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Scratch Build – In Progress Arrakis

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Attila, 13 Oct 2011.

  1. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Welcome to Arrakis (dancer). This is a small HTPC project I was supposed to start about four months ago. Last Sunday, while standing in my workshop staring at cor leonis (as I have been doing a lot) trying to solve the problem of the top of the case/side panels and how to make the hinging mechanism, I decided it was best if perhaps I stopped thinking about this build for a while and did something else (or at least hope that a solution would just pop into my head if I was thinking about something else). So I just spun around, grabbed some 1.2mm sheet and started building Arrakis.

    This is going to be a very simple, very small PC that will sit next to our TV. It will consist of two main parts. A compact chassis housing all the components and a pretty wooden shell.

    The first thing I did was to hunt down all the parts I collected for this at the start of the year.

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    I quickly stacked everything on top of each other to see how all the parts can be arranged. Made some measurements and marked up the main part of the chassis on some 1.2mm sheet.

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    Cut it and filed it and then used some bits of alu and a couple of clamps (and a hammer:hehe:) to bend it into shape.

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    The stanoffs were fitted to the board and the i/o plate taped into position. Then the position of the i/o plate was roughly marked.

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    Once that was done, more accurate measurements were taken and the cut lines marked up on the back panel.

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    And the waste was removed very carefully. I say carefully because there is not much left at the side and this will bend and buckle easily.

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    And the fit is good.

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    Now some braces need to be made for the sides.

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    In the next photo you can see that one brace is made from 8mm plate and the other from 6mm plate. There just was not enough room on the right hand side.

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    To work out where the holes for standoffs go. Firstly place the board where it will go. Mark the standoff positions with a pencil. Remove the board and place some masking tape where the pencil marks are. Put the board back and press down firmly on each of the standoffs. This will leave an imprint on the tape. Mark the center of the imprint and then with a pointy tool, make a mark through the tape onto the sheet. Drill holes.

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    Everything should fit exactly.

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    At the start of the year I played around with this board for a while to see if it could actually run 'fanless'. Just performing minor tasks took the temp up to 86 degrees and just resting a fan on the heatsink dropped this temp dramatically to usable levels. So I've decided to run a fan on this even though this kills my ambitions of a totally silent machine. I'm thinking I can play with the fan speed once the build is complete and with a shell, intake grille and filter, this should dampen the db's still further. I'm actually hoping it will be very close to silent.

    So I need to mount a fan. I'm using anything I have laying around the workshop. The only thing I will have to buy extra for this is some wood for outside.

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    Some fan mounts.

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    And that's it.

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    Waynio likes this.
  2. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Here is the TV card I will be using. It is reasonably compact but will be too high to sit on top of the board.

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    So a PCI extender will be used and the card mounted under, and parallel, with the mobo. It's too big for my needs though, so some is cut off.

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    This PC is powered by a plug in module and an external power brick. So the 12 volt input is fitted to the back panel.

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    As all the components (Optical drive, hard drive and TV card) will be mounted beneath the mobo, the wiring needs to be routed underneath.

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    And that's reasonably tidy for now.

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    The next job is to fit all the rest of the components here.

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    Cor Leonis was feeling hungry :hehe:. This gives you an idea of size (and a bit of fun). :)

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    Last edited: 13 Oct 2011
  3. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    nom nom nom ... smallness beauty. Are you going to build a wooden sheel like marantz used on their 1970's amplifiers (their golden age IMHO) ?

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    Crossing likes this.
  4. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    Ultra neat and tidy from you as usual Attilla. It's tiny sitting inside the chassis of the other build, but that also gives an indication of how big that is..

    Some times it's makes sense to step back and do some thing else, clear the mind and wait for a flash of inspiration to hit you from out of the blue. I should probably take that advise myself, instead of crashing through stuff. Once I get the head on I just to see it finished.

    Any way, looking really good, Top modding dude.
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    There's nothing more refreshing than taking an ITX build break. Your internal work way too clean.:lol:
     
  6. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Another one gets his hands dirty with mITX....

    We'll get you all addicted to these one day :clap:
     
  7. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I was wondering when you'd get sneaking around here :D
     
  8. Yariko

    Yariko New Member

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    As always, simple project, but you still manage to make it look way too awesome! \o/ _b :jawdrop:
     
  9. Livio

    Livio New Member

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    Oh yes, an other Attila project!
    Nice and precise metalwork as usual and I can hardly wait the woodwork part of it.
    Subd of corse.
     
