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Thread: Scion xB '06, in-dash Atom 330, Lilliput 889GL; details, pictures, links. Index: pg 1

  1. #151
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Head Unit Support, Version 4

    I've made so many refinements to the design of this head unit support that it deserves a new version number, so this is Version 4. Parts are smaller and generally simpler, especially with addition of the hook-and-loop (Velcro) fastening for the DVD unit.

    First, I made the DVD support smaller -- it doesn't extend back as far, now -- because the Velcro eliminated the need for a back extension to hold the little 1/2" x 1/2" DVD locater bracket. Then I eliminated the front and back 1/8" flanges; the load on this bracket is very evenly distributed, so it won't sag -- the material has enough strength without flanges. The ability to move the DVD unit up and down relative to the head unit is meaningless for my personal installation -- I'll put mine right down as close as possible -- but I left the capability in the design in case we need a that flexibility in another installation.

    Here's the DVD support bracket, seen from the front:

    Click images to enlarge.

    The DVD guide brackets got a bit more complex when they also became USB port brackets, but that change actually adds only a single bend to produce the front face, plus a little more cutting. Here they are:



    They'll be attached by Velcro, too, so there are no holes for fasteners. I should comment here that industrial-strength Velcro is really tough stuff, and it will hold these things in place just fine, especially when we consider that there's no load on them.

    If you're considering Velcro, you can also consider good foam tape. Velcro is repositionable, where the foam tape is not, but either is a good solution. The tape is strong, too -- it's what they use to attach wheel weights when balancing tires on alloy rims; I've never heard of anyone losing a wheel weight attached this way. For information on the gold standard of tapes, check this 3M VHB tape link. There are lots of foam tapes out there, including those available at hardware stores and home centers.

    The base has remained much the same, but the bend angles on the attachment tabs -- the ones with holes -- have been refined for a nice tight fit:



    The side brackets are completely different. While it seemed good in theory to have lots of positioning flexibility, I really don't need that much. So I produced side plates that hold the head unit temporarily in position until I determine where it's going to be permanently; then I'll rivet them in place. The rivets will hardly protrude, and so they won't rub against the sides of the bay where this will be installed. Here's a bracket by itself, and one in position:



    There's one change that would be easy to implement: make the side brackets part of the base. If the position stays just where I have it, I may make another base with integrated side brackets, and keep this one for our next installation. It would be easy enough to make slots in the parts if we need to change the head unit's position in the new installation.

    Here are two pictures showing everything in place, although the Velcro isn't there yet. The difference between the pictures is the placement of the DVD unit and the USB port brackets, which can vary any way we want:



    And here's how it looks from the rear:



    Once the weather clears, I'll go out to the car and do a final fit check and get some pix of this system installed. Then I think we can call this good until I determine the final positions of the parts as I build the bezel.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  2. #152
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Adding the Velcro

    I stopped at Home Depot on the way home today and picked up the industrial strength Velcro for the USB port + DVD brackets and the DVD unit. I got the kind that comes in 2"-wide strips, which I cut down to 3/4" strips for the brackets and 1/2" strips for the DVD unit. A single 3/4" strip on each bracket and a pair of 1/2 strips on the DVD unit is more than enough to hold them in place. Actually, as strong as this stuff is, a couple of Velcro buttons on each would probably do just fine.

    This evening, I made the holes for the USB ports in the brackets. When the touch-up paint is dry, I'll get the Velcro on the parts and get some pictures of the assembly. I wanted to wait and put the Velcro on after making the holes for the USB ports, because I didn't want to dig metal bits out of the Velcro.

    I'll put the Velcro strips on the DVD support, but I'll just put Velcro buttons on the DVD unit I'm using for test fitting, because I haven't decided which unit I'll finally use in this installation. I'll put the full strips on the one I install.

    Could This Be the Mounting System I Want?

    This actually brings up an interesting point: the Velcro seems to have some vibration-damping and shock-damping properties. It's a pretty slick way to mount almost anything as long as it only has to withstand reasonable stresses. I can see using it to retain a PC in the dash or glove box; it would give good retention with relatively easy removal, and it may be just a little gentler when we hit bumps in the roadway.

    Foam tape can be used much the same way, or Velcro and foam tape could even be used together. If I mount a small sheet metal base plate in the car with some heavy foam tape, and then mount the PC (or amp or whatever) to the plate with Velcro, I can easily get the unit in and out, and yet it's held in tightly and has vibration-damping and shock-damping built into the mount.

    Hmmmm -- maybe this will change the way I decide to mount the PC. I'll work on that idea.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  3. #153
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Velcro Results

    I was interested in where Velcro came from, so here's a little information on Velcro Industries, found on Hoover's:

    "Velcro hook-and-loop fasteners originated in 1948 as the brainchild of rambling Swiss inventor George de Mestral, who became curious about cockleburs that stuck to his clothes. The resulting trademarked invention VELCRO (named for the French words "velour" and "crochet") can be separated and reclosed 10,000 times and can hold up to nine pounds per square inch. VELCRO has been around for more than 40 years".

