Cheap and flimsy PC case provides no protection

computer-case-provides-no-protection

[Rafael] tipped us off about a “case mod” he completed for his PC. The email he sent provides no details and the link just shows five pictures of his computer in a “dead file” container (we’re guessing he doesn’t want to be an Internet sensation). What we get out of this is that he took a corrugated plastic box meant to house old files on shelves, and thew a set of computer parts inside of it.

This would be a great hack if [MacGyver] needed a computer to defuse a ticking bomb while trapped inside of a room built completely out of metal. The plastic provides protection from shorting out the motherboard but, other than low cost, that’s the only upside of this hack.

The downside here is obvious, there’s no protection from physical damage. In fact, a good bump might flex the box enough to slam the motherboard into the PSU housing. And what’s with the external WiFi fob? We could understand the point of this a bit better if it could blend in with a rack of archived files in the back room.

We give this one an ‘A’ for creativity, a ‘B-‘ for execution, and an ‘F’ for longevity. This should have been built in an acrylic case sized to fit perfectly in the yellow plastic box. But what does your unorthodox PC case look like? Let us know by sending in a tip.

Comments

  1. bobob says:

    i really love that this guy thought it was necessary to put the wifi dongle on the OUTSIDE of the box,as if the plastic was going to interfere with the signal.

  2. hmnnn says:

    So much for celebrating hacks. Looks like we’ve degraded to criticizing projects. There have been many a hack, especially art related ones, that I’ve thought were silly and impractical, but does that justify something like this from hack-a-day.

    Boo. I’m not for hack-a-day becoming a new Fox news for geeks.

    BTW. Careful, looks like you’re feeding the trolls. ^^

  3. Roly says:

    @therian
    I’ve done storm and meteor tracking needing microvolt front ends and the RFI from even a well shielded nearby computer is a serious hassle. (I also knew a Ham who *did* get a brick through his window for being an inconsiderate dick)

    @macegr
    makes a good point (it sounds similar to the old DEC Rainbow), but if you were doing it specifically, you would also get them metalised for screening as is already done.

    I just don’t understand why we need another computer case in a world that seems awash with redundant computers. I don’t think I have ever bought a computer, all my upgrades have literally been picked up from the side of the road, often complete and fully functional. My problem is finding a *use* for a stack of empty cases (such as PA amps, theater lighting controllers, robot lawnmowers, etc.)

    There has to be a balance struck between being a mindless cheer squad for anybody who replaces a triple-five with an Arduino, and mindlessly bagging everything presented. Critical commentary can be very useful if it recognises due worth and makes constructive observations.

  4. cgmark says:

    I did something similar with a pc. I had a old compaq p3 that was in a very large case. I use it for embedded stuff like AVR, pic programming. I took it out of the old case and made a custom cardboard one that is 10x smaller.

    I also made it so all the ports are on the front for easy access by turning the board around. Everything is hot glued . It is so solid I can turn it upside down and shake it and nothing moves.

  5. ADVICE says:

    metal screws on a metal frame grounds equipment.
    metal screws on a metal frame disperses heat.
    metal screws on a metal frame protects from static.
    metal screws on a metal frame shields RF.

    All else FAILS.

  6. @therian:

    I AM a ham, and I doubt that I ever threw a brick through my own window.

  7. TheBlunderbuss says:

    Suitcase computers are a dime a dozen.

  8. therian says:

    @RT (Panzer Time!)
    now it even stranger to hear from you about no noise, probably you do only local repeater communication, because even shielded computer cause huge noise on long range

  9. I was doing a lot of SW at the time I had that computer in a box. (Now it’s on the carpet under my bed.)

  10. rbernardes says:

    NOW IS COMPLETE!

    http://rbernardes.mine.nu/blog/casemod-dead-file-v2-0/

    Low Temp and good performance!
    Fire? Where?

  11. mehdi says:

    ok

  12. Voney says:

    I’ve made several of these over the years, but i generally use small sturdy cardboard boxes. Once you get them all taped up you could kick them around the room and have no trouble (as long as you use a whole lot of cable ties to keep everything in place inside).

    Best use is for a dos “box”

    Also being able to grafiti all over your computer in black texta is awesome!

  13. Voney says:

    Also: last hint, if you wanna make one of these, turn the box inside out. It loks much cleaner when it’s just plain plastic/cardboard.

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