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  1. Quote Originally Posted by Pointy View Post
    While sat on the riverbank fishing today I had plenty of time to think about this, especially seeing as I wasn't catching much.

    I thought I could dismantle the Toshiba laptop that is running Mach3 and mount it inside the top enclosure. Perhaps ripping out the Motherboard so save space if needed. This would keep some of the cables/connections inside, keeping things neat. I have a 17" Iiayma touch screen monitor that I could use in place of the laptop screen. The only potential problem I see, is the metal enclosure might inhibit the wireless signal, (I use the network to send the Eagle gcode output direct to the CNC laptop) although I am sure I could get over this.

    I also decided that I should probably go for 30mm x 30mm profile and make the whole enclosure slightly bigger too.

    Regards,

    Les
    My only concern with that is cooling. Laptops use some clever heatpipe arrangements for cooling. Also hard drive etc connections usually rely on the case for support. Personally I'd buy a cheap motherboard/CPU/RAM combo, you can get some good deals online.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by irving2008 View Post
    My only concern with that is cooling. Laptops use some clever heatpipe arrangements for cooling. Also hard drive etc connections usually rely on the case for support. Personally I'd buy a cheap motherboard/CPU/RAM combo, you can get some good deals online.
    Yep I agree. Something Like this would do it nice.
    Gigabyte E-350 AMD ITX Motherboard HDMI and VGA - GA-E350N-WIN8 - CCL Computers

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by irving2008 View Post
    My only concern with that is cooling. Laptops use some clever heatpipe arrangements for cooling. Also hard drive etc connections usually rely on the case for support. Personally I'd buy a cheap motherboard/CPU/RAM combo, you can get some good deals online.
    The laptop just had a large chunk of copper, & fan nothing fancy. It's a really old P4 laptop, that has no keyboard, and the hinges are shot, so it's not much use for anything else. Drives Mach3 and the CNC without any issues though.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    That's a good deal but....

    • It means spending more money, when I already have a suitable laptop!
    • I'd have to get a PSU in there somewhere.(The laptop brick would be easier to integrate)
    • Don't like integrated CPU's (Couldn't work out if it could be replaced or upgraded)


    Regards,

    Les

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    I just wanted to say thanks to Kris from KB Aluminium, he has been very helpful so far, for absolutely no gain. (Mainly down to me being stubborn with my design & budget)

    To be honest I was also to buy from Valuframe until they whacked a 30 carriage charge on top, which I felt was a bit on the steep side.

    What amazes me with this stuff is that the fixtures and fittings are costing more than the actual profile. Perhaps I should super glue it together, or use some old toilet roll holder and sticky back plastic. Actually I could just stick with the MDF frame I have and put some windows in it!

    Regards,

    Les

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Pointy View Post
    What amazes me with this stuff is that the fixtures and fittings are costing more than the actual profile. Perhaps I should super glue it together, or use some old toilet roll holder and sticky back plastic. Les
    Get Valerie Singleton on the job.

  6. #16
    I finally started to make some progress on this upgrade. I have the frame pretty much built and I am just waiting for some more bits just to finish it off. Today I dissected the laptop down to the bare motherboard and completely dismantled the old controller box. It looks like everything is going to fit in to the top box nicely with plenty of room to spare.

    Using a 25pin gender changer I should be able to connect the BOB directly to the laptop motherboard without the need for a cable. I have ordered the IDE to SATA connector, so I can use an old 64GB SATA SSD on the laptop motherboard and I have also cut down the laptop PSU lead and hard-wired it to the motherboard. That side of things I am pretty confident about and if I keep all the mains stuff over one side don't foresee any problems with the electronics.

    So the only couple of things I need advice with now are the earthing and panel cut-outs.

    I presume it would be sensible to make sure all of the aluminium panels are connected together and earthed. The slot reducing profile is plastic and insulates the panels from the profile frame, so I would need to do some manual connecting.

    The panels are 3mm aluminium and I will obviously need cut-outs for the switches, connectors, LEDS etc. My machine, apart from being in bits, is not big enough to do the panels anyway as they are 117mm x 440mm. I know it's a difficult question to answer without more detail but any ideas what sort of cost to get these machined? What software to design the panels that makes it easy to convert to GCode?

    Anyway, I'll maybe try and takes some pictures over the weekend if anyone is interested.

    Regards,

    Les

  7. #17
    Yes, all metal parts should be at the same potential.
    Regarding the panel cutouts all I've ever needed was some suitably sized drills and some files.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Pointy View Post
    I know it's a difficult question to answer without more detail but any ideas what sort of cost to get these machined? What software to design the panels that makes it easy to convert to GCode?
    Just draw it in any Cad package and export has DXF.
    Regards machining price then if you send material to me cover postage etc and it's simple one off panel I'll cut it FOC.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Just draw it in any Cad package and export has DXF.
    Regards machining price then if you send material to me cover postage etc and it's simple one off panel I'll cut it FOC.
    WOW! that is a very generous offer Jazz, but I wouldn't expect anyone to do it for free, it has to be worth a couple of beers at least.

    It wouldn't be a one off as there will be a front and back back. I am also considering cutting some holes for 90mm fans on each side.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    Regarding the panel cutouts all I've ever needed was some suitably sized drills and some files.
    That's how I have always done it, but seeing as I am spending so much time and effort on this, it would be nice to get it done properly. It would also be nice if I could get some text engraved as well.

    I haven't done any more on the enclosure this weekend, as I still need a few parts but I did manage to get another cool feature working. I have successfully made a plugin for Mach3 that talks to my custom USB hardware, and I can turn on real LED's to mimic some of the Mach3 software LEDs. I can also send keystrokes via buttons, which should mean I can control the most common features of Mach3 without touching the keyboard or mouse.

    Regards,

    Les

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Pointy View Post
    WOW! that is a very generous offer Jazz, but I wouldn't expect anyone to do it for free, it has to be worth a couple of beers at least.

    It wouldn't be a one off as there will be a front and back back. I am also considering cutting some holes for 90mm fans on each side.
    Don't mind doing it FOC but My main problem is I'm very time limited so machine is always busy when I'm in workshop and fitting in large jobs just hisn't possible without planning well ahead and recently machines been broke down so I'm well behind anyway but I can slip in the Odd quick job so if it's quick I'll do it.

    Draw it up and let me have a look.

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