Saturday, May 8, 2010

Customised Meter Case - & musings

Before I get into this little project, I just want to say how happy I am Daria is finally coming out on DVD. I've bough the various box sets issued over the years by various companies, but all of them were simply DVDs cut from the "Sarcast-a-thon" showing, complete with the original music, and various station markers, and glitches.. but still Waaayyy better than nothing. But come 11th of May 2010, MTV is releasing the Daria DVD box set - still no news on the music, but again - better than nothing. I'll be buying my copy from Amazon due to the price - Here

The other musing was trying to pick a suitable photo for my profile. There was no way on earth I was going to put a photo of myself up there (It's offend the internet spirits for sure) so I was thinking about suitable "archetypes" I could use... some of the candidates included "Q" (Desmond Llewellyn) - from the James Bond franchise, "Tobermory" from the Wombles, Macgyver, Eeyore, and Alastair Cookie, and I even considered Erik (the Phantom of the Opera), but then I kept coming back to this one choice.... This man displays all the qualities and attributes I'd associate with - quick witted, intelligent, inventive, and a great many other characteristics I wouldn't dare include on a resume such as devious, megalomaniacal, and unassuming dress sense. He's Graeme Garden from the Goodies - if you missed out growing up with the Goodies in your life, take the time to get some episodes and see what the fuss was about. If you know the Goodies, you'll know and love "Graybags", even if you associate more with Bill or Tim.

On to the project...

I use a Fluke 179 DMM (Digital Multi Meter) as part of my work, and carry a number of leads, clips, and spares for the meter. One of my co-workers had a case which had the meter on one side, and the spare leads on the other, but I could not find anyone offering the case, and he'd had it for years. I got sick of carrying two cases to jobs, and so decided to make my own case.

I started with a CD wallet for the local Kmart store (big variety chain store - viz Target, or WalMart). The wallet had a zipper around three sides, and a "clam shell" design based around a firm material covered rubber. All up the case was about 50mm (2") thick when stuffed with cardboard.
The CD wallet is shown below...

I removed the CD sleeves, and salvaged the velcro strips used to hold the sleeves in place. I purchased two "cheap and nasty" pencil cases ($1 each) just to get cheap zips, and purchased a cheap roll-up cutting board for the plastic ($3 for 4 boards). The fabric is from some old work shirts that had become too ratty to wear in the shed.
I sewed up a "pouch" to sit above the meter which holds the spares for the meter (fuses, battery, holding clip)

The divider which holds the meter to the LHS (Left Hand Side) of the case is a piece of the roll-up cutting board sewn into a sleeve of cotton fabric. The salvaged velcro is used to secure the meter into the case. The spare space on the RHS of the meter is used to roll the connected leads in for easy use.

The contents of the top pouch are shown below... the brown wire is the K thermocouple used by the Fluke meters for measuring temperature.

The RHS of the CD wallet was separated from the meter section by a panel made from more cutting board plastic encased in another cotton sleeve. The panel is retained by a fabric hinge stitched in the middle of the wallet (White lines of stitching in photo above), and held in place with a velcro closure on the RHS edge. With the velcro closure opened, the panel can swing over the meter to reveal...

The spare leads are vecro'd in pairs to the top section of the panel. The thin black velcro was the last of the velcro salvaged from the original CD wallet.
The pouch sewn into the lower half of the RHS shell contains the spare tips, and probes. The pouch is a simple sewn pouch with another "pencil case" zipper for a closure.

The entire meter case took about 2-3 hours to make including the cutting, sewing, and hand stitching the pouches in place. I've now been using the case in the field for about 6 months and had no complaints about how well it's met my expectations.

A few sewing notes...
threads were typical 100% polyester threads used for normal sewing.
Sewing needle was a normal Smetz universal needle (#15 from memory) and it handled the three layers of cotton, plus the 1mm of cutting board plastic fine.
I used my Toyota sewing machine for this job since it is my current "work horse" machine. I have an old Elna "Air electric", and a Husky 4 thread overlocker, but those only get used when needed.. the Toyota is my "day to day" machine.

I'll post a review on Daria once I have it my hands!!! - Come on Amazon...

No comments:

Post a Comment