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Project: Mini AT

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by philyoung, 3 Aug 2004.

  1. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    Ooh, my first post, and it's a project log!
    It's also my first project so go easy!

    I aquired an old Pentium PC in an AT case and decided to shrink it a bit, stick Linux of some sort on it and network it to my main PC.

    After a few measurments a decided on using an Aluminium box from maplin (KR57M).

    I've managed to lose the pics I took before I dismantled the donar PC so you'll have to imagine what it looked like. :duh: :blush:

    OK, so here's the motherboard still mounted on it's tray.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there's nothing on board so I'm going to have to include a graphics card, network card and hard disk in here somewhere (I won't need a floppy or CD once everything is running)!

    I wanted to have everything in the box, including the power supply so the power supply casing had to go.

    I bought some PCI riser cards and a cheap network card and reused the graphics card and hard disk from the donar PC and had a test fitting.
    [​IMG]

    Woohoo! Looking good so far.
    Hmm, maybe I spoke too soon.
    [​IMG]

    Those pesky heatsinks will have to be replaced or modified, and this board (buffer board?) from the PSU is going to be a pain to mount.
    [​IMG]

    Talking of mounting, I adapted some brass standoffs to give the motherboard some clearance above the box without me having to drill into the bottom of it.
    [​IMG]
    I might end up just supergluing them to the bottom of the case to hold the MB in place, but I haven't decided yet.

    I scrounged a drive cage from an old PC and adapted it to hold the hard disk above the edge of the motherboard (there's a slight overlap) and still fit in the case.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Next step was that pesky power supply.
    I removed any unnecessary wiring (I'll only need the MB connector and one to power the HD, don't need to switch the voltage, and won't be using the original fan) and set to hacking those heatsinks down to size.
    [​IMG]

    Much better.

    The case was next and needed a hole above the CPU fan to let air into the case. This is going to be the only air inlet (unless I find it needs more). I also hacked a hole for the network connector (hacked is the word as I don't have a dremel :waah: )
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    So, that's where I'm up to.
    Things to do:
    1) Cut a hole for the power socket.
    2) Cut a hole for the power switch.
    3) Wire everything together.
    4) Cut holes for and mount the outlet fan(s) *
    5) Mount LEDs to the front.
    6) Install OS.

    * Originally I was going to have 40mm outlet fans on the front, but I think it'll be easier to have 50mm fans on the top like the inlet fan.

    I intend to have the case on it's side with the power connector and network cable hidden at the back and just the power switch and LEDs on the front.

    So, let me know what you think or if you have any ideas.

    Oh, I'm looking for some 50mm fan grills but can't find any anywhere.
    Maplin only do 40, 60, 80 and 120 IIRC :waah:

    Phil
     
  2. Risky

    Risky Modder

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    I'm curious but I can't see any pictures.

    Need to get some better hosting..........


    EDIT now working - must have been server trouble as I couln't open the links then. Now sorted :)

    EDIT2: Nice work - was going to attempt this once after seeing a SFF AT PSU on ebay but I got outbid!
     
    Last edited: 3 Aug 2004
  3. mrplow

    mrplow obey the fist!!

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    Working fine here... AT lives on!
     
  4. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers.

    I did look at getting a slim PSU but decided to just try and squeeze the big one in! Just got to hope it doesn't overheat now I've chopped the heatsinks down!

    Phil
     
  5. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I was just going to say that... but I doubt it would. It's bound to be old and some old pentium (2?) 233 in our basement was equipped with a 125w PSU. Point being it didn't draw much power. As long as theres some airflow and that was a PSU with a rating of any decent amount the loss of heatsink shouldn't pose a big problem.

    I love that ram :) Got some of it in the basement... don't even know the name for sure. SIMMs maybe... ISA slots are nice too :clap:

    http://nexfan.com/50mmfanguard.html
    50mm chrome fan grill. Not sure if Nexfan ships international though.

    For the standoffs, if they're open on both ends then drilling a hole in the bottom of the case and screwing them down is an option. If not, tapping a hole or using epoxy should work.

