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Thread: Enclosures: Buy or Make

  1. #1
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    Post Enclosures: Buy or Make

    I am putting together a system to fit in the spare tire compartment of my new 2001 Civic (you Civic owners know what I'm talking about). I need an enclosure that is no bigger than 16.5"x10"x4.5" and no smaller than 15.75"x7.87"x3.5". I'm thinking a 16x8x4 or 16x10x4 would be perfect.

    My question is: Make or buy. I've seen enclosures for 60 bucks or so, but that seems really expensive, and I'd have to chop a half inch or so off them anyway.

    But I don't think making one would be that much cheaper, and it would definatly be harder, since I don't exactly have a metal shop in my apartment....

    Any suggestions?

    [email protected]
    2001 Honda Civic
    Mp3 player under construction

  2. #2
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    Make it out of Acrylic or Plexiglas, that is what alot of people do. I choose Acrylic myself. All you really need is a good size sheet (avail. at many hardware stores), a "Plastic cutting knife", acrylic glue (hobby shops), and a "Dremel" type tool is useful. I have pictures of the final product and some tips for working with acrylic on my web page. It will cost you about $30 (US) to build one.

    Good luck!
    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/Maveric/ M.A.V.I.C. System
    Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/listings/ MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)

  3. #3
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Cool

    I'd prefer to make a case. It will take a lot of time, but it will be cheaper and you then have the opportunity to customise it. This is especially true if you are tying to put it into a weirdly shaped area.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  4. #4
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    Talking

    Thanks guys. The acrylic worked out great!
    2001 Honda Civic
    Mp3 player under construction

  5. #5
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    Question

    Aaron, what's the diff between plexi and acrylic? Is acrylic more scratch-proof?
    ~mw
    PII 266, 512 MB RAM, 10 Gig, 36x CD-ROM, 16x DVD, DeLorme GPS, 5.6" LCD Screen, Dschmidt power controller, Keypower ATX DC-DC Supply, PowerAmp Macro controller, Dauphin mini-Kbd.
    Sony Head Unit, Sony Unilink input selector, rear deck Kenwood 6x9's, stock door spkrs... All in my '96 Civic, of course :}
    BC ROCKS!!!

  6. #6
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    Isn't plexiglass ACRYLIC plastic itself? I may be wrong....
    04 Acura TL w/ core2duo 2ghz laptop w/ 1gb RAM on a docking station.

    Fast car, fast PC. ;)

    http://www.arcdesigns.net/carpc/

    My TL CarPC ver2

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  7. #7
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dos4who?:
    <STRONG>Aaron, what's the diff between plexi and acrylic? Is acrylic more scratch-proof?
    ~mw</STRONG>
    That's a really good question. I'm just guessing here, but I believe they are basically the same. Plexiglass is the brand name if I remember correctly. However, I could be wrong.

    From what I have seen, acrylic is just as scratch prone as Plexiglass, and Lexan is even more scratch prone. If you care about scratching, the local Plexiglass supplier can probable get you a protective spray or film.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  8. #8
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    Aaron> what you think is the best way to attach the plexi pieces together at right angles? brackets? glue? Im gonna build a box very soon for this tiny mobo:
    http://www.geocities.com/partycar200...huttleFV24.jpg

    I also need some tips how to cut plexi. Is there such a thing as a plastic knife? or will any blade do? I also got some drilling bits and a dremel..but the dremel runs too hot and it melts the plexi =(
    04 Acura TL w/ core2duo 2ghz laptop w/ 1gb RAM on a docking station.

    Fast car, fast PC. ;)

    http://www.arcdesigns.net/carpc/

    My TL CarPC ver2

    FSR Flash Skin w/ moving weather maps

  9. #9
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    Use a plastic cutter. It works extremly well, and looks like this. Depending on the thickness, I used 1/4" acrylic (too thick for what you actually need), you need to score it 1/4 of the way through (about 6-10 cuts). It looks alot better if you use acrylic glue found at hobby stores. I used apoxy glue and brackets (because I couldn't find any acrylic glue), which gave mine a rugged look. DO NOT USE SUPER GLUE!
    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/Maveric/ M.A.V.I.C. System
    Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

    http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/listings/ MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)

  10. #10
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Cool

    I used just angle brackets to attach things together, but glue is probably the best way to go. I, however, like the "industrial" look the brackets provide.

    I cut my Lexan with a hacksaw, but it is very tedious and just plain annoying. The plexiglass knife is probably the best idea. Or, have your supplier cut it for you. Usually they will do this for minimal cost.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

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