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Guide $7 MotherBoard Tray

Discussion in 'Modding' started by metarinka, 13 Feb 2005.

  1. metarinka

    metarinka What's a Dremel?

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    $7 Mobo Tray Mini-Tutorial

    Supplies
    Acrylic or Sheet metal $5
    Sharpie
    Tape
    Drill and bits
    Nuts and bolts or Risers $2
    (what ever you want to fasten the motherboard to the tray)

    So you need a new mobo tray for your custom case or maybe your like me and Run you computer without a case. At any rate there comes a time when your going to want or need to make a Motherboard Tray from scratch. This guide will show you the quick and dirty methods to making your own motherboard tray.

    To start you're going to need a sheet of some material in this instant I used a sheet of plexi glass from home Depot that cost all of a dollar. I bought a bigger sheet for $5 and thats about how much metal stock would cost.
    [​IMG]

    next your going to need to cut it to size. In my case I wanted it the exact same size of the Mobo. Don't know your motherboard size? www.formfactors.org is a good place to start.
    Tip 1: Major Hardware stores cut plexi for free. A good metal supplier should have the capability to cut sheet metal to size when you buy it as well.

    Now we have our sheet of plexi cut to size, we need to drill the holes for the mounts (bolts). Through www.formfactors.org you can find the Mounting location for all the different form factors but if your tray is not the same size or you mobo is mounted at an off angle. The math could become off fast. Not to mention all Formfactors are in Metric. Here's a nice shortcut. Grab The Sharpie and your tray. Align it under you Motherboard Just as you would like it to rest permanently.Take that Sharpie It will fit perfectly in the The holes. Just stab it down there and it will leave you with a nice dot where all the holes should go. If your having trouble keeping the board from jiggling in your stab attempts you can use masking tape to gently tape the tray to the mobo.

    Drill your tray with what ever size bit you need in my case it was a 3/16th bit.
    [​IMG]
    (note) Don't go to fast as that has a tendency to melt the plexi I try to keep it below 1,000 rpm.

    A quick test fit
    [​IMG]


    Finished!
    [​IMG]

    You can barely tell its there. I used some 1.5" bolts and nuts that I Picked up for $1 when I got the plexi
    This is a very simple mod but one too many times I've seen questions regaurding fabricating Mobo trays or request for replacments, Make your own!
    Frequently asked questions
    Q.What can the tray be made out?
    A. Just about any rigid sheet will work, I'm using 2mm plexi and it supports the board and all the cards weight, thin sheet metal is the most common. I've seen trays made out of wood, plastic, just bolts spaced apart etc...

    Q.Does the Tray need to be grounded
    A.No trays don't need to be grounded, or plexi cases would explode. All grounding is done through the psu

    Q. Do I need risers?
    A. Only if your Mobo tray is conductive. Plexi is not conductive thus no risers are needed. An extra nut would probably add sufficient height. Risers can be found at any Hardware store.

    this Tray can be seen a hopefully soon to be resurrection and completion of my project log (check sig) cheers and happy :dremel:
     
  2. foxx

    foxx What's a Dremel?

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    Does acrilick conduct static electricity or normal electricity. But enywho realy good guide.
     
  3. RotoSequence

    RotoSequence Lazy Lurker

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    Nice, quick, dirty, and oh so wonderfully simple. And no, acryllic does not conduct electricity. Its plastic for goodness sakes! :hehe:
     
  4. antiHero

    antiHero ReliXmas time!

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    just that it is an plastic does not say its nonconducting. there are plastics on the market which conduct. even they are not very common they can be found. on the mod, i like it its nice and simple
     
  5. foxx

    foxx What's a Dremel?

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    Oh come on plastic can conduct it's like the chairs in my classroom, my hair gets all frizzy near them.(arm hair) And ok so acrilic doesnt conduct, I might do this soon.
     
  6. Bbq.of.DooM

    Bbq.of.DooM Custom User Title

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    to mod it I think would be dead easy: a few led's on the back, and it glows in that color.
     
  7. RobbieGSM

    RobbieGSM Banned

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    Can someone tell me what the purpose of this type of motherboard tray is for?
     
  8. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    They're called stand-offs not risers. And yes you DO need them otherwise you'll most likely warp your motherboard. I have yet to see a motherboard with an even underside.
    If you add stand-offs you'll need to use polycarbonate sheet. Or use a tap & die set to add the thread to the holes drilled in your acrylic sheet. Drill the holes with a 7/64th-inch bits and use a #6-32 tapping bit to thread them for the stand-offs.

