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Old 17th Feb 2013, 16:52   #1
Monsieur R.
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Création n°3 - 20.08.2014 - Update 4 : A little bit of bamboo

Création n°3 - Update 1.
Discovery time

- DJ Bonobo, "Kiara" in Black Sand -

Hello everybody :salut:

I know, I have a very bad habit : never finishing what i begin. This is true for almost everything (except with love, but it does not really matter for what we are doing here). But, good news : 2013 will be a great year, I decided so. It's starting very good : a new job (I'm now a journalist), I finished to build my new desk, I have new motivations, new needs, to put it in a nutshell, I'm a new man. (Yes, really).

Création n°3 aims to embody all that good stuffs. The project was born, as it often does, in the TGV between Paris and Bordeaux (or between Bordeaux and Paris, I can't remember). I really wanted a computer easy to build, easy to assemble, but that is neither trite nor simplistic. In other words, it must have the face and representative of the philosophy that I needed when it comes to computer design. The materials were easy to identify: aluminum, acrylic and bamboo, the same materials that I used to build my desk. The shape was also very easy: having fallen in love with an 500x300mm aluminum plate so I quickly decided that Creation n°3 will be a cube of 300x300x300mm on a 200mm stand (or substantially the same dimensions as a BitFenix Prodigy).

With an immoderate taste for micro-ATX and Germanic (or Scandinavian)design [I know there is no relation], it was necessary that everything is in perfect order. So I needed an intense brainstroming session to determine an architecture allowing me to get a micro-ATX motherboard, an ATX PSU, five HDD, one SSD, a gaming graphic card (even if I don't play) and a complete watercooling setup (with one 240 and one 120 radiators). Additional requirements: hide the maximum cables (it will be difficult), have no visible screws (that is not earned), use only raw materials (i.e. no paint or vinyl or stickers), and for me to finish well handicaps, make it extremely quiet. Anyway, I designed a computer. And I hope it will work.

Unusual digression for once, I laser-cutted my pieces, because I needed maximum precision (and also because I'm tired of being attacked by my neighbor whenever I wanna play with my jigsaw).


1. Creation of the spine
  • Originally, this piece was supposed to be machined from a single block of aluminum (by 300x500mm, thickness of 20mm). As it proved too complicated (or too expensive), I had to rethink what I had in my mind. This leds me to the creation of a "sandwich" made of 5mm aluminum + 10mm acrylic + 5mm aluminum (for a total of 20mm ). The idea is to get all the cables in the plexiglass and use the two aluminum plates to hide them. On these two aluminum plates (extremely rigid and solid) the components will be fixed, with MB + GPU + RAM + CPU on the right side, with watercooling setup + SSD + HDDs + PSU on the left side. Note that the left and right are set arbitrarily since Création n° 3 has no front, no back, so neither right nor left.









    And now it's sandwich time, to check if everything is all right :





    Cheating with a laser cutter was not such a bad idea






2. Motherboard fitting




  • The holes of the aluminium part seem to be well in front of the MB's holes. I'm reassured, I will not have spent hours making me blind with Sketchup and specifications in vain. Because it's pretty stressful to take all measures and virtualize them in my small brain without having the physical products on hand to confirm. Pfffiou. :rofl:

    Final little bonus: the inevitable photo of Corsair Dominator (since it would appear that in workblog this is a mandatory step):


And voila. Well, it's not so bad at all (you have the right to think otherwise).
But there is much, much ... much more work to do.

Thank you for stopping by, and see you soon
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Old 20th Feb 2013, 10:40   #2
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Thanks a lot for your nice words and for appreciating
I hope everything will turn fine.

As a small teaser, this is the parts I'm working on. They are laser cutted (again), but I made a mistaka of 0,01mm that I will need to file down by hand (again...). Guess what this will be used for :

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Old 24th Feb 2013, 18:19   #3
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Création n°3 - Update 2.
Aluminium memory

- Archive, "Hatchet" in With us until you're dead -

Hello Bit-Tech !