  10. Razer2007

    Razer2007 Building Proxima

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    Geese to much cheese.... cake.

    How do you go about making sure the holes in the thick aluminium and plex are 90 degrees to the surface? Do you use a drill press?
     
  11. peteski

    peteski long live the pc

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    very smart looking Attila i love the size and the idea.same sort of thing id like to build one day but as a newbe to this i dout it would look like yours

    subscribed :rock: :rock:
     
  12. Crossing

    Crossing New Member

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    I love the creativity that people have with mATX even if it's just a very clean design. Great work so far!
     
  13. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    I remain useless in comparison.

    Nice work oldnewby. Your attention to detail is astounding as usual!
     
  14. craig - toyoracer

    craig - toyoracer Member

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    First off glad you are up and about modding again. :)

    Nice way to use up leftover material. Have you decided on a wood?

    Any ideas pop up yet :)
     
  15. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Your ultra-rapid build is already cleaner and more impressive than many in-depth multi-month monsters. I look forward to some more of your carpentry! Also...

    ... this is the truth. :D
     
  16. [ZiiP] NaloaC

    [ZiiP] NaloaC Well-Known Member

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    Mini Attila kit :D Huzzah!

    Looking awesome, again, as expected :)
     
  17. yassarikhan786

    yassarikhan786 Ultramodder(Not)

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    Amazing. I love all of your work and I'm definitely subbing :).
     
  18. Zorndar

    Zorndar New Member

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    Your eye for details and craftsmanship always amazes me. Great work up to now!
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2011
  19. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Well I'm hoping to build something a little more elaborate. But yes, it will be mostly wood. :)

    Speaking of Marantz. The only product of theirs I ever owned was a power amp in the late seventies. I used it for monitoring in my home studio (read bedroom).

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    It packed a punch but unfortunately I blew it one day by using it as a guitar amp into one channel. It was left at a high end hi-fi store for a long time while they tried to find parts. One day I got a phone call telling me that they had located the parts and I asked what the price of the repair was likely to be. I didn't go back to collect it.
    Before I destroyed it, the amp was fed by a Phase Linear pre amp.........

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    .......as part of the studio (and listening to music of course).

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    These amps weren't bad but the best amp I ever heard (and I owned plenty and listened to a lot more), were these little units by BGW.

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    I won nine hundred bucks in the lotto in 1979 and after collecting the money, headed straight over to the local distributor for BGW. Nine hundred didn't buy a heck of a lot of high quality gear (even in 79 :hehe:), so I settled on the 100B power amp and a pre amp I cant remember the model number of. The 100B was rated at only 45 watts per channel but a signed test sheet showed 69 watts in one channel and 70 in the other. Anyway, I knew that I could get away with low power amps because I was using super efficient EV sentry III's at the time. These amps, particularly the 100B were a revelation. Running the CD player straight into the 100B (and skipping the pre amp) produced sound unlike I've heard before or since.
    An interesting bit of fluff. I used to read all the hi-fi mags and I was following the development of the compact disc a couple of years before it became commercial reality. I taped all my records and sold the whole collection about six months before the first CD players were released locally. In the photo above you can see the first player available here in oz. That player cost over thirteen hundred bucks and for me to own it I took out my first ever loan. No more hiss, crackles or pops. :)



    Thanks jeff. :thumb: Yep I do need a rest. My bwain hurts. :hehe:

    Thanks. :thumb:

    You gotta love these things. All the parts are small and all the work is so much quicker and easier. :)

    Thank you. :)

    Thanks. :)

    Thank you. :)

    Thanks. :)

    Thanks. :)

    Thanks Craig. :thumb: No I haven't looked for wood yet and I'm not thinking about CL at the moment. ;)

    Thanks. Yeah I'm really enjoying this at the moment. It's coming together very quickly and that keeps the interest level high. ;)

    Haha, thanks Ziip. :thumb:

    Thank you. :)

    Thank you. :)
     
    mark1903 likes this.
  20. Yemerich

    Yemerich I can has PERSUADETRON?

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    Heya Attila, great work as always!
    Nice to see you again in a project, better yet in a HTPC.
    I was wondering, isn't this a good time to update your guides at your personal home page? I am sure that people here would love to see that happening!

    Pleaaaaaaase?

    BTW, I saw ARRAKIS, the I was mentally saying:
    "Planet Arrakis, land of sand. Home of the SPICE..."

    I didn't know that there was another meaning for "Arrakis"...

    Cheers mate!
     
    [ZiiP] NaloaC likes this.

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