Project: Electronics Cabinet Update

So, in the RV, there are a couple of cabinets that contain, originally, the switching box for TV, satellite, music, etc., that now contains our electronics package.  The cabinet now contains our PepLink router, HD Homerun and WeBoost.  The PepLink allows me to have two SIM cards for different cellular carriers (AT&T and Verizon) and connect to campground WiFi to make it more secure.  The HD Homerun connects to the old TV antenna (with a new HD antenna I installed last year) to get over the air channels if signals are good.  And finally, the WeBoost amplifies all cellular signals and rebroadcasts it to gain up to 32X the power (takes zero bars to 1 or 2 for example).  So, they sit in this tiny cabinet…

PepLink on the left, WeBoost on the wall and HD Homerun on the old switch unit

…with all kinds of wires, what I think is the old satellite dish controller and the switcher.  With no real TV’s in the rig, satellite and switcher are useless.

So, my concern was air flow. These devices produce heat and don’t have any circulation built in.  SO…I opted to make a change to the cabinet doors to improve circulation.

Originally, all the cabinets have this decorative weave pattern “wood,” which I use loosely because it is some sort of foam applique.  No air flow whatsoever.  Not what we want in the world of today.  And, IMO, ugly.  See picture to see what I mean.

Old and dated

So, I decided to use some decorative mesh that you can find at Lowe’s or HomeDepot (HomeDespot for those in the know).  So, I started with this raw screen material.

Aluminum decorative mesh

It is a nice aluminum grid pattern, similar enough in scale to the existing panels that it works (we have other plans for the remaining cabinets, but that involves plexiglass and frosted treatments, future project).

This stuff is pretty inexpensive and can be cut with a Dremel tool (which of course, finally gave me a reason to buy one, ssssshhhh!  Don’t tell Julie!).  So, I picked up a piece of it and got prepped to do an upgrade to the cabinets.

After pulling the crappy weave out, I used it as a template to trace out the the proper size.  Then, I used the Dremel to cut the aluminum sheet.  Fortunately, the size worked out well with the grid on the sheet, so I didn’t need to worry too much about cutting through a lot of metal.

Once I got it in and secured, and then back up on the cabinet, it looked really nice.

New hotness

So, as you can see, it looks pretty sweet.  It doesn’t look it, but the metal finish is a bit coppery (looks different in every light I’ve looked at it under).  But, it now allows for full air flow in and out.

Only one injury

All projects require a blood sacrifice

This project only took about an hour to complete.  It was simpler in execution to some of our other upgrades, but has both an aesthetic and a functional purpose.  I’ll call that a win in any book.

Final product…all airy and stuff

So, that wraps this post.  Just wanted to kick off a series of project posts with one that went smoothly and had no hiccups.  Future additions to the cabinet will be better power strips, a NAS and a fan for airflow…for starters.

3 thoughts on “Project: Electronics Cabinet Update

  1. When I visualize your travails (aided by the photos), I also see Julie lounging in the background, feet up, sipping an ice cold martini, or maybe a glass of sherry, wondering what you’ll be fixing for dinner. Or maybe out playing croquet with the other campers?

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