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[Project] Gizmo - Super Thin AIO AMD system - DESTROYED :(

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
[Project] Gizmo - IS DEAD frown.gif

JAN 2014 FINAL UPDATE: Monitor and Motherboard destroyed when my wife backed into the garage a little too far last spring knocking over my projects shelves. Was a bad day, but new projects will be starting within a few days.

Thanks,

Photo


Where the project is at:
6261338757_be2e2f51c3_b.jpg

1 - introduction
2 - starting point and design sketches
3 - custom cooler time!
4 - adventures in audio
5 - Acrylic work starts on the main base and display panel
6 - Custom Power Supply Building
7 - Assembly begins !!!
8 - Monitor Mounting time
9 - Motherboard mounting and wiring prep
10 - Wiring and sleeving complete
Edited by Photograph - 1/29/14 at 6:29am
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post #2 of 86
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Hello there OCN, I am happy to announce that Project Gizmo is back with a new design for 2011 (the dead 2010 thread here). For this project I have decided to make something useful from the items and junk in my parts bin. We all likely have at least one box of parts that we never seem to get around to using, sure it's useful stuff but it never seems to find a use before it's obsolete. So I've made this project my mission to use up a pile of items from my parts bin and build something truly useful and potentially awesome from them.

Budget: $50. Yes, the whole mod is planned to cost $50 or less.

My starting point for this project will be my old Acer 5050 laptop; it is been sitting in my parts bin for over a year now and I think it's the perfect starting point to build a portable entertainment system. I will be using this machine for music playback, Netflix, classic console emulation and it even runs Minecraft well.

This little machine had overheating issues its entire life and has gone through three cooling fans through several RMAs. Once off warranty I took matters into my own hands and added a super-ghetto homemade USB powered 80mm cooling fan that solved the heat issues but made the machine much less portable. Since sometime in late 2009 the last stock fan died and the ghetto USB powered 80mm was the only thing keeping the laptop cool.

The keyboard started to have a few issues shortly before the last fan crapped out: stuck keys and a bunch of non working keys. I guess two years of pounding code into it must have worn it out completely, so I unplugged it from the motherboard and used a USB keyboard till I retired the machine to the parts bin last summer.

The battery is completely dead. Windows asks me to “think about replacing it soon” if I have it plugged in, and it lasts no longer than 30-45 seconds. Let's consider it FUBAR and won't be relying on it for much.

The display hinges are done, the lid refuses to close all the way and doesn't stay put if used on a train or bus.

Here are the stock specs for the Acer 5050:

Processor: AMD Turion64 x2 TL-50 (1.6 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache total, 256 KB on each core)
RAM: 2 GB 533 MHz DDR2 RAM (2 x 1024 MB)
Hard Drive: 80 GB Western Digital Scorpio 5400 RPM HD
Screen: 14.1-inch WXGA Acer CrystalBrite screen
Gaphics: ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 integrated graphics 128mb
Optical Drive: Dual layer DVD +/- RW combo
OS: Windows 7 64bit Home
Wireless: Broadcom Wireless 802.11 b/g


Here is the ghetto USB fan I had to put together in all its glory:

4460217953_debe80ac1a_o.jpg

Frontal shot:

4460218067_718f921441_o.jpg

Fan grill along the side of the laptop was removed to improve airflow, worked OK till the last stock fan died.

4460998550_2996c45501_o.jpg
Edited by Photograph - 7/4/11 at 5:53pm
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post #3 of 86
Thread Starter 
Getting Started

The first thing I need to do is strip this machine down to its basic components and see when I'm dealing with in terms of dimensions and just how I am supposed to build a new case for it:

As you can clearly see, the ghetto fan is just that: no soldering or sleeving involved just a quick fix.

