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Wood enclosure for IV-18 clock + other electronics projects?
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Wood enclosure for IV-18 clock + other electronics projects?

by nix_clk_dd on Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:25 pm

I would like to build a wood enclosure for my IV-18 clock out of some type of hardwood, but I am a little cautious about combining wood with components carrying heat and electricity.

    1. Planning to route out a solid piece of wood or build a box, stain it, and then use a polyurethane finish.
    2. Can use nylon hex standoffs and screws to lift the PCB from the wood and mount it to an aluminum bottom plate.
I'm sure you know the specs of the ice tube clock: 9V 0.6A AC/DC "wall wart" with boost converter ~ 40V-70V
Also planning to build an enclosure for a Nixie clock: 12V 0.5A AC/DC "wall wart" with switched-mode voltage booster circuit ~ 164V-176V

Please let me know if there are any special precautions I should take or if you have any recommendations like ventilation, minimum distance from the wood, insulation, etc.
Thanks so much!

jarchie wrote:Forum user liljester put his Ice Tube Clocks in wooden cases. I think both builds used my firmware and one used my board redesign:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=14769&start=180#p461459
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=14769&start=180#p557570

One of the tricks he used for the display mount was to ditch the side PCB, and run wires directly to the display header in the main board, as shown earlier in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=43836&p=472696#p472696

Just to be safe, I would also suggest allowing a way for heat to dissipate, perhaps through a metal base plate or alternatively cut some small vents in the back?


Good idea regarding the "ribbon cable". I could try something like that in addition to using the PCBs because I'll have enough parts for 2-3 IV-18 clocks!

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Re: Wood enclosure for IV-18 clock + other electronics proje

by adafruit_support_mike on Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:02 am

Trapped heat and ventilation are issues for any enclosure, but usually aren't major problems.

You can get a sense for the amount of heat a circuit generates by putting it in a cardboard box about the size of the enclosure you want, along with a thermometer. If you see a 10C increase in temperature, you'll want to plan some ventilation.

The easiest solution is to let the passive heat flow do the work for you: leave an open space toward the back of the enclosure at the top, so the warmest air can exit that way, then cut holes in the bottom to let new/cool air flow in.

That should be all you need. The original Ice Tube clock lived in an acrylic case, and acrylic is more heat sensitive than wood.

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Re: Wood enclosure for IV-18 clock + other electronics proje

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:44 am

The Ice Tube does not generate a tremendous amount of heat. The stock plexiglass case does not have any ventilation and gets barely warm to the touch in operation. Wood will be somewhat more insulating, so it will hold more heat in. Holes top and bottom as suggested by Mike will give you some convective cooling.

Pulling the tube out of the main case removes a significant heat source. The Ice Tube in the photos below has minimal ventilation for the main board and has been going strong for 7 years now.

Image

The electronics pockets in both of these clocks were routed from solid wood. Faceplates and access panels are attached via magnets.

Image

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Re: Wood enclosure for IV-18 clock + other electronics proje

by nix_clk_dd on Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:31 pm

Thanks a lot! I'll keep these suggestions in mind when I build my enclosures :)
I will be sure to post some photos when I'm done.

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