Normally case mods are all show and no go, but [Fredrik Perman] and [Michael Stabile] took their old render farm and made it a working showcase for the front lobby. This is a perfect combination of function, beauty, and practicality. It is a great conversation piece, allows easy working access, and provides a tremendous space savings in one sweet looking wall-mounted case. The frame is aluminum, the back consists of sheets of polished diamond plate, with a clear acrylic sheet for a cover. The case sides are left open to allow the blue LED fans to circulate air. Cooling a render farm crammed in a closet can be quite difficult, but isn’t a problem with this open design. This build is also much prettier and maybe more manageable than the setup in ExtremeTech’s Build Your Own Render Farm article.
There are a few more pictures after the break.
Continue reading “6 PC render farm in one clear case”
[Gordon Johnson] recently completed part 1 of his toaster computer project. He used a standard four slot toaster as the enclosure and cut holes for access to the ports and a wireless antenna. While the specifications of the components used are not mentioned, the build is well documented on his site, complete with lots of pictures and a video. While he used a traditional fan based cooling method for part 1 of the build, he plans on using a special cooling method for part 2 that uses aluminum and mineral oil to create a thermoelectric cooling effect.
What happens when you take a little [Ben Heck] ingenuity, a little Lian Li utility, an Xbox 360 and an LCD HDTV and mix it all together? You get the Microvision 360, a combination LCD HDTV and Xbox 360.
The mod is not particularly complex. The Microvision 360’s creator [PvP_LostKnight] only removed the working parts from the Xbox 360’s case and mounted them to the back of the TV. A few of the inputs of the TV had to be moved and rewired, and a repurposed and painted tupperware container was added to cover the Xbox 360 parts. Unfortunately, [PvP_LostKnight] did not post a writeup, and even added “The wiring for this is horrible, I would not recommend anyone trying this.”
Setting aside his recommendation for a moment, a few of the advantages to his design are improved airflow to the Xbox 360 and better space usage. What we’d like to see added more than anything is power integration, with a single button to turn on both and a single power source powering the TV and the Xbox. See the proof of concept video after the break, or more photos and comments at the read link.
Continue reading “Xbox 360 and LCD HDTV rolled into one”
OCAU member [Bismar] was in the market for an e-book reader, but all of his commercial options were too expensive. He decided to build one himself, and what he came up with is the Tabeee MK1, an e-book reader made from a 7″ Eee PC, a touchscreen, and a custom case.
The project is far from completion, still in the midst of its first objective: building the case. [Bismar] cut an old Lian Li case for the aluminum base, then made sure the motherboard from the Eee fit properly. The next major step was bending and cutting an acrylic sheet to form the exterior of the case. He hit a few snags bending the sheet, but forum members offered some ideas on how to do this effectively. The project is still rolling along, and we’ll be sure to show you the Tabeee MK1 when it is finished.
If you’ve been wondering about what changes Lian-Li implemented in their commercial XBox 360 casemod called the PC-XB01, they’ve recently updated their product page.
The case does not add any new functions to the console, but it improves its efficiency on several levels. To deal with the noise produced by the DVD drive, they installed sheets of sound insulation foam around the drive, greatly reducing the sound it makes when it spins up. They did even more for temperature control, replacing the standard dual 70mm fans with a single 120mm fan that cools more efficiently and quietly. The case is also larger and features a frontside grate, allowing for vastly improved airflow. Lian-Li designers even left opening in the back for option water tubes in case you want to add a liquid cooling system.
Finding the right enclosure to house your latest project can be tricky, so Sparkfun wrote up some handy tips on the how to pick the right one.
The most important tip is to have your components measured before acquiring a case; even being a few milimeters too small can put you back at square one. To do this right, it’s useful to look at the dimensional drawings of prospective cases to get a sense for the size. These typically include recommended shapes for PCBs too.
You may find a case that meets your dimensional needs but doesn’t have the appropriate mounting bosses. To get the placement right, screw some plastic standoffs to the PCB, then use super glue to attach them firmly to the case.
Tips on button choices, hole drilling, and other typical issues with case modification can also be found in this guide. If this is something that’s been stumping you, give it a look.