Use a dremel/minicraft dril with a cutting disc/grinding wheel to cut 4 slots to fit the connectors through and then bond some plastic 'L' brackets to th abck and bond the USB assmbly to them.
Well thought I'd start working on the bits of my car pc I can till I get my LCD so today seeing I'm off work I thought I'd get my control panel done (or at least planned)
Went down the local scrappy (is it sad I love just wandering about looking in all the cars for stuff I want and being able to see my car with the dash out? ) £5 later I had some bit I needed and a new front ash tray.
I want to get a 4 port USB hub (memory stick for updating software/grabbing songs off the HDD on the go/kb/mouse etc) and some LED's and switches.
I can put a face plate over the ash tray of about 9.5 by 5.5 cm I'm a non smoker so not losing anything! I kind of sketched out roughly what I want to do
large illuminated buttons for power and reset, the four usb and lights for power HDD and wifi.
the only thing I can't work out is how to mount the USB below without cutting a big hole in the plate and having the ugly mess of the whole thing showing, any ideas how to get a clean install like in my mock up? I can't work out how I could cut four perfect rectangles in non thin plexi cleanly :/
Have a metal plate which you bolt/affix the USB ports to, and make a facia with double sided tape that goes over the front and hides the bolts etc.
Do you have the original trim piece for those 4 USB ports? If so cut one large rectangle and put that behind. If not, be patient, start underside, and use a small rectangular needle file to get your final size. I'd cut off the little flanges on each plug also. Having them there requires a larger cutout and the result is an oversize hole after installation.
I LOVE scrounging scrapyards for parts! Theres nothing like shopping for stuff you don't know you need or want until you set eyes on it. And of course its always the best time to stock up on misc. little fasteners, clips, etc.
sadly the box it was housed in is a rather odd shape and not really of any use I think the best bet is to cut a large hole and feed the thing through it and then put a small bar in the middle down the vertical plane.Originally Posted by Altimat
All you need from the original box is the area with the four rectangular holes in it with a small border. I'd cut that part out and use it.
Originally Posted by Altimat
Use a dremel or what not to make the 4 rough holes, and then go in with a small file to do the fine detail work. Id suggets finding something that you could mock a single USB port, maybe a piece of platic or wooden stock. That way you can check each hole for its fitting individually as the hub wont allow it.
I don't know that they could do it on something that isn't flat, but I had a switch panel made up last year by a guy who engraves nameplates (the kind made of plastic with two layers and they cut away one to expose the other color underneath), trophies, and such.
The price was pretty reasonable. He engraved the legends for the switches, cut out the rectangular holes for the switches, and drilled the mounting holes as well based on my sketch with dimensions. It turned out pretty well and I'm sure it is more accurate than I would have done by hand. I had him use a black textured plastic with white behind. You can backlight it and see the switch legends at night. He had some samples of aircraft instrument panels done that way. I don't know how well mine works, because I never got around to actually hooking the lights up to the dash dimmer.
IMO, the best way is like Altimat says. Just cut the face off the original plastic so you have a flat thing with 4 perfect holes. Then if you need it to be larger, put that flush into a larger plate like a 5 4/1" bay blank or maybe something bigger, cut holes for button and LED placement, glue it in place to hold it, fill gaps with bondo filler, sand it smooth, and use black texture paint to make it all look like one. Then cut this large piece to fit as if it's the ash tray. No need to modify any original parts of the car!