Saturday, December 7, 2013

Progress on new HESA Enclosure

Yesternight, I spent about eight hours at the Milwaukee Makerspace working on a couple of projects.  One of the main things I worked on is the new enclosure for my Home Environmental Sensor Array (HESA).  I needed a bigger enclosure to house the Powerswitch Tail relay as well as the Raspberry Pi and any circuit boards.

In another post, I mentioned that I found an enclosure at the Makerspace that was big enough for the HESA project.  I needed to get it ready to hold my project.  First, I cut a piece of plywood that I found at the 'space to fit in the back of the enclosure.  I used a table saw to cut the wood (no time to mess with the CNC router unfortunately).  I drilled holes to attach the board to the enclosure and to hang the enclosure on the wall.  The enclosure is now ready for components.

Next, I removed the power switch and 120 volt power plug from a PC power supply to use as the main power input on the enclosure.  A power cord will plug in to the enclosure to supply power.  The switch will allow power to flow to the components in the enclosure or not.

I had to cut holes in the metal side of the enclosure for the parts to fit.  There might be better ways to do this with all of the cool tools we have at the Makerspace but I chose to use a crude method.  First, I drilled holes in the enclosure around the inside edge of the square that I wanted to remove.  Then, I used cutting pliers to remove the metal.  Next, I used a square hand file to remove the rest of the metal and smooth out the holes.  It took about an hour to make the two small holes but it worked pretty well.

The next step was to install the Powerswitch Tail into the enclosure.  I had to solder some wires between the switch and the power plug.  Then, I connected the wires to the PST and attached the PST to the wood with some short screws.  I connected the Raspberry Pi to the PST and tested the circuit.  It worked as it did before.

When I finished the test, it was after 11:00pm.  I would have liked to work on the water detection circuit but there was not enough time.  I also regret not taking more pictures.  Overall, it was another good day at the Makerspace.