Today is sunday (even if I'm still looking for a little bit of sun today, but... well, it's irelevant). So, today is sunday, and sunday is update day. Tadaam ! It's time to show you a little bit of my progress on Creation n°3 :
Before going further, a little cleaning is required. The pieces already look nice and clean out of the laser cutter, but we are enough careful enough. For degreasing and general cleaning, I use the hard way : gasoline C (since I did not have acetone), small lint-free cloths that I had from when I was playing around with epoxy , nitrile gloves (you can never be too careful) and, of course, a mask to avoid inhaling the fumes.


Even for aluminium "out of the factory", I think it still really dirty Oo
For the rest, I tinker with my wedges remains of aluminum brackets ... With the return of the great buddy epoxy. : D








And voila ! As it is a slow setting epoxy glue, I put it all in press for the night, hoping not to have bad surprises tomorrow.
After drying for 12 hours :
Now, it is to remove the traces of glue and scratches on aluminum it's time to make a little bit of dry sainding with 60, 120 and 240 paper grit :

I honestly did not know what to expect, but in my humble opinion, this is pretty good. I love the matte finish that gives to the aluminum and the "hand brushed aspect". This contrasts with the "too perfect" aspect of laser cutting.




And if aluminium dust is too dirty, youre shower is your best friend :




And voila !




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Old 25th Feb 2013, 11:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
This is awesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreps View Post
amazing
Thanks a lot Wayne & dreps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehani View Post
nice made with those HDD and SSD brackets how are the things going to be put together ? inside a case or like a test bench ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dk_vr View Post
Very impressive indeed.
I love the HDD/SSD bays.
You are going to fix the HDD/SSD with screw to the bays or it will be just plug n play ?
Inside a case : nope.
Like a test bench : nope.
Screws : nope Screws are ugly.

Plug'n play is very close to the final solution, but I won't show it until I've finish everything. For two simple reasons : teasing (that's a good first reason), and because I still haven't decide if I will anodise the aluminium parts... Everything is so tightly adjust that I can't step back and change my mind after. So, let's wait for another update. Stay tunned
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 18:39   #5
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Création n°3 - Interlude 1
- Rebecca & Fiona, "Dance" in Ultra Music -


Hello Bit-Tech

Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
Awesome!

I wish I could do things like this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Editor22 View Post
Love those little caddys!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post
hâte de voir la suite
Quote:
Originally Posted by avolla View Post
Amazing work so far. Love those hard drive cages. Absolutely stunning. Can't wait to see the progress on this build.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furball Zen View Post
Thanks a lot HybridCore, Nate, Elladan, ovolla and Furball Zen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muerlin View Post
Questions:

Are there any clamps to be used to keep the cables secure while placing the final plate?
or
Does the routing intentionally take up additional slack to leave a near-taut cable?
As I will show it later in this post, the routing in the acrylic will for some guts for the wires. The aluminium plates on both sides will save me the use of additional clamps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mork View Post
My jaw just dropped to the floor! The design and execution and materials.. and.. and.. everything so far is just awesome! I'm definitely watching this!

Keep us posted and please do finish this build! I have a feeling this will be MoTM worthy.
I don't know if this will deserve a MoTM nomination, but I hope you didn't hurt your feet with your jigsaw Oh, no, it's you jaw. So, I hope you didn't brake you jaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehani View Post
those Memory's BLOCKS. can they be watercooled?
I think yes, they can be watercooled. But it would be a shame, the Dominator Platinum are exclusive because of their heatsinks. If you want to watercool Dominator, use classic ones, not Platinum Edition.

By the way, for this update, I'm cheating a little bit because in this is not really an update but more like an "interlude". Indeed, as I'm on vacation now (it must be that it happens from time to time), relatively far from home and workshop, I did not have much time to progress on Création n°3.

Last week I showed you how I made the HDD cages. I will leave them some rest untill I decide if I go anodisation or not with them. The adjustment is so tight that I can't put the HDD in there yet, otherwise I would be unable to remove them. This would be a little bit stupid... Furthermore, a friend pointed that there could be an electrical short-ciruit between the motherboard of the HDD, so I'll have to find a solution before going further.







