注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

大道至简

如今常存的有信,有望,有爱;这三样,其中最大的是爱。

 
 
 

日志

 
 

【转】The Pentagram HTPC  

2007-11-17 23:55:01|  分类: 电脑硬件 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

The Penta PC

Once again I, the crazy Swede, am going to share a case mod adventure with you all. This time it's all about acrylic and UV lights, which is quite a change from my usual engravings.

The idea of this project was to make a PC that could provide music and web access in my living room. I've already got way too much stuff and very limited space, so I needed something that wasn't going to add to the already cramped floor-plan. That's when I came up with the idea for a wall-mounted PC - something that would really pop out and be a real eye catcher.

My choice of the pentagram as the inspiration for this case is not based in any religious beliefs at all, I am an absolute hardcore atheist and think that both God and the Devil are nothing more than children's stories. I wanted to make this very clear because I've had some complaints before about my choices of themes and symbols in my mods. I chose the pentagram simply because it looks cool, m'kay? Now, since we've got that bit sorted, let's go on to the important stuff - the actual mod.

Stage 1 - The Body

The whole case is made from layered 5mm acrylic sheets. I used 26 sheets of AC Ryan acrylic 50x50cm panels in all - 13 green and 13 black. The case contains a VIA Epia 1500 EX mainboard, 1GB of Corsair XMS2 memory and a 250GB Seagate hard drive, all powered by a 120 Watt Pico PSU.


Click to enlarge

The first thing to do was mask all the acrylic sheets and draw the circle that would become the main body of the case. After working hard for several hours, I finally got all of the layers cut and ready for the next step. So, what is next? Well, now I had to cut out the centres of all but two sheets to make room for the hardware.


Click to enlarge

The first thing I had to do was to drill a hole in the centre of each sheet and make a template of the area that was going to get cut out. After that, the long and hard process of cutting each layer could begin. This took some time, because I had to go really slow and had to drill starting holes in each sheet. Looking back, one of the worst things about making this case was the constant repetition of the same thing - each step had to be done 15 times.


Click to enlarge


The cutting was very messy and covered my entire kitchen in a thick layer of acrylic dust. The actual clean-up took about five times longer than the actual cutting did! Oh, how we suffer in the name of modding!

When all of the above was said and done, I had a compartment to fill with hardware. I did a quick test with the mainboard and an old, dead hard drive just to get a feel for how the layout would be before going any further.

Stage 1.5 - Sanding

This was by far the worst stage of this project. I had to get each layer of acrylic exactly the same, that meant I had to get a little bit...creative.

First of all, I didn’t own any sander that could handle the job I had planned. So, the first thing I had to do was to go out and buy myself a belt sander. After that, I nailed two kitchen chairs together and hung the sheets between the chairs. I used a threaded rod through the centre and some nuts to keep the sheets in place. Then I just spun the acrylic and held the sander to the edge. Clever, no?

I actually thought that the mess made by the cutting was as bad as it could get...but damn I was wrong!

The sanding seemed to go on forever and there really was an awful lot to do. Every time, as soon as I thought that the process was finished I'd find a new little thing that had to be fixed.


Click to enlarge


When I sanded the inside I could only use the beltsander for a very small part and I ended up using sand paper and files instead. At this stage I also drilled the four holes and inserted the four threaded rods that would keep this case together.

In the above picture, you can see the rough-sanded case. At this stage I also tried out the planned ventilation. Although the Epia doesn’t get very hot, I felt that it would be best to be able to move some air through the case, which I achieved by adding spacers between some of the layers. It’s a very simple but effective way to get some fresh air in there.


Click to enlarge


I cut away the "bottom" portion of the sides from 8 layers to give access to the mainboard connectors. I also made one more disc from 4mm aluminium at this time since I noticed that this case would become rather heavy and the 5mm acrylic would not be enough to securely fasten it to the wall. I forgot to take any pictures of this,so you just have to imagine me cutting a 50x50 sheet of 4mm aluminium into a disc shape and painting it black.

The table stand

Since not all the hardware needed to continue with the case was immediately available to me, I decided to make a table stand instead. The pentagram is supposed to be wall-mounted, but since it was going to be displayed at Dreamhack Winter 2007, I needed some way to show it off at our booth without having to put it up on the wall.