4460998712_63d4154fd9_o.jpg



The power switch "should" be easy to relocate if needed, it's buried somewhere in the top right-hand corner in the shot below:

4460999020_0b12b1ce31_o.jpg



4460219307_e56dff57c3_o.jpg



The dead hinges were also dealt with, meaning I tossed them. Adios "Wobbles McHinges" wave2.gif:

4460219475_e83c895ae3_o.jpg



And after a successful tear down, here are my base hardware components for this build:
  • motherboard
  • drives
  • monitor
  • wireless antenna


5889257422_4165a58121_b.jpg

5889257292_2eacd3ac9e_b.jpg

With the parts out in the open I was able to put together a rough idea of what I wanted using Sketchup:

5902179788_02dbc6c370_b.jpg

5901609477_ff94c8e0b5_b.jpg

5902171698_e42a7ca268_b.jpg

Last year I had started to design a very different looking machine based on the same notebook, this is what the 2010 Gizmo idea looked like:

4494546501_147290b542_o.png

With the startup and planning out of the way, its time to begin modding!
Edited by Photograph - 7/4/11 at 8:03pm
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post #4 of 86
Thread Starter 
My first step is to fix the machine's issues with heat, the stock cooling system plain sucks. As you can see below, the heatpipe is sizable but the radiator is puny causing the fan to be on at 100% almost all of the time (leading to those worn out fans I noted in the opening). Here's the stock cooling assembly removed from the board.

5889258130_0328b96835_b.jpg

The first step I need to take is removing the tiny old rad from the heatpipe, there are two ways to do this:

1. The cludgy ugly way and cut away at it with a Dremel or hacksaw.

or

2. Take it appart the way it was put together with heat and desolder the old rad.

I went with option 2, to make sure that the rest of the assembly stayed soldered to the heatpipe I clamped those sections together.

5888690385_b1304ce382_b.jpg

I used a standard heatgun and within a minute or so I had the heatsink assembly hot enough to slide the original rad right off of the heatpipe.

5888690507_02bae966be_o.jpg

5888690801_9a740551c6_b.jpg

You know all those stock coolers from CPUs you have lying around without a use? I found that this was the perfect application for a few of mine:

5888691747_55f8d8bce8_b.jpg

To make this work I had to remove a few segments from the stock assembly using my friend Mr. Dremel.

5889259456_d1d2d6173d_b.jpg

And without excess material:

5889259712_1ea5e4b2f3_b.jpg

I initially wanted to solder the new heatsinks onto the assembly but being heatsinks they just didn't want to get hot enough using a heatgun and the whole thing would fall apart inside of a kiln or oven so I opted to use some Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive to attach the new heatsinks and give this cooler a MUCH BIGGER thermal envelope.

So to get that to work I had to mod the new sinks themselves to make sure that I could access all of the bolt-on points to still be able to attach the revamped heatsink to the motherboard.

5889260526_48c6be3822_b.jpg

Then came time to bond everything together:

5888692519_5fcd51dc53_b.jpg

And here we have the end product of a few hours of machining, drilling and bonding ready to be installed, that little thing beside it is the old rad:

5888692795_c301637496_b.jpg

With fingers crossed I put on some new thermal pads (good ones from a GTX 260) and some Arctic MX-2 and screwed the heatsink assembly into place.
It fit and attached just as it should, no do-over required! biggrin.gif

5889261536_b4b4207aba_b.jpg

Next I want to have a motherboard controlled fan keeping the heatsink cool once it gets to it's thermal envelope, I'll be replacing the stock fan below with a low power (and WAY quieter) 120mm Scythe half height fan.

5888693153_f24513c93f_b.jpg

5889261946_61cb64a24c_b.jpg

I de-soldered the leads from the stock fan and got myself a parts donor to adapt the micro sized fan plug to a standard 3 pin setup.

5889261716_9465c7ffd9_b.jpg
Yes, that's how tiny the connector really is.

5889261866_e792da4e98_b.jpg

Getting things attached the non-ghetto way unlike my last fan setup for this system.

5889262044_3c193b1348_o.jpg

And here's a sleeved fan adapter:

5889262170_fdd70ae6ec_b.jpg

And now its time to test out my new heatsink and fan setup and see if it is much of an improvement.

5888694145_f346044327_b.jpg

5889262338_bd9471d2f0_b.jpg

After running Prime95 and Cinebench for a while the system tops out at 53°C, it is only at that temperature that the fan even comes on. This machine would get up to 75-80°C all the time when it was using the stock cooler. Now the fan is off 80% of the time and it idles perfectly silently save for the hard drive in the mid 30°'s.

