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Scratch Build – In Progress Thin ITX wood case

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Kerroin, 16 Aug 2014.

  1. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    Mini ITX simple case

    Hi,

    I've been watching the mods on Bit-tech since... Well a good 2 years now.
    It gave me the motivation to do a good case. (I have already done one in Wood, but it's not finished and, well, it was done the crappy way.)

    This project started with me going in a collocation for the studies and I didn't want to be disturbed by fan noise and games... So I decided to make an ITX pc full Linux (BSD in fact) compatible. (Windows is annoying me every day, but the games are on Windows... so no games no Windows! :D )
    Enough talking about me, need to save some for another time :naughty:

    Here a picture of the render, don't be fooled with the transparent parts it's not glass. The top is transparent to see inside, but it's wood. And the sides were black Plexiglas, until I tested the MB and CPU in a box and saw that 90° isn't going to work for everyday use, so now it's black alu mesh.
    [​IMG]


    These are the parts I'll be using:

    MB: Asus Q87T Thin ITX (standard ITX is too high)
    HDD: Toshiba 1To (I disassemble a USB external drive, needed the electronics for another project)
    SSD: 64GB Crucial (Well need to have a SSD cause BSD is freaking quick on these)
    CPU Rad: Noctua NH-L9i (Well the stock fan is a good cm too high, didn't have the wood, will explain it later)
    Alim: MicroBattery 150W external bloc, the MB has an external power port, so why wouldn't I use it?
    Switches: Vandal, copies or not I don't know... (It's definitely overused, but they are so awesome!)
    Fans: Scythe Mini-Kaze (40mm) Tested them, silence even at full rate, they must be too little. Need them to create a one direction air flow.

    End of the list! Now the photos, they aren't very nice, but I think you can see the work in progress quite good. And I need to get (or make) one of those photo box.


    Started with these 2 wallnut panels (~24x30x1cm), I got from the cabinetmaker for free (not planned, thanks to him!)
    [​IMG]

    Then proceed to cut them in 2 pieces (5.5x30x1cm and 18.5x30cmx1cm)
    I know the MB is 17x17cm, don't worry I have planned this, well almost... I was measuring my cuts and realized the panels weren't the dimensions I ordered... was planning to have 28x30x1cm. But I took like 10 seconds to think that I'm not returning them and change my cuts a little, so instead of splitting the 28cm in 6cm and 22cm, split them as above.
    [​IMG]

    Look a these panels, aren't they looking good? A few scratches, but that's go with sanding.
    [​IMG]

    Hey I got a homemade CNC! Ordered a kit at MyDIYCNC. Tested it and I think I will change a few parts, especially the rods, cause they are rusting... not good, and the little plastic tubes that fix the rods to the motors are a bit too loose, need to replace those by another thing... not tubes!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    As you can see I failed one sleeve, figured out that I'll train my sleeving on the CNC as it's in the workshop, and well I did right.
    Oh by the way, those connectors aren't the same size as ATX ones, they are about 2 times smaller, saw them when I ordered ATX connectors.

    [​IMG]
    Well, did cut that panel quite good, but the panel is too large and couldn't do it in one pass. And also forgot to reduce the spindle speed, the panel was smoking... Well I'll don't forget next time.
    Think the CNC isn't going to cut wallnut very often hopefully, cause it's a bit hard for it. Cheap quality, cheap work

    [​IMG]
    Here the panels with the rails cutted, need to correct the little ones, they are not aligned. Not crappy work, just lack of precision.

    [​IMG]
    Finally gluing the panels together. And know what? forget to cut the MB panel out of that piece. :duh: I just need to cut it another way than planned. maybe with the router, I'll see that later.
    Oh and that square is here to prevent non-90 degrees gluing, figured it out in time, lucky me.

    [​IMG]
    Well, it's not the rectangle I have planned but it looks quite good. I assemble this right after i cut the panels, so it doesn't have the rails nor is glued. (Top won't be glued of course)


    Well, I hope I didn't work too crappy.
     
  2. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    1st Update!

    Well, I know It's Sunday, can't make any noise, but that didn't stop me from working on that build.

    First of all, I think I managed to get better pictures, but you'll get me the right answer. And definitely going to build a white box.

    Today I managed to do the front panel, with one usb port, because I don't need more, plus I don't have that many space inside the case.

    To begin I needed to see if I had a usb related product that I can dismantle tu get the female usb port (thought that using the male would be much simpler, but couldn't use it after so... no choice.)

    Found that I had 2 usb extension in the mess in my room, well I just have a messy shelf.

    Here is the beast:
    [​IMG]

    Didn't know how it was inside, so I'll figure it out when cutting it.
    Appears that there is a fully functional female and male usb port, that's really good. I was afraid to find like a half usb port, that wouldn't be of much utility...
    Anyway, here are the pics:
    [​IMG]
    Up in the photo you can see the male connector with that plastic... this was a pain to remove, but let's be clear it's easier than removing ATX pins :p

    [​IMG]
    You can see the 2 parts of the female port here (in fact there is 3, the metal part can be detached from the plastic one inside.

