My vintage upcycled enclosure


I thought I’d share some pics of a pixelblaze enclosure for permanent installation that I just finished…

Background: I’ve been doing addressable experiments and half finished projects for a few years, but it took FastLED’s limited RGBWW support to make me stop and revisit the thought that purpose built cards might be easier to finalise than a half baked Arduino project.

Two weeks later I couldn’t be happier and have finally actually put a full stop on a lighting project!

Obviously, this enclosure is needlessly large for the job, but it will gel perfectly with the final destination for the project…and it finally (maybe?) justifies all the ridiculous mid-century electrical and electronic boxes I have accumulated over the years with a view to gut and repurpose them for a modern project with vintage charm (…if I can’t actually find an ‘as designed’ use for them of course)




That’s awesome! I’d love to see more photos with the LEDs too. Glad PB was able to help get a project over the finish line.

The forum software defaults new accounts with limited permissions until you hang around and interact a bit more, probably to help prevent spam or trolls, but I’ll look at adjusting those.

Love that enclosure and would love to see more pics with the lights :slight_smile:

@kptb I think I found the right settings if you want to try posting some more images / video!

Yay that worked, thanks. Hopefully I’ll get it into its final destination this weekend and can sahre some more. :slight_smile:

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Hey @wizard…thought I’d tag you here in the first instance but if my question and hopefully your answer are more widely useful I am happy to repost it all on its own. :wink:

I’ve been noticing this a bit today - both on my phone and the same network but via ethernet PC… I am aware of some mesh wireless optimisation issues in the room I am in, but I couldn’t help but wonder if this might be due to my use of a relatively thick old-school steel enclosure and the card being relatively close to the casing inside?


A metal enclosure will definitely block or greatly attenuate wifi. It’s effectively a Faraday cage.

In one project, I got around this by cutting a slot in the case and mounting the Pixelblaze so the antenna portion of the board stuck out. (This can create yet another weird antenna situation, with different properties. (Ground plane) You still might have to be a bit careful about orientation in relation to the wifi AP.)

You might also cut out a “window” in the case above the Pixelblaze and fit it with plastic or glass, which doesn’t block wifi. (This has been an ongoing battle for phone makers. Marketing: “Metal case is shiny! Must have shiny!” Engineering: “But phone has to actually work.” So we wind up having to be careful how we hold metal-cased phones so as not to block the antenna, or trying not to drop the extremely slippery all-glass alternatives.)

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Thanks for the advice - I was thinking about the window approach already, but it’s good to have some potential options.

Hey @zranger1 I am thinking about this some more.

I have turned the top “n” shaped lid upside down, creating openings on the side and everything is fine, even with the same metal horizontally above the blaze.

Perhaps a simple solution would be to drill a hole and then use one or more mains cable size grommets, left open, as a “240v obtrusive” type of cover without making something from scratch out of plastic/glass etc.

I can see now that side planes horizontal to the card work well, but I suppose vertical might be just as fine. Neither option is fantastic for how flush I want to mount this unit around other things, but it would be good to know what I am working with.

Do you have any advice on which plane to open up might be better? Should I start a new thread?

The orientation matters less than that you have a clear line of sight, not blocked by the case or anything else metallic, between the Pixelblaze and your router. You can’t really count on the signal bouncing around and getting to the right place.

Think of wifi as FM radio at about the same frequency as a microwave oven. It works in straight lines, and anything that blocks, reflects or absorbs microwaves will do the same for wifi.