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Pandora - Rackmounted homebuilt all aluminium box. Update 060801

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Lucanus, 22 Jun 2006.

  1. JAxen

    JAxen New Member

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    Looking sweet, good luck :thumb:
     
  2. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    Bits & pieces

    I know, I know... I said this update would cover back plate and
    motherboard-tray but since I need another trip to the local junkyard
    to pick up some more aluminium it will just have to wait... Sorry.


    Remember this one?

    [​IMG]

    Time to test mount it to the caseframe. But before that I removed the
    top lid of the box and mounted a 9pin Dsub for the motherboard
    headers. There are 4 of them; PWR, reset, HDD led and speaker. I decided
    to run the PWR led directly from the 5v rail of the PSU.
    Run a 8 lead flatcable from the Dsub connector down to the relays.
    Soldered on 5 pairs of 2pin connectors (the same type you see on
    motherboard jumper thingys).
    1 pair each for:

    PWR button (relay controlled)
    Reset button (relay controlled)
    CD-Rom eject button (relay controlled)
    HDD LED
    Speaker

    "CD-Rom eject button?" I hear you say. Well, ask and ye shall receive.

    Naked CD/DVD burner:

    [​IMG]

    removed the front part of the PCB and desoldered the eject-button, bent the
    active leg on the button and soldered on the cable (1 lead on the bent leg
    and the other lead in the hole in the PCB where the leg is ment to go).

    [​IMG]

    3 minutes, a 2pin header and some shrink tube lovin' later:

    [​IMG]

    Other notes:
    Routed the cable through one of the holes that the front face latches on to.
    Had to cut the plastic lip in half to fit the cable, but it still holds
    together just fine. Ooh, and by the way - This WILL void your warranty :)
    Left to do is to mount the potentiometer for the fan controller - but that
    has to wait untill the final assembly of the case.

    And a small collection of assorted photos.
    3 photos, seen from the bottom:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And from the front, with the leds mounted in black anodized aluminium LED holders:

    [​IMG]

    Guess that's it this time, I'm sorry for the small and slow update of the log.
    Iäll try to give you guys a little more bling next time - some front face loving
    with a blue LCD and hopefully the motherboard tray, PCI riser card and stuff.

    Peace,
    /Luc
     
  3. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    good work on the optical drive. I have the same one, painted it with vinyl dye (maybe an idea for your project?)

    don't worry about the pin you had to cut smaller to get the cable through, there's more then enough pins on the drive :D
     
  4. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    Bits & Pieces - part 2

    Went to the junkyard and scored some 1.5, 2 and 3mm
    aluminium so I can finaly start mounting the motherboard-
    tray and all that stuff, but first out is some front face
    lovin'.

    I'll try to cover most of the details for the front
    of the case in this update.

    Anyway - less blabber and more action.
    Starting off with a 3mm piece al, 482 x 133,5.
    Mark, drill and file out the hole for the front door.

    Marked & drilled:
    [​IMG]

    Filed:
    [​IMG]

    Made an air intake over the HDD's using the same procedure:
    [​IMG]

    A hole for the blue 4x40 character LCD:
    [​IMG]

    And finaly measured marked and drilled 4 4mm holes to mount
    the LCD. Also had time to make the piece that will become
    the door.
    The door is 0.1mm smaller than the hole in the faceplate.
    With nothing else than a drill and a decent set of files it was
    a true pain in the a*s to make.
    Gave it some wet&dry lovin' - just enough to get a decent surface,
    I'll have to go over it with 600 paper as well to ge the finish I'm
    aiming for.
    [​IMG]

    Mounting the LCD.

    Started off with a back plate for the LCD made of 1mm anodized al, 60 x 110mm.
    The LCD mounts with 4 m3 screws and 3mm plastic standoffs.
    [​IMG]

    And then the al plate is mounted to the front face by 5x5x15mm aluminium
    standoffs with female m3 in one end and female m4 in the other.
    Now, I couldn't find any such standoffs so I had to make some.

    Starting with 5x15 stock, cutting off 4 pieces with a metal hacksaw, filing
    them down to the right size, and giving them a final touch with some 360
    wet&dry:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Drilled a 2.5mm hole all the way through, and 7mm deep at one end with a
    3.3 drillbit. Tapped with m3 and m4:
    [​IMG]

    And mounted to the LCD:
    [​IMG]

    And the whole construction is then mounted to the frontface using black m4
    sockethead screws - but before I show you the final pics there is one more step.

