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Old 1st Mar 2010, 18:56   #1
slipperyskip
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Level Eleven

Skip ahead to final photos.

This project is inspired by my recent trip to San Francisco where I met up with a VIA Marketing rep at the Rods & Mods case mod exhibit. It was a great event and I came away with ideas and enthusiasm. A crowd favorite at the event was my Pico Bayard and it motivated me to do another Pico-ITX mod. I love doing the small stuff and I am due. Here goes...

First...sponsors





This project will be matching up two of the latest pieces of equipment to hit the market, the VIA P820 Pico-ITX mainboard and a Crucial C300 SSD. More to come about the kit but first let's do some project log qualifying work.



A sheet of birch plywood from my local supplier. My working surface is the backside of a chess board I bought in Spain many years ago. I don't know what kind of wood it is but it is very heavy and more importantly, extremely flat. I've been using this board for years with all my small projects.





This sheet cost me $19 which is kinda crazy but what you get is a 5-ply laser-cut piece of very nice wood. It's just not smart to skimp on materials and tools...IMHO, of course.





Using clamps to fix the straightedge I make my mark first in pencil and then in razor. I've learned over the years to spend the time to clamp these things properly instead of using human clamps.





Replaced the straightedge with a 1/2" square laser-cut board to use as a fence.





Weapon of choice is an X-acto Razor Saw with a fresh blade. I usually grasp it in the center instead of using the handle...better control of downward force and I can keep it up against the fence better this way. I saw it half way through then reset the fence on the other side. At intervals I'll run my razor knife down the trench just to "abuse" the saw cut.





That done, I set up another fence to cut a short piece.





The final "cutting-through" of the sawing process is always done with my razor knife. Keeping those edges clean.





The second piece will be exactly the same size as the first. I could measure it but I prefer not to measure anything if I can. Using the two original laser-cut corners as reference I clamp the two pieces together. Sure, I could make a mark and then saw it but I'm going to use the first piece as a fence to cut the second. After about a third of the way through I'll replace the original board with a proper fence.





Clamp the two boards together and "work" the edges over a piece of sandpaper to clean the edges up a little. Not a lot of work done here.





The result is two identical pieces of wood with perfect 90 degree corners. Took around an hour and a half.





I need to sprinkle this first post with some sponsor goodness so here is a SODIMM of Crucial 2GB DDR2-800. Thank you Crucial!





This is my concept of Sketch-up. There will be equipment mounted to both sides of this board with openings for both cables and ventilation.





The two boards I just cut will sandwich this slot-loader slimline optical drive. The drive's face plate has been removed.

That's all for now. Thanks for looking.

Last edited by slipperyskip; 7th May 2010 at 07:02.
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Old 1st Mar 2010, 21:01   #2
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Originally Posted by stonedsurd View Post
Sub'd.

Looking forward to seeing what you give us this time!

Also, that C300 SSD sounds like a marvelous piece of kit. I hope you'll do a mini-review once you get it
Difficult to get one of the suckas 'cause everyone wants to review one. It should show up in a couple of weeks. I'm using an Intel X25 as a stand-in until then.

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Originally Posted by confusis View Post
Did they forget a stick of ram?
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Originally Posted by PureSilver View Post
Nah, IIRC this thing only accepts one stick of RAM up to 1GB, right?
Yes. Just one SODIMM slot. The new P820 maxes out at 2GB. It goes on sale here in the US on March 12th I think. Photos of the unboxing ceremony coming soon.
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Old 2nd Mar 2010, 01:43   #3
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Originally Posted by Boddaker View Post
Dang... I missed Halle Barry AND the VIA rep too??? Guess I was too tied up with keeping kids' grubby hands off of BSG.

Nice work so far. Does that Xacto razor saw have any teeth to speak of?
"Gee mister," said a random lady in the crowd, "Is that a Battlestar Galactica computer?"
"Yeah," Brian Carter replied, "And keep your kid's grubby hands away from it."



Sorry man...had to do it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2010, 02:19   #4
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Originally Posted by shakka65 View Post
Sweet! Well you are off to a great start. Keep on modding
Cool! Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Boddaker View Post
Nice work so far. Does that Xacto razor saw have any teeth to speak of?
Thanks. I use the "Precision" 40 tooth per inch blade. X-acto also has a 52 tpi but I've never used one.

