Circuit Armour: An Enclosure Kit for DIY Electronics
Circuit Armour: An Enclosure Kit for DIY Electronics
Circuit Armour will take your DIY electronics project from the breadboard to a professional looking, sealed product in under an hour.
Circuit Armour will take your DIY electronics project from the breadboard to a professional looking, sealed product in under an hour. Read more
About this project
What is it?
Have you ever built a sweet connected device but then struggled with how to mount and protect your hardware? We have, which is how Circuit Armour was conceived.
Circuit Armour is the first of its kind, all inclusive, enclosure kit for your DIY electronics project. The enclosure kit has everything you need to take your design from the breadboard to a professional looking, sealed product, in less than an hour.
What's in the kit?
Base and Seal: Let's start with the foundation, the base of the Circuit Armour enclosure will be made of durable UV resistant Nylon. The base features a rubber seal that will keep your electronics clean and dry when coupled with one of our sealed covers.
There are two mounting hole patterns: one external and one internal with M6 threaded inserts.
To see a full datasheet follow this link: www.CircuitArmour.com/datasheets/CA01.pdf.
Protoboard: The next important piece of the kit is the protoboard. The protoboard measures 4.75in x 3.25in (~120mm x 83mm) and this is what will house your circuit. It's a perfect size for the Auduino Nano/Mini, Raspberry Pi Zero, or Particle Photon/Electron.
The protoboard also features power/ground buses, an area for LED's, and a 12-Pin header for use with the sealed connector cover option. The protoboard does not require any fasteners, the cover will hold the board in place.
For detailed specifications on the protoboard, see sheet 3 and 4 of the datasheet: www.CircuitArmour.com/datasheets/CA01.pdf
Cover Options - There are three cover options: an unsealed cover for indoor or protected areas, a blank sealed cover, or a sealed cover with an integrated electrical connector. These options will be explained below.
The first is an unsealed cover which features two large holes in the bottom of the cover to run wiring through. This cover is sealed on 3 sides, excluding the bottom.
This is good for indoor use or in areas that are not directly exposed to the elements.
The second option is a completely sealed cover. This is good for projects were you don't have external wiring, or you want to customize the cover with your own displays, switches or connectors.
The third option is a sealed cover with an integrated 12-Pin connector. This molded in connector uses the 12-Pin header that is included with the protoboard, giving you a rugged, watertight assembly that looks professional.
This is good for applications where you need a sealed enclosure and need to run wiring to inputs and outputs. It allows you to quickly connect and disconnect your sensors and outputs.
The mating connector and sockets (Molex MX150 Series Connector) are included when you pick this cover option. All you need is a crimper and you are ready to start wiring!
All cover options come with a dedicated area for LED's and a punch out if you want to add an external antenna.
For more information on the cover options see sheets 1 and 2 of the datasheet: www.CircuitArmour.com/datasheets/CA01.pdf.
There is still one step missing to make your product truly look unique. The Circuit Armour kit comes with a set of labels and a template so you can print your own customized labels.
Use the supplied template to design your own label. Then print it, peal it and place it over the existing label. Now you have a professional looking product that is rugged and ready to deploy to the field.
For most projects you can have a professional looking, sealed prototype in less than an hour.
The Circuit Armour kit is great for prototypes and small runs, but what about scaling to hundreds or thousands of units?
We have you covered. Once you are ready to scale, you can design your own circuit board to fit in the Circuit Armour enclosure. Then you can order the enclosure at a drastically reduced cost, or have us build everything and deliver a completed product to you.
All reward levels excluding the $1 level include STL files of the base, seal, and all three cover options. So you can 3-D print your own and start prototyping right away.
STL files will be e-mailed out in May of 2016.
What can you use it for?
There are literally thousands of applications for Circuit Armour. One of the biggest is simply to clean up your DIY projects, and make them more reliable and safer.
However, one of the really exciting aspects of Circuit Armour is that it offers protection from the elements. With M2M (cellular) technology now available to the DIY community, our connected products are moving out of the house and into the field. Circuit Armour offers a way to protect your electronics reliably in harsh environments.
Sample Project - GarageBot, the Connected Garage Door Opener
As a sample project we put together a connected garage door opener, so you can open and close your garage door from anywhere using your Android device.
We used a Circuit Armour kit and a Particle Photon to complete the project. The project started as most do, on the breadboard.
Once the concept was working it was time to transfer the circuit to the Circuit Armour protoboard.
Then simply install the base in the desired location.
Install the protoboard and wire it up.
Then just snap on the cover of your choice and you're done.
Or print your own label and make it your own.
For more details on this project (schematic and code) go to https://www.hackster.io/courtachen/garagebot-the-connected-garage-door-opener-e21dff
So what are a bunch of farm boys from Iowa doing creating Electronic Enclosures? Believe it or not, there is a lot of opportunity for connected products on the farm. We were working on some concepts when the idea of Circuit Armour arose. Our volumes were not going to be high enough to support tooling a custom enclosure, so we tried to find an off-the-shelf solution. However, what we found is that either the enclosures required a lot of modification or they were very expensive.
So at this point we switched gears and started working on an enclosure kit that would make prototyping easy, and your products look professional for an affordable price.
Circuit Armour Creator - Nick Achen
Nick is a Mechanical Engineer with 10 years of experience integrating electronics on Off-Highway equipment for the Agriculture and Construction markets. This includes the design of rugged enclosures for use in the harshest environments.
We also have a team ready to make this happen from supply chain to production. We need your help though. Back our project today and help make Circuit Armour a reality.
We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to view our project. We are very excited about the possibilities for this product, but we need your help to make it a reality.
We would also like to thank Onshape. Circuit Armour was designed using their state of the art, cloud based CAD tools. Including the 3-D models seen on our campaign page.
Risks and challenges
We have been through many iterations of prototypes so we are confident in the design. Shipping delays are the only major risk in the project. This would most likely come from tooling or part shipment delays.
To mitigate this risk we plan on using local injection molding suppliers to reduce the possibility of tooling delays. This will also avoid expensive air freight or slow delivery by boat. However if the response is large enough we may look at overseas production so we can reduce the price even further.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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