    Now just simply making a hole and mounting the LCD would in most cases do just fine.
    But since I suffer from delusions of adequacy - I have to do better than that.
    So... I got my grubby little mits on some slightly smoke-tinted 4mm lexan:
    [​IMG]

    That's right - no LCD mounting would be complete without a smoke tinted window.
    Take ye old trusted Dremel.
    Mount said Dremel in stand (I used the 3mm end mill drillbit):
    [​IMG]

    Construct some form of a jig to mill out desired shape:
    [​IMG]

    Once satisfatory result has been achieved, sit still, mindlessly drool over
    ones own accomplishment:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Money-shot depicting fit of said window:
    [​IMG]

    It's made with a tolerance of about 0.07mm's - it's about as precise as I can
    make it. It snaps in place with a slight click and stays in there by itself.


    LCD and window mouted to the frontface, seen from the back:
    [​IMG]

    Closeup:
    [​IMG]

    And from the front:
    [​IMG]

    Closeup:
    [​IMG]


    Phew - that's all I've had time for the past couple of days.
    Left to do on the front is:
    Mounting holes to mount the front to the caseframe.
    Handles (See 3D drawings in first post).
    Hinges and locking mechanism for the door.
    Steelwire mesh for front air intake.
    Some minor cable management for the LCD (done 50% of it so far).

    Ok then, that's it for now.

    Peace
    /Luc
     
  5. ohcyt

    ohcyt New Member

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    Very nice work here, I've been dreaming of doing something like this for some time, and it's encouraging to see it can be done =)
    I really like the precision you work with, as well as the surface finish. Keep it comming, good luck!
     
  6. CursedBlad3

    CursedBlad3 New Member

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    *drool* looking great...
     
  7. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Uuh that plexi looks pretty perfect! Really nice job indeed, I guess I'll have to try that method myself too.
     
  8. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    How not to do things the first time.

    Hi guys!

    Thank you all for the feedback, I'm sorry I haven't gotten
    around to update the worklog - It's just been a bit hectic
    around here lately but my vacation started last week so
    with a bit of luck there will be time to finish the case.
    There is a part of the construction not covered in this update,
    and that's the actual mounting of the front face plate to the
    case frame. I don't have any pictures of it. It's pretty basic,
    6 4mm holes in the front plate with matching 3,3mm holes in the
    frame (tapped m4)


    Ok then, let's begin with is addition entitled "How not to
    do things the first time".

    I needed some form of mesh/filter/thingymajigg to cover the
    front air intake.
    I wanted an industrial feel to it so at first I had my eyes
    set on a steelwire mesh, but thought to myself it'd be too
    easy and boring.
    So I put that part of the project on the backburner for a
    couple of days, figuring an idea would present itself
    sooner or later.
    And this is what I came up with; How about 5 or 6 horizontal
    3mm thick bars spaced 5mm inbetween. Right then, let's get
    cracking.

    [​IMG]

    6 3mm thick 10mm wide and 192mm long strips, filed off a
    3mm by 3mm notch at the corner in each end so that the front
    edge of the bar would sit flush with the front face.
    Giving the illusion of actually being a part of the front plate
    itself.
    Next stage, drilled a 3mm hole in each end. Testing the fit with m3 screws:

    [​IMG]

    At first I used an m3 screw and 5mm long milky-white plastic
    standoffs to seperate the bars.
    Test mounted it to the front plate and thought to myself;
    Something's not right... Everything lined up perfectly like I had
    imagined it.. but.. Then it hit me, the milky-white plastic
    standoffs just didn't match the rest of the case. It lacked a sertain
    level of ... elegance.
    So, Out comes Ye old slab of 5/8" thick black delrin lovelyness.

    [​IMG]

    Sawed off a 10mm wide strip, got out the old Dremel, set up a jig,
    and milled out 3mm wide slits spaced at 4.5mm's apart. Using only 5 of
    the original 6 bars.

    [​IMG]

    Test mounted the bars to the delrin.

    [​IMG]

    Same, diffrent angle:

    [​IMG]

    Aaahh... This I can live with.
    And mounted it to the front face plate with 2 black sockethead m4 screws.

    [​IMG]

    Closeup:

    [​IMG]

    Not too shabby, and well within the industrial feel/design I was hoping for.

