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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 02:30   #1
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Project Pyramid

I have been building PC's for a while now. This time i wanted to do something completly different. Browsing the web i found alot of designs. Esp. the borg cube cought my attention. As i am a Scifi addict, i wanted to do a theme around it. I decided to make a HTPC which could stand in the livingroom. As my wife is particular anti-pc regarding cables and extensions, it had to be something which wouldn't be recognised as a PC. I finally came up with the idea of a pyramid as shown in Stargate.
Here are some example pics of the idea.




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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 02:35   #2
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Next thing is starting some basic designs :




After doing the basic designs, i added some more idea's :

1) small design (35 x 35 cm)
2) had to have a B&O effect : motorizing a part of the piramid.........1 side had to go open.
3) additional display in it

Last edited by Gup; 6th Sep 2007 at 01:23.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 02:46   #3
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As criteria are set then wondering about the parts to use :

For the display i ended up with a 5'' screen. A PSONE screen. As i found many threads on modifying it to be used in a PC.
For the motorized part i used part of a cd-player to make the up down movement.
As it should be a small design, the only option was a mini-itx MB. As the commel lV-677 had alot of options i decided to buy that one along with a slimline dvd.
Rest of the specs are :
mini-express tvtuner card (asus notebook rip)
mini-express wlan card
2.5 '' drive 160mb





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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 03:02   #4
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So after getting some parts i decided to make the frame out of aluminium :
Basic parts a 2 mm bottomplate with holes for airflow.
Some aluminium strips cut in an angle.
Some hinges to attach all the alu strips.
and voila a frame is born


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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 03:16   #5
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Next part was cutting the cd-player into pieces and figuring out on how to make the up/down movement. Basicly i wanted to use 2 axes at which the cover would move along. So i decided to make a alu-strip and 2 axes, and the mechanics of the cd-drive. Difficulty is the small space you have got to place the motorized part.



Me cutting the cd-player



The cutted cd-part with the transport mechanism.

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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 03:21   #6
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Next thing was to attach the mechanism to the frame. After alot of cutting and trial and error had it fixed to the frame. I used a welding rod for the axis as they fitted the busses from the cd-mechanism perfect (3 mm)

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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 03:54   #7
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Next part was the electronics. As of the limited space i had to work with. I decided to make triangular pcb's which would fit along side of the screen. The pcb's where needed for the motor control and control from the pc. The other pcb was needed for the psone display. Which consisted of the powersupply/composite sync/and a EDID chip so it would be recognised as a display. Some links for the psone mod :

http://starfox.ucc.asn.au/carcomp/serio_lcd.htm
http://www.firingnow.com/

The pics from design till reality :











Thats the log for now.........have to find another webhosting for the pics.........

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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 04:53   #8
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Next phase was testing if the pcb's would work, so i temporaly attached the MB and the PSONE screen to it. After modding the screen resolution etc. I finally had a picture!!.....




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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 12:16   #9
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As probably all modders have i wanted to share the working space for the project :
As my wife calls it "the organized chaos"...........

Workplace with the electronic parts........picked up an old hobby......



the organized chaos


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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 12:32   #10
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the design error

After playing with the mechanism for the up/down movement i realized that i made a terrible mistake on the design!!....
The moving part with the gear. was placed on the left. The end result would be that if it moved up it would hit the side plate on the left.


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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 12:52   #11
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fixing it

The only option i had to fix it was to move the transport to the middle so it wouldnt stick out of the pyramid. After demolishing a few other cd-drives. I found one which was small enough to have the transport bar in the middle.



Here is a closeup view of it


Last edited by Gup; 6th Sep 2007 at 01:58.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 13:20   #12
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side plates

Next part was the design of the side plates. I decided to use 2 mm acrylic plates. As i wanted to have easy access to the interior, i came up with an attach system for the acrylic plates : Endbolts that would stick to a rubber. I found in a local hardwareshop some rubber stoppers which had a hole in it, they are actually used to screw roofplates together. Funny how you can make use of stuff. I attached the endbolts with screws so i could adjust later on the angle and distance from the plate.
As the cd-motor isn't that powerfull i had to drill holes in the acrylic to lower the weight.

Here are some pics.






Last edited by Gup; 6th Sep 2007 at 02:01.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 13:33   #13
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hmmm seems interesting, I want to see how it turns out before I make anymore judgments as I don't get the acrylic?
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 13:43   #14
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design error 2

Being pleased by the result so far and having the acrylic plate attached to the up down rail, i found a new problem : the weight!!......

Whot happened?
Moving up : the motor had to carry the weight up and thus was slow on moving up
Moving down : the motor got assistance from gravity......so the down movement slamed the plate too fast.

Thinkering on this problem, i thought about how elevators work : They use a contra weight to balance out gravity!!
So only option was to attach a contra weight on the mechanism.

See pic


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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 16:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveVader View Post
hmmm seems interesting, I want to see how it turns out before I make anymore judgments as I don't get the acrylic?
The acrylic is needed for the exterior design. Which i will show later on. Atleast the idea for it.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 16:13   #16
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Bolting all the plates together this is how it looks like with the acrylic plates attached.




and the top view


Last edited by Gup; 6th Sep 2007 at 02:07.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 16:33   #17
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Next thing i did was testing!!...........due to its shape and the acrylic plates you have a pretty closed box. As the processor is a core2duo (T7200) it still produces alot of heat, also the other cards produce alot of heat. As i wanted it to be passive i replaced the standard cooler (sounded like some engine) and replaced it with a SilentX 40 mm fanr. SilentX fans are very very silent but also not very good at cooling. As this was the only fan inside i wondered. Also the stock heatsink is a lowcost crap thing : 3/4 inch of alu-block.
So firing up XP and using intels TAT tool to monitor the cpu temps on load.
Well it got me scared. After 5 mins under full load the temp. reached >100 C!!........
Inside u could boil an egg and bake some bacon aswell......

So having a passive cooling system wasnt an option. Furthermore is the onboard VGA pretty weak and i couldnt use the psone screen as the interlaced mode wasnt working (even using powerstrip didnt help).

The next parts where replaced.
Heatsink : nexxus copper heatsink
Fan : 60 mm SilentX with a better airflow.
Added a ati HD2400 low profile graphics card as i didnt need a powerfull one for games.
Replaced the stock fan on the HD2400 with the 40 mm SilentX i still had.

First tests with this setup (outside the pyramid) showed that CPU temp. didnt get higher then 65 C on full load.

Inside testing i still have to do. But thats gonna be done later as i have to finish the exterior first. The MB and others don't like the alu shrapnel i have from drilling ......
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 16:40   #18
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exterior design

As you can see in the first pics i showed. The design has some depth in it. The idea was to cover the acrylic with a foam and using some elastic silicon rubber to cover the foam and then painting it. Using some Egyptic signs to make it look neat.

here are some early tests.

A rough cut :


Closeup :


Better cuting :






Last edited by Gup; 6th Sep 2007 at 02:11.
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 16:45   #19
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This is the stage i am now. I will update as it progresses. Till this stage 3 months have gone by. Why is modding so time consuming?....
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Old 3rd Sep 2007, 18:31   #20
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Cool stargate theme nice work so far
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