Painted Enclosure

A project log for DMX-84: Calculator-Controlled Lights

Control DMX equipment, such as lights, from a TI-84

alex-cordonnierAlex Cordonnier 08/09/2014 at 18:390 Comments

(This log details work from January 2014)

I ran into a bit of a time crunch over winter break. I wanted to demo my project at Engineering Open House in March, but I still needed to:

I could easily do the code back at college, and I could even solder the board there if necessary in the ACM chapter office. What I could not do was paint the enclosure very easily, so this had to be done over winter break.

Very shortly after drilling the enclosure, I got to work painting it. I got lucky that the weather was relatively warm compared to the rest of the January. I think it was about 35 degrees F. I put 3 or 4 layers of black matte spray paint and then 2 layers of clear gloss spray paint. I let it dry for a few hours, then began hot gluing the standoffs and LED holder.

Unfortunately, I didn't wait long enough for the paint to be fully dry. Some of the hot glue got on the paint and pulled it off. I knew I had to repaint the enclosure, but I didn't have much time because that was right about when the temperature was supposed to drop significantly and I wouldn't be able to paint. It was going to snow for a few days, but there was one clear day with reasonable temperatures before it started to drop. That's when I tried the second time.

I pulled off the hot glue and sanded off some of the paint. I should have sanded it all off, but I got anxious and left some around the LED holder. That was a big mistake because it left rough ridges of paint when I painted over it. I added a couple more layers of the same black and clear paint, but what I didn't anticipate was that the wind was blowing a bit of snow into the wet paint. This left small pockmarks that I didn't discover until it was dry. At this point, I didn't have any choice but to live with the paint job because of the weather.

This second paint job was what the project had until July when I repainted it a third time.