The Proof board works well. It is a pegboard with some guide wood strips (for stiffening) and foam with aluminium rails.
The foam rails are just press fit for now this allows for quick interchange as the design varies. Soda can aluminium will work but will wear out pretty quick.
I've gone ahead a worked up a pinch roller for bending the rails. I can see that I'll need to do something to tweak the rails down the road. They work great for all the wire inserts but dip and ic pins may cause some problems depending on construction.
I'm going to move away from the board for now as we have a good test bed. Now on to compnents.
I am going to work on switches and led's first. Switches will allow me to work out pin issues with the IC packets and they have the moving parts. Translating the 10x movement to the 1x movement or just bypassing the 1x altogether will be the first issue. I'm leaning towards bypassing for now.
Led's are a different issue. Acrylic casting will most likely create parts that are too heavy. Other methods seem to leave unnatural looking parts. Lots of redoing here.
The actual board is a pretty trivial exercise. There are of course many ways to construct it. But I want to keep in mind reproducibility and either robustness or ease of replacement.
To begin I am just using stuff laying around the shop.
To begin I grabbed a section pegboard, some pink foam and some roof flashing.
Looking at a variety of boards it quickly becomes clear that constructing everything in 5's is the way to go. So I took the foam (We had 2") and cut a bunch of 1" wide strips. I then took those strips and cut a 1/4" groove down the center 1" deep,
Beginning to construct a board the first thing I ran into was the springiness of the rails. Once the wire is inserted enough clamping has to take place to hold the the wire and whatever is attached to it in place. This is important for any wall mounted boards. The steel flashing iI was using was way to stiff. But we had some light Aluminium flashing laying around and that seemed to actually work.
So thinking about it I figured to bend the rails around a dowel and then flatten out the center forcing the half circles to pinch together. Wrong ...
While I got that to work eventually, it is way to much work (considering the number of rails that need to be produced. While I could build some jigs to speed up the process I'm not all that sure how reproducible I can make them. But then thinking just a bit more, is there any need for a single piece rail? wouldn't it work just as well to have an open center with a rail running down both sides? It certainly seems to.
Before I really get into manufacturing and jigging up I decided to go reall small. a half dozen 5 sections. Cutting a some 1 1/4" strips from the metal I then cut in some scrap wood I cut 3/4" and 1/4" deep grooves. Puttin the metal strip in the 3/4" groove and bending 90 then using the 1/4 " groove to bend back the the top and bottom I had one side of the rail. When both sides are insterted in to the rail they act as the clamp . This seems works very well and the open bottom allows the foam to preform some additional grip.
I've decided to use this blog as an extended hackers notebook. I'll take from here for the more or less formal documentation.
I'll be much more involved in the fabrication then any thing else. It is the guerilla learning that can take place in the building that interests me the most. Anyone with kids or teaches kids realizes the connection that hands and hearts and heads have. Engaging more then one of them in the learning process is a logarithmic advance. I don't know how many times kids have asked me to help them with experiments. While kids show this connection most clearly it is basic to our human nature. Engaging the head through the hands works for everyone. With the head and hands engaged you can touch the heart and with luck engender real passion.
I expect to work on a wide variety of fabrication methods. To show that there is no single correct way and to develop a tool kit of technics that can be used in a variety of situations.
As I start I'm expecting to construct at least four general types of boards. The proof of concept board, The Home Depot board, The let the kids do it board, and the dumpster dive board. There will be equivalent versions of the components also.
Any Ideas, criticisms and other comments are more then welcome.