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Project: HedgeBox (passive HTPC) Easter update

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Tursas, 13 Mar 2007.

  1. Tursas

    Tursas New Member

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    Hello All!

    This is my first post and my first mod. I started this project earlier but now finally get to log it.

    I have been in need of HTPC for a long time. I mainly watch divx and play mp3s.I just hate to have my noise and energyconsuming desktop computer on just to play a episode of southpark. I looked at the market but did not find something what would look interesting (I did like Mcubed's HFX case with passive cooling).
    So if you can't buy it, build it!

    I set few criterias for the build:
    1. Quiet
    2. Low energy consumption
    3. Looks good
    4. Can take a bullet (I hate flimsy products)
    5. Looks different


    I bought few months ago a joblot of big heatsinks. I been thinking what to do with them until I got an idea of just bolting them together to form a case.

    [​IMG]
    Size is 120mm x 120mm x 45mm and each weigh 780g.


    [​IMG]
    After brainstorming I formed up the case in Sketchup.

    [​IMG]
    Don't know what to call it. Xbox is taken....hmm I like hedgehogs....hmm... So let's just call it Hedgebox (If anyone has better suggestions let me know). The case in made out of 13 heatsinks. Wooden bits will be probably rosewood or some nice darker wood.

    [​IMG]
    From inside it would look like this

    [​IMG]
    Because the the case is basically one big massive heatsink there is no need for fans. With heatpipes I will transfer the heat from the components.

    [​IMG]
    Speaking of componets.
    Mobo: Aopen i915Gmm-HFS
    CPU: Pentium M 1.83 (or whatever it was)
    PSU: PW-200-M with external 150W brick
    Cooling: Mcubed Borg CPU, GPU and northbridge heatpipe coolers
    LCD: Matrix Orbital 204 series
    remote: Soundgraph iMON 2.4G DT PCI
    Optical: Any good slim slot drive
    HDD: Any good 3.5"


    So let's get cracking!
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2007
  2. zachjowi

    zachjowi New Member

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    looks cool. good luck. I might have atleast 1 quiet 120mm fan
     
  3. Tursas

    Tursas New Member

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    I have been doing some measuring and testing. Trying bit's different ways.
    Think three times, measure twice,cut once. I tend to haste with things

    [​IMG]
    Piling up the pieces with cardboard template.


    [​IMG]
    First thing is to cut the small pieces from the sides to fit the sidesupport later. This is the most annoying and tiresome stage. I still have not done all of them. Note the truly DIY cutting table/vice made out of gaffer tape and a vacuum cleaner to suck of deadly aluminium powder.

    I was thinking a long time how to bolt the heatsinks together until I came to this solution
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I will drill trough the heatsink and put a long rod trough them and then tighten the whole thing. Also the rod might transfer some heat (or not).


    [​IMG]
    I bought a new bench drill for this project (£100, a bargain). Biggest problem was to align two opposite holes (drill bits were too short to drill trough). Patience and measuring gave me good results. When drilling thick aluminium I found best to have high RPM and keep the drill bit lubed with WD-40. This will
    will eject chipping nicely and keeps the bit cool.


    [​IMG]
    After spraying my house aluminium chipping I have made one wing ready.


    [​IMG]
    Making the threads to 1/4" copper rod with die


    [​IMG]
    Tapping the holes for the threaded rod.


    [​IMG]
    Joining nicely.


    [​IMG]
    Ah, beautiful! three more to go....
     
  4. jakenbake

    jakenbake full duplex

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    wow, nice craftsmanship. good luck, looks sweet.
     
  5. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    I REALLY like teaming up those heatsinks with a nice exotic wood. That will make the difference between a metal monster and a rich looking machine.

    Can't wait to see the final product!
     
  6. cyberspyder

    cyberspyder Canuck

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    The aopen NB heatsink looks like some sort of word...
     
  7. DAE_JA_VOO

    DAE_JA_VOO New Member

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    This is cool, but there's a problem.

    I dont wanna rain on anyone's parade, but lemme just explain something. The component that the heatpipe is COOLING must be LOWER than the heatsink, otherwise the entire concept of a heatpipe is void. Just like you can't put a mobo that has heatpipes upside down...
     
  8. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    It depends on the heatpipes he's using. The ones with nothing else but water in them won't work, but there's also those that do. I don't know how they do it, but they definitely do.