The whole "HDD / SDD" will be fixed vertically in an attempt to create a levitation effect. It will be suspended under the reservoir (have to be machined in CNN, either laser or 3D printing, I have not decided yet) and supported by the PSU, which is a Corsair AX760i :



Yes, this is a real 24 pin ATX ! No double wire, no hole, 24 pins on PSU side and on MB side ! I love it (even if it's a 760 Watt is a total waste of power, considering my needs, and so is the Platinum certification)













Hum... custom wires ?





And that's all for now. I hope I will have more time to work on this project newt week-end. See you there
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 12:46   #6
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Création n°3 - Update 3.
"Chi va piano... va piano"

- ediT, "Ants" in Crying over pros for no reason -

Hello Bit-Tech !


First of all, I apologize for the lack of updates. I still have three excuses :
  • I suffer from a modern disease called... procrastination - Funny excuse.
  • I had the bad, bad, bad idea to order some sleeving stuffs from MDPC. The problem is : when it comes to sleeving, my two hands are as usefull as two pans of lead - Technical excuse.
  • Last month, I was a victim of burglary. So my computer (in which there were all my photos) was stollen, plus my Wii, plus a lot of electronic and photographic stuffs. In other words, all my base are belong to... someone I would kick if I meet him/her. No computer, no update. Easy. That was for the excuse.

But ! I managed to work a little bit on Création n°3's sleeving and borrowed my roommate's MacBook Pro in order to show write you today's update. There's nothing marvelous and I perfectly know I will never be as good at this as the best of you, but, well, I did it. And sleeving the Corsair AX760i is pretty easy, except the double wire on the 24 pin ATX cable.




















In parallel, I brushed the two main aluminum plate, in order to get the same appearance than the HDD/SDD cages. I have no photos of the sanding, because I wasn't in the mood to do so (because of the burglary), but I took some shot when the work was finished.

BEFORE

AFTER










Last thursday, I also ordered six new parts, in aluminium and acrylic, from the laser cutter company. I hope I will get them next week so I can finally move forward quicker and so that the computer takes shape, in real 3D.

Thanks a lot for your attention, and have a nice sunday !
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Old 9th May 2013, 14:01   #7
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Création n°3 - Update 4.
Patience is a dish best served... modded

- The XX, "Stars" in The xx -


And so, Bit-Tech. Here we are.
"That's it, are we there yet ?" they asked all.
"Hu. Not really. What did you expect ?"

After a very difficult month (from the modding point of view), after the burglary, after having waited for my acrylic and aluminium laser cuts to come, everything is finally back to normal. I received the long-waited items tuesday and, here in France, we are very lucky to have 5 days off (because of 8th of may and the 9th of may, plus the week-end).
As I showed you in the previous update, I made a little bit of sanding on the parts I had.

So let's have a look at the order :







Not that bad. Not that bad, with some cutting errors that can be adjusted with filing and patience.



Second test :



Much better. And as we must not stop in so good way, I took the opportunity to file all to prepare, for the first time, Création n° in 3D, just to give me, and especially to YOU an idea of ​​the volumes (yes, "you", because I know the plans for several months ... well, I think I should. I hope.)











And here we are I should tell that no glue, no screws are needed to hold everything in place. And because I don't want to tease the what will come in the next update(s), I'll let you guess what those aluminium/acrylic arks are made for.

See you soon, and thanks for following me
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Old 12th May 2013, 16:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boorach View Post
Wow. You are really making use of your tools to create a work of art. Drive bay is great, wish I had the ability to make something like this!
Thanks a lot Boorach. And, about abilities, I don't have a lot. I just had time, last year, to play a little bit with Sketchup, and since, I had even more patience to wait for my parts to be laser cutted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asouter View Post
Flippin eck, the acrylic and aluminium look amazing. subbed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob? View Post
Sheer CLASS!

