulk. I also won't be making small batches because the price will be too high. I Just have many things going on.

However, I am going to put my designs out there so that it can either improved upon, manufactured in bulk or a combination. As I stated from the start, I'm not looking to make a profit from this.

Here is the final result of my design (still have to tweak some dimensions).
Image

There will some things needed to be 3D printed. Like a retaining ring for the speaker and spacers for the PCBs & Case.

There were a couple people that didn't like the design. I feel that it's the best that can be done when you are considering cost, material and getting it to work with a product that is already in production. Some suggestions (that were mailed) basically implied to "mill" the enclosure from a piece of billet which would raise the cost so high that you could buy 3 or 4 (tr)uSDX units for the price of a case. Another suggestion of using extruded aluminum was also suggested but involves milling. This is a WYSIWYG type of project.

When I feel the project is completed, I'll post all the documentation and will let certain aliexpress manufacturers aware of the project and could use it as a base to make their project from
TU, 73' DE NT1K - JEFF :D
wa2t
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by wa2t »

Nice job Jeff!
Decibel
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by Decibel »

Jeff. Very nice indeed. Especially if one does not have access to 3d printing.
relistan
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by relistan »

NT1K wrote: ↑24 May 2022, 12:07
Here is the final result of my design (still have to tweak some dimensions).
This is great!
NT1K wrote: ↑24 May 2022, 12:07 There were a couple people that didn't like the design>
There always will be.
NT1K wrote: ↑24 May 2022, 12:07 When I feel the project is completed, I'll post all the documentation and will let certain aliexpress manufacturers aware of the project and could use it as a base to make their project from
Great idea. Thanks for sharing!

Karl
EI9ITB / KB8SWH
David Mangnall
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by David Mangnall »

Looks very good.
I shall certainly keep my eyes out and look to get one.
Thanks for your hard work.
G8 SNR
Ohwenzelph
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by Ohwenzelph »

Have you run the same rig in both the plastic case and a metal one? I would expect the metal to provide better "shielding" from environmental rf and other electrical/magnetic stuff. Was there any noticable difference in the performance? Just wondering, thanks & 73
va3sfa
 

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Re: Sheet Metal Enclosure - 1st Draft

Post by va3sfa »

Jeff (NT1K),

Thank you for the really nice drawing file. Your diagrams are great. The final pictures look great too!

Do you have an equivalent DXF file that we could send to a metal fabricator like SendCutSend or OshCut?

Also, did you have your local metal fabricator paint the enclosure or did you do it yourself?

Thanks and 73,
Faisal VA3SFA
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