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Project: Slimline e-pc (July, 3rd)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by bAdI, 23 Mar 2006.

  1. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Hello to all.

    A couple of years ago I bought a second hand hp e-pc.

    [​IMG]
    That's not mine, but it's the same model.

    Didn't like the looks so I took a strike at modding making an acrylic case for it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Not too bad from the front/top

    [​IMG]
    The back's not so good. The bottom of the backplate broke off while sanding. :duh:

    [​IMG]
    And opened up it looks pretty ugly.
    The hard drive and cdrom are screwed together, and the hdd is screwed to the top of the case. The top also holds the original 80mm fan.

    After modding it (if you can call it so) I gave it away as a present and now it's come back to me.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  2. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    The layout

    As the name says I'm going to turn the ugly e-pc into a slim e-pc.

    [​IMG]
    The motherboard design is pretty good for this as the area where the cd goes is free of bulky parts and the RAM goes horizontal instead of vertical.

    [​IMG]
    The hard drive will go beside the motherboard. Just over 30cm wide.
    [​IMG]
    As you can see it's not very tall either.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  3. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Sketchup

    I made some quick 3ds of the layout with sketchup.

    The mobo is a MicroATX model cut to size and I moved the processor to the approximate position (should be moved a bit more to the front). The heatsink I put on top of it is for a northbridge but you can get the idea anyway.

    [​IMG]
    To keep it low I'll get rid of the big 80mm fan on the top and put a couple of 35mm or 40mm fans blowing at the heatsink and another one or two behind the hard drive to get the hot air out.

    [​IMG]
    The height restriction will be at the heatsink and fans.

    [​IMG]
    Being a bit generous those are the possible dimensions.

    You can also see the look I'm searching for. I'd like it to be mostly aluminium and have a window on top to see the guts. I don't know what kind of power I can get out off the onboard psu so I won't risk it with any additional lighting (power and hdd led only).
    Possible color themes
    • Aluminium - Blue
    • Aluminium - Red
    • White - Blue
    • White - Red
    Before I decide on that I have to decide the materials and, based on that, the construction procedure, then I'll do some more planning but with Autocad which I think is more precise than Sketchup.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  4. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Project: Slimline e-pc (March 23)

    Just began the project log .
    Post any questions or comments here.
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2006
  5. cerberus

    cerberus New Member

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    I have one of those as well except mine says e-vectra, will be very interested to see where this goes as I agree it is one ugly box.
     
  6. Geqxon

    Geqxon New Member

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    You've made a nice start there :)

    Maybe you should link to this thread within the project log?
     
  7. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 New Member

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    You need a bit more space between cdrom and ram. have you thougt about usig expansion bay coolers?
     
  8. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Should be in my sig but I can only see it when I edit it or preview a post :confused:

    I thought about them coolers but they're too big, and I want this to be a very small case (almost like a closed laptop).

    The cdrom will be lifted up over the ram. Stay tuned because I have a pretty nice idea for that (don't know if I dreamed it or saw it on someone elses log). I'll install Autocad and post a draft today (can't get used to sketchup after so many years of Acad). The ram will be passively cooled (heatsink) and I'll use an old pentium heatsink for the hard drive cooling.
     
  9. ReFredzRate

    ReFredzRate Relix Headshot!!

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    To keep it simple, you might be able to get yourself a broken dvd-player or something and put the hardware inside that. Would make a stylish slimline pc. But hey, it's your project, not mine :) Like the idea!
     
  10. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Mounting the cdrom

    As you can see in the picture of the original mod the cdrom was screwed to the hdd ant then to the top. For this new mod I don't want any screws on the top so I had to figure out how to do it.

    I saw that some people covered their motherboards with plexi. I'll use that same idea to mount the cdrom over the motherboard.

    [​IMG]
    It'll be a piece of clear plexi held up with the same screws that hold the motherboard tight to the bottom of the case.

    [​IMG]
    It sticks out on the right side to reach the mounting hole on that corner and it will improve the airflow from the side fans to the hard drive.

    [​IMG]
    The cdrom rom will be sandwiched between the motherboard cover and two pieces of plexi on top wich will be bolted to the bottom pice, 2 bolts for the front and 3 at the back. The extra bolt at the back will prevent the cdrom from sliding back.

    I'll make a test piece this weekend and start measuring the height that has to be clear, I'm not too concerned because all the tall condensors are on the right side of the motherboard.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  11. Gumbatron

    Gumbatron New Member

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    Looks like it will be cool....

    Any idea what you're going to use it for??

    It'd be perfect for an MP3 jukebox running on GiantDisc.

    Then again, maybe you have bigger plans for it...... :idea: world domination


    Happy modding :thumb:
     
  12. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    World domination is on the list :grr: and so is the MP3 jukebox :rock: but for now it's only got a 10gb hard drive, not enough for too many mp3s. Also thought about htpc but it doesn't have native tv-out and no agp/ pci slots.

