Life is an Adventure
HPRC Electronics Hard Tank Case Version 2.0 - Think Inside the Box
About a year and a half ago I put together this Pelican tank box, using a SW-Motech gascap quick release mounting system.
The Pelican has worked well for me overall, but there's a few things I wanted to do different.
Preparing for a 3 month motorbike adventure this winter, having way too much time on my hands "working" while in rehearsals, and wanting to upgrade my previous design and electronics I came up with this new gadget box.
I've been changing from Pelican to the HPRC Cases for work simply because I like the overall design better, and they are slightly lighter than a Pelican. The HPRC 2100 is slightly smaller than a Pelican 1200, perfect for me.
Here's my workshop on the road.
Without babbling too much about why I went with the components that I used, I had wanted a much larger screen with up to date graphics so in comes the $299 ebay refurb Garmin Nuvi 5000. The Garmin uses 12v power going straight into it, so I just ordered a cheap $15 wall ac plug off ebay and cut the end I needed off, using the extra wall PSU to supply 12v power to test the box. (I'm 1000's of miles from my bike)
Since the Nuvi's not anything proof I bought a Aqua Box for it to live in.
After bending a piece of 1/4" aluminum, drilling a few holes, and covering it with gaff tape I had a solid, waterproof mount. Sorry I didn't make too many photo's of this part, but you get the idea...
Here you see the mount with the power and audio line from the GPS into the box with some silicone to seal it.
One of the things I wanted to make more reliable was the way power came into the box. On the pelican I had a panel mount 9 pin connector with cable whips going directly from the connector to the electronics. I wanted to have things more separated, making it easier to tech so I came up with this.
Battery -> Fuse -> 6 circuit cable -> XLR coneectors -> terminal block -> individual gadgets.
I'm running 2 separate circuits to the box from the battery.
I started with using a male and female Neutrik 5 pin XLR connector that is waterproof and suited for the job.
Wanting to get away from needing to buy any kind of batteries on the road, and wanting better, louder sound I did away with my Boost-A-Roo (that I thought worked OK) for a AmpliRider. Having a volume knob now is a bonus.
I made my own 1/8" audio cable's to go to and from the volume knob, GPS, iPod, XM. I went with 6 Neutrik Right Angle 1/8" audio connectors to help save space
Next comes the XM, something I enjoy on my long rides.
Since the Nuvi doesn't have XM, I needed to add a small receiver so I picked up a like new/used Pioneer Inno on ebay for $75. The problem with the Inno is that it uses 5v power so I would have to use it's power supply. The auction came with the car kit so I had the PSU, but it was kinda bulky and needed a 12v socket to plug into.
I took the case off, cut the board down, soldered some wires on it, shortened the power cable going to the Inno, stuck it in a balloon, wrapped it in e-tape, stuck some velcro on it and wired it in. Now it's a PSU that takes up half the space with no left over cable.
It's not going to win any design contests, but works for me.
Also you'll see the 12v accessory socket I added for other electronics chargers; iPod, iPhone, Nikon, etc...
I added a Switchcraft 3.5mm Stereo Panel Mount Connector along with the AmpliRiders volume knob to the front of the box.
Some velcro and tool box liner held on with foam adhesive finished the job.
Now if I can just make it to January so I can ride!