I had a ton of scrap pieces left over from when I cut the discs, so I decided to use them to make the display stand for the rig. That way, it would match the theme as well. So, once again, I had a lot of cutting to do in order to get all the pieces I needed.

The stand ended up being made from sixteen big pieces and eight smaller ones, plus some tubes and a couple of decorations.

This is why it always pays to keep your cut-offs and excess materials - a little extra effort can turn your waste into something which is actually rather snazzy.


Click to enlarge


After spending what seemed to be eternity cutting the same pieces over and over again, I finally had all the pieces I needed and could clamp the legs together to see what it would look like. The legs had to be really sturdy, because the case weighs quite a bit. Also, since its going to be on display at Dreamhack, it had to be stable enough that no one would bump in to it and send it flying to the floor. Such things are more common than you'd think, unfortunately.


Click to enlarge


Now it was on to more sanding, and that meant removing the 4 rolls of masking tape from all the pieces. That left the largest pile of used masking tape I have ever seen.


Click to enlarge


The final step was to connect the two finished legs. To do this, I drilled holes through all the pieces and fit two acrylic tubes through. Then I used super glue to glue the leg layers together and added a green acrylic tube in the middle just for the hell of it. The stand was still not sturdy enough for me to trust it, so I used a threaded rod through the bottom tube and fabricated a couple of pentagram shaped end pieces and some nuts to give it that final bit of strength.


Click to enlarge


The final product on display. The left is without UV light, and the right is with some nice UV glow running through.

The actual pentagram

For a pentagram PC, this story has been surprisingly pentagram free up until now - but all that is about to change. After all, it's not much of a pentagram HTPC if it doesn't have a pentagram, right?

The pentagram itself would be made from 36 pieces of acrylic. Why so many? Well, it would be a pretty boring mod if all I used were five simple pieces, right? The modder in me screamed to try something as elaborate as possible and all I could do was obey.

I chose a detailed, intricate design that could make good use of my recently acquired Dremel Scrollstation. To accomplish this, I decided to use many small pieces of UV green plexi over a black plexi base.

To start off, the acrylic was masked off much like I had done with the circular pieces before. Once each piece was taped, I began to sketch the designs. Then, each individual triangle was cut and sanded to create the final result.


Click to enlarge


With the pieces masked off and the design planned out, it was time to start cutting.


Click to enlarge


I first cut the black base parts of the pentagram, and then cut paper templates of the other parts to be able to get a feel for the finished product and to give me a chance to play around with different layouts and designs. After a few hours of trying stuff out (I'm easily entertained), I finally decided on the design I wanted and started cutting.


Click to enlarge


Here we can see how the pieces are starting to come together more and more to form a UV-glowing green pentagram. The effect with the UV lights turned on was quite simply stunning and made my "modder's nerve" tingle like crazy. It took a whole lot of very boring work to get all of the pieces cut and sanded, but it was sure worth it.

Creating the flat front

In order to attach the pentagram pieces to the front, it needed to be a flat surface. However, this is trickier than it sounds - the nuts used to attach the front plate to the rest of the body are 5mm thick, and so is the acrylic!


Click to enlarge


In order to fix this little problem, I took a hacksaw to the nuts - translate that as you would like, ouch! I then cut them down to about a third of their original size and recessed them into the plexi. Problem solved!

The Internals

Now it was time to get started on fitting the actual hardware to the case. I didn't include the specs in the intro, so here's the full scoop.

The hardware for the Pentagram HTPC is as follows:

  • Mainboard - VIA Epia EX1500G
  • HDD - 250GB Seagate
  • PSU – 120W Pico Psu
  • RAM – 1GB Corsair Dominator 8500
  • LCD - Matrix Orbital GX

Of course, so far all I have is a cavity and a bunch of parts. That means I'm going to need to look into some mounting methods for, well, all of it. So, lets get started...

To mount the mainboard, I just cut another acrylic piece in the same dimensions as the board itself, then attached some spacers to it. Then, I used plenty of super glue to affix the whole assembly to the bottom of the case.

The hard drive plate was made in the same way, but since I had to be able to remove the drive I used bolts to fasten it instead of super glue. I also added some some rubber spacers to the HDD mount in order to eliminate vibrations from the drive.


