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I'm planning to build a wooden box project for my Raspberry PI, plus speakers. The layout / configuration that I'm thinking of is a three box system; one for the Raspberry PI (plus joystick, buttons, power supply, connectors etc) and the other 2 for the speakers. I would like the system to have two modes; packed and unpacked. Thus packed would look like this:

    +----------+---------------+----------+
   /          /               /          /|
  /          /               /          / |
 /          /               /          /  |
+----------+---------------+----------+   |
|          |               |          |   |
| Left     | Controller    | Right    |   +
| Speaker  |               | Speaker  |  / 
|          |               |          | /  
|          |               |          |/   
+----------+---------------+----------+

And then open up to unpacked like this:

    +----------+    +---------------+    +----------+
   /          /|   /               /|   /          /|
  /          / |  /               / |  /          / |
 /          /  | /               /  | /          /  |
+----------+   |+---------------+   |+----------+   |
|          |   ||               |   ||          |   |
| Left     |   +| Controller    |   +| Right    |   +
| Speaker  |  / |               |  / | Speaker  |  / 
|          | /  |               | /  |          | /  
|          |/   |               |/   |          |/   
+----------+    +---------------+    +----------+

Now the question; What cool / weird mechanism for moving the boxes apart can you suggest?

  • I would like the whole mechanism made from wood
  • The boxes are about 20x20cm or 30x30cm
  • The mechanism can't move across the back and top of the Controller box (all the plugs etc are there)
  • The box should move about 10cm apart, to fit a (flat) hand between the speaker- and controller box (on each side)

One can go as far as having the speakers swing from underneath to the unpack position, etc...

  • Nice ASCII graphics! Don't forget the latches to hold the whole thing together. (As Bowlturner pointed out) – FreeMan Aug 14 '15 at 14:46
  • 20x20x? 30x30x? Unless they are cubes, boxes are usually described using three dimensions. – Ast Pace Aug 18 '15 at 4:19
  • @AST Pace, I agree, my apology for being unclear, it is state just to give an indication of size - which might have an impact on the mechanism, I was referring to the width x depth/length as the high is not that important. My current plan is for 20x20x15cm (w-d-h) – TungstenX Aug 18 '15 at 6:58
1

What about hidden mechanism? Neodymium magnets inserted into holes from inner-side of each "connect" planes.

Number and size of magnets you have to explain.

 Control  Speaker
+~~~~~~~++~~~~~~~+
|       ||       |
+-+----+||+----+-+
| |oooo||||oooo| |
| |oooo||||oooo| |
+-+----+||+----+-+
|       ||       |
+~~~~~~~++~~~~~~~+
  • Sounds like a good idea. – TungstenX Aug 14 '15 at 8:47
  • 2
    I love neodym magnets, but... sure they do not interfere with either the speakers or components within the microcomputer? Speakers have magnets (though cheap ferrite ones), too. I'm not an audio engineer, but I could imagine that bringing a massively powerful magnet near them, inside the case, might distort their field and impair quality. Same for having strong magnet fields in immediate neighbourhood of high-frequency components. Although I can't immediately answer why, this thought doesn't make me feel good. – Damon Aug 14 '15 at 11:33
  • Those magnets could play havoc with the electrical equipment, especially the raspberry pi. – bowlturner Aug 14 '15 at 12:56
  • 1
    I doubt static magnets a few cm away from anything electrical would do anything to anything. You are probably not opening and closing the mechanism over an over again while listening to music; forgetful that you have wound wire around some metallic part somewhere. Also; the people behind the Raspberry have most certainly developed electronics hardware before and know about the explicit and implicit rules about components, electricity and magnets. – LosManos Aug 15 '15 at 14:37
  • 1
    Magnetic force magnitude drops off quickly, intemag.com/faqs.html#strengthdistance – TungstenX Aug 16 '15 at 13:39
1

What cool / weird mechanism for moving the boxes apart can you suggest?

Well I can't speak to cool or weird but the first two things I thought of were an X mechanism similar to that used in some collapsible laundry baskets:

X mechanism

or these shelves. With the X made from thin hardwood stock and oriented flat under the boxes.

Second was just to have one or more long 'tenons' or tongues that would be fixed to the underside of the middle box and slide in shallow grooves/dados on the outer boxes. Either one very wide tongue in the centre, or two narrower ones close to the front and back edges (this is likely better able to resist twisting or misalignment).

This would be basically an all-wood version of an underslung slide mechanism such as this one:

Under-mounted drawer slide

1

I would go with something like a swing arm. Like ones used for TV's TV Swing Arm.

You might be able to find hardware the right size for your speakers or you could make one. All you really need would on bar with a hinge on either end.

Then you could have a one latch on each side to hold the speakers closed to the controller.

  • Oh, the latches to hold the whole thing together, excellent point! – FreeMan Aug 14 '15 at 14:45
  • I saw a really neat monitor stand like this using CNC'ed plywood ... wewastetime.com/tag/storage – Daniel B. Aug 14 '15 at 21:43

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