I recently bought a power control module from a Chinese source. All I needed to do was provide the input power, up to 75 volts at 12 Amps and the module would allow me to output a digitally controlled voltage or current up to 60 Volts and 12 Amps. I will not go into the assembly of the unit as I have perhaps done one too many power supply builds in my blog already.
I had on the shelf a perfect candidate for an enclosure for this unit. It was really heavy duty with an already available fused and switched AC input. It had a 12 volt thermally controlled fan and it looked very nice. The only stumbling block (and there is always one) was the front panel of the enclosure was special purpose for the original application and it was contoured.
With the way that the front panel fit on the unit it was not going to be practical to abandon it altogether. This project has been on the shelf for a couple weeks while I mulled over what my approach was going to be to make this sculpted panel suitable for me to adapt one of my traditional flat control panels to the front of the unit.
Finally I decided to launch into it and with the unit in a vise I took a carpenters hand saw and sawed the contours of the front panel as flat as I could while still retaining the basic structure of the mount. My new front panel did mount to the flattened original panel and the unit worked well. Unfortunately I could not get past the cosmetics of the appearance where the new flat front did not integrate totally with the contours that were left on the original panel. Perhaps you can see a little of the problem in this picture:
The next step I took was to try to fill in and bridge the gaps and mismatch with a white silicone sealer. While this worked to fill in the holes and gaps it did nothing to improve the cosmetics. The silicone is very hard to work with if one is looking for any kind of a professional appearance. When it was done it looked like crap and I knew there had to be at least one more step to make it look finished. I thought that maybe I would make a bezel out of copper or brass. When I did not have sufficient pieces of either of these in the shop the box of scrap circuit boards caught my eye. You may have guessed that when I salvage all the components from a circuit board I seldom throw the board itself away. The circuit board material makes very good structural material for building other things.
I decided that it would be a unique solution to build the decorative bezel for the power supply from strips of salvage circuit board.
Here is the finished power supply with a circuit board decorative bezel.
I haven't quite gotten used to its appearance yet but it fits well with my collection of other unusual pieces of test equipment.
Incidentally the 60 Volt 12 Amp marking is a lie. The Chinese module has this for a rating and I have no way to test if it is true or not. I was only able to come up with a power transformer than can deliver 180 Watts of power to the control module. Therefore when I have the unit powered and loaded to the max I can get about 45 Volts at 4 Amps. Until I can find a higher VA transformer that will still fit in the enclosure the current one will have to do. The fact is that I seldom have an application for the higher voltage and current that this unit can provide anyway. The main purpose of the build was to experiment with the Chinese Digital power supply control module.