RE-Reworking My Small System... AGAIN

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Update (3 hours after the previous update): It’s not done... I REALLY need to develop some patience. The more I mess with this thing (before it’s completely dry), the more I mess it up and have to sand and repaint. Got the back side looking good, turned it over too soon to work on the top side, and it stuck to the paper table cover.

This OCD [email protected] is gonna kill me. How perfect, really, does this platform need to be???... the bottom will never be visible, and the top will be covered with the WeGO, Surface Pro/Dock, mini keyboard and mouse. Only 10% of it will show, but my perfectionism won’t allow it to have as much as a small paint drip or ding... on EITHER SIDE!!! Just finished resanding and repainting the top for the third or fourth time (I’ve lost track). The good news is, there are limitations. I’m almost out of spray paint (primer), and I’m on my last sand paper sheet for my palm sander.

I guess I’m gonna let the dang thing dry over night and try to finish it tomorrow.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Sep 26, 2011
31,587
Prospect, CT
Platform has to be perfect .. it's crucial to the integrity of the small system and will cause major damage to your credibility if it's not ... :)
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Today I pretty much HAVE TO finish painting this platform. Tomorrow we have almost 100% chance of rain, cold and no sunshine. Not exactly good painting weather, and it’s supposed to continue into Saturday. If I don’t get it done today, I’ll have to wait ‘til Monday or Tuesday for a reasonably nice day.

I’ve been thinking about the next step though; MOUNTING. I have to somehow mount two items on the platform. The WeGO...

... and the Docking Station...

... WOW... Did I really pay that much for a docking station???... I don’t really remember. In any case, I need to mount these items semi-permanently, meaning I don’t want them to fall off, but I need to be able to take them off when/if I want. 3M tape would probably work, or maybe Velcro? Either would leave a residue on the bottoms of the devices. There are no screw holes I could easily use in either device. There are a couple of spots where I could drill holes in the docking station, but I guess I need to decide if I’m willing to drill into a $200+ device. With the WeGO, there are several screws in the bottom that hold the bottom plastic cover on. Perhaps it would be possible to use a couple of those holes by finding and using longer screws that would come up through the bottom of the platform and into those screw holes. Getting those holes to line up would be kind of a PITA, but it’s doable. 3M tape is the easiest. If I do that though, I need to decide if I’d want to use the WeGO for any other purpose, and right now I don’t think so. Same with the docking station.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Sep 26, 2011
31,587
Prospect, CT
Tape residue from velcro comes off with a little rubbing alcohol. I would use the industrial strength version of the velcro .. it lasts longer from experience.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Tape residue from velcro comes off with a little rubbing alcohol. I would use the industrial strength version of the velcro .. it lasts longer from experience.
Yep... I’ve got some of the industrial strength Velcro around here somewhere. I’ve used it on various projects from time to time, but it does have one weakness. Sometimes, when you try to take the item up, the Velcro holds, but it detaches at the adhesive. The other negative is it ends up with more than double the thickness as the 3M tape. Not sure that matters much in this instance, but it’s something to consider.


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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
WOW!! ... Wish I’d done this earlier... The Performix Plasti-Dip rubberized paint worked BRILLIANTLY!...

... says it needs to dry for four hours, so this time I’m gonna let it. I was just gonna use regular paint on the bottom, but I think I’ll use the rubberized paint on the bottom too... in four hours. One thing about this rubberized paint... you can’t sand it off, so I MUST NOT mess it up.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Sep 26, 2011
31,587
Prospect, CT
You can sand off anything with a big enough sander .. :)
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
You can sand off anything with a big enough sander .. :)
Yes... but it’s like one piece of sand paper (belt or disc) per pass, because the rubberized paint gunks up the sandpaper, after which it’s pretty useless. It would be faster, cheaper, and easier to cut out a new platform.

Looks like I have no choice but to use the rubberized paint on the bottom side, because I just realized that’s the side I already painted. It’s the TOP side that I need to paint next... GEEZ!!!

It’ll be easier to tell the top side from the bottom side once the top has a WeGO attached to it.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
I might give it one more coat of rubberized paint tomorrow, but I think this platform is looking pretty good....

I got the raised piece attached now, to which the docking station will be attached so it will sit even with the top of the WeGO. Almost done!


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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Got my Small System all setup with the WeGO and Surface Pro mounted on the platform and robotic arm so I could see how it fits (and to get some pics). It works GREAT!...



... Nothing is securely attached yet because I want to give the platform another coat of paint tomorrow. However, nothing slides around on the platform with that rubberized paint.

Now the dilemma... This is my SMALL System, but with the second controller, it looks larger than my LARGE System, and except for the light controller and two additional wireless mics, it can pretty much do everything my Large System does. I might have to call these two systems by different names, like Rack System and Table-top System???
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Maybe you have too many "systems"...or maybe...not enough!
So much for the OCD mind to contemplate!:pillworried:
Too many systems???... BLASPHEME!!! How can TWO systems be too many? Are you saying I should have ONLY one? What fun would that be? And WHICH one would I have to get rid of? Even if I build my Podium System, I have no plans to get rid of either of my current systems.

