So, I spent most of the day prior to the Ikon walk wrapping GPS modules and Arduino microcontrollers in plastic bags.
This is not an ideal solution to the ongoing challenge of protecting electronics from the weather! Since having one of my GPS modules stop working on the Fermynwoods residency, I’m also increasingly aware of needing to protect the units from the mild battering they get every time I use them in a workshop or for an event.
Time to invest in some proper protection.
After a bit of a search around, I found someone had been kind enough to share the files for a 3D printed GPS case on Thingiverse and thought it would be worth giving it a try…
It took about 30 minutes to print out the case. It needed a bit of knife work to trim off ‘squidgy bits’ that were preventing it from closing properly and to open up the case above the misaligned aerial dot, but the end result was pretty much as hoped.
One drawback is that it’s a nice snug fit. Fine if you’re going to leave the module inside the case, but trying to remove it involved a fair amount of prising with a screwdriver and this can’t be a good thing!
Second time around I placed some plastic under the module before placing it inside the case. This helped a little by providing something to pull on, but still not a real solution. (I’d probably try some ribbon or something with less stretch next time.)
The other main issue for me is that this process is not really of a high enough standard for me to use in an art project. Fair enough if it was hidden away, but these are likely to be on view quite a lot, so I need to pay careful attention to the material and quality of finish.
It would also be nice to be able to find a streamlined solution, but I think a certain amount of bulkiness is probably a price I’m going to have to pay.
Plan B is, I think, to investigate an acrylic laser-cut case. I want a certain amount of translucency so I can see the status LED on the GPS module, but I think having the tech on view is also a good thing for workshop scenarios.
Stay tuned as the experiments continue…