Here goes the unboxing ceremony. I try not to do these but this IS unobtainium (at least for now) so I give myself an excuse.



Box





Box inside box. Plain brown no-frills industrial box.





Mostly air and packing material inside the box. Welcome to the world of itty-bitty.





Ta-da! The VIA EPIA P820-12L Pico ITX board with a P720-A daughterboard installed.





VIA Nano 1.2GHz 64-bit x86 CPU.





Turned around. The single 3Gbps SATA connector has a hole cut out of the heatsink just for it. To the left is the 44-pin IDE connector. I'll be using both of these. Lined up along the front are the pin headers for four USB ports, audio, power, reset and a bunch of stuff I don't care about.





Backside showing where the SODIMM goes. The yellow thingy is the CMOS battery. Yes, a remote CMOS battery. My biggest complaint about the PX10000 Pico-ITX board was the battery holder soldered to the bottom making the unit much thicker than it needed to be.





Didn't have a Coke can handy so I thought this iPod touch might do in a pinch to show comparable size. Does that work for anybody?





The P720 daughterboard adds 2 USB ports, a VGA port and a Gigabit Ethernet port to the mainboard's onboard HDMI port. That's what I said...HDMI.





Misc. cables I'll look at later.





For me, one of the most amazing things about this board is that it has an onboard power supply. This connector allows you to connect a standard external 60W ACDC power brick directly to the Pico-ITX. I don't have to use a Pico-PSU with this project like I did the last one. TBH..I'm...just...shocked. The power for the rest of the system like the SSD, optical drive and cooling fans comes directly off headers on the Pico board.

So what will this little sucker do? According to VIA I should be able to watch H.264 (BluRay) at 1080p with about 20% CPU utilization. Total system power should max out at around 20W. We'll see.
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Old 3rd Mar 2010, 18:02   #5
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I guess that iPod touch did the trick or was it something else? It IS tiny. For the record, it is the exact same size as a 2.5" hard drive or SSD. They stack nicely.

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So whats the plan for this project? I followed your mission project for the cm competition absolutely loved your work (you got my vote ) You have great skills working with wood looking forward to seeing how this pans out
Thanks and welcome to bit-tech. I remember you from OCAU and appreciate your vote in that contest. I don't reveal my plans (if any) up front. Kinda my thing. I like to improvise as I work. Planning is good and I highly recommend it but it doesn't work for me. Anarchy! Anarchy!



The power accessory cable. The tiny connector on the right is plugged into the Pico board. SATA, 4-pin molex and floppy connectors come out the other side. I won't be using all these plugs and the lengths will need to be modified.





I will call this photo "Tail Wags Dog"





Mugen meet Pico. I love the exclamation mark on the base of the Mugen. Makes for a fun photo.

"I wonder if I'll need to use that support bracket on the back of the motherboard?"


Here's a VIA video demonstrating the P820 installed into one of their AMOS cases. The most interesting thing here is the h.264 1080p demo at the end.



Note: No, I'm not going to install the Mugen. Just having fun...OK?

Last edited by slipperyskip; 3rd Mar 2010 at 18:15.
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 04:51   #6
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Time to do some...metal work?

Yes, one downside of working with this oddbell gear is the lack of standardized I/O plates. You have to roll your own. I don't mind doing it but it takes me a loooong time to make these things. Its been years since I've done one so I'm ready.




A little history. I got a lot of flack (deservedly so) for not including an I/O plate for my DECOmputer. My very next project used a rare AMD development board that shipped without an I/O plate so I made this for it.






Skip ahead a couple of months and here is the plate I made for the Unidyne. Fun stuff. Insane amount of time to do by hand.






A sheet of aluminum, a Sharpie and an old video card PCI slot cover for a template. I drop the proposed hole in the center somewhere and make sure I have plenty of edge metal to "trim-to-fit" later.






Drill a nice big hole in the middle.






Using my set of hobby files I form the hole by hand. I use a busted video card's VGA port to help guide the work. I probably test fit the hole 50-60 times while filing out the shape.






Result. I don't like a sloppy fit. It is important to get this port right because it anchors the location of the others. In addition to the I/O ports I'm planning on mounting the power jack and maybe the power switch to this plate. Time to finish this. See you on the other side. Thanks for looking.
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 12:48   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voigts View Post
It's a shame they don't have some kind of a template that you could go by. It would make things a whole lot easier. Via had to have done a CAD drawing on the I/O placements.

