Topics

Designing a new TM500 storage box

Magic_Smoke
 

Hello all,

I have been spending some free time 3D printing odds and ends around the shop and I came across an application which might interest some of the readers here. I have a half-full TM5006A sitting in my garage and spending most of its time collecting dust, and I thought making some covers for the blank spaces might be a good project. In researching a good way to do this I came across the TM500 accessory "Plug-In Tool Box / Storage Compartment (part number 016-0362-02) discussed here: https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/topic/7653462), and I thought that sounded even better!

Anyhow, I spent a little while trying to make a faithful recreation and found the design is quite complex and difficult to print, and so I began down the road of how I would approach the design if I were going to make a new one from scratch. Does anyone here have any insights from using the real thing? What is handy and what is annoying about the old design? One of my key questions: is the integrated latch important? Those things certainly add complexity :)

I think my first attempt may be a simple open-top pull-out drawer, I'll post some pictures when I make a prototype I'm happy with. I am tempted to try to make my own pull-tabs since those seem to be broken on half of the modules I find, but that will have to be the subject of another post.

Dave Casey
 

If you have multiple empty slots, it seems like it would be more
functional to make one big drawer.

Dave Casey

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 3:43 PM Magic_Smoke <@magicsmoke> wrote:

Hello all,

I have been spending some free time 3D printing odds and ends around the
shop and I came across an application which might interest some of the
readers here. I have a half-full TM5006A sitting in my garage and spending
most of its time collecting dust, and I thought making some covers for the
blank spaces might be a good project. In researching a good way to do this
I came across the TM500 accessory "Plug-In Tool Box / Storage Compartment
(part number 016-0362-02) discussed here:
https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/topic/7653462), and I thought that sounded
even better!

Anyhow, I spent a little while trying to make a faithful recreation and
found the design is quite complex and difficult to print, and so I began
down the road of how I would approach the design if I were going to make a
new one from scratch. Does anyone here have any insights from using the
real thing? What is handy and what is annoying about the old design? One of
my key questions: is the integrated latch important? Those things certainly
add complexity :)

I think my first attempt may be a simple open-top pull-out drawer, I'll
post some pictures when I make a prototype I'm happy with. I am tempted to
try to make my own pull-tabs since those seem to be broken on half of the
modules I find, but that will have to be the subject of another post.



 

Hi Magic_Smoke
First a question: Did you chose your name to honor the smoke from a Lucas, Prince of Darkness, wiring harness? Or does your name honor some other smoke? We all want to know.

Not to change the subject but the TM500 Plugin toolbox is readily available and reasonably inexpensive. What I would suggest you make instead is a storage box plugin for the 7000 series scopes. I can provide the top and bottom rails and the side panels. If you do it right you won't need a front panel or one in the rear.

Tek never made one of those for the 7000 scope series so there is probably more interest in this. I made one for myself when I found it annoying that Tek didn't have a place to put the probes in my 7704A scope when I was transporting it across town for my friend to use. Since I could only afford 3 plugins there was that annoying 4th hole I desperately wanted to fill. One day the light went on and I realized I could kill two birds with one stone by making a storage box plugin. I think this was before the TM500 series came out so I didn't have that as a model.

I went into the machine shop where I worked, I notched out of a piece of aluminum to form the 5 sides of a box that would fit into the interior of an empty plugin. I bent up the sides on a bending brake. The 6th side was the lid which would be attached to the other part of the box with piano hinge. I punched a 3/4" diameter hole in the lid to use as a finger pull and I lined it with a small piece of plastic chassis edging to eliminate sharp edges.\The lid was held to the box using Velcro. I would have to show you a picture. I anodized both pieces so they looked "industrial". I attached the 5 sided piece to the rails of the plugin frame, screwed the lid onto the hinge and screwed the hinge along the long side of the 5 sided box and then I lined the inside with 1/8" thick closed cell black foam so anything I put in it wouldn't be scratched by rubbing against bare metal. Later I decided I didn't like the anodized aluminum look and I spray painted it a sort of Tek Blue color.

I can probably post pictures if you like.

Commercial message:
Anyone who is looking for a TM500 storage box I have a few I don't use. Contact me off list at dennis at ridesoft dot com if you are interested.
That's the end of the commercial message!

Dennis Tillman W7PF

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Magic_Smoke
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:43 PM
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Designing a new TM500 storage box

Hello all,

I have been spending some free time 3D printing odds and ends around the shop and I came across an application which might interest some of the readers here. I have a half-full TM5006A sitting in my garage and spending most of its time collecting dust, and I thought making some covers for the blank spaces might be a good project. In researching a good way to do this I came across the TM500 accessory "Plug-In Tool Box / Storage Compartment (part number 016-0362-02) discussed here: https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/topic/7653462), and I thought that sounded even better!