    Left to do on the bars:
    Surface finish, 600 grint wet&dry to get rid of scratches and marks.


    The other thing I'll be covering in this update is the front door,
    hinges and the lock.

    Remeber this:

    [​IMG]

    The frame sitting directly behind the door. Marked, drilled and tapped 2 m3 holes holding 2 m3 screws with a 4mm diam head. The head of the screw
    will act as the pin for the hinge.

    [​IMG]

    The other part of the hinge will be attached to the door.
    So, let's start with 5x15mm al stock, sawed off 2 pieces and filed them down
    to 12mm wide. Drilled a 4,2mm hole, tapped with m5. Also meassured, marked,
    drilled and countersunk 2 corresponding holes in the door.
    The original plan was to use the same m4 sockethead screws to mount the
    hinge to the door as I have used on all the other parts of the front but the
    height of the screw heads interfered with the inside of the hole for the door
    so it couldn't open up a full 90 degrees.
    Hence the need for countesunk screws. And I coulnd't find any black countersunk m4 sockethead screws.

    [​IMG]

    Put it all together again, and ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    Ignore the diffrence in surface finish at this stage - It still needs some
    wet&dry 600 grit action.

    And an inside shot, showing the hinge:

    [​IMG]

    And as for the locking mechanism of the door, I opted for the same solution
    as with Hades 3.0 (link in sig). It's a spring loaded ball set in 10by10mm al
    stock.
    Drilled a small indentation on the inside of the door frame for the ball to latch
    on to. (Check out the worklog for Hades 3.0 for a "howto")

    That's it - I'm FINALY done with all the individual parts for the front!
    At this stage I disasembeld the entire front, gave it it's final 600 grit finish,
    Including the wall behind the door.
    Washed and dryed all the parts and put it all back together again. Phew!...

    And here it is in all it's glory.

    [​IMG]

    And a shot of the finished wall behind the door, complete with the stainless
    steel knob for the fan-controller potentiometer.

    [​IMG]

    Ooh, I almost forgot. One more thing to do, and that's the 4 7.5mm holes necesary
    to mount the case to the 19" rack. But I'll save that for last.

    Peace/
    Lucanus
     
  9. microcf

    microcf New Member

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    really nice project.. dont remember now, but do you own 19" racks?
    Otherwise the puter wont have any place to feel home ;)

    anyway, good work and it seems like the case keep high quality!
     
  10. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    Thanks mate :)

    Ofcourse I own a rack. I have two 1/3 height racks 12 RU each. Pandora will live together with Hades (link in SIG) in one of them. It also holds a 4 channel KVM switch and a 2 RU drawer.
    And the other one holds a Hawking Technologies PN1600ES 16 port network switch. It's a proper full duplex switch with a 1.6 Gbps backplane. And the bottom part is occupied by a Harman Kardon HK670.
     
  11. GT40_GearHead

    GT40_GearHead New Member

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    great work,
    could you post some more pics with the lcd i mean how did you make the conexions
     
  12. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    How about this, my camera absolutly blows so give me a couple of hours and I'll whip together a complete 3D drawing for you. I'll try to take some pictures as well but don't expect too much :)
     
  13. GT40_GearHead

    GT40_GearHead New Member

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    we got our selfs a deal :hip:
     
  14. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    Me + Sketchup + no skills = dodgy 3D drawings.

    Allrighty then, here's an orgy in my non existant Sketchup skills.
    I stripped off all the non essentials leaving only the front face.

    Complete assembly including all the individual parts as seen from the front at an angle:
    [​IMG]

    And from the back at an angle:
    [​IMG]

    From the side:
    [​IMG]

    And finaly from the top:
    [​IMG]


    I also promised you some photos, I'll make sure to include some in the next update.
     
  15. GT40_GearHead

    GT40_GearHead New Member

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    THANKS dude
    be sure to take i photo of the the cable, al the conections
    ou, and for youre
    that is preaty damn good :thumb:
     
  16. Lucanus

    Lucanus New Member

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    Lazy days...

    Pardon me, but before we get around to the main part
    of this update I have a special request to fill.
    GT40_GearHead requested some more photos of the
    mounting for the LCD.

    So here you are mate.

