Monday, March 1, 2010

More Progress On the Bezel Mods

Things are really starting to come together now. I'll start out with a shot of the switch array ready for wiring. The way the LED is mounted may seem strange but the last thing I want when I'm out navigating the Mississippi River at night is an LED shining directly in my face. So it's mounted sideways which will give it a nice glow without being in your face. I just want something to indicate when it's powered up.


Here's a shot of the drilled bezel, followed by a picture of it in place over the switches


Now we get to the fun part, my technique for making professional looking labels for projects, making hamemade microwave touchpad style switch arrays or in this case individual switches. First I use a product for making your own indoor sign labels, it's basically photographic printer paper with a peel off back like an 8.5"x11" sticker. In this case it was just four labels printed on a laser printer using the white paper as the lettering and everything else solid black. The other product I'll use is self laminating pouches


I separate the two pieces and mainly use the sticky half but don't throw the other piece away, it makes a handy insulating material or for use in my switch array by punching out a circle with a hole punch

Which I then place on the back of my label just before I apply it to the panel which not only makes it wear better, it provides a little relief so you get a little bubble from the switch plunger without too much pressure  self activating the switch

Here is a picture of the bezel with the labels in place followed by a shot of the bezel with the laminating material applied


Normally I'd leave it as is although I would have made the lamanting one piece, but I need to deglare the bezel so I'll be painting it flat black. Flat black paint is the prototyper's/modifier's best friend. It's essentially a primer so it sticks well and because it doesn't contain so much plastisizer it doesn't react to surfaces or orange peel like regular gloss spray paint. It will build up layers real nice and is easy to touch up or repaint. It also hides small scratches and imperfections ... plus it looks industrial, rugged and IMO cool. So all I have left to do now is scuff up the gloss on the bezel with some fine wet/dry sandpaper so the paint adheres better and mask off the labels (I'll keep the 'Acer' at the bottom by the 'Aspire One' is getting painted over.)

Tomorrow I'll paint the bezel and wire the switch array and will have some more progress pictures in a couple of days ...

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