Circuit Armour - Project Box

Need a way to protect your Photon or Electron from the elements? We just launched a project on Kickstarter called Circuit Armour, that makes enclosing your projects easy and affordable.

I have done several projects with single board computers now, and always struggle with how to enclose them once I have them built. That is where the idea for Circuit Armour came from.

Check out my first project with the Photon and Circuit Armour.

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Interesting project. A couple of comments:

  1. I would prefer NOT to use a perf board. I think this would be a perfect enclosure for a custom PCB but without a lot of standoff options I don’t think that’s going to work. What about a more dense standoff pattern?
  2. I would also like not to have to build my own indicator LED array and mount that on the PCB. What about mounting holes against the front of the box facing inward (4 on each corner of the clear window) so we can build a small PCB for indication and attach it there with a cable to our “main” board?
  3. What about a quick service to order new labels for the front? Would have to be fairly cheap but would be a nice source of revenue. I’m worried the paper ones will look cheap.
  4. What about a few hole areas (maybe that pop out if you want to use it?) for buttons/switches?

Just a few thoughts. I really like the project idea but I think with a few tweaks it could be much more desirable.

Window for an LCD display…

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Thank you for the suggestions, I’ll address my thinking for each item in your list.

  1. I agree, if it gets funded the perf board would be a separate option however on Kickstarter I didn’t want to complicate the rewards structure so I just made it a complete kit. As for the additional stand-offs that is no problem, in fact I will add additional stand-offs if the project gets funded. That would be a no cost change, thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Great idea, I will get this added as well. Stand-offs are easy to add as long as they are in the direction of pull, which those would be.

  3. I agree you wouldn’t want to use the paper labels for anything but prototypes, my thought was that once the user was ready for production quantities they would source their own labels. I will look into what it would take to provide this service.

  4. I had thought of this along with a lot of other cover options including one for a display as BulldogLowell suggested, and plans are to make many more cover options if the project gets funded. I just tried to pick the 3 I thought would be most useful. This could be a possible stretch goal if we get to that point.

Thanks again for the suggestions and I will start working on getting the additional stand-offs added. Look for a project update no later than the end of the weekend announcing the additional stand-offs. Also if you have any suggested mounting patterns let me know.

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Great project!

My only wish is that you had an option for one where a solar panel was mounted across the whole top. This size is about right to have a panel that could maintain a LiPo battery for a Particle Electron or RedBear Duo or whatever.

Also, it would be great if there were some sort of elements resistant vents on top and bottom to allow for airflow, while still being protected from rain.

Here’s a link to the project on Kickstarter, btw: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/532500281/circuit-armour-an-enclosure-kit-for-diy-electronic

Thanks! I will look into adding mounting provisions for a solar panel, as well as vents. I have used these vents before, they work great just a little expensive. I’ll look into adding them as an option.

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I’ve incorporated a couple of the changes requested here, see the latest update for pictures.

I also added another reward level for just the base, seal, and cover. For those that want to make their own board.

Thanks again for all the suggestions, and I will continue to investigate the other improvements suggested.

About to be a backer, could you provide Eagle templates for the proto board? I’d happily share a modified version that has headers etc (if the enclosure is deep enough for that). Would be cool if people could/would post custom boards to a common GitHub repo so someone could just download a board, make a few changes then send it off to a PCB house.

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Questions:

  • Is the pressure sensitive label responsible to water-resist the
    antenna mount through-hole or another method (e.g. TPE plug)?
  • If no, Have you thought about a knockout of some type?

Thank you, yes I can provide information on the protoboard. I was planning on sharing the files for both the board and 3-D models of the enclosure, if the project was funded.

I can supply them early as well, however I did not do the layout in Eagle. I usually farm out my board design but this one was simple so I just did it in a free program called ExpressPCB. The only option I have for exporting is dxf. From a little research it appears that you should be able import dxf files into Eagle. So if that works for you let me know, I will post the files to my site and share a link.

I like your idea of sharing board designs I would be willing to facilitate that if the project moves forward. My long term goal is to make shields for all the major single board computers. So when you purchased the enclosure you could purchase a shield for say a Photon, with 2 relays, a motor controller, and some sensor inputs. That would be a ways down the line though, if the project gets funded. So I like the idea of sharing designs.

Thanks for your support.

Yes the label will seal the antenna through-hole until you puncture it to install an antenna. Once you puncture the label you will be responsible for sealing it. Either by a seal on the bulkhead connector for the antenna, or with some type of sealant.

Would be great to see a “mini” design for smaller projects. I’m working on something now that needs an enclosure that’s slightly larger than a Photon but thick (tall) enough to use a cable bulkhead. I really like the idea…hopefully it gets funded!

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