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Old 4th Mar 2012, 18:55   #1
KayinBlack
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Knight's Rest-Knight Rider 30th Anniversary build (12/4/13-Waiting for coolant...)

I swear, some days I should have stayed in bed.

So work called this morning. Said I had a new PC to build, and gave me some specs. I don't think this stuff exists in the real world. Said it was for the Foundation for Law and Government. One of those hush-hush outfits. I've built mil-spec before, but this looks positively aerospace-or black project. I was about to pass when Michael Knight called me up and asked me to do it. He said it was for an old friend. He's helped me in the past, so I agreed, for him. He promised me what I didn't have, they'd send. He seemed to be very interested in this getup. I never pegged Michael as the type to care about a PC though. I didn't hear his buddy either. I wonder if he's OK?

(As you can guess, this log will have fiction writing too, but it's only fair-I'm a writer. This is my final build-my hands are becoming too arthritic to keep going for much longer. After this, I may repair, and if someone wants to sponsor me fully, I'll consider it, but later this year my wife and I are building our dream home, and I'm going to concentrate on finishing my novel, other stories I have to tell, and I may take up painting again. I'm not tired of PCs, per se-I'm tired of constant rebuilds and cheap components exploding. I'm taking my time and sourcing some out of this world equipment, so I can have a nice break.

Why Knight Rider? Mostly, the influence of my wife. She remarked about how much I loved it, and when I said the fans would eat me alive, she reminded me that letting my OCD have fun with this might just prevent that from happening. We're both children of the 80s-1981 for me, 1982 for her-and we both loved it immensely. I tried to add Super Pursuit mode to my Big Wheel-I injured five people plus myself. Didn't stop me from trying again.

This is also a cover for the fact that this PC is a text-to-speech setup for me so I can continue to work with failing hands and eyesight. What better way to deal with a computer than treating it like one of the most beloved AIs in creative history? A speaker setup in the drive bays along with a good microphone and I'll be able to "talk to KITT" as well as use Dragon for dictation purposes. It'll help on the days where the pills aren't enough.

But you came for pictures. Pictures you shall receive!)

For reference, a lot of these pics were taken in tornado preparation mode-we had a pretty messed up floor from all the rains when I brought the case in (under a tornado warning that didn't expire for 10 more hours. You'll see lots of jugs of water and general mess as we got everything inside and backup supplies ready.)



Case, and board/proc ready to go in case. It's an Alienware Area-51 setup. I wanted something with bold lines to base the system on. The dent in the door is how I was able to acquire this. It wasn't easy.



Side view-those panels aren't plastic, either. They're electrostatically painted aluminum.



Rear view. You can see the PSU there-it's a 1100W Delta setup. Server grade. Modular (in a way) as well.



Case with door up. It's extremely big too.



Lower side panel ejection setup.



Board and processor installed. Processor is an i7-2600K.



Testing the hot-swap bays with a dead drive. I'm going to interface these with a storage controller initially. I have other ideas, but that will have to do for now.



Temporary RAM and hard drive installed. That's all I have that functions in the house. At least it still functions.



There it is dwarfing my 24" monitor.



Can you tell what's impressive about this shot?



How about now?



A bit blurry (and pill-strewn) but the other side and front/top are active as well.



You try catching moving vents with a still camera.



The moveable vents are active...



But that is most definitely not Dell hardware.

For my first miracle, I completely interfaced a Dell ESA setup from an Area 51 with an ASUS board, and told the software and firmware it was cool. I have full control over fans, pumps (when I get them,) lights, and servos. I also can use the ASUS thermal probes to control the fans and servos. It's a lot like an Arduino, if an Arduino came with a hefty 12V connection that could run 38mm Nidecs.

After proof of concept, next comes disassembly and modding. There's a lot of that to come. And I mean a LOT.

See you next time. Whenever that may be.

Last edited by KayinBlack; 4th Dec 2013 at 19:56.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 19:11   #2
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That's a fantastic start, very cool! Keep it up!
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 19:45   #3
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Really an awesome start

Have some music to mod to .. ()
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 23:00   #4
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Sub'd. There is nothing more to say except 'what does ESA stand for?'
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 23:03   #5
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Sub'd. There is nothing more to say except 'what does ESA stand for?'
Enthusiast system arhitecture.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 23:31   #6
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Looks like my workbench/desk with RX bottle and inhaler close to hand!

Mod on. I watch.

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Old 4th Mar 2012, 23:55   #7
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Subbed, I've always wanted one of those cases to mess around with.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 03:34   #8
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200 feet of furryletters Clean-Cut Techflex. Looks like a lot, huh? It's really not.



Battery compartment and interior trim piece gone...



PCI fan gone as well, they hid a lot of junk back here.



Big finger-chopping Nidec in there.



Vent trim piece removed.



Radiator bracket under the vent assembly...



Only took eight hours and the technician's manual to get there.



More angles, showing just how much was in there.



What's underneath the hard drive bays...



Yeah, took a lot off this thing to get here.

That was yesterday's work. Today, I sleeved. I'm not halfway through, and I used 100 feet of sleeving today, with no wasted pieces. There's just that much wiring in this thing. And I'm not done adding wires.



This piece needs to be redone, as it's too bulky, but you can see it's sleeved, then laced with waxed tape to keep the individual wires together. It's a NASA trick, as well as military, telephone lines and some custom cars. I did a lot of this to PBX lines back in my working days. It just fits the theme. Also, no zip ties whatsoever.