Question: Could you use a piece of clear acrylic to roughly mark off the needed hole locations, transfer that to the metal, drill, and then cut your holes? I would think that would be easier than having to measure the placement of where to drill for each hole location. Maybe its a dumb idea, but it is just a thought.

That really is incredible for such a little board to do full 1080p with such low CPU utilization. Maybe this is a dumb question, but do you just run regular Windows on such a small board, or would you go with a Linux distro instead given that most if not all of the Linux distros are much less hardware demanding?
Thanks for your comment. I'm not really measuring anything here. I haven't used my rule yet and really have no plans to. Working off of a drawing is not as accurate as working off the actual ports themselves IMHO. I place the aluminum sheet up against the board and eyeball where the holes will go. Pre-Industrial Age kind of work going on here I guess. Eli Whitney can KMA. It is actually kind of rare that I drew out a VGA port outline and it didn't last long anyway. Note to self: Sharpie on aluminum doesn't work.

This might appear to be a crude way to work but please realize that I'm doing all this while sitting comfortably in my Laz-E-Boy recliner while listening to Pink Floyd.

I don't know about the Linux question. I suppose that running at 10-15% CPU utilization instead of 20% would be an advantage but it's not enough for me to endure the hell that Linux brings to my simple life. I plan on running Windows 7.
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 19:21   #8
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The lighting/angle makes the HDMI port look bad. I included the last photo above to hopefully show that it is in fact not. It WAS difficult to make. The screw was supposed to be used to securely fasten an HDMI cable but I'm using it to help secure the I/O plate instead. I may just drill out that HDMI screw and install the DC power jack there instead.

Now I've got to mount this board to my plywood using this "inverse" standoff system I've been given:



Thanks for looking. Comments and random observations welcome.
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Old 5th Mar 2010, 19:28   #9
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slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd View Post
All those I/O holes done the same way? Drill + filing?
Yes. You should try it sometime.

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Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
"...That song from Loverboy?"

I don't know... The mugen/pico splice would be pretty fun. -Dead silent too.
LOL I remember seeing a small industrial board a long time ago that had the CPU mounted to the bottom of the motherboard. The idea was that you could mount the CPU directly to any surface to use it as a heatsink. Kinda reminds me of that.

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Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
That's for damn sure, hahaha. This should be sweet once its up and running!
We'll see...soon.

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Originally Posted by Bullitdodger View Post
Thatta bay....
Whadda bay?

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Originally Posted by GuyInTulsa View Post
This looks great!
Not much to look at yet. The fuzzy image in my head is looking pretty interesting though.

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Originally Posted by BigBazz View Post
Your being too critical on that hdmi io it looks spot on slot better than most. Looking sharp!
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldnewby View Post
Pifflewax! It looks good to me in both photo's. You couldn't do better with a
guided router (lookwise at least).
Thanks guys. I'm just fussing at myself for the poor photography. I have a light tent that I need to dig out and set up.



I took the heatsink off to figure out a better mounting system and to put some decent thermal paste on. The smaller chip to the right is actually the CPU. The larger one in the center is the integrated graphics/other stuff chip. Regular sized brass standoff posing for size comparison. In this photo I'm drilling a standoff hole into a 3" x 1/4" piece of basswood. Again, no measuring going on here.





Put the board with standoffs up against the "master plan" to figure out the length to cut. The discoloration is the left over glue from the factory sticker. Three of the four sides will be factory laser cuts. I cheat a lot.






I turned the board over and cut from the backside. A fence is clamped down and I'm using a smaller "finger fence" to help help keep the blade perpendicular. (Cheers to splelchek!)






Since the Pico is the exact same size as the SSD the mounting boards will also be the exact same size. The SSD board will go kinda right there sorta.






Align the three laser cut sides and clamp vigorously. Saw.






Still clamped together I run the fresh edges back-and-forth over a sheet of stationary sandpaper.





Result of efforts.


Thanks for looking!
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 13:54   #10
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slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!
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Originally Posted by Elledan View Post
Looks smooth
Thanks for the great compliment! Smooth is what I'm after.

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Originally Posted by JaredC01 View Post
Love love love love love that Via setup... Makes me want to buy one just to find a use for it!

Looks like it's going to be a very interesting build log! Definitely subbed.
The small stuff opens up a lot of possibilities. I had to narrow down several ideas for this build. Not a bad problem to have.

