Boca Build 2.0 Geared Sliding Puzzle: Control Box

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Boca Build 2.0 Geared Sliding Puzzle: Control Box

Feb 19, 2018

Chad B.


gear puzzle

 

gear puzzle

 

The geared puzzle is ready for its electronics. It has been running off of an Arduino Uno that is plugged directly into the wall. Boca wanted to include a simple timer and switch so that the piece can be displayed as well as played. I was working on the fabrication but I needed help on the electronics so I turned to my friend Associate Professor Bryan Cera. Bryan also went to UWM working with Professor Frankie Flood earning his MFA.

 

First, Bryan used a bread board to mock up all the electronics including a digital display, main power switch, toggle switch for the motor and an Arduino Nano.

 

gear puzzle

 

gear puzzle

 

Bryan used the various tutorials provided by AdaFruit to wire and program the screen. He also made several changes for how the timer would be displayed, the lights on the buttons and how fast the motor would run (to name a few).

 

gear puzzle

 

Bryan not only had everything working but added a few extras. To keep things clean, he made his own board for the Nano and all the wires. Check out this great posting Bryan put together on PCB fabrication on a different project. Here, one side has the circuits and soldering ...

 

gear puzzle

 

... while the other has all the connectors. It kept the control box from just being a messy nest of wires. I am very happy with the results.

 

gear puzzle

 

Arduino Nano mounted to BC PCB.

 

gear puzzle

 

For the electronics housing, I used an old thermostat cover salvaged by a friend of mine who works in HVAC. You may recall the Allen Bradley box that houses my electronics on my drill press/CNC router, same friend donated that one too.

 

I used a scribe to mark the hole for the screen and time button.

 

gear puzzle

 

I then used a jewelers saw to cut everything out. I will weld the small hole above the screen later.

 

gear puzzle

 

For the front, I used a piece of the mahogany from the puzzle squares. The big white button starts, stops and resets the timer while also flashing when the timer is counting. The red switch (it has been replaced with a blue one) is for the main power while the toggle switch on the right turns the motor on and off.

 

gear puzzle

 

Shot of the inside mocked up with the screen and buttons.

 

gear puzzle

 

For the back, I used a piece of steel that used to be a housing for a power supply I pulled from an old computer. It had a couple of bends in it that would help me fasten it to the rest of the box.

 

gear puzzle

 

I then drilled some holes and fit some grommets I had laying around for the main power line and the wires going to the motor.

 

gear puzzle

 

I used some powder coating from Powder By the Pound for the power box and part of the frame.

 

gear puzzle

 

After sandblasting, I apply the powder coat before it goes into an oven at 400 F for around 10 minutes.

 

gear puzzle

 

Here is a picture of the inside with most of the pieces in place.

 

gear puzzle

 

Front. It is a little difficult to see the display in the picture. Once it reaches 99 min 59 sec, it reads "boca" as seen in the picture at the top of this posting.

 

gear puzzle