    So, how does the Velcro work in this installation? Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that it works as advertised. The two strips of Velcro hold the DVD very well -- as I expected. Actually, because it's a temporary installation, there are two 3" x 1/2" strips on the DVD mount, but only four buttons of it on the DVD unit itself. It still stays right in place.

    But the brackets are a lot less successful. They work, but the brackets are relatively narrow -- 7/8" -- and so they can roll somewhat on their long axis, and they move around: if I push a USB plug into one of them, I can feel the Velcro flex. The brackets aren't going to fall off, but they're never really grabbed tightly, either. I'd like them to hold the DVD in place better laterally, too. The brackets just feel loose -- definitely not OEM.

    I tried removing the brackets and repositioning them, putting them back on so I had to push the DVD down into place, but there's still too much wobble in the brackets, even though the DVD is stable.

    There are other, somewhat-similar kinds of fasteners that hold more tightly, but they're not as easy to reposition, and that's one of the benefits I hoped to have with the Velcro. In my spare parts bins, I have a couple pieces of a plastic Velcro competitor. Although it's unlabeled, I suspect it's 3M Dual-Lock.

    So maybe it's time to re-think this.

    There are a few solutions I can see:
    • go back to Home Depot and get the low-profile Velcro buttons that would move around less; I think it would be better, but the brackets would still flex with pressure, so they wouldn't feel OEM.
    • keep the Velcro, but make a channel that goes over the DVD unit and connects the brackets into a single unit; they'd have much greater effective width, and that would provide stability; they wouldn't rock as much.
    • scrap the Velcro on the brackets and modify the existing brackets by making slots in them and drilling matching holes in the DVD support; keep the Velcro for the DVD.
    • do the same as above, and use the connecting channel, too; keep the Velcro for the DVD.
    • replace the Velcro on the existing brackets with the Dual Lock; keep the Velcro for the DVD.

    My first inclination was to just go with the third choice: modify the existing brackets with slots and fasteners; that's an easy choice because I know how to do it.

    But I like to try new stuff, so, before I revert to slots and fasteners, I'll try the Dual Lock. It's available at Amazon; current price is $12.10 for two strips 5/8" x 10 feet. It's available by the yard at iTapestore, where price varies by quantity (it's expensive in small quantities). It's also available at Radio Shack as item 64-2360, but it's far from cheap: online or in the store, two sets of strips (under the Superlock name), 1" x 3" each, are $3.99. Ouch! Despite that price, I bought it at our local Radio Shack, so there was tax, but there was no shipping cost and I didn't have to wait for delivery.

    I'll get it installed on the brackets to see if that resolves the feeling of instability.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  4. #154
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Dual-Lock Results

    Here are the brackets in position:

    Click image to enlarge.


    The brackets hold the DVD tightly on each side, and the Dual-Lock holds the brackets in place as if they're screwed down. Looks like this is the fastening system of choice where we may want to move parts around later on.

    The Velcro is still fine on the DVD unit, but The DVD could also be attached with the Dual-Lock; after I pick the unit I'll use, I could do that with the spare strips I have in the parts bin. But the Dual-Lock definitely doesn't have the shock-damping and vibration-damping properties that Velcro does. That may not be much of an issue here, because the brackets hold the DVD unit so tightly that it's probably going to feel every bump through the brackets.

    And there's one other important consideration with the Dual-Lock: once these brackets were installed, they were hard to get off. I used the whole 1" x 3" strip on each side; I had to pry them apart with a flat-blade screwdriver when I decided to move them. I could probably have used a 1/2"-wide strip and had the same result, or mounted two 1/4"-wide strips at the outer edges of the bracket. That would mean I'd have gotten the same result with half as much material, and allowed for easier removal. If you use this product, remember that it holds on like a bulldog.

    If frequent repositioning is the plan, then Velcro may be easier to work with than Dual-Lock. But for this particular application, and any other where rock-solid positioning is required, Dual-Lock is perfect.

    This material would be a great way to mount a dash camera because it would stay accurately positioned, but the camera could still be removed for other uses. It's going to take some more experimentation with Dual-Lock to determine just how much or little to use so the device will be solidly mounted, but will still come off easily.

    If I were just buying one product or the other, I'd take the Dual-Lock, even though it's significantly more expensive.

    I'll get a picture showing it from the back so you can see how the brackets sit. Then I'll get it installed in the car.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #155
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    DVD Support System

    Here's a rear view of the DVD mount and brackets, using the Dual-Lock material (there's a front view in the previous post):

    Click image to enlarge.

    If I had this to do all over again, I'd use half as much of the Dual-Lock, probably just 1/2" strips down the middle of the brackets, so they'd be easier to remove and reposition as needed while I'm designing, building and fitting the bezel.

    I'll get it installed and get an in-vehicle picture.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  6. #156
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Final Head Unit Support Installed

    I've temporarily riveted the base and side brackets together with a single rivet on each side. When I get ready for the final installation, I'll drill those rivets out, mark their final relative positions, and install two rivets on each side. For now, the system fits and works just as I wanted it to. Here's the head unit installed in what should be somewhere close to its final position:

    Click image to enlarge.

    There's no bezel installed here; it's further down the list of projects. I'll have to decide how the USB ports will integrate into the bezel, but I'm leaving that decision until I'm actually building that part of the bezel.

