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Scratch Build – In Progress Création n°3 // ITX Bamboo HTPC- 30.01.3015 - Update 6 (and MOTM nominee)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Monsieur R., 17 Feb 2013.

  1. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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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) :
    [​IMG]

    A CPU cooler (for cooling the CPU... fanlessly) :
    [​IMG]

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

    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 :)
     
  2. Noob?

    Noob? What's a Dremel?

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    Monsieur, that looks great!

    Got a motherboard in mind yet?
     
  3. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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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.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Then, two hours later :
    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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 :

    [​IMG]

    Not square enough ? There is nothing a good file cannot solve !
    [​IMG]

    Hummm... Much better :thumbsup:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    And luckily... the measurement were good !
    [​IMG]

    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.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]

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    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. :lol:
     
  4. Jeffinslaw

    Jeffinslaw What's a Dremel?

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    Looking good! :thumb:
     
  5. MetallicAcid

    MetallicAcid What's a Dremel?

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    This is a great build log! I will be following this :)

    Kind regards,
    Justin.
     
  6. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    This.

    This is beyond perfect.
     
  7. Noob?

    Noob? What's a Dremel?

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    This Southpaw Kid has said all thats required!

    Monsieur, nice board, your work is that of a perfectionist.
     
  8. Hanoverfist

    Hanoverfist What's a Dremel?

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    Very Nice Work and Some skill behind the Camera as well..:thumb:
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Old build dead: NOO!
    More burglars: I've heard crosses and garlic work well.
    New build: YAY!
    By hand: Hell yeah, yay!:rock:
     
  10. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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    Thanks a lot Jeff and Justin :eek: :)


    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 ;)

    Well, I have to admit it's mostly thanks to the camera and my white Ikea table. :D

    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 :idea: than making :dremel:. 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. :D:dremel:
     
  11. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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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 :D 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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 ^^

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Two faces to protect = two aluminium pieces = one shield. 3 hours of filing per face, that is 6 hours of hard work. :dremel::lol:
    Was I happy with them ? At first, yes. But it only took me a few minutes to notice how bad looking they were :duh: 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 ! :eyebrow:


    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 !

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 :

    [​IMG]
    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    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.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    OK, I admit, I had not welded since college, and it shows ... :yawn: 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 :wallbash::waah:

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

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

    [​IMG]

    New player, play again.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    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. =)

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    Thanks a lot for watching, and see you soon :o:)
     
  12. Cown

    Cown Minimodder

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    HA! Pure awesomeness!"
     
  13. Jeffinslaw

    Jeffinslaw What's a Dremel?

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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 :thumb:

    -Jeffinslaw
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Awesome.:D
    @Jeff -You know how big a PITA one ATX connector is to get out, right? Imagine trying to do all 24 at once.:eeek: -and spraying it with vinyl dye would never look right.

    Edit again: eh, I should eat something, it's mostly about hiding the pcb.
     
  15. Jeffinslaw

    Jeffinslaw What's a Dremel?

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    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!

    You can check out how I did it in my build log below :thumb:

    Sorry for getting off topic and promoting my own build log :blush:

    -Jeffinslaw
     
  16. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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    Thanks a lot Crown :blush:


    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 :eek: And using a 90° connector makes it easier for my cabling path.

    BTW, nice dyeing on your Typhoon ;)
     
  17. Jeffinslaw

    Jeffinslaw What's a Dremel?

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    Ahh okay, I didn't know the connector was damaged when removing it, makes sense now!

    And thanks :thumb:
     
  18. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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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 :D 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 :

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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 !

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

    [​IMG]

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

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    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 :

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    This is it :)
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2014
  19. shinji2k

    shinji2k Minimodder

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    I've messed around with bamboo lumber before so I know it is not very fun to work with, especially chiseling it by hand. Kudos :thumb:
     
  20. MetallicAcid

    MetallicAcid What's a Dremel?

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    Nice work, yet again :)

    Kind regards,
    Justin
     

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