Sunday, March 20, 2016

Last M.A.M.E Standing part 12: Bits N Pizzas

It's been a while, so it's update time: It's up, it's working. Now it's time to tidy the damn thing up and get some controls in there...

Firstly, some problem solving - to fit two sheets of 3mm perspex over the front of the marque, I needed a couple of stops to rest them against. To put the stops in place I needed to remove the supporting brackets from the bottom shelf. Once they were out the weight of the speakers proved a bit too heavy so some more structural support was needed (Screws. So many screws). What's in there doesn't pretty but you won't see them once the perspex goes on.

My wife also came to the rescue when it came time to make a speaker cover. I recycled the coverings off the Logitech speakers and she sewed them up in the middle to create a nice little length of material. A whole heap of mini screws and some black paint for the hinges later and the speakers are now finished.

While at a loose end today I cut out a recess for the temp gauge, power and reset switch under the controls. I found part of the transmitter box I unscrewed to make brackets earlier made bang on jigsaw guides as well as emergency straight edges:

I knew this would come in handy..
Hey it fits!
On and reset within reach!
Originally I was going to create a nice perspex front and spray paint around the sides of the screen for a 'Oh this looks nice!' effect but after pricing how much a freshly cut sheet would be ($6 a square foot), I laughed and spent all of $3.84 on a sheet of MDF that I could cut and scrape to my needs.

Wait, I can't see through this thing...yet
While it's a 60cm x 90cm sheet for some reason my opening is 62cm...but it was a fairly simple job of cutting it down to roughly where it should be.

Er...I still can't see Dungeons and Dragons now..
That sticker has to go...

Of course it was only when I was working on the opening did I realize that the way I had mounted the screen caused a few headaches with the fitment. For some reason one side was too far forward and lower than the other. So I had to take the back cover off, unscrew the mounting plates, jam some small wooden shims under them (from a cut off Venetian blind of all things), push it back and re-screw. This helped...a little. But still made things better than they were.

By the time I'd plotted, jigsawed and opened up the dimensions and angles weren't exactly 100% but I was more than happy with my cheap screen surround. You'll notice that I've hit the control panel with a couple of layers of British Paints Satin Black Enamel - the spray can is a bit all over the shop and being enamel it marks incredibly easily if you don't let it dry properly but it's not bad for the price. Plus once I did the surround, it really came into it's own!

Ahh, much better!

With a bit more red paint (Candy apple) it's really looking ready for business!
My marquee lights arrived yesterday...from Hong Kong. Debating on what I should try to fit in there I took the amazingly expensive ($2 including delivery!) route and got two 30cm 12V Led strips sent over to the shed. I figured if anything went wrong (they never arrived, they didn't work etc) it was only two bucks down the drain and not 12 or so to get roughly the same thing locally.

Wiring them up in parallel and plugging them into a spare outlet on the computer power supply, I was stoked that they fired up first time and almost drowned the shed in bright light when I turned the main lights off.

Also from Hong Kong my LED test buttons (I wanted to try a couple before I bought a full set) turned up so it was time to break out the boring bits for the drill and create a massive amount of mess in the shed (MDF - dust for months!)

First drill the right size hole..

Having no idea about layout, I printed out a couple of setups from Slagcoin which proved to be invaluable, especially when used as cutout templates.

Taking a break from the button sides of things, I made a pair of home made light diffusing panels for the leds. Using a mitre box I created some wedges to glue the foil wrapped mdf sheets and wedged the light bar (led's on a length of pine) in the middle. With that I put my cheap bit of perspex in there, glued my printed out Robotech inspired artwork on top and low and behold:


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