Introduction: Fisher Snow Plow Control Mod
This is a modification to my Fisher hand held snow plow control. I have a small truck and there's not enough room on my dash to mount a hand held or joy stick controller so I made my own smaller enclosure. I'm sure this will work with other controllers of this type. If you choose to make one of these boxes you are doing so at your own risk and I am not responsible for any malfunctions or damages to your components. Make sure you are willing to make modifications to factory parts before you take on this project. I'm also certain that this modification voids any warranties too so proceed with caution.
Step 1: Materials
You will need the following:
2 - Small Ear Ring Jewelry Boxes 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" (I found metal boxes with a velvet type material covering them)
4 - Small Flathead Screws
4 - Small Pan Head Screws
1 - Piece of thick plastic (I used UHMW) 1/4" x 1" x 2 3/8"
1 - 3/8" Flat Washer
1 - Handheld Fisher Plow Control
Step 2: Prep the Ear Ring Box
Strip the velvet material off the metal boxes and remove the hinges. Set the tops of the boxes aside in case you need extra material. I used some Goof-off to remove the glue off the outside and inside of the boxes.
Step 3: Trace Circuit Board Outline
Using the circuit board as a template, trace its outline onto one of the box bottoms with a permanent marker centering it left-right and up-down. Next, free hand another "cut line" following your tracing approximately 1/8" to the inside to create a lip that the circuit board face will rest on when clamped in place. Make sure you test fit the circuit board to insure no conflicts with the buttons.
Step 4: Cutting Out for Circuit Board
Using a Dremel Tool with a small abrasive cut-off blade, cut along your inside line removing the center of the box allowing the keypad buttons to protrude through the hole. Keep the cut-out material as you will use it in the next steps. Also, using your Dremel switch to a small grinding stone tool and debur the cut and smooth your cut lines to remove all sharp edges.
Step 5: Making Plastic Clamps
I used some UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Plastic) that I had laying around my shop for this but any thick plastic will work. The material needs to be non-conductive as it will be resting against some of the circuit board components when installed. I cut my pieces 3/8" wide and 2-1/4" long to fit into the box. Using my table saw I made a lip in the plastic parts approximately 1/4" x 1/8" so as to allow a lip to make contact with the circuit board and clamp it in place. Drill some holes in the plastic parts and thru the cover allowing the parts to be secured to the face of the box that you just cut-out. I used flat head screws to secure the plastic to the box face which leaves a smooth face when installed. You will also notice that I made a small notch in one of the lips to provide clearance for a small electrical component on the circuit board.
Step 6: Drill for Control Wiring
Up until now all work has been done on the face of the box. This step will prep the bottom of the box for assembly. Using a 3/8" drill bit, I drilled a clearance hole for the control wire strain relief and cut the edge of the box down allowing the strain relief to be slid into position protecting the wiring as it goes into the box. I also made a "C" shaped spacer which you can see in the photos using a 3/8" flat washer which I modified to slip into the groove on the strain relief to not only take up some space but to clamp the control wire into position tightly.
Step 7: Weld Screw Tabs in Place
Using the material we cut-out of the box face I made some small tabs to be welded in place allowing the front and back of the box to be screwed together. I used my mig welder to make some small spot welds to hold the tabs. Once the tabs were in place drill for the pan head screws through the box front edges and into the tabs. Now you can secure the front and the back of the box together.
Step 8: Paint the Box & Assemble
I used flat black paint but you can use whatever your heart desires. Once the paint is dry assemble the box by clamping the circuit board into the front cover, secure the control cable into the bottom of the box and coil the excess control wire into the bottom of the box, connect the control cable to the back of the circuit board, and secure box together and your done!
The small holes on the side of the box are from where the hinges were mounted which we removed. I left them to allow a little air movement to keep the circuit board cool.