    Nice work. Hopefully an old comp like that can actually serve a purpose other than use some extra outlets.
     
  6. ReFredzRate

    ReFredzRate Relix Headshot!!

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    Pretty sweet idea man! It's already starting to look good, so that's a pro. You said you are going to hook it up to your network, but what purpose will the system actually serve? :) Keep up the good work!
     
  7. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks! :thumb:

    My network currently consists of 1 PC! :hehe:
    I'm planning on sticking some version of Linux on it and using it as a kind of local web server for playing around and learning Linuxy stuff :confused: :hehe:

    Phil
     
  8. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    It was an overclocked P133 running at 150 but I've replaced it with a P166 running at the correct speed.
    I think I've changed to RAM since the pictures were taken - it's now got a wopping 64meg (4x16meg SIMMS).

    Ooh 50mm fan grills! The only place I found was in the US but wanted $50 for shipping! :hehe: I'll have to email nexfan and see what they say! Cheers.

    Didn't really want to drill holes in the bottom but may have to. Do you think epoxy would be strong enough? It's pretty well wedged in so can't actually move far.

    Phil
     
  9. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Indeed, that's nothing short of a killer amount of ram.

    It depends on if it'll be moving around a lot but epoxy should probably be plenty. Or JBWeld which I think is more indended for metal-to-metal bonds. When I made a case from scratch I drilled holes in the bottom and fed screws up, although I couldn't find the brass pieces so I had to just use long screws and plastic standoff bits and a dome nut on top of the mobo. And dear god was it hard to put on the mobo, my normally smart brain forgot to get some nuts to hold the screws in place :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash:

    Hmm, I kinda wanna do something like this myself. Maybe I can get some old cheapo comp in the paper. I'd use that one that I mentioned in the basement but I think I kinda broke it when I took off the heatsink which was epoxied on there... and it's absolutely huge. And a fifth computer in my room (and basically a second which wouldn't get used or quite rarely) neither would have an outlet or a purpose and would force me to join computer obsessives anonymous.
     
  10. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    Ooh, long time no update! :blush:

    Well, not really done much since the last one (I've been on holiday and very busy).

    I've had a change of mind and have decided to use 2 40mm fans on the front of the case instead of 2 50mm fans on the top for the exhausts.
    I've got 40mm fan grills already so no problem there (BTW nexfan would ship me some 50mm grills to the uk for not much more so :thumb: to nexfan!).

    What else? err, ohh yeah - I've bought some round LEDs to replace the current flat ones which I plan on mounting at the front of the case (HDD, Power and Network) next to the power switch and exhaust fans.

    Got some epoxy too so I'll have a go at sticking stuff down soon.

    I'm definately going to try to get more done this weekend so expect some pics early next week!

    Phil
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2004
  11. philyoung

    philyoung What's a Dremel?

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    Well, I managed to get a few small jobs done at the weekend.

    First up was the power inlet socket.
    [​IMG]
    I had to modify it slightly 'cos it has to fit right at the edge of the case.
    I don't have a Dremel so I'm making the holes by drilling lots of small holes and joining them up with a hammer and chissel! :rock:
    Anyway, here's the finished hole and the socket mounted.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    As you can see from the last pic, the space was quite tight.

    As I mentioned last time I've decided to go back to having 40mm fans on the end instead of 50mm fans on the top. My new fans arrived (courtesy of ebay) last week and look like they'll do nicely.
    [​IMG]

    Next up was the power switch. As this is an AT PSU, the switch switches 240 volts so it needed to be pretty beefy.
    [​IMG]
    Here's the finished hole and switch all mounted.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    OK, a bit of input needed here.
    Which fan grill looks best?
    60mm or 80mm ?
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    If I use the 80mm one, I might need to mount it like below to stop the screws interfearing with the HDD.
    [​IMG]

    Jobs still to do:
    1) Mains voltage wiring between inlet and switch.
    2) Cut holes for outlet fans
    3) Install LEDS.

    I'm hoping to get it done in the next week but don't hold your breath!

    Phil
     

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