Input on Enclosure Made from Dry Box (similar to an Otterbox)

The previous dome enclosure is not moving forward. After months of back and forth with the supplier (increased prices, longer lead time, etc), I’ve canceled the enclosure project. The design is complete, but there has been no progress on the tooling (mold).

We really need to put Dreamcatcher in an enclosure and it needs to happen quickly. The fastest, lowest-cost option is to modify a standard type of waterproof box.

The manufacturer will be adding mounting holes that allow Dreamcatcher to be screwed into place. There will also be two watertight holes to allow the microUSB cable and RF cable to enter the box. The box will be large enough to also hold the LNB.

Question: What other features should be considered? Please keep simplicity in mind with feature requests.

The color will be either white or light grey.

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I would like an lnb external universal mount that could bolt to the case ~ $3.00

and include the coax ~12" to hook it up ~ $2.50

and a micro-usb extender cable to get the connector outside the case

The universal LNB holders don’t allow for elevation change.

Sort-of… If you bend it

@Syed
I would agree to such a mounting box. Since the corners modifications to the 3.05, the box could be square, and if a bracket such as Jim @ac8dg suggests is provided, reinforcement could be engineered into the box for its support. I also agree with Jim that a full-length coax to connect it should be provided. It is difficult to find pre-made miniature cabling that is competent… most of what we can get out here is junk, lessons learned from trying to order it on the internet. I know that will add cost, but I, for one would be willing to spend more and have quality first time out of the box. Perhaps for the LNB mounting you could find one with a “knuckle” joint just below the grasp point. Another idea could be to have a raised/reinforced tab with a 1/4 inch hole, and use a common 40mm conduit clamp, as the ones I am using with my outdoor LNBs. Another method could be to place a raised 1/2" pipe threaded female connector, but this would need to come in a metric also (two raised connectors) for the folks in Europe, etc who can’t access US SAE pipe. This being said, if these are to be custom built, it would seem short (1/2"/1.5cm) female stubs would not add a great deal of cost. (Only my guess, of course).

Yes, we will be including everything necessary for reception in the box, with the exception of power.

What price point are you looking for… here is $9.59
https://www.newark.com/duratool/22-24140/weatherproof-case-polymer-yellow/dp/83X6732

edit: link to data sheet

@Syed
The box Jim @ac8dg linked is rather large, but agreed a fair price. Something 5" x 5" x 1" would suffice and be quite portable and more easily packed in luggage. I liked the unit shown with your first post.

That’s a good price, but we need customizations done to the mold.

1" is too thin. The LNB is almost 2.5" wide. But yes, the goal is to be as portable as possible. We need a bit of space next to the Dreamcatcher for the LNB, cable, holder, etc. I think it’s going to be closer to 5" x 10" x 2.5".

Why not go back to the Black ABS Plastic case you came out with years ago for L-band use that I modified for Ku-band. Here are some pictures of it to look at. The stakes on the back work great for elevation angles and there is plenty of room for cards inside. The biggest job was cutting the hole for the LNB and inserting it thru a rubber gasket. Now with the DC V3.05, you won’t need a place to put the Touch Screen as I have. But after I got everything mounted, the case has done fine by me. Ken



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My version 3.03 is mounted in the lid portion of a 6-1/2" x 8-1/2 dry box from WalMart, and this lid is only 1 inch deep. If this were only 5" square, it would be an ideal mounting and there is plenty of room. Are you saying that there needs to be room inside the box for the LNB?

@kenbarbi I would love to reuse that mold, but it would still require some modifications, which wouldn’t be cheap (it was made in the US). There are also two other points of concern with the old mold. Watertightness and ease of opening.

@maxboysdad Yes, the goal is for the enclosure to store all of the required components.

As to the water-tightness issue, I put thin rubber gaskets around the entire outer edge of the case. It fared well enough in rain, although I never left it out for long periods. The LNB was in a rubber gasket, but yes the power input was on the back unprotected. The Solar Cell was just left and all the internal holes were sealed. Certainly not water proof - - let’s say water resistant.

Ease of opening - - no way. It had 10 little stainless steel screws I always dropped at least 2 of them each time I went into the box, but it held the gasket tight.

Although slightly bigger than you propose, it had enough room for a Lipo and charger or my final solution - - an EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack.

How are you proposing to mount the LNB? Your original mold covered the LNB once it was sited. My approach is to site the box with stake legs as you were doing originally. Ken

I’m waiting for some engineering drawings, which will confirm the amount of space leftover for a battery pack. I’m not sure if the really large packs will be fit, but let’s see.

The LNB will be kept outside with a cable that goes through the box. The included holder will be some kind of stand that allows for skew and elevation adjustment? There was a suggestion to use a universal LNB holder, but that bracket needs to be bent for elevation changes.

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This simple device mounted on a 3" section of pipe, screwed into a formed connector on the case would work well, providing the ability for skew and elevation change. If

[quote=“Syed, post:15, topic:6312”]
“The LNB will be kept outside with a cable that goes through the box.”
[/quote], it would seem that a 5" x 5" X 1" box would contain all that is needed, unless you are going to provide a power supply. This box may even work: https://www.elephantcases.com/e090.html

Sorry, what I meant was that during reception, the LNB will be outside of the box. But for shipping and user-transportation, the LNB will be stored inside of the box. That is what drives the minimum internal height of 2.4-inches.

What is that thing in the picture called? A pipe hanger?

sometimes called conduit clamp, or conduit hanger (1 1/2" or 1 1/4" for 40 mm lnb)

What if you added a bracket like what’s on this light. Then add feet that can swivel out for stability. Then the whole case can rotate to the right elevation. Thumb screws would be best here. The lnb can even stay inside the case if that wont attenuate the signal.

Another option would be to bolt one of these to the case and a cheap lnb bracket to the top.

Edit: Does dreamcatcher tolerate heat well? If you are planning on using a waterproof box that is something to consider. When using L band I used a waterproof box to house everything. Even when it was in the shade I still had overheating issues.

I think we should add this to new feature request for skylark… to monitor and safely shutdown if it’s internal senors reach an overheating condition. I don’t think there is anyway auto-restart… but at least not damage the dreamcatcher.