    Indiviual parts:
    [​IMG]

    Fold:
    [​IMG]

    Flip:
    [​IMG]

    And mount on 3mm plastic standoffs with m3 screws
    and nuts:
    [​IMG]

    Covered with electrical tape to protect the delicate
    front from scratches.
    The cable is then routed in a small hole in the wall
    between the HDDS and CR-Rom to a small PCB to supply
    +5 volts. And from there back to the LPT port on the
    motherboard.

    Ok then lads. Let's get it on!

    It's been too darn hot to get any work done so
    you guys will have to do with a small update
    covering motherboard tray mounts and the back panel.

    Remember this one?
    [​IMG]

    It needs a filter/fingerguard, so let's begin with
    some stainless steelwire mesh. 0.8mm thick strands.
    [​IMG]

    Cut out a piece 10x10mm bigger than the hole.
    [​IMG]

    Superglued it to the inside of the backplate for the PSU.
    Final result:
    [​IMG]

    As usual I've left the final surface finish to last, hence
    the somewhat dodgy look.

    Next step on the backside is made from the same 3mm alu as
    everything else.
    It Starts off as a 340 x 133.5mm piece. Marked and drilled
    6 holes to mount it to the caseframe:
    And mounted it with the same black sockethead m4 screws as
    used throughout the build. (This picture was taken prior to
    adding the steelwire mesh to the PSU back plate)
    [​IMG]

    I must apologize in advance here. I didn't take any pictures
    while mounting the motherboard tray so a short description
    will have to do:
    The back end of the tray is held in place by one m3 screw
    visible in the final picture (below the ATX cutout).
    The right side along the inside of the case is held by 2 m3 screws.
    And the left side rests on a piece of L profile of 1mm anodized
    aluminium with in turn is screwed to the lower back and lower mid
    alu profiles. Pretty basic, lacking elegance but structuraly sound.

    Next step was to mark, drill and file the hole for the ATX cutout.
    Marked, started to drill:
    [​IMG]

    Drilled and filed nice and straight:
    [​IMG]

    Left to do is 2 holes to mount the PCI riser and a hole for the
    VGA connector.

    This is where it gets tricky.
    First hurdle was the bracket needed to mount the PCI riser to the
    back plate.

    A piece of 1mm anodized alu, 20x70mm
    2 small brackets of 5x8mm stock, 20mm long.
    [​IMG]

    Measure mark drill and tap a m3 hole in each bracket.
    Mount the alu plate to the brackets with 3mm screws with a 1mm
    offset from the edge to allow room for the bottom tip of the PCI card
    brackets. Also filed out a 5 mm deep indent on the oposit edge to clear
    soldering points on the PCI riser.
    [​IMG]

    Measure marke and drill 2 holes in the alu plate to mount the whole
    thing to the PCI riser card:
    [​IMG]

    And the backside:
    [​IMG]

    And now it gets really tricky. There was basicly no way to measure
    the exact distances needed to mark the holes in the backplate to
    mount the PCI riser. So what I had to do was to use a dead s478 motherboard
    as template. Stick in the riser, make sure it sits nice and square, and
    slowly mark out where the holes should be. This tock almost 2 hours and
    the end result was off by 0.2mm in height, well within reasonable margins.

    Riser finaly mounted with countersunk m3 screws:
    [​IMG]

    Next step.
    Measure mark drill and file a hole for the VGA card.
    Marked, started drilling:
    [​IMG]

    Filed:
    [​IMG]

    Above picture also shows indent at the edge to allow the PCI cards top to clear.
    Locking mechanism for the PCI cards will be a simple bracket of 5x8mm alu stock.(Net yet in place)

    I know I had planned to use a modified standard ATX backplate.
    But lacking time to finish the case before my summer vaication is
    over I had to cut a corner.
    The solution lacks elegance but well,.. er,.. Aaah, sod it.
    And here's the finished result minus motherboard and PCI riser:
    [​IMG]

    The above picture also shows a part of whats in the next update.
    Cover plate behind the hard drives, and fans. The plate shown int he picture is a temporary 1mm alu template.


    That's about all I had time for this time lads. 'Till next time, take care.

    Peace
    /Luc
     
  17. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Not actually about the mod but the pics instead. Take them a bit further away so your camera will be able to focus.
     
  18. yahooadam

    yahooadam <span style="color:#f00;font-weight:bold">Ultra cs

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    i like the work youve done on cutting those holes, it looks really good :thumb:
     

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