Saturday, April 4, 2015

Plastic Prototype Enclosure

It is time to move off the breadboards and into the prototype in a box phase.   I bought a plastic storage box for about $4.  It is made from polypropylene which is easy to cut.  I drilled 1 inch holes in the bottom for the two lighted switches, and cut a large rectangle in the side for the displays.

This box is much larger than the final wood version will be.  The wood version will be shaped much more like a Chronos; a bit wider, lower and narrower, with a sloped front for the displays.  I also plan to use mechanical plungers instead of the buttons, but this will work for the prototype.  These buttons have an LED inside that I will use to indicate who is to move.  The sides of this box are transparent, so I won't have to open the box to show off the electronics inside.

Next step is to make wiring harnesses for the displays.  The headers on the displays have male pins spaced 0.1 inches.  This page has instructions for building the wiring harness.  Since the displays only use 12 of the 16 pins, and they are in groups of 6, I will likely use two 6 pin housings for each display.  I can get all the parts at the local electronics shop.

More pictures to follow.


  1. Did you abandon your thread? I am also building a chess clock based on atmel micros. I'll follow your progress here.

  2. Building the connectors is going much slower than I had hoped. I have finished the cables running from the displays and soldered them to a perf board. Next I need to build the cables from the arduino to the perf board. Finally will be the wiring for the switches and LEDs.

    I had hoped to have this done by April 25th to show it off at a chess tournament in Santa Fe, but I don't think I will make it.