Friday, January 23, 2009

Front Case USB/Sound Ports

Attaching the front case USB/sound ports was always going to be a problem.
It is not easy to drill straight sets of holes accurately - and so it is likely to make these front ports look amaturish (I suppose would not be a problem for those already saying the whole thing looks amaturish :-) )

So I went with a trial and error approach, trying different ways of drilling, etc, to see what I could come up with.

Method 1:

Initial attempt was to drill a row of large diameter holes from the back face of the perspex, with the idea that these holes would allow the USB/sound port assembly to be inset a bit so that they ended up being close to the outside edge of the case when mounted.
Accuracy of these holes was not really key - and the result was that they were not too straight :-)

Then, the actual holes for the USB/Sound ports to protrude through are drilled from the other side...

Very un-straight. The holes drilled from the back side, actually encouraged the front holes to drift off line. A very unprofessional look. And the holes drilled in the back did not actually allow the USB/sound ports to protrude through as planned.

Method 2:

With this attempt, I went for drilling the front face holes first - and I used a jig to help align them too.

The old floor board with hole is free to slide along the other piece of wood that is clamped - to give a nice straight line - result better than before, but still not the best.

In addition, it was not easy to then use a larger drill bit to try and cut away the plastic from the back side so that the ports could protrude a little when fitted. Overall result - average. Holes not that straight, and the plugs set back too much from the face of the plastic.

Method 3:

Next option was to go for a simple full lenght slot. Used the jig again to drill a straight line of holes then file out.

Hmmmm.... yuck.

Method 4:

Getting straight lines, and the ability to have the ports sticking through the plastic seem to be difficult to achieve. So trying something completely different. See if I could simply attache the ports to the bottom of the perspex sheet...
Advantage is that you only need to drill the start and end holes, and then use a knife to score and snap the plastic - gives a straight edge, and you can have the ports out flush with the face of the plastic !!

Result - maybe OK.

MAybe I will just go ahead and bend the case without the cutout at this stage - and then when I get a flash of inspiration later can add in. Out of the various methods, I would guess that the last one is currently the better of the options...

Other opinions ??

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