    Here the port assembled and with the pins, that i'll use.
    [​IMG]

    Next step making the hole for the port
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Notice that the hole isn't completely rectangle, that's because of the 6 bumps on the connector.

    It shows a little, but I hope i'll manage to hide that it's not rectangle for the final.


    Then usb hole done, time to make the switch hole!
    [​IMG]

    And the front panel done
    [​IMG]

    really need to correct that usb hole...


    Attacking the rear panel, found that gluing the panel before was better.
    After measuring, this will be the hole to make. Didn't tested after making it tho...
    [​IMG]

    Making holes with the pillar drill
    [​IMG]

    After filling for 1 hour, it's done!
    [​IMG]


    Here a few pictures of the disks and motherboard
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Under that Noctua there is an Intel i5 4460.

    Now that you have seen all that, time to show you the clearance problem that I have
    [​IMG]

    The gap is about 2-3 mm high, not enough for the fan. I'll probably remove the fan and change it for 2 Scythe Kaze-mini 40mm going sideways (left), as of the orientation of the rad.

    That's all for today.

    See you in a few days!
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2014
  3. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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    Nice Job so far ! :)
     
  4. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    Looking good! Don't Scythe make a decent slimline 120mm fan? If I recall it's 15mm thick, which I think is thinner than the Noctua, but I really don't know. :D
     
  5. shinji2k

    shinji2k Minimodder

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    The Noctua fan is 14mm. I think the Slip Streams are 12mm.
     
  6. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks!

    Thanks! The noctua is indeed 14mm thick.

    Unfortunately the Slip Stream is not an option. It's a 120mm fan and the Noctua is 92mm only.
    I'm so close of the cpu rad/fan with the usb port and vandal switch that I can't do this.
     
  7. leonetu

    leonetu What's a Dremel?

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    How about thinning the wood profile where the fan is, so you get a few more mm headroom, and some tiny holes to get more air in from the top?
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Check out HD Plex cases for some sweet, sweet tiny internal PSUs. Perfect for this and ludicrously cheap for the quality.
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2014
  9. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I really second that choice.
     
  10. Monsieur R.

    Monsieur R. In cornichons I trust.

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    Sweeeeeeeeeet ! :thumb: Why didn't I know this before ? :eeek::duh:
     
    Last edited: 18 Aug 2014
  11. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    Thinning the profile is something that I didn't think of. For the holes, I'd like to have a flat smooth surface with no holes.

    Hey I've seen those alims back in time, didn't think of them, but it will be useless, here's why. (And you're right, I didn't explain it cause for me it was obvious)

    [​IMG]
    In this picture which is very detailed, you can see in the upper left corner the "SATA power connector" text. In fact there is a cable coming with the MB that plugs to it and provides 2 sata and one mini/micro sata (don't know which doesn't exists)

    So I didn't have to worry about an internal alim, all is on the MB.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You will still have to plug in an external (laptop style) PSU. That black carbuncle will spoil the pure minimalist aesthetic of the case. I mean, what good is a nice, compact wooden case when you still have to attach a black plastic oblong to it?
     
  13. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    I planned to hide the bloc under the desk, but true enough. Except for the fact that the classic power connector is higher than the actual rear panel.

    I'll see what I can do with that... Need to be more in the Bit-tech spirit!
     
  14. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    2nd Update!

    It's getting shape!

    I did a quick check, unfortunately without photos, to see if the motherboard could be removed with the switch in or not.

    Well, Yes it can and no it can't... It can with the rear panel removed (the alu plate that I didn't make yet) It's not really an option so Figured that I'll just plug out the switch if I need one time to remove the mb, which will never happen as it'll probably not fit the new mb. (A great way to force me to make another case :hip:)

    I also though today at work for a way to plug that case to the wall (electricity) The usual power cord is too thick for the rear panel, need something about 2-3 times smaller. And which can handle 3 wires, not 2 (I have plenty of those 2 wires connectors...) [Ah! new case idea! Never stop thinking it's bad for creation]


    Well found that I have 1 pair of 6.35mm Jack connectors, I know it's not so cool cause the phase(+) will hit the ground(gnd) and then the neutral(-) to finally reach his place.

    But! Yes there is always a "But!" If I cross the phase (+) with the gnd, then all is good!
    Don't say it's a bad idea I though of shortcuts, etc.. all afternoon and figured out that there is no change compared to a classical plug. You just don't touch the metallic parts.


    I'm sure you are completely confused... Picture time!

    Here my soldering station, a bit enhanced with a piece of wood to make it more stable.
    The sand paper is here to clean the soldering iron, gets black very quickly and do not solder very well after. (don't worry, I make my own soldering iron tips)
    [​IMG]

    The 2 jack parts, male and female opened, removed the old tiny wires before.
    [​IMG]

    New wires, it's a bit too long, but that'll be good.
    [​IMG]

    Wires pre-soldered. (No I don't have a macro lens)
    [​IMG]

    Well, was absorbed by the soldering process and forget to take a picture of the soldered wires. A bit of heat shrink, a bit useless but good to group the cables. (And mask messy soldering, could be a lot worse!)
    [​IMG]

    The female connector done, It'll go inside the case next to the MB.
    [​IMG]


    And finally a little sketch of one fixation possible.
    [​IMG]

    No, it's not a cannon. It's just a prototype of fixation, want it to be removable.
    It will be hidden with a pieces of... or the HDDs.