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Very nice Slip, love the saw !
Thanks Frenkie! The saw is very common around here and that makes it easy to find replacement blades.

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YAY! A Slipperyskip's worklog! I love them!

Have you ever tried a jeweler hacksaw on the backplates? It will save you TONS of time.

I use one with a 0.8mm blade and a deeper throat. Fantastic adition for your toolbox I assure.
Obrigado Yemerich! I have used those types of saws and I really don't like them. I can't seem to control them very well. I'm sure that's just me. I'm not much into doing things that save time. I often envy Oldnewby and Boddaker who sometimes take a year to complete a project. I often finish a project and feel saddened that it is over. Thanks for the tip though.



I made a mistake! Oh no! Tragedy! Not really, I failed to properly account for the thickness of the IDE cable connector and it now sticks out over the "boundary" set by my mounting board. I will probably just attach a small piece of wood to the end to push it out some.

More importantly, what this error did was make me think about the SATA connectors on the SSD and how they would similarly effect the size of that mounting board. The project is on hold until I receive my angled SATA data and power cables and determine the dimensions based on actual "in hand" equipment.

Anyway, I'm just glad I reached my mistake quota for this project early rather than later.
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Old 8th Mar 2010, 20:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
The need to compensate for the danged connectors seems to get worse the smaller the board is. The pico makes it worse because the connections are poking out from all directions.
Yes, cabling seems to dominate these small builds. The shear mass of cables and routing them around becomes critical when trying to build something as small as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xXLGXx View Post
Nice little bad-ass MB you got there. So tiny, so innocent... until turned on.

To compensate for the connectors, can't you hollow out the wood a little? That way you get it nice a flush. I don't know if this restriction of airflow would cause any major heat spikes, but it is a thought to prevent "bulkyness".
Boundaries must be obeyed. All will be revealed.

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Originally Posted by Evenge View Post
Nice work!
Thanks!


I found something to do while I'm waiting on the post. I'm going to build some 2.5" hard drive mounts using an old 40GB Toshiba drive as a model.



I cut my 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum angle iron (yes, that is a correct term) to length with an old X-Acto saw blade. To clean up the aluminum cuts I clamp on a 1/2" square board with a laser cut end and use it to guide my flat hobby file.





I follow that up by filing all the sharp edges down until everything feels smooth to the touch.





For once I break out my rule and measure where the mounting holes will go. I use my old center punch and a one pound hammer to mark the spot. It is a one pound hammer because it only takes one pound. Ouch! Sorry about that.





Drill the holes out? Nah, it can't be that easy. [I have deleted this text because I fear it will be used against me in a future psychiatric evaluation]





Result of efforts. I need to get some of those sexy knurled Allen-head screws I see being used by oldnewby and others.





And the big question is whether my angled SATA connectors will obey the boundaries. I realize this is an IDE HDD and not a SATA SSD but I can still tell it will be close.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 12th Mar 2010, 04:47   #12
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slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!slipperyskip - it's over 9000!!!!!!!!1!1!1!!!


Calculated, cut and glued the extensions onto each mounting board. These boards will eventually have another very thin layer glued over the top of them so using extensions instead of completely re-doing them is reasonable IMO.





Sizing them up to the master board.






Time to make the boxes. These tops are identical to the mounting boards except for being 1/8" thick instead of 1/4". When I finished cutting the boards I noticed that the widths were off which is very unusual. It must have been a bad day for the laser because these boards are suppose to be exactly 3" wide from the factory.. I fixed it by tacking on a 1/64" strip shown here before trimming.






To make my 2" tall box sides I start out with 1/8" x 24" stock that are slightly wider than 2". My carpenters square is exactly 2" wide so....






I clamp the boards to the square on one end.






And the other.






Using my Olfa razor knife I shave the wood down almost to the steel of the square. Using 60 and 100 grit sandpaper I finish hand milling the edge down to the metal.









The result is two 2" wide boards with sharp edges.






I then cut out the box sides by measuring each side of the mounting board, adding an 1/8" and then adding a skosh. 4 long sides and 4 short sides for two identical boxes.






The sides will be assembled in what I call a "pin-wheel". Here I have loosely arranged them to hopefully better illustrate the pin-wheel. Each end is facing clockwise.






To assemble I first lay down the mounting board and loosely place on top two 1/2" spacer blocks.






