You Can't Dumpster Dive a Trash Compactor

My wife loves it when I fill the living room with refrigerator boxes.
My wife loves it when I fill the living room with dumpster cardboard.

Well, I'm still waiting for the jumper wires I need to get the Lepton attached to the Raspberry Pi, so I switched gears today and worked on a mock up for the exterior shell for this project. The final shell will be custom printed corrugated plastic, but for now I'm working in cardboard to make sure I have all the dimensions and anchor points worked out. 

I figured my final exterior dimensions need to be ~ 40.5" x 25", although this might change a bit once I see how big the power pack is going to be. 

Yankees don't like paying for anything, so that obviously means I spent the afternoon looking for free crap in the dumpster. 

Oh no you don't, Bub.

I was shocked to discover that all the big box/home goods stores have their own trash compactors out back! I drove around behind 8 or 9 different places and every single one had gated trash, and most of them had a trash compactor.

I admit I had a moment where I considered jumping in one of the compactors (they probably only turn it one once a day, right? Right?), but as a child of the 80's, a certain scene from a certain Hollywood space movie has haunted me into adulthood.

When did this happen? I finally gave up and went into a Home Depot and wandered around asking store employees if they had any jumbo cardboard for sale.

I got the runaround for a while until some older guy took pity on me and let me drag a refrigerator box out of the loading dock. "What's this for?" he asked. "My um... my kid... has a project." I said. (Benjamin is 7 months old.)

I know, I know. I should have just explained the project to him, but it's a total rabbit hole, and I didn't want to be standing there ten minutes later trying to explaining TCP/IP...

Anyway, I managed to jam the refrigerator box into my Honda Accord (Note: Pretty sure this was not a good idea.) and drag it all home.

A little work with the t-square and a razor knife and behold! A prototype case. Huzzah. Tomorrow I'll pick up some nylon screws and washers to hold the edges closed. (Or maybe Velcro, I'm not sure yet.)