Dec 5, 2016

DieselPunk Cellphone - Walnut Case, Powered by Adafruit Feather Fona: Build, Part One

Next, we'll start on the final build.

At this point, you should have the following completed:
  • Wooden case is sanded with threaded inserts glued
  • Speaker and diffuser bezels,  plus microphone bezel installed
  • Back bezel (Motorola badge) glued in
  • FF working with dialpad, OLED, NeoPixel Jewel and LED sequins
There's one tricky thing you need to do before proceeding. The dialpad comes with straight header pins. You have to desolder those so the case will have enough room to close. It's not as hard as it sounds...

Remove all six tiny screws on the back of the dialpad. Set the screws aside in a safe place, where they won't roll around. Put the face of the dialpad aside where it won't be jostled - it's tedious to get back together once the keys become loose. (Hmn. I wonder how he knew that...)

Work on the pins one at a time. Snip each one from the back as you proceed. Ready the solder sucker by pressing its plunger down. Add a tiny bit of solder to your hot soldering iron and apply the tip to the soldered joint. When the solder flows, press the release button on the solder sucker to vacuum up the solder.

Then, grab the pin from underneath with a needle-nose pliers. Clean your soldering iron and re-apply a tiny bit of solder to the tip. Apply heat again to the remaining solder on the board and pull the pin out. If you're lucky, you get a nice, clean hole. If not, apply solder wick and heat to clean it up. 

I soldered back in right-angle header pins and that did help free up vertical space. The downside was that it used much-needed horizontal space. I'd recommend, instead of right-angle headers, solder jumper wires to the dialpad solder points. That means you'll need to plan on soldering the other end of the wires to the perma-proto board at some point. This will be a little bit more awkward in assembly but use much less space.

Once you have the dialpad reassembled, it's time to glue it to the case. Mount the dialpad in the case at the depth you want it, held in by mounting putty (tak). I wanted it a little recessed, but flush with the outside case is nice, also. I applied plain old hot glue - sets up fast and is strong enough. Hot glue is also somewhat forgiving. You can remove it with a heat gun or isopropyl alcohol if you need to. 

While you've got your glue gun heated up, glue in the OLED. Align the SSD1306 OLED in the small cut-out in the top case. Get it centered and hold it down with tak. Drop some glue at the four corners, let cool. 

To add the speaker grill cloth, take a coin or round object about 1inch in diameter and trace out a circle with a fine marking pen. Cut outside the circle and tuck it in behind the speaker bezel and just under the lip of the OLED. Mine held in place just by friction-fit, but you may want to had a couple of drops of hot glue to secure it.

Your build so far should look something like this:

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