Hi gang, I recently completed a control box project for my DCC system. Before this, I had a messy stack of components and cables, and I wanted something that was fairly weatherproof, easy to connect / disconnect (for when I bring it indoors), easy to carry, and packaged neatly.
I didn’t want to pay a lot for the box. Pelican cases are waterproof and beautiful, but kinda overkill for me. I found a nice watertight case made by Craftsman, part of the Versastack system, which I got at Lowes for around $25. It’s the middle unit in this pic:
Dewalt and others have similar, but this case is rugged enough for my price point. In addition to the three types shown here, they have others in the Versastack line:
I measured the interior and made a base for the components, then mounted and pre-wired them together. The acrylic plate on the top is purely to mount that switch to the power supply.
Here’s the stack in the unfinished case. I wanted to have room for the tray, to keep remotes & cables & etc. in.
Then came the “patch panel” which was laser-cut and engraved (the the lettering). This was an experiment in engraving and filling for (hopefully) fairly weatherproof lettering. Here’s the paint filling in process.
And here’s the completed lettering. The paint shrunk a lot while drying, so I filled it twice. Next time I might try silicone or something hard that dries thick.
I also lasered a gasket and backing plate. The latter was also used as a cutting template for the box.
Here’s the completed wiring…
… and the completed panel.
The alarm is for short circuit alert (driven by a PSX circuit breaker inside the box).
This isn’t UL approved or even up to code (the box isn’t approved for electrical use, especially with 110vac). But here’s my position on that. I’ve kept the internal 110v power supply pluggable / portable (vs. hard-wired into the case), and the only other 110v item is the illuminated on-off switch (which is hard-wired into the bulkhead receptacle). All else is low voltage; and the entire case is portable (not hard-wired into anything).
As for cooling, I’ll keep the lid open for longer sessions. For short term use, I haven’t notice any heat buildup in the closed case yet. Could install a temp sensor and another alarm for that.
Anyway, thanks for looking. If you need any info on components, let me know. And if you want something like this box, maybe I can help you with the lasered panel.