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RF project boxes: Where?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Folks,

    Have to build a few filter protos for a client, looking for RF boxes,
    something like 1.5" by 3" and 1" high. Ran out of stock, finally. What
    are they called these days? Couldn't find any on Digikey or Mouser. I
    used to get them by the boat load at the next electronics store for a
    few bucks but those all vanished.

    It should be tin-plated steel with a finger-snap lid, the usual, RF guys
    know what I mean. Not the die cast ones and definitely no aluminum. Best
    from a place like Digikey where I can order all the other stuff as well.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. Try Digikey L206-ND and L205-ND

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Thanks, Spehro, I was eyeing the L210-ND and will order those if I can't
    find anything better. They are somewhat acceptable but it's not the
    finger-snap lid from the good old days, and probably not tin-plated
    either. Those used to provide a nice RF seal all around. With the Heeger
    boxes you can only solder it in and then it is a bear to remove. It's
    possible with a Weller 100/140W gun but messy.
     
  4. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    Buy a can of Altoids? Not quite the same dimensions, but close.
     
  5. Curiously thin metal, though.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  6. rex

    rex Guest

    I'm an RF enthusiast, not professional, I've hacked and adapted lots of
    stuff but I can't say I can identify this from the description. I have a
    mental image that may be correct but not like anything I've seen on any
    shelf. Sounds like you were sitting on a local gold mine with that
    store. Do you have anything left around that you could take a picture of
    and post to the binaries group?
     
  7. mw

    mw Guest

    Ideas:

    Can you use a regular box plus a gasket like the ones here?

    http://www.tech-etch.com/

    Or seal it with one of these methods:

    http://www.parker.com/chomerics/tech/shielding_methods.htm#types

    mw
     
  8. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    There is a company - "BUD"? Have you checked them or their products - out? I
    know some of their products were used in the past - in construction
    articles - for items such as tuners, band pass/reject, TVI filters and so
    on.

    From their website:

    Bud Industries is the United State's leading manufacturer of standard
    electronic enclosures and custom electronic enclosures.

    http://www.budind.com/

    They have an online catalog - and a distributor "finder" list as well as
    other information.
     
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Seriously, I was canvassing the garage for a can that a uC programming
    adapter came in. Gone :-(

    And we don't eat Altoids, so no luck there. Buying one would be an
    option but then I'd have to eat them all and that leads to a whole
    'nother problem half an hour later.
     
  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    I could but I'd have to pry the last one out of a unit though so the
    camera can catch it. Basically it looks like an oversized TV-tuner, with
    a lid that has dozens of contact fingers so tight that you need a tool
    to pry it off (or break fingernails).

    It used to be no problem to buy them at electronics stores except that
    the last one in this area has now vanished. It became a, gasp, cell
    phone shop :-(
     
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Link times out but I'll keep looking. Thanks.

    I wonder why Digikey doesn't have any. I remember even being able to buy
    this stuff at radio shack. "RF project box" or something like that. Ok,
    they cost a lot more than at the large places but in a pinch this was so
    great.
     
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Sure but I am not a fan of beryllium-copper. Also, I'd still need to
    find a metal box for that and it can't be aluminum or die cast because
    that wouldn't yield good long term contacting. And if I found a tin box
    sans fingers I could also just solder 6-8 spots of the lid and it'll be
    fine.
     
  13. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    I can't speak for all "Radio Shacks" but I think some still have
    them.......... The question is, is it the size "you" need?

    L.
     
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    They only had the larger ones but that would be fine. Problem is, Radio
    Shacks around here seem to die like flies, their web site is next to
    useless and the stores we still have here are smallish in their
    assortment. Growing in the cell phone and MP3 aisle, shrinking parts corner.
     
  15. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Just put them in a bowl and hand them out to the kids at Halloween. ;-)

    A couple of years ago, I bought a pack of "Camel Turkish Jade" cigarettes,
    and they came in a metal tin much like the altoids', but big enough for
    two rows of 10 cigarettes, and the corners radiused at about 1/8". Haven't
    got around to figuring out what I want to use it for yet...

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  16. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    .
    Here's the box I was talking about in my other followup:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/richgrise/images/CamelJade2.jpg
    It's almost exactly 1/2" thick.

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  17. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If you're not afraid to solder, why not just get a flat piece of tinplate,
    (tin-plated sheet steel), a bender of some kind (small bench vise?) and
    make one?

    Good Luck!
    Rich
     
  18. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    <sigh> You're so right............ Ah the good ole days. When we had - at
    least around here - Olson Electronics, Heathkit, Lafayette Radio
    Electronics, Radio Shack and countless others to go to. And at that - an
    "educated" person in the craft - to assist.
     
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Done that, many times. But after the umpteenth broken scroll saw blade
    that gets old. I've got grandpa's old hand brake to bend the corners,
    looks almost professional. When I want to be extra good and made a
    copper box I give it a nice spit shine (but on my own time, not the
    client's). I lucked out in finding two tubes of Wenol polishing paste at
    a kitchen store, bought both of them that very millisecond.
     
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