Tuesday, March 31, 2009
One of the things I want to do with this tiny computer system is build a PWCS (Personal Wearable Computer System) [I just made that up - like it?]. In order to do this I needed "something" to mount the actual computer system in and keep it's size down to a minimum. Currently there is no case for the Overo Earth computer as it's original design is for embedded applications, and I don't think they had "embedding within clothing" in mind when it was designed (grin).
I could have used most anything to make a case for the micro-beast (that is the Nickname I have for the machine). At first I thought about building up a case using either brass or thin copper and putting my "Leet" soldering skills to work but then realized that would not only be a little expensive (given the price of brass and copper sheet now days) but would have looked rather "tacky" as well - solder beads along seams just are not the same as welded ones (grin).
Next stop - the local Radio Shack store to see what they might have. That was a rather good choice as they have a 4-inch by 2-inch by 1-inch (10.16 x 5.08 x 2.54-cm for you metric geeks) Plastic Project Enclosure with a choice of aluminum or plastic lid (comes with both) for about $3.00 (USD).
Radio Shack Model: 270-1802 Catalog #: 270-1802
Since the enclosure is made of plastic it was rather easy to 'carve' the connector holes in the case with an X-Acto Knife (just be careful not to slice and dice yourself). Now - while I can solder with the best of them my X-Acto Knife skills leave a "little" to be desired! Who cares! Not me!!! It got the job done!
Here is my Overo Earth/Summit board (micro-beast) mounted in the enclosure. As you can see access to all of the "standard" interfaces is available from outside the case. Even the console USB connection is possible through the cutout in the back of the enclosure. I have not configured anything to access the 40-pin connections (yet) but that is a future project. There was a fair amount of modification to the stock case to mount the board in the enclosure - there are stand-offs in the case in totally the wrong locations that had to be removed and there are "slide-slots" running from the top to the bottom of the enclosure that have to be carved away but I think the effort was worth it - especially since there is not a commercial case for the board.
Now that I have the "computer" mounted within a case to protect it the next order of business will be to build the "world" interfaces for it. That will be the subject of a future blog entry!