Keepin' an eye on this, thats for sure!
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoSoVaR^ View Post
looks very nice man !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenge View Post
Great work!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagyizom View Post
Very impressive so far!
Thanks a lot guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris182 View Post
Looks absolutely stunning!

Sorry to hear about the burglary!
Don't worry about the burglary. I just see the good sides : it made a little space on my desk, so I don't have to wonder anymore where I will put my iMac when this project will be close to its end. ^^ And, the very bright side : the insurance bonus was high enough so it will pay me 100% oc Création n°3's costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azariel View Post
Very nice and very precise!

Will there be any type of fastening on the rear side to prevent them from shearing/sagging?
Well, as far as I know, I'm not a big fan of fastening stuff, or screws, or riveting... I think I will only use epoxy where it will be absolutely necessary, but in the majority of the cases, the pieces are so tightly adjusted that they hold by themselves. Probably I will change my mind, probably don't. All I can say is, before final assembly, I will have to anodize everything. Or not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Editor22 View Post
I'm in love Monsieur <3 keep up the brilliant work!
Thanks a lot Nate. And thanks a lot for having shared my humble wor on E22's Facebook Page. I have to confess I often visit your webstore, and I often think that your milling skills would help me. But I'll tell you in time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by biojellywobbles View Post
looks like one of those hoops is for holding a PSU but the others have me stumped. I'm loving watching this mod progress. Keep us guessing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meelobee View Post
Looks sweet

My guess for the big bracket is a psu holder too, the others..no idea
And... congratulations ! We have two winners



I'll show you more on next update. Just can't say where, or when. ^^ And a final clue :

See you soon, and thanks again for all your nice words and your support
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Old 24th May 2013, 15:56   #9
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Hello guys

Thanks a lot for your nice words !
@ PsYcHoTiC_MaDmAn : The bay above the PSU won't be for drives, just two radiators (a 240 and a 120). The thing is I still don't know where I will fix my pump, and, furthermore, I still don't know if I will use a separate pump. Let's what future will tell me to do.

@ Guille : The aluminium and acrylic pieces have been cutted by TechLaser, which is a french company based in Sarthe (60 km away from Le Mans). You just need to send them your files (in DXF or DWG, for AutoCad 2007) and they will send you back a quote. It's less expensive as what I thought but, still, for now, Création n°3 cost me more than a Temjin TJ11... and it's not even 25% finished ! And I just talk about the frame, not the inside and the finishing elements.
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Old 15th Jul 2014, 16:24   #10
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Création n°3 - Spin-Off
The HTPC strikes back again

- Rone, "Parade" in Tohu Bohu -

Hello Bit-Tech !

It's been a long, looooong time since the last update. Something like, more or less, thirteen months. Maybe you don't care (and you should), but I have to tell you what hapend during my last year : I was robbed, the computer where the plans of Création n°3 were storred has been stolen, I've been in Japan for a few weeks, I got pregnant (oh wait, it's impossible, I'm a boy... or I think so), I had to focus on my new job (photogeekiness related), I had to move to a new appartment and spent a lot of money and time to "mod" it according to my needs, my girlfriend spent a year in Siberia, I stepped back from modding scene and... finally, I've decided a few weeks ago to come back. Real life sometimes happens.

I could not leave Création n°3 unfinished and seeing it dismantled tore my heart. But, there is always a but, seeing its laser cutted reminded me the burglary. Furthermore, I've sold almost all the parts bought for it, so I had to restart it from zero. Really, from zero ? No, I have enough raw material (a lot of bamboo, aluminium and acrylic) sleeping here and there to make a new computer. Then I decided to reuse/recycle a few parts from Création n°3 to create a sort of Spin-Off. And because I already have a laptop for common asks, a smartphone for my music, a dedicated PC for my regular work, Lightroom and photoshop, another dedicated PC for Adobe Premiere, and I wanted something new, that I did'nt really need so I won't be stressed by the idea to not finish it before the deadline : a gaming HTPC. Hell yeah !

