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Planning Ammo Can Build! Need advice...

Discussion in 'Modding' started by sleepygamer, 3 Jul 2015.

  1. sleepygamer

    sleepygamer More Metal Than Thou

    24 Apr 2010
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    Hi guys!

    So I've been mentally planning this ever since I got my hands on a small, .50 cal ammo can. It's Dutch, apparently! I've been wanting to build a small, self contained rig inside it that I can sling a knapsack bag thing over for the accessories, and just take with me to a friend's hose or LAN party or whatever.

    I've already acquired most of the parts I need, I'm just waiting to be a little less poor to buy the motherboard and I can start some more detailed planning.

    However, I am going to have to do some things I have never attempted before!

    This will be my first time building a computer inside something not originally intended for a computer, and figuring out how I want to place and mount everything is going to be a struggle.

    I have also some to the conclusion I will need to modify the power supply. I purchased a Silverstone SFX PSU that seemed ideal. It should have enough juice to power a low-mid range ITX or similar graphics card, along with a nice lower power quad core, and maybe a couple of drives.

    Now my issue with the power supply is the placement of where the wires come out of the unit, and the length of some of the cables. In the final build, I would like to totally individually sleeve the cables and have them as close to the perfect length as possible, but never having modded a PSU before, I am slightly nervous as to my first steps. I also need to finalise where it will sit in the system before I come to a conclusion on that. Advice would be appreciated in this regard!

    Due to the way I plan to position the graphics card, I'm most likely going to need to use a flexible PCI-E riser. Does anyone have any experience with these, and how to either a) make them not fugly and b) how reliable they can be?

    Motherboard mounting is going to be interesting. I plan on using a mini-ITX board, as it should just fit snugly with the power supply next to it, but I am currently thinking how best to mount it. Would I be best drilling though the side entirely and tapping the holes for standoffs, or might it be a better idea to create a removable motherboard tray that I can slot in, given how difficult access to the bottom of the case will be when stuffed with components and cables? How feasible is this, in you guys' experience?

    Cooling. The PSU should be fine, as I plan to put it in a corner with direct access to the outside for easy airflow. The graphics card will be positioned with it's intake fan next to vent holes I plan on making in the side, but the cooler I have currently doesn't have directed exhaust out the back. As well I'll likely be using a low profile Noctula cooler. An L9i or maybe an L12 if I think I have clearance. This will obviously be circulating the warm air in the case around quite a bit. After some consideration, I feel I would be able to fit a 92mm fan in the lid of the ammo can, under the handle. My initial instinct is to use this as an exhaust to try and balance out the positive pressure added by the graphics card, and create a little airflow. I would appreciate feedback!

    I know this is a long post. I'll grab some photos of the can, the PSU and the current stand in HD 5770 I have to demonstrate my current ideas.


    Here you can see the can, and a few scribbles notes as to what is going on. The I/O shield in there is just about 17cm long, so I am using it as a guideline for my mobo size for now. All the I/O will be at the back, where you can see the ass end of the GPU. That's my current layout plan. Thoughts?

    Thanks for any feedback in advance, guys!


    Edit: The fan I have placed on the lid there is a 120mm. It's all I had laying around. :3
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2015
  2. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Minimodder

    1 Oct 2009
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    I've seen some lovely builds in the past using one of these and miniITX. Good luck with your efforts :)
  3. Pfaffen

    Pfaffen What's a Dremel?

    18 Mar 2007
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    Great idea.

    If you change the top exhaust to intake, you may not need to cut a hole in the side for the GPU intake.

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