Another shot, showing that it really is too thick to be routed properly.



More wires sleeved and laced...



And more. This bundle runs the top of the case-all of them. So yeah, I've got a long ways to go. Most of the lines that have to be sleeved by themselves are done, though.



Also, this thing came in. Wonder what it does...

More whenever I can get to it, I overdid it today. Need some time to rest.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 05:48   #9
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Also, this thing came in. Wonder what it does...

More whenever I can get to it, I overdid it today. Need some time to rest.
Hmm... This item plus Siri-type app?

Great to see proper lacing.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 05:53   #10
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Crap! I thought I was only former Bell Telephone Laboratories employee who still knew how to lace. Great job. One inch - wrap - repeat. Central office wiring. Damn I'm old.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 06:00   #11
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Nah. I thought it was appropriate for the setup. Found out people still do it-saw pics of the Mars rover where everything was laced proper.

I'm praying my hands hold out for this part-it's really hard on them. I wear gloves to keep from burning or cutting fingers, but the knots are pretty tough on my hands-I'll just take longer to do it then. I'm not compromising-this one is too much fun to.

I'm really going ahead and doing the worst part on myself now, before I do the easier parts. I still have double what I've shown to sleeve. To put it in perspective, I haven't sleeved any of the PSU. And I'm not done with the case's wiring. Gonna grab some silicone self-welding tape when I'm out tomorrow. I've got Sumitomo self-extinguishing shrink on the ends of some pieces, but the self-welding tape is more appropriate for some of these pieces, as well as being mil-spec and automotive accurate.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 06:04   #12
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I use Penetran+Plus for my hands to fight off arthritis and early symptoms of Parkinsons. samples at health food and vitamin stores. Works for a few hours. Allows me to run mouse and keyboard. Does shirt all for the shakes though. I'm still here young one.

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Old 6th Mar 2012, 06:12   #13
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I'll grab some samples.

I'll get my wife to take a pic of my hands-my right hand was partially crushed when I was younger, and my left hand is adducted from nerve damage. I'm setting this PC up to work with voice recognition to give my hands a break. I can still type 110 WPM, but I feel it when I'm done.

Doctors finally sorted getting me a referral to the pain clinic at Kirklin. They're gonna put me on some really hardcore stuff. They're also looking at more surgeries, this time to completely replace my shoulder and knee. I'm tired of my left arm popping out of socket when I raise it.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 06:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack View Post
I'll grab some samples.

I'll get my wife to take a pic of my hands-my right hand was partially crushed when I was younger, and my left hand is adducted from nerve damage. I'm setting this PC up to work with voice recognition to give my hands a break. I can still type 110 WPM, but I feel it when I'm done.

Doctors finally sorted getting me a referral to the pain clinic at Kirklin. They're gonna put me on some really hardcore stuff. They're also looking at more surgeries, this time to completely replace my shoulder and knee. I'm tired of my left arm popping out of socket when I raise it.
Please PM me with what is needed to set up PC for voice recog. Nearly there.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 06:29   #15
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I cannot sign my name. scribble in front of officials. Nerve damage from 30+ years of computers and early onset symptoms of Parkinsons.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 17:11   #16
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OMG Knight Rider! The voice modulator display adds to the anticipation, instant sub!!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 21:12   #17
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Ahhh, Dell. Overly thick aluminum side panels, and everything else is paper thin steel and plastic. At least their stock fans don't suck.

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Old 6th Mar 2012, 23:31   #18
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There's cereal everywhere because well, I eat a lot of cereal. Decent nutritionally and I had all my teeth removed last year. The federal government has seen fit to keep me uninformed about whether I will receive disability or not, so I still haven't gotten any new teeth. Places around here are expensive for dentures, and they want it all upfront. If I get disability (of which it should be a simple thing, but of course it isn't) I can get them paid for no problem, but until I get a yes or no I eat a bunch of cereal.

Problem solved.
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Old 9th Mar 2012, 04:29   #19
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This is one of three ambient temp sensors. It's a bit tough to see, but it's a Dallas one-wire. Best stuff out there.



A little better shot of it. The bracket around it attaches it to the case.



The MIO board and its three ambient temp sensors. As an aside, it's made by MSI. Who knew?



Arthritic or no, I'm still able to do the impossible. That was shrunk with a lighter, BTW.

I've finally finished all the sleeving for the case except for one ultrastrange connector that'll be getting split Techflex as I don't even know where to find or buy the tool to depin it, and it's double and triple-crimped anyway. I've partially completed the PSU braid, but it's a complex proprietary system developed by Delta for Dell, and it's VERY complex. There are lots of common lines and no colors are what they really ought to be. Still, I'm making progress. I'll probably have to wrap the base of the monolithic modular connector with self-welding tape, but we did that when prototyping anyway. What did you expect when adapting an 1100W T7500 workstation PSU?

Hopefully tomorrow I'll finish the sleeving and get started laying out the changes to the exterior panels. I'm doing the most tedious stuff first, so it gets done.

Also, I have to test my 470, my cat killed the waterblock on it by knocking it off my desk. The top can be replaced with a new slab of acrylic, but I have fears the card died with it, which would necessitate me giving the client my 470. If so, I'll be on the hunt for a video card, as I have no more. Not a fun place to be. The 470 had other issues, though-heat and power draw. Possibly, this is just an opportunity to remedy those issues.
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Old 9th Mar 2012, 08:06   #20
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This is real modding! A big well done!
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