control box mounting options?

I have a small, 2x4" aluminum control box with some toggle switches and motor direction controls. I need to have the control box available at the same time I use a small laptop. The problem I'm having is that both the laptop and control box cannot be mounted permanently and have to be put away once the uses for them are completed. While the laptop isn't wired to anything and can just be unplugged and put away, the control box is already wired to some other equipment and I can't just unplug it. I need to be able to just move or "fold up" the control box out of the way when I'm done with it. I'm looking for a way I can mount it to do just that. The closest thing I can think of that would be remotely similar is the way a TV is attached to the wall in a hospital. It can be pulled down for patient use as needed and then the arm folded and the TV moved up against the wall when done. Of course, I don't need or want anything quite that elaborate but you get the idea. The control box weighs ounces, yet I need to have enough rigidity while I'm using it that it doesn't move when I'm toggling the switches and controls while I'm using the laptop. There should be something simple I can fashion... simple and inexpensive I would think. In the store, I see flex lamps that have metal tubing that allows the lamp to flex it where you want it; I see this in rolls used for under sink plumbing and toilet hookups, but I need to flex about 3 feet and I doubt it would be rigid enough. I've also thought about a hinge attached to the wall.... perfect except there is a book case in the way and it's PVC so I really can't attach to it.
Anyone have ideas, it sure would be appreciated. I'd like to have the control box mounted to whatever flexible mounting I come up with asap.
Thanks in advance, pete
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[snip]

Perhaps an old Anglepoise lamp from a garage sale or thrift store?
Maybe you should take a wander through a local thrift store or two. You may spot something you can hack that you wouldn't otherwise have considered...
Hey, if you repurpose some oddball device that works, post it on Hackaday!
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On 3/28/15 12:05 PM, pete wrote:
(snip)

(snip)
Can you cut the wires and splice in a plug & jack ?
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Followups to sci.electronics.design.

How about one of those shaving mirrors that mounts on the wall and has a "scissor" mechanism so it can be extended away from the wall? Remove the mirror and put your control box where it was. Something like
https://www.plumbingsupply.com/images/blp-vantage-accordian-style-mirror-lg.jpg
.
Matt Roberds
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On 3/28/2015 9:05 AM, pete wrote:

But, you (later) claim the control box is "already wired" which implies that it already is "captive" to <something>. Where is it presently when not being used for whatever purpose you are describing here? Is it just a box on the end of a cable that you store on a shelf -- still tethered to whatever equipment it controls?

If the control box is lightweight and you're just dealing with "toggle switches and motor direction controls" (the latter possibly being a rotary knob or somesuch?), you don't really need something that is as "stationary" as would be required for a keyboard, for example (something that you are *poking* at and don't want to have jostling about between keystrokes). I.e., with a single hand, you could probably steady the control box while toggling a switch, etc.
In other words, you don't need a terribly *stiff*, immovable mount.
[Or, is the laptop also part of this assembly?]

You're describing a gooseneck. Depending on diameter and length, this isn't particularly "stiff" -- though would meet *my* assessment of your needs.

Are you sure that's really what you think? Most of the metal braid covered water lines are far more flexible than a gooseneck. There are some flexible copper pipes but they aren't intended for repeated flexing. E.g., look at some of the hookups for hot water heaters, water softeners, etc. They are considerably larger diameter than most goosenecks found on lamps, medical instruments, etc.

Move the bookcase?
Where do you expect to mount the support that you ultimately use? If the wall is not an option because of the bookcase's presence, your only other choices are off the floor or ceiling.

*If* the wall was an option, why not just a rigid member (wood or steel, your choice) that is hinged at the top (where it attaches to the wall). The cable(s) to this piece of steel/wood with the control box on the far end (also rigidly mounted to it).
[E.g., a length of U channel would be small, very inflexible and provide some built-in protection for the cables -- if you run them *in* the channel]
When you intend to use the controls, lift the free end of this "strut" into place and have two legs that fall down on each side to prop that end up off the wall surface. So, any pressure *into* the control panel or to it's side is distributed to the legs and, ultimately, the wall.
When done, fold the legs up so that the strut can fall back flat against the wall.
Of course, you can also have the "stored" position of the strut be skyward instead of "hanging down". Velcro or a mechanical latch could hold it "up" in this stored position.
You can also split the strut in the middle (with a hinge) so it "folds" *towards* the wall instead of hanging. To hold the strut in its unfolded configuration (i.e., while deployed for use), a tube that tightly matches the thickness of the strut can be slid down over the "fold" to ensure it remains stiff in its extension.
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