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How I build my boxes

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by AAH, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I just thought that I would show how I bang together a controller enclosure. I have almost universally used cheap and nasty $3 to $5 boxes. To prevent water ingress into boxes I bag them in 20kg dog food bags. In all the years of putting up lights (2004-2013) I've never had a drop of water get into a box so the method has proved successful. In almost all of the cases I have the enclosures mounted on a pole and that slips over length of 1/2" rod driven into the lawn. You can see some of the older boxes and mounting arrangements at https://auschristmaslighting.com/threads/my-2011-blinky-lights.1617/

    PowerSupply.jpg
    All the connections to the power supply I use bootlace ferrules and I always insert the ferrule on the side of the clamp so that the screw has a tendency to pull in the ferrules as it contacts the screw.

    MainsEntry.jpg
    The mains cable is the only time I use cable glands and I use them for their clamping feature rather than their sealing ability. I also cable tie the 2 wires together.

    LoopInOut.jpg
    I also always have a loop in and loop out of the mains cable so that I can daisy chain from 1 controller to the next with the mains power.

    BoardMounted.jpg
    I changed to mounting the boards on the lid of boxes in 2013 as it made it easier to fit off the board and provides easier access than when the board is mounted on the back of the box. Since 2012 I now fit Ray Wu plugs to all the boards as it's quicker for fitting up and pulling down the display. All the cables have a cable tie around them to prevent the wires being pulled out. When I use 2 wire rather than 4 wire connectors I common the 3 +ve connections from the connectors to the +ve on the board with a bootlace ferrule. The rest of the time I tend to use the soldered wires as standard on the Ray Wu connectors.

    Outside.jpg
    The connectors enter through fairly tightly fitted holes which are positioned such that if the wire did get wet the wire actually is fitted off "uphill" from the hole. The holes for 4 wire connectors works out at about 6mm.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Since 2013 I have also changed the way I mounted the power supplies so that it uses the inbuilt fan. The fan sucks air in through a bullnose cable entry which is used for the dmx in and out.
    Ventillation.jpg
    Mounting the power supply this way means that all of the hot air the power supply produces is vented outside of the box and by mounting the power supply "backwards" the mains terminals are pretty well covered.

    The method shown above is slightly different to what I normally use as this box is going to get banged around in transit a bit. I used rootnuts fitted to the power supply metalwork after cracking open the power supply and making sure that where the mounting screws would end up. I would usually mount using 1 of the mounting screws for the fan.
     
  3. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    after Alan has finished this time :)
     
  4. davrus

    davrus Silent Elf

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    Thanks.


    I am at the stage where my next problem is to deal with enclosures. The info in your posting helps me considerably.


    Plastic enclosures and dog food bags... yes, that will work. I had been thinking of party ice bags, but they are not quite big enough.
     
  5. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    this is still my most fav way of housing slim controllers

    [​IMG]

    the PVC drainpipe with end caps..
    totaly waterproof.. an under $8
     
  6. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Alec you could have tidied the cables up for the pic :D
     
  7. benzor84

    benzor84 Apprentice Elf

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    IMG_20140721_003157.jpg IMG_20140721_003207.jpg
    This is the first of my 3 outdoor boxes. (I'm lucky as i can run most things from inside on my house.)
    This box runs my 2d mega tree and star. It has 2 Mean well 5v suppliers and one cheap china 12v 6A supply ,under the p2 (used for running the fans)

    I made the fuse boards myself however I will not be doing this again as it is expensive and time consuming.
    The box is a super cheap version of a pelican case (around $35 aud)
    I have tested them and they are fully waterproof. The box also has a spot for a padlock/ cable tie to keep people out.
     
  8. davrus

    davrus Silent Elf

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    How have you fixed the equipment inside the case ?


    Why the extra fans, when your outlets are positioned directly above the power supply fans ?
     
  9. gerry

    gerry Senior Elf

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    Hi Alan

    Thanks for posting these and the detailed instructions.
    Most useful for someone starting out. At the minis , I have been trying to pay close attendtion to these , but the commentary above is most useful.

    BTW - Masters have those boxes (referred to in earlier posts) in their stores again - $11 each.
     
  10. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Alan, thanks for sharing your setup. What sort of connectors are the ones on the wires going to the input power connections (red and black wires) on the board. They sort of look like bullet connectors. Do they need to be a certain size to fit in the boards screw clamp connections.

    I tried to quote the picture but it didn't work. The fourth picture you attached shows the wires I'm referring to.
     
  11. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    They are wire ferrules. Places like Altronics sell them in various sizes.

    You need the tool for them too. Altronics have them but I bought mine on eBay.
     
  12. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Thanks David. I didn't look hard enough at the PSU connections. I assumed the PSU connections were the forked type but they are all bootlace ferrules.

    Is the tool required just a crimping tool.

    Edit. I'm too slow. I see it's a special crimping tool. Thanks
     
  13. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    It's a special tool. I prefer the hexagonal type. I've added links in my post above.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I buy my ferrules from Altronics in bulk packs of a 1000 and I use a few different sizes in both single wire and dual wire sizes.
    I've never used the style that David likes. I use a ratcheting style that cost a small fortune many years ago and has crimped maybe as many as 50,000 so far. Someone in chat popped a link up that was to an Aliexpress supplier of boxes I think. I trawled on from there and found that they have some of the cheapest crimpers and strippers I've seen. I have no idea what the quality is like but the prices are amazing.
    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Crimping-pliers/619076_255390739.html

    The style I use is [​IMG]
     
  15. dale82

    dale82 Senior Elf

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    This is what my controller looks like in its enclosure, Not a drop of water gets in it and the other cable gland is used for the Ethernet cable.

    [​IMG]
     

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