Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Room node ceiling mount

In Hardware on Jan 24, 2010 at 00:01

Been pondering a lot lately on how to mount all those room nodes around the house…

Without an enclosure the room nodes look very “hacky”. And what’s even worse: there is no way to mount them! The problem is that you want to point the PIR sensors at least approximately into the center of the rooms they are overseeing. The least conspicuous place for them is probably in the corner, near the ceiling.

Our house has white walls, so naturally I’d like to have something white up there, not some black or metal box!

Here’s an idea:

Screen shot 2010-01-22 at 14.12.54.png

To be made of – wait for it – foam board!

It’s probably a bit hard to visualize, but the idea is to attach a triangular “corner plate” to the wall (using glue / nails / screws / telekinesis / whatever). Then you slide this assembly with JeeNode and battery pack onto it.

Here’s a paper mockup of the sliding part:

DSC_0946.jpg

With one or two “struts” to reinforce it, this ought to be fairly sturdy and easy to slide in and out (will probably have to do that often in the beginning!). Perhaps a few needle pins will be enough to keep it fixed in place.

Laid flat, the sliding part looks like this:

DSC_0947.jpg

Needs some holes in the middle section, for the PIR, SHT11, and LDR sensors.

The geometry of this thing is quite simple, once you wrap your mind around what it really is – an equilateral triangle placed against the top corner with horizontal cross sections on top and cutting off the bottom part:

Screen shot 2010-01-23 at 13.46.52.png

The trick will be to get the sizes right. The paper mockup shown here is about 12 cm on each side, enough for a JeeNode, but too small to also hold a 3x AA battery pack behind it. It also shouldn’t be too hard to make some extra templates pointing off-center – so that you’d essentially aim the PIR by picking the most suitable enclosure variant.

I’m going to try a version using foam board next. Never a dull moment :)

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