Build your own iGEPv2 enclosure for under $5 (Part 2)

In Part 1, I described my reason for building my own iGEPv2 enclosure. Now the fun begins.

Hacking the Soap Box

Here is how I modified the soap box. The tools I used are:

  • a hobby drill
  • utility knife
  • small metal file
  • fine (200 or higher) grit sandpaper
  • gray Sharpie permanent marker (for making drill marks)
  • screwdriver
  • hex nut driver or long-nose pliers
To mount the PCB board on the case, I used these additional hardware parts:the 1/4" height metal standoff, a plastic nut and bolt
  • 4-40 hex metal standoff, 1/4″ height  (4 pcs)
  • 4-40 plastic nut  (3 pcs)
  • 4-40 plastic bolt  (4 pcs)

Construction Steps

  1. First, note that the iGEPv2 board has only 3 mounting holes. A combo Wifi/Bluetooth antenna sits on the area where the 4th hole would have been.
  2. Attach the three metal standoffs on the board temporarily so that you can guage how high to drill the holes for the two audio jacks. To do this, screw in the plastic nuts midway into each bolt. Then insert each bolt from the top of the board and screw in the metal standoff from the underside of the board. iGEPv2 board with temporary legs fastened
  3. Put the board inside the case and mark where the two audio jacks will come out. Take the board out and drill the holes. Be sure to make the holes wide enough so the lip of the two jacks potrude out of the holes, as shown below. By doing so, the audio side of the board will sit flush against the case. (In the pic below, the SDcard slot is already etched out. This is because I took the picture after the fact.)audio jack and SDcard holes
  4. Remove the metal standoffs and put the board back into the case. Mark the three holes where the metal standoffs will be mounted. You’ll just have to eyeball where the 4th hole needs to be. Remove the board and drill the mounting holes.iGEPv2 board with 3 yellow arrows showing where to mark and drill
  5. Cut one of the plastics bolts to approx 5/16″ length (just a little higher than the 1/4″ metal standoff).
  6. Turn the case upside down. Insert the bolts into the four holes you drilled and fasten them from inside the case with the metal standoffs. Make sure to put the shorter bolt (the one you just cut) into the 4th hole where. Then turn the case right side up.the soap box case with mountings on
  7. Put the board back inside the case. The 3 bolts should nicely come through the PCB holes. If not, loosen the metal standoffs and readjust.
  8. With the board in place, mark the slots for the power jack and 2 USB slots in front (I did not bother with the RS485 port), the SDcard on the side, the LAN and HDMI ports in the rear. Now go at it. Bore a hole (or series of small holes) on the area to be routed out then carve out the desired shape with a utility knife. Smooth out the edges with a metal file and a fine-grit sandpaper.soap box with all slots cut out
  9. After all the sweat and labor, here is the final product. Not bad, eh?iGEPv2 homebrew case

iGEPv2 case opened, showing board inside

Note: I used plastic screws instead of metal ones for two reasons: (1) to protect the iGEPv2 board from accidental electrical contact, (2) the head of the plastic bolts serve as “rubber feet”.

Back to Part 1

One Response to “Build your own iGEPv2 enclosure for under $5 (Part 2)”

  1. [...] Borglabs has a cool tutorial on how to hack a $5 soap box to make an enclosure. This is definitely the best value for money you’ll get. [...]