An Enclosure for the TAPR PIC-E

by Steven Bible, N7HPR

last updated: April 24, 1999

The TAPR PIC-E was designed to fit inside the Radio Shack project case with 9 volt battery compartment (RS 270-213).  It is available at Radio Shack stores and it is not a special order item.  The enclosure measures 3 5/8" x 5 3/4" x 1 1/8" and cost US$5.39 (1999 Catalog).  It comes with a 9-volt battery clip.  (The PIC-E can operate from a 9-volt battery)

The enclosure has three mounting holes that the PIC-E fits into.  The picture below shows the mounting holes with screws removed.

You will need to cut the sides of the enclosure to allow the RJ-45 and DB-9 connectors to protrude.  I used a sharp X-acto knife.  Take heed and do not cut yourself, make certain to cut away from your body!

I've sketched a template and converted it to PDF format.  When you print it out it may not be to scale.  I put a 1" scale on the template.  Use a ruler to check that the template did not expand or shrink.  I'll attempt to draft a more accurate template and post it.

Wrap the template around the enclosure.  Use the feet on the bottom half of the enclosure for reference.  Then mark the cut out holes.  If the template is not to scale, you can place your PIC-E in the bottom of the case and mark where the RJ-45 and DB-9 connectors meet the case.  You can start cutting the case here and frequently check your work by test fitting the PIC-E in the case.  When you finish the bottom case cut out, start on the top using the same proceedure.

Battery Power
You can power the PIC-E from a 9-volt battery.  Solder the 9-volt battery clip that comes with the project box to B1 on the PIC-E.  Pay attention to polarity, red is "+" and black is "-".  Better yet, solder in place a polarized 2-conductor plug and jack so you can remove the PIC-E from the case if needed.

It is up to you to decide how you want the switches and LEDs to protrude from the case.  The evaluation PIC-E came with mini-slide switches.  The production PIC-E comes with mini-toggle switches.  The toggle switches will stick out of the case.  All you have to do is cut two slots in the end of the case.  If you want to replace the mini-slide switches with mini-toggle switches, you can order them from Jameco (P/N 106067)

You can mount the LEDs at a 90 degree angle and cut holes in the end of the case.  Another possiblity is to solder the LEDs such that they extend up through the top of the case.  The benefit of this method is that you can easily see the LEDs and label their functions.

I am always investigating new and better ways to enclose TAPR projects.  If you have an idea, or comment, please share them with the PIC SIG group or email me at

Below is a mosaic of pictures showing the PIC-E in the Radio Shack project case.