Anyhow, I spent a little while trying to make a faithful recreation and found the design is quite complex and difficult to print, and so I began down the road of how I would approach the design if I were going to make a new one from scratch. Does anyone here have any insights from using the real thing? What is handy and what is annoying about the old design? One of my key questions: is the integrated latch important? Those things certainly add complexity :)

I think my first attempt may be a simple open-top pull-out drawer, I'll post some pictures when I make a prototype I'm happy with. I am tempted to try to make my own pull-tabs since those seem to be broken on half of the modules I find, but that will have to be the subject of another post.





--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Magic_Smoke
 

True, Dave! I had always imagined making single and double versions. My trouble is I live close to the Tek Mothership and I'm always hunting for some good modules to take up residence in there (hopefully a TG501 and a PG506, one day!) and I'm afraid making a nice double drawer will be admitting defeat :)

Magic_Smoke
 

Hahah, not Lucas specifically Dennis, but similar technology in other applications. I have found it a key ingredient in all sorts of lab equipment!

The best deal I found for a TM500 box on eBay was this one (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tekronix-016-0362-02-Storage-Tool-Box-For-TM500-Mainframes/283668771340) for a unit with a broken latch, to the tune of ~$45 shipped. Not a bad deal for what you get, but unless I'm missing a better source I think I can certainly beat that with my printer. Plus I get a kick out of being able to do this myself :) In the event all the retired Tek guys I hang out want one I was hoping to make something I could sell for a fraction of that...we'll see how much time and material it comes out to be, if I can pull it off. Spending hours daydreaming about it obviously not being budgeted here, haha.

The 7000 drawer is a fantastic idea! Your design sounds like just the kind of thing I was trying to emulate, those are very good notes. I would be happy to see the pictures, if it is not too much trouble. I'll email you later today, thank you!

This kind of thing is really the fantasy of every engineer with a 3D printer at home, I think - make the random crap the world always wanted but never saw fiscally responsible to bring into creation. First 7000-series drawers, next replacement pull-tabs for those damn modules (is there already a source for that?) - surely THAT will convince my wife that it was not a huge waste of money, right? ...RIGHT?

...Just kidding, actually she's been very supportive of the 3D printer in general! I made her some cool desk toys and a child safety latch for a cabinet, so it's all bonus from here.

Magic_Smoke
 

...Come to think of it, I wonder if the common applications of "magic smoke" to electronics these days all owe their roots to the Lucas harnesses? That would be a fun bit of history! Fortunately I only work on late 90's/early 00's Japanese and German cars these days, and they are relatively well-sealed when it comes to smoke leaks.

 

The worst part is the horrid design of the two piece catch/latch for closing the lid. It breaks as soon as look at it ...

David

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Magic_Smoke
Sent: 21 January 2020 21:43
To: TekScopes@groups.io
Subject: [TekScopes] Designing a new TM500 storage box

Hello all,

:
I came across the TM500 accessory "Plug-In Tool Box / Storage Compartment" (part number 016-0362-02):
:
:
One of my key questions: is the integrated latch important? Those things certainly add complexity :)

Dave Seiter
 

I've had three British cars (still have two), but other than many bad connections, I've never experienced the magic smoke from them.  My Opel GT on the other hand....   (going down the highway at 11pm when EVERYTHING dies- a fuseable link in the harness didn't fuse fast enough and there was great melting...)
-Dave

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 03:36:04 PM PST, Magic_Smoke <@magicsmoke> wrote:

...Come to think of it, I wonder if the common applications of "magic smoke" to electronics these days all owe their roots to the Lucas harnesses? That would be a fun bit of history! Fortunately I only work on Japanese and German cars these days, and they are relatively well-sealed when it comes to smoke leaks.

David DiGiacomo
 

The TM500 toolbox is very impractical... it just takes too long to get
it out of the mainframe and get the finicky latch open. The front
panel should detach or hinge open instead.

Magic_Smoke
 

Thanks David, this is exactly the kind of feedback I need. How do you feel about a big open-top drawer?

David DiGiacomo
 

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 11:14 PM Magic_Smoke <@magicsmoke> wrote:

Thanks David, this is exactly the kind of feedback I need. How do you feel about a big open-top drawer?
A simple drawer plugin would be OK for a mainframe that was staying in
one spot on the bench, but not so great for one that was moved around.
Small parts would migrate over the drawer sides and get lost in the
mainframe. It also wouldn't solve the problem of having to unlatch
and pull out the drawer to use it.

A drawer inside an enclosed box plugin might work well, if the drawer
didn't end up being too small.