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Old 16th Dec 2012, 21:32   #1
confusis
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Aurora Design's DeToX

The beginning:

AMD released their DTX and M-DTX form factors in 2004, to answer a need for a standardised form factor like Shuttle's dual slot SFF systems. Unfortunately, like Intel's BTX, the form factor never really took hold outside of OEMs. I've been a fan of the form factor since launch, admiring it's almost M-ITX size with the ability to have 2 expansion slots. When the opportunity came up to grab one of Elitegroup Computer System's new H61H2-MV boards, I jumped at the chance.

DeToX - the name derived from DTX, and the organic, natural feel of the wood as a medium for chassis work - is designed to look like an older appliance, found in someone's attic and dusted off - maybe something from the late 40's/50's. I chose the flawed sides of the wood to accentuate this, bringing out the 'used and abused' aspect of the design. The cutouts are also designed to accentuate this, not quite perfect, as if it has taken damage over the years.

I will be staining the pine a darker, cedar-like tone to help with the effect.


The board features Intel Socket 1155, H61 chipset, and a couple of nifty features:
Great socket placement compared to most M-ITX boards:




And two expansion slots!



The design work started by mocking up the proposed hardware in Sketchup and in reality: (missing is the cooler, drives and power supply :P )



And then I began cutting the parts. The wood here is 4 and 7mm thick, 3 ply, Pinus Radiata, grown in the largest planted forest in the Southern Hemisphere (Kaingaroa Forest, just a stone's throw from where I grew up)






And now for some real work. Mocking up here:



I attached the side panels with 'panel pins', little 15mm long nails well suited for working with such materials.




The fan here has had 5mm shaved off the frame to enable the blades to sit within the hole provided for it




Where I am at now: most of the cutting is done. Need to do some tidying up, then work on the aluminium struts for the corners. All in all, I've spent 6 hours on this so far!




And off I go to complete more work.

The system specifications:
ECS H61H2-MV board
Pentium G645/Core i3 (still to decide/purchase)
2x4GB RAM
eBay special gigabit card
HD4550 (upgrading to the low profile Sapphire HD7750 when budget allows)
Flex-ATX PSU (to be purchased)
Deepcool Gamma Blade cooler
SSD and HDD TBD

=====================================

Change of plans - The corner pieces are 'rimu' wood.. I think, it's from a floorboard I recycled :P




=====================================

First coat of stain, a custom mix by my mum's partner - 'Aurora' Oak. The orange will fade as it cures/dries, in 18 hours or so I will be doing a second coat to even out the colour and darken it a bit.



Remember my aim here is not 'as new' perfection, the aim is to look like it's been used for 10-20 years back in the Art Deco era, then stored in an attic until recently when it was 'found and dusted off'.

I also cut a set of case feet from the same wood as the corner struts:



======================================
Need to invest in some needle files... This is what I've been working on today:



A second coat of stain:



And some 'this is where I'm at' pics:







And a shot with the lettering in place (still to be filed)






I'm entering the ECS ModMen contest I would really appreciate your vote. Project name is 'DeToX' and user is 'confusis01'. Most likely I will be on the first vote page - http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Act...dmen/vote.aspx - thanks!

Last edited by confusis; 17th Dec 2012 at 04:15.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 19:29   #2
confusis
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Now to consider the top 'vent/window' area. It needs to be somewhat open to enable airflow - the only 'intake' is the front 70mm fan, the only exhaust will be the PSU, so convection is important. What are your thoughts?





Please remember to vote for me in the ECS ModMen contest - http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Act...dmen/vote.aspx
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Old 11th Jan 2013, 18:18   #3
confusis
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Ok folks, time for an update.

I live in a sub-tropical climate here in Auckland, New Zealand. This leads to 99% humidity in summer - for weeks on end! Unfortunately the humidity was absorbed by DeToX v1 before the stain cured, (and thus before I could seal it). This led to a massive warp of the chassis - not fixable

Sooooo I started again. After obtaining a few pieces of an old drawer set - 40 years old and has been in Auckland's climate for all of that time - I redesigned the chassis to work within the new material limitations. Still sticking with the art deco/retro theme, I've developed this:







Still to do:
PSU mount
hardware purchase
stain and seal the chassis
detailing
sleeving

Just a friendly reminder - I'm entering the ECS ModMen contest with this build.
http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/866q5xqv67#.UOzZqG8XZLk Please vote for me - you can vote daily!

Also please flick my friend Al (http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/4210w3bcT4Pt#.UOzZzm8XZLk ) and Masbuskado (http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/4389ey8h8a66#.UOzZ-G8XZLk) a vote each - you can vote for up to 5 entries a day.
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Old 11th Jan 2013, 18:30   #4
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I love this style of case. What are you planning on doing with the back?
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Old 11th Jan 2013, 18:35   #5
confusis
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Thanks dude

Leaving it open I think. A lot of the older electronics are open backed! (scary but it's true)

If i do something with it, it will be something simple, a basic wood backplate http://www.decophobia.com/prodimg/mo...-deco_5(1).jpg
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 18:50   #6
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Soooo here's an update:
Varnished the wood of the chassis:


Bought a pack of brass strips from eBay, I think they bring the look together. You press the engraved power logo on the top strip to power the system on - there's a power switch hidden behind the brass.




And a quickie look at the combination:


I'm entering this in the ECS ModMen contest:
http://ecsmodmen.com...67#.UOzZqG8XZLk
Please vote for me - you can vote daily!

Also flick my friend Al (http://ecsmodmen.com...Pt#.UOzZzm8XZLk ) a vote please,
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 19:31   #7
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God I really like this! Has the feel of an old radio to me and I really look forward to more!
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 20:36   #8
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This is looking great - the logo is superb, and the cloth front has just the right look.
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Old 24th Jan 2013, 00:58   #9
confusis
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Thanks folks. This case is almost finished, just the PSU to be sleeved, front to be mounted properly, then hardware to be installed. It finally found a place in my house - HTPC, so it wil end up running a single drive, XBMC, Pentium dual core and a HD4550. Just enough to stream media off my home server.

Next build will be a bit more.. high end hardware in a similar style but better!
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 18:17   #10
confusis
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4 days to go, here's the final update!

Project DeToX: Using ECS's new 'M-DTX' motherboard, I am aiming to produce a wooden HTPC chassis reminiscent of art-deco era electronics. Adding to this theme, the design is to resemble a well-used product, as if the PC was used heavily for years, then left in an attic for a few decades. All major materials used are recycled, including New Zealand native timber. As a full-time solo parent with 2 children, as well as being an unemployed student, the goal of this build was to be good value for money.



Please vote for me here - I really need to get into the top 10 to continue to next round! - http://www.ecsmodmen.com/entries/866...7#.USkABqUwolA
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 19:33   #11
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Looks a really nice original design man!
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