Custom switch panels

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by SeanH, 4 Aug 2016.

  1. SeanH

    SeanH

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    Hey all

    I was wondering about something. I've seen a lot of cool tanks but what i also notice is the lack of proper switch panels in some. Yes we have automation for lights etc but in general switching on and off anything entails moving to different places.

    I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in custom switch panels that can be mounted as you need. Cast Acrylic front with black coating with white lettering than can be back lit if necessary.

    I really mean custom. Within certain parameters you decide what you want. I use a cnc for all cutting and engraving etc.

    Just a thought....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Aug 2016
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Electrical wire mess.
    I did clean up my wires once and tied up everything very neatly. Just to undo it a couple of days later to remove something.

    For me, I want to be able to still plug in and out equipment, without removing power to the complete system. If you got a system where I can switch off certain items while doing maintenance, without plugging them out, that would be great.
     
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  4. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    Hey @RiaanP

    Good to hear from you. I have that exact same issue - not just with the fish tanks LOL

    So with regards to what you want to do - i know a lot of equipment doesn't have in-line switches and so we end up HAVING to unplug. So what I can do is to get a VERY GOOD plug strip and modify the switching so that it can be done from a panel. Then we run a wire loom to the plug strip which replaces the onboard switches. Then you can mount the switch panel wherever you want. It can be as simple as a flat panel OR an enclosed panel. With a 220v solution we can build relays inside the plug strip so that the loom is very light and all the high voltage remains isolated then we add a small transformer to power the relays.

    Not too difficult. Then we label the switches as you require and you have a solution where everything can stay plugged in and "hidden" to some degree.

     
  5. Rossreefer

    Rossreefer

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    Sounds great, any pics of units you have done
     
  6. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    Hey @Rossreefer

    No nothing exactly like this BUT i have some other panels i have made. One is a prototype done in cheap MDF. I do electronics along with wood work etc etc etc and i am an IT Program Manager.

    This is really very basic that I am proposing. No rocket science 2013-03-22 15.57.15.png paneletc (1 of 20).jpg paneletc (4 of 20).jpg paneletc (6 of 20).jpg paneletc (8 of 20).jpg paneletc (11 of 20).jpg paneletc (13 of 20).jpg paneletc (15 of 20).jpg paneletc (18 of 20).jpg paneletc (20 of 20).jpg


     
  7. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    I added the racing seat and coasters just for fun. Made those too lol
     
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  8. Rossreefer

    Rossreefer

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    I would be keen for something to handle all my tank electricals.
     
  9. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    I guess there are a number of questions but it would start with what you want managed and then voltage and Amp requirements for each.

     
  10. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    I would preferably build a plug box from scratch rather than modify a plug strip. Change all plugs to kettle type. Would you go for that? It's a but more expensive but more robust. But it's not a have to.
     
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  11. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Yes, kettle plugs is the way to go!
    I have been thinking of this for a while.

    Just think of a server power bar.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Aug 2016
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  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I would like it to be rather simple actually. Not with relays and all those things, although from a technical perspective it would be better.

    Reason, I want to be able with my vast knowledge of electronics (sarcastic with myself) to be able to fix it if something does not work. With generic, simple and CHEAP switches that is available everywhere. In case a switch decides to bomb out. I'm sure a 220V switch would be cheaper than a 12V plus relay.

    Just thinking on how to make a nice panel that is as cheap as possible but still reliable.

    Or a booklet explaining the relays in simple terms and how to replace it if faulty.
     
  13. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    Hey @RiaanP I hear what you want but to run the 220v to the panel is "okay" but dangerous lol however I hear your plight. What can get done is a saddle or something where if a relay is faulty you just pull it out and push a new one in. Safer that 220 lol BUT one can use 220v rated toggle switches. Loom will be a bit bulkier but can be done without relays :)
     
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  14. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    The switch panels I would do an acrylic Sandwich so it's as low profile as possible and closed
     
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  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I realized that.
    The other downside would be that the panel would most likely be a lot bigger. To be able to fit thicker wire and bulkier switches.

    Lastly water splashes on a 12V panel would not be that risky compared to a 220V panel.

    Can you design the panel to be waterproof from the top, say you do mess water and it runs down the display, that it would not be able to enter the panel box.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2016
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  16. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    Hey RiaanP yes we can design to be waterproof. Machine a chanel where we can press a rubber seal and screw a backing onto it. Not too difficult. And yes it would be more bulky but doable
     
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  17. SeanH

    SeanH Thread Starter

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    Hey @Rossreefer For the plug strip as spec'd 3x3 8x 2pin and 2x2pin round. 2 switches high current plug and 3 core cable. Cnc machining and assembly R1200. Probably outlast the tank
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Aug 2016
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