Project
R.C Electronic Field Box
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Published
Jan 03 2011 by FaTe
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The Field Box project


The idea was very simple, no matter what type of RC model I take out (car, truggy, boat, glider, nitro or electric) I never wanted to be stuck with a dead battery or lack of fuel thinking "wish I had brought..." as we all have many times. Of course in today's age everything is about electronics and keeping true too the spirit of the build this field box is kitted out for full LIVE wireless video recording direct to laptop NOT storage media!



The field box is able too:
  • Pump fuel from it's on-board tank in 6/12volt mode with reverse options

  • Houses it's own wireless 2.4GHz video receiver unit. Connected too laptop direct with a USB>S-Video conversion adapter.

  • Has it's own battery charger (field balance charger with temp monitoring built in AND separate monitor for temp of charger itself)

  • Custom switch panel containing all power kill switches for every component.

  • Holds it's own Lead-Acid sealed block batteries, 6volt and 12volt.

  • Complete felt lined interior with a water proof fake leather for exposed area's such as the lid and interface panel. Also top grade insulation egg box foam padding.

  • MDF split compartments for heat insulation as well as water proof between area's.

  • Compartment area's to hold:
    1. 3D Flat-pack aeroplane (project coming soon)
    2. 2 Block batteries
    3. Transmitter + spare battery pack under
    4. Nitro fuel tank insulated
    5. EEE laptop with room for USB plug-ins and power lead charging from on-board 12v battery.
    6. 2 top lid compartment boxes (removable)




The result is the ability to recharge any battery, top up nitro fuel tanks, record live FPV video, store spare parts and tools without EVER leaving the location of Driving/Sailing/Flying/Whatever!



Batteries easily last a full day with the EEEpc already lasting 5 hours on it's own charge before ever trickle charging from box batteries.
Everyone who's worked with Remote Control models outside always ends up taking additional tools, parts and such with them. A field box usually is a wooden small "shoe-polish box" thing.



Using a regular tool-box I turn a place for tools into a modern day do it all field box with enough fancy toys too keep any RC enthusiast happy in the field!



Here is the step by step photo series and below is the basic guide I wrote at each stage of the process. I say basic because the chances of finding the exact toolbox as me are slim but the methods used are universal.
/media/Electronic FieldBox/RC FieldBox DIY 1
So here you can see the 22"/55CM tool-box. Using 3MM MDF sheets I created compartment area's in the bottom too the size of the components going in.
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I only used a hot glue gun to fix the MDF sheets in place, wood against plastic with hot glue bonds great and is really solid.
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The middle "shelf" you see is hinged at the back and covers the entire bottom.
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I wanted all the components inside to be safe from scratches not just knock damage so I lined the entire bottom in a dark grey felt material.
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To protect against knock damage I used sound insulation high grade (egg box shaped) foam gluing in place using spray can glue.
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To charge on the field the balance charger needed too be away from everything and able to ventilate heat, I converted the middle compartment box by cutting out a section for display and side wire access points. Now the screen shows inside and when too hot the back panel can be opened to vent heat.
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Next components too be fitted are the video receiver unit, Fuel pump and control switch panel. The panel houses on off switches, fuel pump forward|off|reverse toggle switch and a thermostat displaying temperature of the battery charger back panel so I can see how hot it is. On the right is 2 wooden balsa beams which will house the balance charger leads. Also note the plastic panels and hot glue, this was to water seal the lid before all the electronics went in.
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I used a fake leather material the same colour as the felt and foam to line the top of the box, this material is water proof and fireproof keeping everything water tight while it's open. You can now see the charge leads in there own compartment, the charger in use and the 6 + 12 volt block batteries.
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I also built a custom Power Supply Unit to output different voltages however the charger didn't like the amps it was getting so now not using it.
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