If the primary use of your RFzero is for development purposes you many not have a lot of mechanical issues to solve. On the other hand if you want to put your RFzero in an enclosure or improve RF shielding please find the necessary documentation below and ideas how you can perform the RF shielding.
PCB, front and back drill template
If you want to mount your RFzero board on another plate or inside a box without grooves you can mount it on stand-offs and use the four holes in the corners of the PCB. If you want to mount the RFzero into an enclosure, or RF shielding box drilling the holes in the right place becomes important. In either case please see the drill template.
- USB: 12,1 mm x 10,9 mm (width x height), 6 mm outside the PCB
- LEDs: Ø3 mm
- SMA: Ø6,1 mm, 7 mm outside the PCB
The RFzero is an RF device and therefore preventing unwanted RF from getting out and shielding may become relevant for the actual use. This can be done by putting the RFzero into a RF tight box even if it may be inside an enclosure already.
You don’t have to get a milled box for your RFzero to have proper RF shielding. A good and cost effective way to do RF shielding is using “German Silver” or thin metal sheets, i.e. less than 0,3 mm in thickness, that have been tinned so the sheets are solderable. You can also make the screens from pieces of PCB material.
The sides of the RFzero board has been unmasked to allow easy soldering of the PCB to the metal sheets. You don’t have to solder the parts together in each and every possible place – at least this is neither a microwave nor a GHz piece of RF device. But two or three spots on each side will do the job. Soldering it in to many spots will make it difficult to take apart in case you need to repair it later on.
RF shielding using a metal sheet box (Weissblechgehäuse).
Metal sheet boxes (Weissblechgehäuse) are available from RF specialist shops.
Mitch, W4OA, has designed a 3D printed enclosure for his RFzero. The texts are 3D printed too and subsequently highlighted using a marker pen. Mitch recommends 2 mm or more of height to avoid smearing on the front plate itself.
Mitch’s, W4OA, 3D printed enclosure. Picture courtesy Mitch, W4OA.