Here are the main things to know for this Création n°3-Spin-Off-HTPC-maybeGaming challenge :
- I now live with my girlfriend, so, because of the WAF, I have a limited budget, which is exactly 135€ (the price of her last pair of shoes), that's the deal.
- I will have to reuse the maximum of raw material I already have.
- Except for cuting, I will only use hand tools. I'm done with laser cutting.
- This has to be fun. Hell yeah (bis)
And here we go :


Hand tools, simple materials, simple happiness.


The 20mm acrylic piece comes from my previous desks (that I had to dismantle in order to build my new kitchen). Budget : 0€.





I still don't know if my HTPC will be fanless or not so I'll leave enough space to put a 120mm fan untill I've made my final decision.




And now, HDD cages ! Yes, they are the aluminium cages I've made for Création n°3, it would have been a shame to throw them away. The question is now : how will I integrate them in the case ?


Bof.








Classical but nice. I love it like this, but...


... that leaves only 170mm between the cages and the edge of the case. Could be a problem with the MB. And if I tilt them a little bit...




180 mm ! :shaky: But : I don't like the look.










I still don't know a lot of things, including how much the case will be tilted. But now, back to filing !


























A new blue dress so I can draw new things.






Hello Création n°3's MB tray ! :wave:







I see a lot of filing coming. Again.
Thanks a lot for your attention and, I hope, see you soon for the next step
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Old 22nd Jul 2014, 15:45   #11
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Originally Posted by Editor22 View Post
Looks like I logged back into BT at just the right time! Still up there with one of my most anticipated projects
Hi Nate ! Thanks to have you back on board This time, I hope I'll be able to finish the handcrafted parts of the HTPC project even if I won't totally give up my initial plans for Création n°3, I will just do it the initial way later...

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Originally Posted by AlderonnX View Post
I like it!
I'm happy you like it. Welcome on this worklog

I'm sorry for the lack of updates, but I have a lot of filing to do on the acrylic and the bamboo. It's very time consuming, something like 2 hours per hole. Considering there is 4 holes for the HDD, 2 more holes for the other things (I'll tell you more about it later) but I can only work on my project 6 jours a week, there won't be big updates before next week-end.

BTW, when I was filing, I found a nice-looking (I hope so) solution to adress the absence of gap between the aluminium HDD and the MB, which could have caused short circuits. I'm waiting for the H97 board I bought to make a fit test, then I'll be able to move quicker.

In the meantime, I anticipated my future custom wiring and crimping work on my Pico PSU XT-150 and ordered some nice parts on Moddiy. And now, I have one month to learn how to weld like a pro (or, at least, the less badly possible)

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Old 25th Jul 2014, 16:27   #12
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Hello Bit-Tech !

Even if I'm not an harcore hardware lover, I had to share my happiness for receiving the first parts that will make my PC becomes... a PC. This includes :

A motherboard (with matt black PCB, matt black connectors, matt black capacitors) :


A CPU cooler (for cooling the CPU... fanlessly) :


A PicoPSU for, well... adding some ugly green PCB and hideous yellow pin connector (which will be removed and customed) :


However, the HTPC is not ready yet for running as a real PC. The aim of these three parts is to help me for fitting tests and decide where I should drill more holes and organize the cables management. BTW, my last filing session went quicker than expected, so, in the next update, Création n°3 will finally looks like a real computer. At least, I hope so
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 20:06   #13
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Création n°3 - HTPC Edition - Update 2
- Greta Svabo Bech, "Shut Up & Sing"-

Hello Bit-Tech !
Hello Noob?, and welcome on board. To answer your question, yes, I've already chosen (and bought) my motherboard. You will see it a little bit lower in this update, it's the MSI H97I AC And now, it's time to show you what took me two weekds to achieve.








Then, two hours later :


Yeah, first one done ! Still 5 holes remaining. :rofl: Of course, the second big hole was easy to make (even if it also took 2 hours), but the 4 small holes for the HDD cages needed to be done acuratly.









