Construction

Now to get that jumble of strips off the table and over the doorway…

This is the Arts and Crafts part of the project! The design shown here is just one of many possibilities. How you approach it will depend on your goals and available tools and materials.

Initially I’d planned to hang the strips from a curtain rod with the electronics exposed on a board above the doorway. After encountering some durability issues, all the hardware was instead moved into a wooden box with top and bottom open for ventilation. It looks a lot nicer with all the strip-hanging hardware and wiring hidden away…just a single power cord protrudes.

I don’t have plans for this box. It’s a simple shape that was improvised, with few measurements.

All those strips weigh a lot. About 5 pounds total. A beefy 1" wooden dowel replaced the (now pretzel-shaped) flimsy adjustable metal rod. Holders at the sides allow the dowel to be lifted out for access to strips.
Rings cut from PVC pipe keep the strips uniformly spaced. It was quicker than 3D printing.
Here’s all the strips on the rod, hung in the now-painted box:
I’d planned to center each “alien facehugger” power/data distribution box over its corresponding group of strips, on the back side of the front face, while the Pi and power supply would be on the facing side. That’s one reason for the depth of the box.
Experimenting with placement, it looked like everything might simply fit on the rear board…
And indeed it would. Some parts were mounted at an angle so the USB plugs wouldn’t poke out the top, and for better access to the Pi’s ports (in case WiFi is switched for Ethernet later).

Here’s most of the parts fastened to the board. The 12-gauge power wires have been trimmed to length and are held with cable clips…
With a friend’s help, it’s then moved and secured to the wall (using either lag screws or wall anchors)…
It’s plugged in and given another test flight before the final wire adjustments and installing the front cover.
This guide was first published on Aug 11, 2014. It was last updated on Nov 22, 2018. This page (Construction) was last updated on May 04, 2015.