Verdict: SUCCESS! wheee.gif

5889262784_f58777f317_b.jpg


One more thing for the cooling section!

I noticed that the MOSFETs around the CPU got quite hot, so I added some cooling to them smile.gif

5888696791_fdb23f44e2_b.jpg

Out of pocket cost so far: $0
Edited by Photograph - 7/4/11 at 7:38pm
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post #5 of 86
Thread Starter 
Next up on the upgrade list is the audio system, below we have the stock speakers. Now this laptop never managed to have room filling sound, the stock speakers are puny. Each one only measures 10mm (0.39") across and audio played through them is harsh and tinny, there is no way they have any place in my build. To replace them I have opted to go with a powered set of speakers from my parts pile: a slightly dinged up pair of Logitech X-140s.

Original Speakers:

5889256844_f4b6305e83_b.jpg

And beside them are their replacements, a set of powered Logitech X-140s.

5889257038_9d96208206_b.jpg

I decided not to use the stock casings from the speakers as they are scuffed up a bit and kind of junky looking. So I started to tear down the speakers to extract the amplifier along with its four speakers.

There is a lot of hotglue in these things, after melting it a bit I was able to start to remove the cables from the casing.

5888694681_0a1f6c927e_b.jpg

I made sure everything still worked as it took a little force to separate it.

5888694767_af1d37503c_b.jpg

Then I noticed something, something that ticked me off. There was only one set of wires feeding into the speakers. Turning the "speakers" around I saw that Logitech only put one speaker in each tower, not two. The bottom "speaker" is supposed to look like a sub of some sort but is in fact a dummy with a steel disc on the back. Total sham, but these were free so no big deal.

5889263084_8511b61207_b.jpg

I still want some seriously good sound out of the end project and two Logitech speakers just is not enough for me so back to my parts pile where I pulled out a Bose satellite speaker with two drivers thinking.gif

5889263688_04f1682f89_b.jpg

So after the teardown of both sets of speakers here are the drivers, Bose on the left and Logitech on the right.

5888695279_b34ccefabb_b.jpg

And below we have the disassembled audio setup ready to be transplanted into my project.

5889264372_e934b1624c_b.jpg

Total out of pocket expenses so far: $0
Edited by Photograph - 7/4/11 at 3:40pm
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post #6 of 86
This is definitely different, goodluck with the build. Subbed
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post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ResidentPsycho;14107107 
This is definitely different, goodluck with the build. Subbed

Thanks man, it gets even more "different" with the steps I am working on right now. Expect several updates including the preliminary acrylic work and customized power supply building. smile.gif
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post #8 of 86
The design seems perfect for the new APU's, looks awesome though and very interesting. Sub'd
post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpuinurmotherboard;14111450 
The design seems perfect for the new APU's, looks awesome though and very interesting. Sub'd


You've touched on something there that I have already taken into account, I know the hardware used in this project is already a few years old and likely won't last forever. So one of the things I want to incorporate in this project is the ability to accept upgrades such as dropping in an APU based board or something similar in the future. That also means I need to make sure the display can also be updated or replaced easily in the future. Not an easy task by any means, but I have factored it into my plans as the component sections of the machine will be modular. Once I get to the acrylic stage, or the hardware installation phase all show everybody how I plan to do that.
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post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photograph;14105316 
Then I noticed something, something that ticked me off. There was only one set of wires feeding into the speakers. Turning the "speakers" around I saw that Logitech only put one speaker in each tower, not two. The bottom "speaker" is supposed to look like a sub of some sort but is in fact a dummy with a steel disc on the back. Total sham, but these were free so no big deal.

Do the cones on the bottom "speaker" move? If they do, it's probably a passive radiator.. not a complete sham in that case.
Desktop
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
7700K Asus STRIX Z270F 1060 6GB 16GB DDR4 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 EVO Seagate ST31000528AS x2 Noctua D15 Windows 10 Pro 
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Desktop
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
7700K Asus STRIX Z270F 1060 6GB 16GB DDR4 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 EVO Seagate ST31000528AS x2 Noctua D15 Windows 10 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
CX750M CM690 Steelseries Rival Goliathus 
  hide details  
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