Oh... and I forgot to post this side view pic I took last night showing the platform attached to the robotic arm...
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Sep 26, 2011
31,587
Prospect, CT
Your small system is 2 systems. Most of us will use a small controller and the backup is a mouse ... not another controller.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Your small system is 2 systems. Most of us will use a small controller and the backup is a mouse ... not another controller.
OK... but it started out as just a tablet, then EVOLVED! How was I to know it would morph into another system?

I just finished connecting all the wires. Now I know for sure how to mount the dock and the WeGO. The WeGO must be easily removable in order to slip it in place with the cables attached to the back of it. Velcro is the best alternative. The dock can be attached with screws. I thought I might have to drill some holes in the platform to run cables underneath, but that won’t be necessary...






It looks large because of the photo distortion, but it’s really quite compact. I’ll even be able to use as a LAPTOP system while sitting on the couch in my living room. I think I’ll test that out this evening. I think I can Bluetooth to my home stereo.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Only thing I’m not happy about is the power blocks... one for the docking station and one for the WeGO. Plus the WeGO has an incredibly long power cord. I’ve been able to hide other power blocks inside the rack, but not sure if I can do that with these two, so they’re just sitting behind the rack, on top of the table. The Floating Facade hides them (and all the other cables), but I’m NOT crazy about it.



So how bad is my OCD???... I could modify the platform extension that the docking station sits on, and cut out sections in which to set the power blocks???... Do I have enough will power to resist???

UPDATE: OK... Looks like I CAN hide the power blocks inside the rack. I have a couple of unused patch panel openings (#15 & 16) behind the mount for the robotic arm. I can take the cover off of one of them and run the connectors out through the opening. I’ll have to use a power splitter inside though, because all the inside plugs are used. It would be easier (and probably smarter) just to let it stay like it is.


 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
UPDATE: OK... Looks like I CAN hide the power blocks inside the rack...
NOPE!!!... Placing the power two blocks (Dock and WeGO) inside the rack isn’t gonna work. If I do that, I won’t be able to use this system on the platform separate from the Small System rack. I want to be able to use it while sitting on the couch in my living room. That means I need to work those power blocks onto the platform somehow to make it fully self-contained. The easiest way to do that would be to mount them on the back or the bottom of the platform. It might have been smarter to make the platform a couple of inches longer in the back to accommodate the power blocks. Of course I could make another platform, I guess... That would mean two more days of work and two days wasted on the one I just finished. Another option is to try to cut a section out of the back of the extension platform on which the dock sits. This is what the dock platform extension looks like now...



... I cut it to provide room for the cables extending out the back of the WeGO to slide underneath the dock, but I think there’s still room to remove a little more material in the back to make room for the power blocks and excess power cable. It will be close. It might be smart just to make a new dock extension platform, just in case it doesn’t work and I need to revert to the way it is now.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Today I planned to get those pesky power blocks mounted on my WeGO platform. I did a test fit, and there’s definitely room under the docking station and behind the WeGO to place the power blocks...



... I only have one back there at the moment, but it won’t be too difficult to get the second one back there. It’s slightly smaller than the one in the pic. But now I’m wondering if that’s the smart thing to do??? The back is already much heavier than the front. Putting the power blocks back there is only gonna make the back even heavier. I could build a hollow platform under the keyboard/mouse area, but that would add 1.5 inches (of thickness) to the front of the platform. I’m not sure I’d like the way that would look. I guess I need to think about that... Am I willing to trade off the aesthetics for functionality???


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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Looks like we’re finally getting a nice enough day that I can do some work out in the garage. As much as I’d like to balance this platform out by mounting the power blocks in the front (under the keyboard), it would be a little too thick for my liking, so I’ll mount them in the back.

I’m also considering putting a (portable) hard drive on the platform too, which would make it completely self-contained. If you recall, the hard drive used by my Surface Pro containing my music library is mounted inside the Small System rack connected to a USB hub. There’s a USB cable that connects the tablet to the hub, and that can be eliminated, but I’ll need to run a network cable from the tablet to the rack to tie the tablet to the Ethernet switch, as the current connection is also inside the rack (USB hub with integrated Ethernet port). That will leave the current USB hub available for a laptop or using the Surface Pro without the WeGO and platform.


^^^^ This is the shelf that’s inside the rack. Here’s what’s mounted on it...
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,529
Oklahoma City
Well... I’m back on this project today... the never-ending project, or so it seems. I got the rear platform modified (upon which my Surface Pro docking station is mounted) to accommodate the two power blocks and a USB hard drive. Everything fits just fine, but I decided to deal with the long power cords. I could just roll up the excess cords and stuff them in there, but that’s ugly. So I ordered some cords I can cut to size. Both power blocks use the same cord. There’s a specific name (specification) for the cord (NEMA 1-15P to IEC C7), but if you don’t know it, they can be difficult to find...



I’ll wire them into an outlet that I’ll mount on the back of the platform...



That way I’ll be able to use a single standard IEC power cord to plug the platform into the rack.

Parts should be here be here next week, so I’ll have time to sand and repaint the platform I modified. I already filled and sanded the imperfections, so today I hope to do a little smooth sanding and repaint (weather permitting).