    It'll be my web/pic server.
    It's running ubuntu with xampp as the server and jaws as main framework (I've been trying Joomla and might change to that).

    Didn't mention the specs did I.
    • Celeron 700mhz
    • 128 mb RAM
    • 10 gb HDD
    • CD-RW (8x4x12x I think)
     
  13. Gaoske

    Gaoske New Member

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    This look s very interesting, let's check wether there's something for me to learn here :geek:
     
  14. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Fullcover test (March 26)

    I made a dummy cover out of cardboard. It covers the whole motherboard (bare in mind it will be clear plex)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I know it's not perfectly square but I believe you get the idea.
    The parallel port, condensors and heatsink are the tallest part of the motherboard so the won't be covered.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  15. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Smaller cover (March 26)

    I also made a small motherboard cover like the one I had planned out. It's made out of the bottom piece of the old case so it has more holes than needed.
    [​IMG]
    No perfect edges but it's not the final cover, that will be clear.

    [​IMG]
    Pretty close to the heatsink :blah:, I can sand it more to clear it by 5mm.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The pieces that hold the cdrom down aren't too straight, and I'm not sure about the piece at the back yet, I'll have to think about it a bit more and maybe de some more testing.

    [​IMG]
    One of the screws that holds the cover to the motherboard is under de cdrom so I'll have to sink it into the plex (and its friends might get the same treatment).

    As you can see the spacers are very tall and leave plenty of room, I can cut them down a bit to make the case lower.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  16. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Airflow

    [​IMG]
    This is just a sketch of where the 2 fans will be (35mm or 40mm). Even if I cut the spacers down I'll get an acceptable airflow over and under the motherboard cover, so the condensors han northbridge will be cooled and air will get to the harddrive on the otherside of the mobo.

    You might have realised that I've changed the ram.
    [​IMG]
    I looked in my box-a-goodies and found some sticks of ram which are smaller than the original Hp. I've just won myself 3mm depth (the smaller the better).

    Recap of the discussion (because I know not everyone reads it)

     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2006
  17. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    Just updated the worklog.

    I'll be very pleased with my self if I can teach anyone anything :D
     
  18. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Whip off the heatsink and make some heatpipes or something. Those 40mm fans are gonna be seriously noisy. Look into someting like an axial blower down the length of that side. It'll be fatter than some 40mm's but it'll produce more air for less noise. Acrylic is like a jumper for collecting heat though :(

    Where are you in the world? Where's MAD? Check maplin.co.uk if you're UK and type in PC26. Dimensions: 398mm (155/8in.) 253mm (10in.) 51mm (2in.) so itll fit a mATX in, just.

    Check out FreeNAS too.

    That CD holder is frikkin genius. I know how hard it is to get acrylic right. It just doesnt want to cut straight. You definately need to countersink those screws though. You can buy countersinking drill bits, might be worth an investment.
    Musta taken you AGES in sketchup. I find it such a great but finiky program. Manipulating 3D things in 2D space is not my forte. I might have to borrow the drive idea for my NAS box.

    I know you probably dont want to spend much money, but a lappy harddisk will be far smaller and will probably fit right behind the CD drive. It'll also be quieter than an ancient 10gig Maxtor.
     
  19. bAdI

    bAdI New Member

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    You are right in just about everything. :thumb:

    The 35mm fans are noisy but low powered (0.9w), and that's a real worry because I have no idea on the power I can get off the onboard PSU (does any one know?). Are axial blowers power hungry? Also thought about lowprofile P4 heatsinks and go passive but it's a bit risky.

    The laptop hdd is on the wish list because it'll be quiet and drain less power than my 10gb 12 year old hard drive. I'm searching for second hand 10gb+ laptop hdd or for new bigger ones (80gb+) to swap it for the one in my laptop (30gb) and put that in the box.

    Only the first 3ds were done in Sketchup with some models I found in jazzle's web, the rest were done in Autocad 2005 from scratch and it took about an hour (that's where you were wrong :) ), but I started using autocad about 15 years ago so I'm pretty used to it.

    You are welcome to use the cdrom idea on your project (and that goes for everyone), just mention where you got the idea and I'll be a happy man.

    Tomorrow I'll go shopping for building materials. I might get aluminium for top and bottom instead of acrylic (better looks and better cooling) and get acrylic only for the top window.

    As for FreeNAS it looks good (I'm a FreeBSD fan), I'll try it on the e-pc when it's finished, that and DSLinux.

    BTW, I'm in Spain, MAD is for Madrid.
     
  20. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    Loving this project! I am seriously looking for one of those e-pcs now, theyre so tiny I could make it into a car pc or something.
     

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