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Old 23rd April 2015, 11:58 PM   #1
miallen is offline miallen  United States
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Default Mounting PCBs in Rack Enclosure

How do you mount PCBs to the bottom (or top) of a rack enclosure without anything like a pan head sticking out?

In commercial gear there are usually depressions in the sheet metal to account for a screw head. Is there a hand tool that can do this sort of thing?

I've got a nice Hammond 1U RMC enclosure but there is absolutely no room for screw heads above or below. I am at a total loss as to how to actually mount anything to this enclosure.
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Old 24th April 2015, 12:04 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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You can use a flat head screw, and countersink the hole so it sits flush. The little plastic snap posts can have a very low profile as well. Pop rivets have a low profile, you could use them to mount some sort of internal brackets.
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Old 24th April 2015, 01:24 AM   #3
miallen is offline miallen  United States
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Yeah, I think the coutersink method is just about the best method at this point.

I can't believe there's not a better way to do this. After searching the WWW I am really NOT impressed with sticky tape'd plastic standoffs and other such hackery.

The standard male-female standoffs are not quite right:

Click the image to open in full size.

Anyone know of a 6-32 0.25" / 6.35mm hex standoff with a shorter male end like only 3mm long?
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Old 24th April 2015, 09:26 AM   #4
marce is online now marce  United Kingdom
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You'd be surprised at how strong some 'sticky tape hackery' can be once amalgamated...
More choice probably if you went metric.

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Old 24th April 2015, 11:51 AM   #5
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Countersunk screws...
Fix a piece of square rod on the pcb with a threaded hole at the end on the edge of the pcb.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 24th April 2015, 04:09 PM   #6
miallen is offline miallen  United States
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I found male-female M3 5+4mm standoffs. And the 0.5mm pitch thread would mean up to 4 threads would grip 2mm sheet metal whereas with 6-32 only 2.5 threads would grip. With a washer these standoffs might not stick through more than 1mm or so. If the hole were just right, brass into aluminum might not even need tapping.

But I suppose the countersunk screw method is probably still a little better. But with these parts:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

The two screw ends might butt into one another leaving about 0.087" slack by my calculations. Unfortunately I have found that 1U enclosures can be very tight with things like radial capacitors (especially filter capacitors of power supplies). Maybe a washer could take up the slack.

The square rod idea is interesting. If the intention is to lay down a long square rod extending beyond the ends of the PCB, that would also solve the butting threads problem with standoffs. The only problem is that I do not have the tools to accurately drill 0.25" square rod.
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Old 27th April 2015, 07:33 AM   #7
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My post was for vertical pcb mounting.

Gajanan Phadte
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