On top of that goes one of the box tops.






I assemble my pin-wheel with a rubber band to hold it all together. This process usually resembles some sort of clown act until you get the hang of it. Here I have decided to go with a counter-clockwise rotation. If I needed extra strength I would just add another layer of wood using a clock-wise pin-wheel rotation.






I next add another level of 1/2" spacers.






And the remaining box top.






I use yellow carpenter's glue applied with a small brush. The block is shown prying apart the seam to expose the gluing surface and is really just illustrating what my fingers are doing during the gluing process. Note that I'm only gluing the edges of the sides. The box tops and mounting boards are not being glued...intentionally.






Add a multitude of rubber bands and after about 5 minutes of drying I flip the entire assembly over to expose the mounting block. Here you can see the "skosh" I added earlier to each corner. These will later be sanded down.






I then push down on the center support and break any bonds that excess glue is trying to setup. Wait another 5 minutes and repeat. Let assembly dry for three hours.

Thanks for looking.
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Old 14th Mar 2010, 23:10   #13
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The box tops are loose friction fit. The Pico box I/O plate interface work is next up. I'm having great fun.
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Old 17th Mar 2010, 18:25   #14
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Great comments guys! Thanks. I'm currently off-planet but here are a few photos.



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Old 18th Mar 2010, 16:26   #15
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Thanks

The twin boxes measure 32.3 cubic inches each and the support box measures 35 cubic inches. I'm working at one-third scale of the original.

Velcro and rubber bands holding it together. There is plenty of opportunity to move stuff around. It is freestanding in this photo. Smaller boxes for the two empty quadrants are being imagined. The top/back box will have aux jacks and a cooling fan. The front/lower quadrant will be pure form over function. Something tasty I hope.




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Old 25th Mar 2010, 00:52   #16
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Cut the I/O shield to size.






Cut out the I/O shield box opening.






Hand-turned a hole saw to start opening the vent port.






Used my four-faced hand rasp to finish opening the vent.






Pause for a pose.






Attached the I/O shield.






Checked the fit.






Showing the gaps around the shield area that will be dressed up.







Cut out and glued in some filler pieces.







The filler pieces tighten everything up.







Cut out a few pieces to dress up the lower section. These pieces will be glued to the mounting board and not to the box. This will allow me to remove the box while the computer is operating and cables are plugged in.







Result of efforts. Thanks for looking.
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Old 25th Mar 2010, 22:25   #17
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Originally Posted by JaredC01 View Post
Looking better and better every day. I'm still going to find some use for a PC like this in my car... I do want to get a few other things taken care of first though.
Thanks. I think this particular Pico-ITX model was designed to be used in a set-top box. The HDMI and 1080p would be wasted in a car unless you happen to drive an RV.



I cut my vent screen gaskets out of 1/32" basswood. The interior cut is precision but the outer cut was loosely hand cut.






Stainless steel screen is cut to size.






The gasket is slightly thicker than the screen so I can layer another slightly smaller windowed piece of wood across the assembly. I'll set this aside for now.






Cut some wood to use as a mounting system for the SSD.






The two smaller pieces are glued together.






This creates a "sliding bracket" kind of thing to insert into the aluminum angle.






The center section is slightly raised so that I can glue this bracket to another piece.






Cut some 1/2" square stock to use as spacers for the support box.






Dry fit.






I've gotta get a "glue drying" photo in here somewhere.

Thanks for looking.

BTW, this project is more of a tribute to the Edelweiss case mod by Pius Giger than to the Thermaltake Level 10. IMHO, BMW and Thermaltake just ripped off a fellow case modder's original idea. I have been wanting to do an Edelweiss-inspired mod since I saw the original in 2006. I'm not a big fan of the Level 10 mainly because I believe the basic design is more suited for a smaller PC.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 00:00   #18
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I remember checking out that case on mdpc the design was pretty unique. This is shaping up very nicely
Thanks. I call the Edelweiss and Level 10 "inside-out" computers. Hang the components on the outside of the case and hide the wires inside. Make the "case" smaller but still structurally sound and there you have it. The Level 10 has only wires inside. Edelweiss has the PSU still inside the case and mine will have an optical drive.

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What kinda OS are you going to run on this slick looking machine? I'm assuming a flavor of linux.