I use aluminium plates from Création n°3 to check if everything was square. And it was square. But not square enought, considering the first fitting test :



Not square enough ? There is nothing a good file cannot solve !


Hummm... Much better :thumbsup:



Without the blue protection, the "zero gravity effect" should look nice. But I can't remove it yet because I have a lot of things to finish on it before.



Before I drilled the holes for the HDD cages, I've pre-taped the bamboo frame.


And luckily... the measurement were good !


But I won't work on the bamboo yet, because the tool I planed to use is too big for what I want to do. So, I'll leave it appart now, and will come back to the frame later. Talking about fitting, what about the motherboard ? I have two solutions.

Solution n°1 : aligning the edges of the motherboard and the acrylic plate
Advantage : there is a gap between the HDD cages and the motherboard, so short circuits will be avoided.
Disadvantage : I/O panel will lightly overfil the acrylic edge.









Solution n°2 : shift the motherboard inward
Advantage : I/O panel won't overfil from the acrylic plate
Disadvantage : Risks of short circuits !



There is another disadvantage : with this solution, the CPU cooler would touch the HDD cages. Hummm... :think:



Ok. I will chooe soluiton n°1 for the MB. So, what about the PSU ?


This is a very, very, very bad idea. Because once in place, the Pico PSU is very hard to remove from the MB. So, unless you really need to do so, never fix the PSU before the end of the building ! (Or maybe I'm too clumsy, which is not an assumption to exclude.) Saying it, considering that the acrylic plate is 20mm thick and the PSU's depth is also 20mm, the move was obvious : the PSU will be hidden behind the MB.









Well well well. I think I'm done with almost 75% with the heavy dusty acrylic things. Now, I have to focus on the MB and the PSU modifications.

Thanks for watching, and see you... well.. see you soon.
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Old 31st Jul 2014, 16:21   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeffinslaw View Post
Looking good!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetallicAcid View Post
This is a great build log! I will be following this

Kind regards,
Justin.

Thanks a lot Jeff and Justin


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Originally Posted by KidMod-Southpaw View Post
This.

This is beyond perfect.
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Originally Posted by Noob? View Post
This Southpaw Kid has said all thats required!

Monsieur, nice board, your work is that of a perfectionist.
Eh eh. Perfect, I'm not sure at all. To be honest, this project is not even close to be 10% perfect. But perfectionnist, I try too, for sure. And it always looks better when you manage to not show the light scratches and the non-finished parts

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Very Nice Work and Some skill behind the Camera as well..
Well, I have to admit it's mostly thanks to the camera and my white Ikea table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Old build dead: NOO!
More burglars: I've heard crosses and garlic work well.
New build: YAY!
By hand: Hell yeah, yay!
Hi Cheaps ! Nice to have you back here I'll try crosses and garlic next time, but my favourite weapon will be, definitly, my trusty file. Maybe next file will be made of silver, but I'm not sure I'll be able to affort it or if silver is able to file acrylic and aluminium...

BTW, these last days were more about thinking than making . This ugly PSU's green PCB annoied me and, since two weeks, I'm looking through the internets for the best way to paint it : spray paint, enamel paint for models, acrylic paint, dielectric paints... The litterature about PCB painting is very poor and we always come back to the same solution : tape/cover/protect the connectors and the capacitors, then spray paint it, twice or more.

The only problem is : I don't like painting. It's against my philosophy where the raw materials must be able to breathe and not be hidden. For me, if you opted for painting means that there is necessarily a better and more elegant solution that you have not thought of yet. While my research is desperately going nowhere, yesterday, I realized that I had done well not to rush me into buying "'expensive" paint and bruches because I could do better in term of look and thermal efficiency with what I already had with me. And I think this will involve plexiglas, aluminium and... my file. Again.
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Old 15th Aug 2014, 22:44   #15
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Création n°3 - HTPC Edition - Update 3

Création n°3 - HTPC Edition - Update 3
Smaller is the PSU, bigger are the troubles

- SirensCeol, "The Glitch Waltz" in The Method to the Madness-

Hello Bit-Tech !