    The first version of this head unit support was really, really stout, and probably would have been just fine through some very rough roads and even an accident. But it was way over-engineered -- I was driving a thumbtack with a sledgehammer -- and it lacked a place for a DVD unit.

    I prefer this redesigned system because
    • it's lighter and simpler, but strong enough to do the job well
    • it can be duplicated with relatively simple tools
    • it's far easier to make and install
    • it gives more positioning flexibility
    • it includes space for the DVD unit

    It was a long road getting to the point where I can say this: I'm satisfied with the result.

    The one change I'm considering would be to build a slight angle into the USB faces on the brackets, so they'd align with the curved face of the head unit. That's an easy change to make, although it means making the brackets again. I'll incorporate the change into the part drawings and, if I decide to make the change while I'm fitting the bezel, I'll make the new parts then.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #157
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    How Do You Make Slots?

    When I was building the sheet metal parts to move my head unit, I was able to do all the shaping, drilling, slotting and filing in the flat; then, after a trip through the bender or the vise -- or both -- the parts were done.

    The biggest dilemma was cutting slots in the sheet metal. With my current equipment, I use a drill press to drill the end holes, and a rotary cutoff tool (much like a Dremel) to cut out the space between them. It's almost the last process in building the parts, and one slip makes a lousy-looking part; it isn't unusable, but it has a nick or cut that shouldn't be there, and I want my parts to look as close as possible to OEM. It's not a very precise method. I've also tried an air-powered nibbler, but it isn't very precise, either.

    Is there a better way to make slots than this? I'm not ready to buy a milling machine. I guess a milling attachment for a drill press is one option. I'm open to suggestions.

    Do you know any slick, low-budget ways to make nice, clean slots in sheet metal? I'll post a similar question in the Fabrication forum, and cross-report any answers I get.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  8. #158
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Slot-Making Update

    I got a couple of answers to my "How Do *You* Make Slots?" question in the Fabrication forum. As promised, here they are, with my replies:

    Quote Originally Posted by kibble View Post
    I just do what you do but I make the openings a tiny bit smaller than actually needed. Then I get a smooth file and carefully remove material until I get it to the size/shape I want. Haven't come up with a better way to do it without the big tools, yet. :-(
    I agree. My standard technique in metalworking is to go a bit oversize, and file to the dimension I want. On holes, I go undersize, like you, and file to the size I want. A set of miniature files make the fine work a lot easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazza_84 View Post
    is there no way of getting a punch style tool put ur work in a vise, place the punch where you want it then either press it or the prefered meth of bang it with a hammer

    not got to this stage yet, just an idea
    The problem with most of those manual techniques is aligning the punch and the die well enough that we don't destroy one or the other when we tighten the vise or whack them with the hammer.

    I did search for "sheet metal punch", and I ran into some light duty portable punches, like this $24 hand-held punch from JC Whitney. It looks very similar to this punch from BrandsOnSale.com. Neither company lists the source, but they appear to be like units from Roper Whitney, which has a webpage here showing punches and tooling, including slot-forming tooling, plus a low-cost bench-mounting base for the portable punch. This could be a pretty good alternative to hand-forming. Roper Whitney lists the price on the punch as $55, the kit with tooling and a case at $80, and the base at $28. I couldn't find a price on slot tooling, but their price for a 3/16" round punch and die set is $11.

    **EDIT:
    I modified the text to show that the punches from JC Whitney and BrandsOnSale.com are NOT from Roper Whitney, but are apparently copies. There's no way to know if Roper Whitney's slot tooling will work in the knockoff tools, so it's probably best to just buy the Roper Whitney tool if we buy this to make slots. The slot tools are available from Roper Whitney distributors.**
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  9. #159
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Slot-Making Update #2

    (posted in the "How Do *You* Make Slots?" thread I started in Fabrication)

    More on Punching Tools

    The sheet metal punches seem like an interesting approach for making slots, especially if slotting dies are available. The Roper Whitney tool can definitely punch slots, but it's not a low-cost solution. I don't know if the tools from JC Whitney and BrandsOnSale.com can use the same die sets as the Roper Whitney tool. Until I discover otherwise, I'll have to assume they're just good for punching round holes.

    But, even if the punch only produces round holes, it has advantages of over the drill for making the end holes; it's quieter, produces a cleaner hole, and leaves just a slug for waste. I could still use the cutoff wheel, or perhaps a series of overlapping holes could be filed down to make a slot.

    I did some more research on the WWWeb, and we can add to the list of similar tools the larger 3-1/4" throat depth Deep Throat Metal Hand Punch from Harbor Freight, which costs $25. The base for it is $10. That looked like it could be a $35 solution, plus the cost of shipping.

    It's interesting how things work out. I happened to be close to our local Harbor Freight this afternoon, and went in to see what they had in stock. Their Deep Throat Metal Hand Punch was on sale for $18, and the base for it was on sale for $5. I just couldn't pass it up.

    I'll test it this weekend.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  10. #160
    Constant Bitrate roflcopter's Avatar
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    Looking forward to how it turns out.

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