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Rugged case for official touchscreen

Mon May 02, 2016 11:06 pm

I'm in the process of designing and building a motorised camera slider, using a PI 3 to control the motors and shutter release. Rather than have to use bluetooth, wifi or anything like that to control the PI out in the middle of a field, I'm going to use the official touchscreen as my input device. I've already got the screen and it works well enough for my needs (can't control the backlight of the screen at the moment, hopefully that will be something I can figure out later)

Anyway, rather than attach the screen to the camera slider (that would present other problems including how to emergency stop) I'm looking to have the PI attached to the screen, and some of the control circuitry stored in some kind of case. I'm also looking to store the cables in the case as well. There will be one to attach a battery to the PI, and one to attach the PI to the Dolly. Battery to case will be a automotive cigar style at one end, and a lockable XLR at the other (it'll be a 5 meter cable delivering 12V). The cable from the case to the Dolly will be a 5 meter 25Pin D cable. This should give me enough pins to be able to attach stepper motor signals, camera release and maybe a couple of sensors.

I want the ability to be able to close the case while everything is plugged in, as I'm likely to be using this setup at night. Closing the case will help to reduce the possibility of dew forming on the screen, and maybe causing some damage. Also as i'm looking at using this for Astro photography, it will mean that I can cut out the light from the screen backlight. ;-)

That was the rather lengthy background, my question is....

Any suggestions for cases to be looking at, or ways of mounting the Screen and PI?

I'm really not sure what I'm looking for at the moment, just that I need the screen to be mounted somewhere with the PI mounted to the screen. Also I need space for some breakout stuff - so that I can attach the GPIO up for the motors etc. The place to store cables would be a bonus.

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Re: Rugged case for official touchscreen

Sat May 07, 2016 3:08 pm

I like aluminum for ruggedness. I have a 5" aluminum (Hammond) case for one of my SBC projects. Something aluminum in the 8" range could be a little pricey though, maybe $30-$40, while my five incher was only $16.

There seems to be a blind spot in the enclosure manufacturing biz, and right-sized tough boxes for Pi projects take a lot of research to find. Something like 9x8x1 is about as good as I've found in plastic. I have a 7" screen in one of those, but it drowns in that size of box. On the plus side, I can fit a lot more into it:


In the photo at the top of that page, I show the 9x8x1.5. The screen is a very tight fit in terms of vertical clearance, though. I complicate matters by using my favorite (but bulky) NiMH supply. You could do a custom laser jobber too, to get a better right-sized enclosure.
I am the Umbrella man

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Re: Rugged case for official touchscreen

Sat May 07, 2016 10:49 pm

Hi, ive built a custom case that might give you some ideas, check out my post 'Breakout 7" display case'. I havent intergrated a touch screen on to it yet but thats planned for version 2. The case can be fully closed and sealed.

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Re: Rugged case for official touchscreen

Thu May 12, 2016 9:14 am

Maybe you can use a Pelicase (or equivalent) they are a bit expensive but very rugged and watertight.
You can mount the screen on the cover and put all the equipment in the box itself.

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