    No it can't. That's surface layer static electricity and the oxygen around the chair is what's conducting it, not the plastic itself.
     
  9. metarinka

    metarinka What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for all the kind words this is how I like my mods quick simple and cheap (if only my case was that :sigh: ) at any rate Captian slug I would like to contest the need for risers, The terms are interchangable as risers and stand-offs are much in the same thing. If I have the definitions right a stand off is a little piece thats threaded to fit into the tray and then threaded again to fit Normal Case screws. A riser is cylindrical tube that fits Over the bolt to space it. It doesn't have to be threaded.
    You could use stand-offs but then you have to use a tap and die set and thread the holes. The risers and bolts sound so much easier in my mind :D
    Its Also true that because of the way the boards are fabricated they wont be 100% level but the 2 boards I didn't use risers on worked just fine without and flexing is at a minimum.
    I've used this motherboard tray on 3 mobos now and yes the new AMD-64 motherboards have a backing plate behind the cpu socket which would mean you would have to use some sort of riser, you can find or make plexi ones but for physical shock protection I personally would invest in closed foam cell or rubber.
    Robbie This type of tray is used in custom cases and I made one once to replace a lost tray, also because it doesn't require risers (for most boards) It has a lot lower clearance. My case has 3mm above the top of my graphics card I coudln't use risers if I wanted. The only thing lower would be to use bolts and no tray but thats harder to space and the flexible plexi absorbs and spreads the load.
    Plexi doesn't conduct electricty and no common plastic will (ABS, Poly-Urethane etc)
    Final note; no one has contested this yet and the machinist in me wants to say what are you doing. But The sharpie trick has produced surprisingly good results as long as you make sure the board doesn't wiggle
     
  10. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I thought what you're calling risers are called spacers? I haven't seen them called risers by any hardware store I've been to.
    This is what i think of when I hear the word riser
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I use a sharpie the same way. :hehe:
     
  12. nick01

    nick01 What's a Dremel?

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    It gives you some confidence that you don't short anything accidentally. If you use nominal 1/4" acrylic it is often actually 0.236" and made to slide nicely in a rail for sliding windows. Makes a nice slid-out tray.

    I usually don't use a sharpie. 5/32" drill bits fit those mounting holes perfectly. I have several and use them as locating pins to align the mobo to the tray while I drill. That way, if the first two holes fit everything fits.
     
  13. metarinka

    metarinka What's a Dremel?

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    thanks captian slug your right. I am thinking of spacers and in the computer world risers are those my mistake. There is a sort of mechanical riser but its nothing you would use on a mobo tray
     
  14. Emon

    Emon What's a Dremel?

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    Eek. Bad idea...I mean, I woudn't want to put pressure on the solder joints like that. Not that they'd break, but just that it's not even, could put pressure on the PCB improperly and all that...Just a grommet or some washers or something underneath maybe 1/4" thick would do the trick. You could still bolt it, no need for standoffs, which wouldn't work well in soft acrylic. You'd need self-tapping nuts or similar which would lock into the acrylic.
     
  15. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Minimodder

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    haha saw this and had to post, I'm doing the exact same thing for an old AT tower case I have and fabricated a rather thick (1cm at least) piece of acrylic that I plan on backlighted with Blue and White LED's to get a cool *floating* effect
     
  16. metarinka

    metarinka What's a Dremel?

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    yah Emon washers or any other spacer would work just fine and rubber sorts might give you some shock or vibration, but mind you I didn't Say over torque the bolts, mine are just finger tight and are doing fine.. You must realize with the roughly 2mm Plexi I'm using. It flexes with the board and is more of a load reinforment than a rigid platform. If it was say mounted to inche thick wood. then proper standofs or spacers would be more in call
     
  17. sk8phreak88

    sk8phreak88 Minimodder

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    LOL

    [qoute]It gives you some confidence that you don't short anything accidentally.[/quote]
    LOL, makes a bit of sense but Wouldn't it be more sense-full to use it for making custom case mounts for a custom case?...Thats What I thought atleast.
     
  18. Draeth1

    Draeth1 What's a Dremel?

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    Does anyone have a layout for the motherboard holes so you wouldn't have to remove the board from your computer if its in use?
     
  19. phoeneous

    phoeneous What's a Dremel?

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    Unless you make mobo tray rails, doesnt this mod only serve as a mobo holder?
     
  20. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Minimodder

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    Not necessarily, you could ghetto-fab(ricate) a way to rail the sucka, mine is strictly for holding the mb to an existing AT bracket that's being unriveted and moved back to allow room on the mb and plexi so I can use the current PCI expansion ports
     
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