■ FIGURE 3. The unit opened
up, showing the shuttle switch
and USB cable on the left
half, and the protoboard with
microcontroller on the right half.
■ FIGURE 4. The VCR shuttle switch and
USB cable in the maple housing. Note
the drill marks from the forstner bits.
removed from the VCR, it had a unique connector attached to it.
I removed the connector and soldered a short section of ribbon
cable and an eight-pin connector to it to mate with the eight-pin header on the PICPROTO3 board. With the electronics
complete, it was time to select a housing to put it in.
There were a lot of options to house the controller. I
decided to put it into a wooden enclosure which I made from
a solid block of sugar maple. This allowed me to make the
enclosure as small as possible, making it just large enough to
house the PICPROTO board and the knob assembly.
The block was drilled with forstner bits to hollow it out and
to make the hole for the shaft of the knob assembly. (Drill the
hole for the shaft from the outside first to prevent tear out).
Next, I epoxied two screws to the inside of the hollowed block
and fastened the knob assembly using nuts and lock washers.
After a bit of sanding, the block was finished with tung oil.
The pins were removed from the locking receptacle and the USB
cable was fed through a small hole in the housing. A knot was
tied as a strain relief and the pins were put back into the
receptacle housing. The board was mounted to a piece of polyethylene using threaded standoffs. The polyethylene was then
“friction” fit into the wooden housing. A couple of rubber feet
on the bottom and the unit was ready to rock ‘n roll. NV
What interesting things have you made out of
recycled components, pulled from electronics whose
best days are behind them? Share your “recycled”
creations with other readers and enter our
Recycled Projects contest.
For details, go to www.nutsvolts.com.
October 2009 35