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I recently started playing with Arduino in order to do several projects, including:

  • A system which will measure some characteristics of the indoor air and could alert me if something goes wrong (for instance if the percentage of CH4 goes beyond a threshold).

  • A system I can bring with me on a walk which will measure the pollution and other characteristics of the air outdoors.

While the quantity and the diversity of the sensors for such projects, as well as the ease of use is mind blowing, I'm blocked at one aspect: the casing. Both of the projects require to put the electronics within a plastic case with:

  • Enough space for not only Arduino, but also the sensors. Some, such as MQ2/MQ5, can be quite large.

  • Holes for air flow, which are large enough to let small particles, but small enough to keep insects and large dust out of the electronics.

  • A hole for an USB cable and possibly a hole for the LED.

Unfortunately, the popular sites selling Arduino-related stuff have practically nothing when it comes to the cases. In most cases, the choice is limited to (1) the enclosures for Arduino itself (or other boards), with no holes in them and (2) the multicolored modular systems which look like LEGO bricks.

Outside Arduino-related sites, the only idea I have is to buy somewhere an old smoke detector, throw away the electronics and put Arduino and the sensors inside. For now, most smoke detectors I've seen seem too small for the task, and have to be modified in order to accommodate the USB cable.

Am I missing something? How other people do when they need an enclosure which fits Arduino and sensors and doesn't look geeky?

  • shapeways.com – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 20 '18 at 10:57
  • @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams: I may be wrong, but I suppose that custom-made enclosures would be either expensive, or their quality would be too low (just like with 3D printers). – Arseni Mourzenko May 20 '18 at 11:10
  • you can gets lots of them on thingiverse, for not just the boards, but even several permutations of popular modules and boards. if you don't have a 3D printer, you can order the parts from an online printer or find a local fab lab that will let you print for a small donation or fee. I've also taken to small cheap wooden boxes from ebay: biodegradable, easy to work with a dremel, and under $3usd delivered. – dandavis May 20 '18 at 20:53
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I think your problem is that you are looking specifically for Arduino enclosures. Such a search tends to lead you to boxes for just an Arduino and nothing else - maybe with the headers poking out the top.

Instead, you should be looking more generically. There are thousands and thousands of "project enclosures" from many manufacturers (Hammond is a big name in these).

You take a generic project box of the right size and shape for what you want to create and in a material suitable for your needs, and cut / grind / drill / glue it to be what you want.

Most electronics suppliers will have an "Enclosures and Housings" section on their website. Have a browse through your favourite.

As far as air vents go, one good trick I have used is to simply drill holes (with a steady hand so you get them lined up nice and straight) and glue some fine mesh on the inside. One good source of fine mesh is to go to your local smoking supplies reseller (tobacconist) and buy some "pipe meshes" (the flat ones, not bowl shaped ones) - also available from low-cost online resellers of any old junk (eBay, etc), which look like this:

enter image description here

(Also available in brass). They typically come in different mesh sizes to suit your needs.

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for many projects i use distribution box like this one:

enter image description here

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I just came across your question, and I think this may be useful if you're still interested in project enclosures. I've designed and created stackable, modular and extensible enclosures for Arduino (fits Uno and Mega footprints), Raspberry Pi (three different versions, for A+, B+/4B and Zero (can accommodate up to 4 Zeros), and Breadboard and breadboard-friendly MCUs. All of these enclosures have 4"x2.4"x1.2"(h) space on the inside, enough for one or two shields or hats. They also come with replaceable sides/tops that can allow you to add sensors and peripherals, like a Pi Camera, High Quality Camera, Tripod mount, Ultrasonic sensors (HC-SR04), momentary push button switches, RS232 ports and more. The enclosure is made of acrylic with 6 separate flat pieces, so that means you can also hack it to easily add holes and mounts to customize it yourself.

You can find more details on https://www.protostax.com/

Hope you find it helpful! Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers, and Happy Making! Sridhar Rajagopal

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Look into "Really Useful Boxes", found online, or at stores like Office Depot. Lot of sizes available, pretty easy to mount cards & connectors into. I have several projects lower down on this page where you can see how I used them.

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