    The problem I can see here is that unfortunately the CPU and the GPU aren't the only parts that heat up. I'd have one 120 mm fan in the middle of the back panel (none will even see it?) at very low speed so it would be inaudible. or atleast have some holes for the warm/hot air to escape from the case! Most of all I'm worried about the lifespan of the capacitor if it gets hot in there..

    Nice and unique design anyways!
     
  9. ottzen

    ottzen New Member

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    Why wouldn't heatsinks work if the mobo is upside down? o_O
    Not that I have any proof, but by the laws of physics any copper, aluminum, or steel rods will lead heat much better than the surrounding air, so there will definately be heat lead through there!
    Thing is though, that you'll get extreme hotspots with the mobo upside down, because hot air wants to rise and its so much harder to go anywhere if there's a mobo in the way ;)
    Imo you should DEFINATELY put in som kind of fan.
    If you turn the mobo around you should also be fine with ventilation holes, but there's nothing like a low speed 120mm fan.

    But nice work with the drilling and sweet heatsinks you got there.

    //ottzen
     
  10. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    HeatPIPES, not SINKS ;)
     
  11. TMM

    TMM Modder

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    Some heatpipes have wicks (sp?) in them which allows the liquid to still travel due to capillary action afaik.
     
  12. Tursas

    Tursas New Member

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    Thanks for the reply's guys.

    When I decided to go passive I knew I would run into load of problems. But because projects must be challeging I will keep it totally passive with no fans in it. The mobo and cpu produce very little heat, so I might get lucky.

    Heatpipes are made by Mcubed so they are the one with wick in it. So they will work in any angle.

    I will not have case totally enclosed. There will be some holes. Where and how big is up to the wood what im gonna use. Here is some layout I made this morning

    [​IMG]
    In a perfect world the cold air will come from the bottom grills and escape from top grills. I think I would make holes more narrow....

    What comes to position of the motherboard. Its the case of "Form before Function". I could have it lying on the bottom with face up. But because I want to have DVD drive under the LCD display and this is the only way it fits. Again this is a situation what might change when I have computer up and running. Front piece is the last thing I will do.
     
  13. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    dude this HTPC will weigh like 20Kg!! at leat no one can run off with it quickly!!
     
  14. guysy1110

    guysy1110 New Member

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    This is a sweet idea. I think you will be able to keep it passive if theres no marjor gaming, apps running all the time... i would love to have something quiet when im watching a film lol.

    Good work.. keep it up :D
     
  15. Bas van der Werff

    Bas van der Werff New Member

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    Sweet idea :D where did you get those heatsinks?
     
  16. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    I'm sure whatever you come up will look good, but to me the earlier drawing with nothing but wood and heatsinks showing has a really nice look. IMO it'd be nice to not have any grills cut in the wood that show. Maybe have inlet grills cut in the wood on the underside, but the outlet grills in the back at the top?

    EDIT: OK, I didn't look back at the photos myself. The back is covered with heatsinks, duh. Still it'd be nice to find some way to keep the grills from showing. Maybe cut out slots in between the fins on the back?
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2007
  17. ottzen

    ottzen New Member

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    My bad...still meant and talked about heatpipes though. Can't see a reason why they wouldn't work upside down...

    Totally agree, that projects should be a challenge, so keep up the passive idea! Just don't forget ventilation holes ;)

    €dit:
    One other thing though.. how did you plan to work out the I/O-shield? Make an own, or is the mobo just turned the wrong way in your sketches?
    I'm guessing you won't cut holes in the heatshrinks, so this should be intresting :)

    //ottzen
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2007
  18. rowin4kicks

    rowin4kicks a man walked into a bar ...

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    wow i love the wood and heatsink mix! very origional!
    i love the design idea as well, but maybe having a low under volted 120mm fan at the back blowing in air which can escape throught the vents at the top would just improve the lifespan of the computer
    or maybe a fan you can turn on when it gets too hot inside
    anyways good luck and its you decision!
     
  19. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    The problem is that the water in the pipes tends to go down because of gravity. If the part that needs cooling is located to the top of the pipe, that doesn't work too well.

    There's also heatpipes with some sort of mesh inside so there's capilar effect or something. Those work in any position.
     
  20. randosome

    randosome Banned

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    i thought they all worked like that ? oh well, aslong as you get that type your sorted ;)
     

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