Posted on October 6, 2005
I needed an interesting case for an embedded Linux/Wireless control computer that will be installed in a Science Museum running some mechanical Art.
I looked all around the house for something "interesting" to use for a case, but I couldn't find anything the right size, so I decided to see if I could make a small case out of K'nex.
I started with an EPIA 5000 MINI-ITX sized motherboard and a Belkin Wireless Access Point.
K'nex are very easy to use since you can assemble them in many ways. You can choose to make a very densely connected case using white circles and green rods, or a loosely connected case using longer rods. I chose to use blue rods which made the building go a little bit faster, but still make a very stiff case with little flex.
The case does not need to be rectangular either. If you wanted to include an
AC power supply in one corner, you can build a small "room" attached to one end of the case for the power supply.
As I started building, I found that I could use the many K'nex shapes to build mounting points for the Compact Flash adapter, the indicator LEDs, the power switch and the DC power jack.
The connector-side view of the completed case.
Bottom view of the completed case showing the motherboard mounted to a sheet of thin plywood .
I removed the Belkin AP from its plastic case, and mounted it to a sheet of thin plywood using "t-nuts" from the local hobby shop.
Then I used small screws and washers to mount the plywood to the K'nex, Be careful you don't use screws that are too long or you will short out the APs PCB.
I used a Sherline lathe to bore a hole through a white K'nex rod so that the APs coaxial antenna wire could pass through. I need to unsolder the wires from the PCB and then solder them back after running them through the white rod.