BTW great progress on the build
Thank you. Probably 64-bit Win 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaggahurtz View Post
Ah a true master of his craft..... Your work is awesome man.
Thanks for that. I appreciate it.

Quote:
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3 boxes of Orden ?
Huh? Boxes of Oranges?



Mark the window size on a piece of cherry veneer.





Cut the windows out.





Gather the components.





First, the gaskets get glued on.





The stainless steel screens are layed in loosely.





The cherry windows get glued over the top and trimmed up after drying.








Thanks for looking.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 20:42   #19
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Originally Posted by voigts View Post
Your detail work is excellent. That IO plate is dead on as well as the other box cuts.

Where do you get wood that thin i.e. 1/32", etc. ?
Thanks voights! I get most of my "lumber" from Midwest Products. They are a big company. Almost any hobby shop or art supply store (in the US) will have a display. They cater to doll house makers, model railroading hobbyists and model boat builders. Architectural students also use their products for college projects.

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I don't know why there aren't any stars on this thread, every time I see a slipperskip log I know I'm in for high quality and inspiration.

Have my stars.
Thanks buddy! I appreciate that.

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Originally Posted by Evenge View Post
+1

Those mesh windows are cool! I assume you are not going to put any extra fans behind them?
Well....in a way. Stay tuned.

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Originally Posted by The boy 4rm oz View Post
I can't believe I missed the start of another one of slipps mods, and as always you are off to a flying start. Excellent craftsmanship as always, I will be watching intently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaFX View Post
Boxes of Orden, "the Sword of Truth I", Terry Goodkind. Doesn't matter
Fancy boxes. Too fancy for me though.



Time to dig the rabbit hole. To gain access to the support box each of the mounting boards will have a section cut out for the wiring and ventilation.






This Pico box "rabbit hole" will have the 44-pin IDE cable, SATA cable, power and all the other auxilliary wires running down through it. The hole is rough cut for now and will be finished when it is matched up to its corresponding support box hole.





Air comes in through the mesh screen and down the rabbit hole....NOT using a 120mm fan. It is there for a size reference. The SSD box will have a similar setup.





A few veneering shots. I start off with the I/O shield filler pieces and work my way out. I'm not going into much detail about how I veneer because I have covered that extensively in other projects. I can provide links if anyone cares.





Grain continuation that no one notices unless you don't do it then everyone notices. Knots and other natural imperfections are most welcome.





The 120mm fan seems to be the most commonly used fan these days so I'm auditioning one as a size comparator.





Raw, unfinished cherry veneer that has been in dark storage for years compared to lacquer-finished, light-exposed cherry. My G-metric Nano is the only cherry-finished project I have done and it has aged for about 2 1/2 years. It takes at least a year for cherry to turn to a nutty brown color that it is known for.

Special note: The basswood I typically use for the structure of my projects is not strong but it is very easy to work with. It is much, much stronger than balsa, a material I would never use. I discovered that basswood mixed in with birch plywood and eventually coated with hardwood veneer makes for a very strong, stable structure.

Thank for looking!
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 18:55   #20
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Please do. I've missed some of your older projects.
I have a mini-tutorial starting at post #77 in my Skyscraper project (link in sig). Ingraham veneering starts at post #55 and Mission starts at post #54. Post #104 in Mission is where I discuss my unclenching procedure. I won't confess to know what I'm doing. I don't do it right according to my woodworking friends. I don't use contact cement because I work indoors. I seriously doubt you will find garnet finger-nail files in a woodworker's toolbox. Anyway...it's the way I do it.



Dug out some of my 40mm fan collection. A little bit of everything including a crazy loud Delta and a Sunon Mag-Lev.





Picked out this choice little T&T 11-blade 12V fan.





A size comparison to a 140mm unit.





Using my hand-held mitre box I cut out these 35 pieces.





Gluing up the first course.





Second course.





Skip ahead to fifth course.





Finished shot showing the vent opening created between the fins.





This box will contain the cooling fan and the power/audio jacks. It will be sprayed with my industrial aluminum paint to look like cooling fins.





The cooling fan will be mounted to the base of the auxiliary box and penetrate through to the support box cavity. I can't find my 40mm hole saw so I use a smaller one and use a file to work my way out.







Bits and pieces to mount to the back of the Aux box.





Some dry fit shots....







The back of the Aux box where the jacks/switches will be mounted is very rough....for now.

Thanks for looking!
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