Click to enlarge


When the mainboard and hard drive were mounted, it was time to start getting the rest of the stuff in there. I was planning on using remote controlled power and reset buttons, so I needed to fit the PCB for that and also some additional cooling. I also needed a backplate to get some additional USB ports, the power connector, antenna mount and a backup power switch in case the remote fails.


Click to enlarge


I took a piece of 1mm aluminium, mapped out the holes I needed and started to drill and file like the crazy Swede I am. I didn’t put much work into the power switch (as you can clearly see), its just a small peg that sticks out at the back - but since it wont be visible, that’s just fine. I drilled holes for the antenna mount for the remote system and a hole for the Pico PSU DC adapter.


Click to enlarge


To provide some additional cooling, I used a fan ramp from a Corsair dominator kit. This was the perfect solution - it had the right size and just enough airflow to keep the very cramped insides cool. The remote control PCB comes from a Logisys remote multi-function panel that I tore to pieces when I made my Puzzlebox 2.0 case. I used a piece of aluminium profile to hold the fans and remote PCB in place.



Finally, I cut a hole in the back to fit the back panel and hooked up all the cables. As you can see, it is a tight fit - but it does fit, and that’s the important part.

The Matrix Orbital Display

The GX display connects via USB and is a very cool piece of kit. It has the ability to change the background colour to any colour you like through a small application. You can adjust the red, green and blue channels to combine then in any way you want.

I'm going with green on this one to fit with the overall design.

First, I needed a hole in the front. So, I measured and marked it, and then after some drilling, cutting and filing, there it was!

I used a couple of mainboard spacers to get the display mounted the way I wanted it. You can see it better in the images below, so click to see them big. A picture really is worth a thousand words.


Click to enlarge


After that, I fabricated a centre piece for the front to make it look better. Just the black in the centre with the display looked awful, and left the GX totally unprotected - this is sitting in my living room, after all. Sometimes a round of Guitar Hero can get a little too wild and crazy. Once I added the centre piece, the front looked much more complete and the display was safe from my guitar-wielding wrath behind the 3mm acrylic.


Click to enlarge

I made a few fast screens for the display - nothing advanced, but I was just trying out the new LCD Studio. I'll probably make new and better screens later on, but for now these will do.


Click to enlarge

The display was finally mounted, which was the final task. All that's left to do is fire it up and take some pictures...

Conclusion



I set out to make a unique HTPC case that I was actually going to use, and in the end I got exactly what I wanted. I haven’t seen any case like this before, and that’s nice - with each build it gets harder and harder to come up with something original. But with a wall-mounted, pentagram-shaped HTPC, I think I managed to do something that hasn’t been done before. I'm just guessing here of course...so if you have seen one before, feel free to correct me.

This case will be on display at Dreamhack in the AC Ryan booth - if you happen to be there, come by and say hello, why don’t ya? As always, I have some sponsors that have helped me out with this project and some thanks are in order

First of all I want to thank AC Ryan for the huge amount of support that they have given me - there is no way that this case would have ever left the sketching stage without them. They supplied a huge amount of acrylic and also the PSU for the build. A special thanks goes out to Dennis for being a truly great guy.


Click to enlarge

Feser-One has gone the extra mile and supplied the Dremel Scrollstation that was vital to get all these sheets of acrylic cut. So a huge thank goes out to Martin "Smoothy" Gennat for supporting me way beyond the call of duty.

As always, I'm using Corsair memory and, what can I say, Corsair memory kicks ass. It’s a true pleasure to use their Dominators in this build.


Click to enlarge

Seagate supplied an excellent 250GB drive for this case, so big thanks to them.

VIA supplied the very cool Epia EX1550G - the heart of this rig - and I just love this tiny machine. I have never been a fan of the small form factor, but this board has completely changed my mind.


Click to enlarge

A big thanks goes out to Matrix Orbital to for the excellent GX display, too. The machine just wouldn't be complete without it, and the flexibility of choosing your backlight colour is a brilliant idea..

And finally, I want to thank the bit-tech crew for all their support and for just being the best.. You guys ROCK! (It's true, we do - Ed)

That’s it for me this time. Ill be back with more modding projects soon - so until then, enjoy the final candy shots, keep on modding and drop me your feedback in the forums.

Final shots

  评论这张
 
阅读(295)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2018