Need an enclosure? Try Scrap Wood with Toner Transfer Labels

This utilitarian-looking device takes an unusual approach to a problem that many projects face: enclosures. [Jan Mrázek] created a device he calls the Morse Thing for a special night’s event and used what appears to be a humble two-by-four plank for the enclosure. The device is a simple puzzle using Morse code and was intended to be mounted to a railing, so [Jan] milled out the necessary spaces and holes for the LCD and buttons then applied labels directly to the wood via toner transfer – a method commonly used for making PCBs but also useful to create clean, sharp labels.

There’s one more hack waiting inside the device. The unit uses a portable power bank embedded into the enclosure as a power supply. However, the power bank kept automatically shutting itself off. The power draw of the device was only about 20 mA; it seems this was under the power bank’s “I am in use” threshold. [Jan] originally intended to disable the auto-off feature, but with a deadline looming he instead went with a quick and dirty hack: simply adding a resistor to increase power consumption to 100 mA, which was enough to make the power bank stay turned on. With more than enough charge to keep the device running continuously for the entire event, all was well.


Custom enclosures are the kind of problem that tend to resurface for repeated solving. Some of those solutions are more unusual than others, like an enclosure made from – of all things – Papier Mâché.

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