In my last update, I showed you that I wanted to hide the Pico PSU into the thickness of the 20 mm acrylic central piece. Now, this will be about how I did it, with a lot of mistakes and fatal errors Because, yes : it was really, really hard. Three weeks ago, when I started working on the Pico-PSU, I could not imagine how difficult and painful it would be.


Firts step : remove the 24 pin ATX connector

As I told you before, and as you already know, I don't like the green PCB of the pico-PSU, and the yellow 24 pin ATX connector is so ugly that I absolutely had to remove it. I used a technic based on U shapped metal wire that I read on another forum. For what fallow, I used Ø 0,6 mm steel wires.





Well... Ø 0,6 mm is a little bit too much, so I had to cut the connetors with an exacto knife. I know, this will destroy it, but it does not matter because I have other projects to replace it.







And I did it ! It just took me... four hours before I managed to remove it, but I killed the connector (and my fingers, and my eyes, in the same way) xD


Second step : hide the green PCB with and aluminium shield

I wanted something to hide the PCB, but not paint nor plastidip. And I wanted the solution to be aesthetic AND funcitionnal. With the aluminium shield, it was both of them plus, as a bonus, it could improve the thermal dissipation and act as an heatsink. OK, with a 150 watt pico-PSU it's probably useless, but who cares, this HTPC will just be for web surfing and music listening ^^











After some measurement, it apperas that 5 mm aluminium would be the best. Luckily, I have a lot of scrap 5 mm thick aluminium pieces in my toolbox, that I can hack from the laser cutted pieces designed for the original Création n°3 project.















Two faces to protect = two aluminium pieces = one shield. 3 hours of filing per face, that is 6 hours of hard work.
Was I happy with them ? At first, yes. But it only took me a few minutes to notice how bad looking they were The front piece, with the two coils and the central capacitor, is ugly with its big central hole, which looks more like a giant potatoe than a clean regular hole. And the second piece is even worse : I removed so much aluminium while filing than it does not protect the green PCB anymore. Stupid me !


Second step (bis) : the shield strikes back

If it's ugly, just do it again. And again. And again. No compromise ! But before I throw my first trial into the trashcan, I used them for some measurement.



6 mm ? OK, no problem, I have 8 mm aluminium pieces in my scrap-aluminium-box.



And so, here we are again, and again, and again.









Much better


Thirs step : gluing the shield and the PSU together

I needed something that would be easy to work with, electricaly non conductive, act as a good thermal paste and if it could bond everything, it would be a welcome bonus. While I was surfing through the internet, I discovered the Artic Alumina Thermal Adhesive, which is an old stuff, released back in 2001 !



It's like epoxy compound and come in two parts. It's really easy to work with, the only issue is that it smells really, really, really bad







After gluing the first aluminium parts, I was about to marry the PSU and the shield. But, a little voice in my head told me to wait a little bit because I still have a lot of work to do on the PSU.

Fourth step : connecting the Pico-PSU

No more yellow 24 pin ATX connector ? No problem :


From left to right :
- The naked pico-PSU XT 150 ;
- Female 24 pin ATX connector, standard size ;
- Female 24 pin ATX pico-connecteur (which appears to be too small) ;
- Male 24 pin ATX 90° connector ;
- Male 24 pin ATX straight connector.



For the custome cables, I will use "FEP Teflon Silver Plated Copper (Cu/Ag 18AWG)" wires because... well, they were transparent.









I bought a lot of different spare connectors but, finnaly, I decided to directly weld the wires on the PSU because it's the most space saving solution.









OK, I admit, I had not welded since college, and it shows ... It was so ugly that I decided to hide this under some heatshrink. And this is where the troubles begin. Neither one, nor two, here I am embarking on the adventure that soon, is much more dangerous than I imagined. Because the wire are directed welded on the PSU's crimps, this leaves not a lot of space for the sleeve and the heatsjrink. Still, I managed to do so, but immediately after I finished it, I realize with horror I welded it all the wrong way, the connector being found in the inverted position relative to electrical scheme :foot: And it was when I tried to fix it that I broke a crimp on the PSU

Considering my bad welding skills, the only solution was to order a new Pico-PSU...

