Being an idiot and not thinking about what I would need, I had ignored several opportunities in the last week to buy a few standoffs, so now I needed to fabricate some. Fortunately I found some 1/4" aluminum rod, so I cut off a couple inches, mounted it in a vice on the drill press and bored it out for a #6x32 screw. I happened to find a couple suitable screw in my miscelaneous screw bin left over from when my father worked at the Stanford linear accelerator back in the '60s! My hole stayed pretty well centered and I tapped it out, grinding my tap down a little on the tip to get a little better bottom thread. With an inch or so tapped out, The LCD mounting points on the cover at the bottom end (visible in the photo above) ended up being in a transitional area where a ridge in the molding prevented mounting a standoff, so once again the rotary tool was used to grind down the area so that a proper mounting could be established.
I carefully measured the distance from the top plate to the top of the LCD board, which was different at each end because of the grinding, and cut the desired standoff length from my short length of threaded rod. Tapping it out a little deeper after cutting off the first two pieces. The spring hinge on the top accidentally slammed shut while I was doing a test fitting and I ended up loosing (only) one of the standoffs and had to make another one after searching for 10 minutes. I screwed the standoffs onto the LCD module, and put it on the upside down cover plate and experienced one of those very short moments of satisfaction in the material world. The button holes ended up pretty close but slightly skewed, and the hole for the reset button on the far end had to be enlarged a little, not too bad for a prototype. I mixed up a little epoxy and seated the standoffs in the epoxy while they were still attached to the LCD shield to maintain their alignment. The next morning I mounted the Freeduino board to the LCD shield and fit it into the box. It only goes in one way, and I have to be a little careful, but it seems like it will work fine.
- Rotary tool with cutoff disk
- drill press & drills,
- 1" mill file, hack saw,
- #6x32 tap, guide pin, hammer.
- Outdoor Metal Junction box (1/2" pipe thread connections)
- Weatherproof Cover Plate
- 4 6x32 3/8" machine screws,
- 1.5"x1/4" dia. aluminum rod, epoxy.