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,
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!
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
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
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
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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