Electron Enclosure Best Practices


#1

Hey all,

I’m working on going from Photon to Electron and was hoping to get some community input on best practices for creating enclosures/cases for Electrons and their associated battery and antenna. With the photon I have been 3d printing simple cases, but the electron seems a little more involved so I’m wondering if there are any known best practices out there.

Specifically, does the antenna need to placed/oriented in a particular way to get good signal? Should it be on the outside of an enclosure, or at least not be sealed tightly inside of a case, and how would this work if the product is going outside and needs to be water resistant?

Does the material of the enclosure make a big difference? Or would wall thickness potentially be the most important factor?

As far as the battery is concerned, is there any concern with overheating that would require ventilation?

Any thoughts/tips/insights would be very welcome.
Thanks!


#2

The antenna should be at least a few inches from the board. The radio signals go thru plastic. The battery and board do not get hot. You can seal the box.


#3

Where you able to design the enclosure?? I am working on a similar project.


#4

Not yet, still waiting on some components to get shipped actually so I can put together my first pcb and determine the exact dimensions I will be working with, but I can keep you updated as I proceed if you’d like.

Thanks @sbright33 for the tips!


#5

Here is a product I’m working on with an Electron. The enclosure is from ploycase.


#6

To add to cstites question. I wanted to know how the enclosure can be ruggedised?

Thanks

P


#7

Hi,
i am looking for pcb like the mother board in the picture that i can fit my particle electron in, so is this one in the picture available, and if so what is their functionality if that is ok.

Thank you very much


#8

We have one as well, batteries (2x 4000mAh) fit underneath,
The battery cover has Ardunio mount pounts on it, if you have your own arduino form factor.


#9

really nice, where i can get this from ?


#10

Hi majj_11 Thanks, we are pretty pleased with it.

The Carrier board has the following functionality (actually we have 2 types of carrier board, but I’ll stick with the one in the picture for now – the other one has more IO but no MPPT solar)

• IO Expansion – MCP23017T
• 2 Channel ADC – MCP3426
• 1MBIT EEPROM – CAT24M01W1
• Fuel Gauge - MAX17205
• Watchdog Timer – TPL5010) – This can be enabled disabled by a connecter on board, or can be permanently enabled by soldering in a 0R resistor.
• Reset control via a header , we use a reed switch on this so that we don’t need to open the case, this also enables the WDT when the reed switch is installed, so Debug is really easy, simply pull out the plug and WDT is disabled, then plug it back in when deploying it.
• On / Off control via a header, we use a reed switch on this so that we don’t need to open the case.
• Low voltage disconnect / reconnect to ensure that Electron cannot suck the batteries to their death.
• Maximum Power Point tracking solar regulator, with PWM for low light conditions (LT3652)
• Electron Debug UART at TTL levels on Serial5
• 2x Analog Inputs conditioned for 12V
• 2x 12VDC Digital Inputs
• 2x Open Collector Digital Outputs
• Decent size connectors for external wiring.
• Lots of expansion headers to collect any unused IO.
• Dual Batteries for the Solar Charger, these are in series and cell balanced, they provide the necessary inrush requirements to run the Electron without it’s little battery.
• Uses off the shelf 12V Solar Panels.
• Access to connect the Electrons little battery under the board, rather than on to the Electron directly.
• 2x 40pin expansion headers with SPI, I2C, power, batt, GPIO, etc on them (we have Bluetooth, serial, signs, LoRa radio, Spirit Radio, MRF24J40MC radio, ext processor, GPS with SD, inertia etc. Linux processor, and more – not all of them are currently in stock)
• Fullsize (largest) Mikrobus Compatible footprint https://www.mikroe.com/click
• The Electron can be soldered in, with access to the SIM through a slot in the carrier board, it’s a little bit fiddly but perfectly achievable.
• The Taoglas Antenna will stick inside the case no problems.

We also have another PCB that will fit under the carrier board, that has a DC/DC converter on it and is controlled by the Electron, to provide a 12/24V (its adjustable) Output should you need to power an external load from the batteries.

Regards
Marshall