Building a cluster of iPaq PCs

[Steven Pigeon] got his hands on ten iPaq computers that a friend acquired through an eBay auction. The older machines were in good condition but the march of technology had left them behind as casualties. He’s given them new life by assembling a cluster. The first order of business was testing the hardware to make sure it’s working. [Steven] used memtest86+ that comes along with the Ubuntu distribution of Linux to find one bad memory chip in the bunch (a revelation that took 10 hours to discover on the slow hardware). He assembled the unit above with MDF as a support structure and threaded rod to hang the boards. He ended up with a beautiful module and his next step is to choose the operating system that will pull the whole thing together.

We find this build every bit as beautiful as the file cabinet cluster. It’ll be interesting to check back with him and see what kind of performance he can get out of it.

Add a clean room to your workshop

I Heart Robotics has posted a guide for building your own clean room. They’ve been clever with their materials, starting with heavy-duty shelving to provide the framework. We like that idea, it allows you to position your workspace at whatever height you desire.

The side walls are MDF painted with white enamel. Light, power, and tools are mounted to these walls. To keep things clean, a ventilation system uses a vacuum filter and 12V fans to keep filtered air moving in and dirty air out.

Maybe now we’ll be able to pull off that window hack without killing our hard drive.

[Thanks Mawitö and Ciric]

CNC project roundup

We asked for CNC projects, and wow did you guys deliver!

First up is [J-J Shortcut's] MDF based CNC. He’s made three thus far, with the most recent costing about 180 euro and taking 2 months to build.

[Qwindelzorf] has also constructed a multitude of CNC machines including this industrial size router and this smaller miller.

Finally, [Mick's] large steel CNC which just made its first cut only a week ago!

Keep up the great work guys, CNC machines are not easy to build and your accomplishments are ones for the record books.