    Oh and you will see the soldered wires in the next updates (probably Monday, going on long weekend on Thursday) Yes This will be the male jack update.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Problem is that when you pull the plug, the + hits the GND on the way out and shorts your mains circuit board. Swapping the two means you have a huge exposed live pin before plugging it in. Accidentally bump the metal backplane with it when you plug in and it's zzzap!

    Try a Wieland ST/GST 18/3 plug and socket for size:

    [​IMG]

    The snap-in sockets simply snap in place in a rectangular opening in the case. They are 28.2mm wide and 12.6mm high.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2014
  16. shinji2k

    shinji2k Minimodder

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    First off, I'm with Nexxo that the stereo connector is a really bad idea for ac power. You should use a din type connector, most of the mini-dins can handle atleast a couple amps each pin so it should be fine to power your rig. And I'm confused why you need an ac power connector in the first place, aren't you using an external power brick with that mobo?

    Otherwise it's lookin' good. I like your little CNC! :thumb:
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    External power bricks are unwieldy and ugly. Internal would make a neater solution. Not sure about mini-DIN plugs being rated for the juice, though.
     
  18. shinji2k

    shinji2k Minimodder

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    Oh I see there's also that internal two pin connector by the rear dc jack that can also power it. I get it now.
     
  19. Kerroin

    Kerroin What's a Dremel?

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    3rd Update!

    Hi!

    Well It's been a bit longer than I expected until this update. But needed to do some things first.
    Driving license, new room for studies, etc...


    First, I got back on the choice of the power plug, the jack plug wasn't very good, after testing of course. And though that if I kept it I would have been blasted by some of you :rolleyes:

    First ordered that cool power supply from HD Plex:
    [​IMG]

    It's a 120W power supply, enough for my usage, and dimensions are 120(L) x 50 (W) x 40 (H) mm so it fits in the case! (need to find another place for DDs, you'll see later)

    Power plug after looking to different site and connectors (including mini DIN) I found that there isn't many good looking connectors and I'm not enough experimented to make my own.

    After fighting against myself for a few seconds, I chose a C6 connector (It's the plug for laptops) It's a bit smaller than the C14 (Desktop PC).

    And then I began to make the rear panel. And... Photo time!

    First the C6 connector:
    [​IMG]

    A side panel that i got from an old case, already cut.
    [​IMG]

    The piece that'll be the rear panel.
    [​IMG]

    Oh and this is the tool I used to cut the side panel, is it called a shear?
    [​IMG]

    Closer view
    [​IMG]

    Presenting the panel, not cut to length yet.
    [​IMG]

    And with the mobo, for the holes.
    [​IMG]

    Then drawing with the original panel
    [​IMG]

    What's it look like. (notice the USB ports, 1 hole 1 port, of course couldn't do it :sigh:
    [​IMG]

    Yeah! 2 first holes done! (those are jack holes) And making the first ethernet port
    [​IMG]

    Well, presenting again to make sure the drawing was good enough. (cause I didn't measured)
    [​IMG]

    View from the outer side.
    [​IMG]

    View from the inner side. (And those dirty fingers :D )
    [​IMG]

    Power plug hole done! And panel almost finished, the Dremel was borrowed by my dad, and he forgot it at his work :grr:
    [​IMG]

    When Dremel is home I'll grind those 2 last holes (HDMI and DisplayPort) I don't have a small enough file to go inside those 2 holes, unfortunately.


    Time to show to everybody the layout of the case (without the DDs)
    [​IMG]

    And with a better view of the rear panel
    [​IMG]

    The fans Scythe Mini-Kaze (40 mm). (notice, I removed the Noctua fan)
    [​IMG]

    And a very close look at the power switch.
    [​IMG]

    It is about 8-9 mm above the ram. I will not be able to remove the motherboard when the switch is in place (not an issue cause it will not move much. I don't want to redo a rear panel...)

    And the front wood panel isn't glued, it is just standing for the photos.


    And one final photo, for those who have maybe noticed that the is a wi-fi card, but no antenna wires... (And no holes in the rear panel yet)
    [​IMG]


    Well, it's the end of this update. Hope you enjoyed it!
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    That C6 connector is an excellent choice. Keep in mind that the nice, tiny PSU module likes to be mounted on a metal base to act as heat sink.

    Oh, and I have been studying that Asus Q87T motherboard intently for my next HTPC project. You see that header wedged between the white internal speaker connector and the half-size Mini-PCI-E connector? That is a custom connector that allows you to hook up an internal CEC module.. It is actually supported by that motherboard. :)
     
    Last edited: 3 Sep 2014
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