Fourth step (bis) : the same, but better. And safer



New player, play again.







So, hat's next ? Direct welding proved to be a bad idea too fragile, not rigid enough, not modular. Once the cables are soldered, impossible to correct any mistakes. I am finally back to my original idea, which I should not have abandonned in the first place : using the 90° male connector. It makes a bigger PSU, yes, but everything becomes easier.



Perfect fit ! And this time, I carefully checked the direction of the connector.







Much better. Yes, everything falls into place. The three weeks of hard work worth it. Now, I can focus on the custom cable management and the final assembling. =)

















Thanks a lot for watching, and see you soon
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Old 17th Aug 2014, 11:57   #16
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HA! Pure awesomeness!"
Thanks a lot Crown

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Why didn't you just dye the yellow connector with some black dye? That would have saved you so much trouble
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Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Awesome.
@Jeff -You know how big a PITA one ATX connector is to get out, right? Imagine trying to do all 24 at once. -and spraying it with vinyl dye would never look right.
Edit again: eh, I should eat something, it's mostly about hiding the pcb.
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Originally Posted by Jeffinslaw View Post
I just simply meant when he had to remove the connector off of the second PCB, he should have used some vinyl dye that you dissolve in water. I did that to some gentle typhoon fan blades and it worked quite well!

Hi Jeff As Cheaps said (thanks a lot, Cheaps), it's a real pain to remove the 24 pin connector from a pico PSU without destroying it. So, whether I wanted to dye it or not, it would have been useless on a broken connector, so the easiest way would have been, in any case, to replace it with a black connector.
Still, imagining I managed to not kill the yellow connector, I did not want to dye it for the simple reason I already seen someone who did so And using a 90° connector makes it easier for my cabling path.

BTW, nice dyeing on your Typhoon
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Old 20th Aug 2014, 21:15   #17
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Création n°3 - HTPC Edition - Update 4
Let's start the bamboo case !

- The Dø, "Too insistant (Trentemøller remix)" in Both ways open jaws-

Hello Bit-Tech

I'm back earlier than what I expected, and this is a good and very refreshing new, after spending three weeks ont a tiny piece of aluminium This last days, I worked on the biggest and most visible element of the case : the bamboo frame. Which is, I have to break the dream now, a trio of shelves you can buy in a DIY store. And you don't really want to know where the two others shelves are installed...

Well, that's said, we have to go back in time, but just a little bit. Remember, a few weeks earlier :



There wasn't enough room for the MB so I had to move the HDD cages a little bit more on the left, by exactly 5mm. Problem : yes, OK for moving, but now, the cages are, litteraly, in the wood. Solution : create four grooves in the bamboo frame. Double benefitn : I savec space and the grooves help to maintain the cages straight.





As usual, protection tape, scalpel, etc. But, I didn't want to make a mistake and ruin the bamboo. So I made some trial on another spare shelve. To create the grooves, I wanted to use my Dremel as a router, but I was affraid by the noise... and it quickly appears that there wasn't enough room for using the Dremel ^^ That's why I tried with a handsaw and my files :





And... I completely failed : not only it wasn't effective at all, but removing a little material needed a lot of time. Int the picture above, the large groove needed four hours of work with the handsaw/file technique ! :gasp: That's why I decided to realize one of my dream : buying a wood chisel. Yeah, new tool to learn how to use ! I quickly tried it and made the small groove in just... four minutes. Victory !











It's very important to mark the limits with the handsaw, because if you don't prepare the wood, this is what you get :



Here, the use of of the chisel is helped by the grain of the bamboo, because the fiber are perfectly parrallel.









The start of the grooves is made by using the mallet, for more power and remove larger chips. But this is very noisy. Luckily, the chisel works very fine when you just manipulate with the two hands :







And now, it's time for the final test. And....



This is it
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