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Friday, December 25, 2009

BITX 20 Case For Future

Our Friend Greg  OH2FFY   has sent me an email with suggestions for the Bitx Case, I would like to share some of his suggestions.




  SUGGESTIONS FOR CASE  BY   GregW:-)   OH2FFY


Hi ...
The Bitx20 needs to mature and come from an experimental workbench rig and become a REAL rig in every way.
One let down for many custom builders is the lack of quality enclosures for their projects.
You CAN get some nice boxes if you hunt them down , but they are expensive.
There really is no viable cheap option of enclosures that don't look like nasty tin lunch boxes.
So many make their own boxes from PCB material (which isn't cheap) or bend up some monster in their garage from metal. (ugly)
My suggestion is to make a new line of enclosures , not only for the Bitx20 kit , but for radio/electronic experimenter community as a whole.
If done locally (India) I expect that the costs could be quite low.
Also I have some further ideas as to how to make it cheaper and flexible in design.
So my Bitx20 case design competition entry is ALSO (I think) a viable product on its own. !!!!! :-)
First off I envision a new case design and as I had said , flexible by nature.
That is , the design of the enclosure needs not limit you to one constructed shape as most boxes do.
SEE PICTURE. (case1.jpg)


This is what I have in mind ,, but larger.
Simple press bent alluminium form upper and lower shells , and other pieces make up front and rear panels.
To save money don't do any drilling........
While saving money it actually works out to be one of its best features because it allows the constructor to place the front fascia panel inward if you want recessed knobs. (i like recessed)
ALSO ..and not many think of this ,,,,, it also allows you to recess inward the back panel as well.
This means that PA heatsinks and antenna connectors can be semi enclosed which looks a lot neater and quite classy.
I don't recommend drilling vent holes in the top and bottom shell covers.
This will also save you money , but also not everyone wants or needs vents. (Too much venting may cause VFOs to drift)
If the constructor needs vents, let them drill them in the place and size that they want.
If made from alluminium the plastic protector sheet can be left intact.
Not taking it off also saves money  :-) (less labour time) , and also it protects it from scratches in transit and construction.
Another material that could be considered is stainless steel.
Stainless top and bottom shell covers with alloy front and rear plates could be a good option.
Alloy front plates are recommended as it is easier to drill through compared to stainless steel.
I wouldn't use normal steel as it requires painting or powder coating , and this adds more expense and then of course steel is heavier to ship and painted surfaces could get scratched in transit....
Oh and on the subject of alluminium , I wouldn't use thin sheeting.
I would recommend at least 1.5 to 2mm thick.
It will give the appearance of a more solid enclosure when in use also your corner bends will have a more pleasing rounded appearance with thicker material.
Another product that could be sold to match the cases are polished or painted fascias ,, even colored acrylic sheet could be used as a fascia , but this would be added over the top of an existing alloy front panel.
The possibilities are endless.
All of these parts could be sold separately as well.
I envision seeing a range of 3 or 4 different size box units., and as I said , if done at a good price it can be a good product on its own.
If the tight corner bends are deemed not appealing to the eye then curved cases could be made.
This however would require stamping of the front and rear panels and rolling the top and bottom covers which would be considerably more costly --- but not impossible.....
SEE PICTURE. (case2.jpg)


I would not offer feet , handles or stands ,, but of course that too is possible.
Enclosed is a graphic of what I think a new BITX20 could look like.......
SEE PICTURE. (oh2ffy.jpg)


With a slightly recessed front fascia it would look Clean - minimalistic - uncluttered and soild with just a hint of Elecraft , that would be a hit with QRPers.
Regards

THANKS GREG  FOR SUCH GOOD IDEAS AND THE PIC FOR FUTURE BITX 20



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