These are modified Apache 1800/Apache 2800 Weather-Resistant cases to safely house a module backplane.
Harbor Freight products are not known for their quality. However, these cases are quite durable and economical. We do plan on making Pelican versions as well but the cost of a similar sized Pelican case is around 3x as much. They do, however, advertise an IP67 rating rather than IP65 of the Harbor Freight ones.
We can get you the Harbor Freight case, with modifications, backplane, and awesome hardware to make it work well for close to the price of buying a comparable Pelican case with no modifications, backplane, or hardware.
Apache 1800 equivalent : Pelican 1150 Retail $39.95
Apache 2800 equivalent : Pelican 1400 Retail $99.95
The Apache 1800 Link
comes with 3 layers of foam inserts that can be picked apart to create different shapes. Backplane size 8"x5". Unless you have a large project or want a lot of extra elbow room - we recommend these compared to the larger 2800's. They are easy to carry, light-weight, and will get the job done. You are able to do two layers of backplanes unless you are using devices with very high clearances.
The Apache 2800 Link
comes with 2 layers of foam inserts that can be picked apart to create different shapes. Backplane size 11"x8". These have backplanes that are just over 4x the size of the 1800. You can create very complex electronics inside of these or just have more elbow room to make it easier to work with. Because of the additional depth, approximately 3 layers of backplanes will fit depending on the height clearance of your modules.
If you need a portable and durable housing for bringing your prototype around these are great. They will get the job done without breaking the bank. When we have Pelican versions available I would only recommend those if you just have to have the best or you know that they will receive abuse or be in wetter environments.
It is things like this that really makes this modular system shine. With just a screw driver you can rig together a prototype that you can have on a work bench or inside a case like this or inside another case. No laying out holes, no drilling, and reusable.
Modifications to the case are minimal - 4 #8 screw holes drilled in the recesses of the feet to accommodate screws.
The provided hardware make this system shine:
- APM Hexseal screws to help ensure weather resistance Link
- 3M Isoloss-SL stand-offs provide vibration dampening and isolate the backplane from the case allowing the case to thermally expand or be bumped around with affecting the electronics minimally
- Module backplane allowing flexible setup of electronic prototypes
The isolation standoffs are compliant, but not too complaint. In the pictures you can see how they allow the stud that attaches to the backplane to move independently from the case. When all 4 are mounted to the backplane the backplane is rigid yet still isolated. There should be no issues with the standoffs ability to secure your prototype unless you are using *very* heavy components. Please check with us first if you are unsure and we can do some testing here first before you buy.
Note for the Apache 1800 only: The screw heads are too large to fit in the recess provided on the Apache case. The sealing screws do not seat as intended to make a proper seal. If you require good water resistance we suggest removing the screws and using a permanent seal like silicone inside of the hole and reinstalling the screws and standoffs. Wait for the silicone to cure before you expose the case to harsh environments.