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Supercomputer SuperNES UPDATE 1/120

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Or, Let's Hope it All Fits


If you've ever been a first semester freshman coming home for winter break, then you know that feeling of doing absolutely nothing for an entire month. I decided I needed a project, and this is my project. I wanted to get back into computers, and lately I've fallen in love with Nintendo's gamecube era (Mario Sunshine is ART), so this is the brainchild of the two.

The Victim (Click to show)
I shot a few heartfelt looks at this thing when I decided to take it apart. Eventually the emotional torment subsided and I started cracking it open. Be warned, Nintendo screws will end you. My original plan was to melt the plastic of a pen and stick it on the screw to form a head for it.







Two screws actually came out as a result of doing this, but my limited success soon led to frustration. You can do anything with the right tools, and accomplish all kinds of nothing without them.



Four days later a package came in the mail and I was moving again.


Here's the SNES completely taken apart, patiently awaiting my next move.

The Hardware UPDATE 1/20 (Click to show)

For sure, careful thought was put into what I wanted for this thing. I decided that it's primary purpose would be used for dolphin, as gamecube games look stunning in HD. So, I intend for this thing to be designed like a console. Bluetooth and xbox-controller connectivity should go a long way, and the ability to quickly and easily start playing a game from a couch is crucial. On the hardware side of things, that means I want a fast boot-up, lots of AV connectivity, and of course, USB in the controller ports.

As for the computer itself, specs are as follows:
-i3 2120
-Gigabyte H61 mITX
FSP mITX 300W power supply
-32Gb OCZ Vertex
-320Gb Toshiba 2.5 HDD
-PNY GTX 650

I still haven't bought the graphics card, but here's the little angel chugging away on a test bench right now.


A few more things came in today, namely, the mesh I'll be using, wiring from Radioshack, and an internal USB hub. Color me excited.


UPDATE 1/20

The GTX 650 came.



What the



Oh PNY, don't mock me with your voided warranties, you know this is my favorite part.



GPU Heatsink and board separated.



There's the 650 die with some new paste on it. Always amazes me that this stuff is so small, I remember the die on my GTX 280 being twice as big.



The Design UPDATE 1/20 (Click to show)
Being a mechanical engineer has its perks, and nothing makes you feel omnipotent like Solidworks does. Here's what I'm thinking for this project.

Coloring Scheme
Red - Motherboard
Blue - Power Supply
Teal - 120mm Fan
Orange - Hard drives



As you can see, all this hardware doesn't fit in a stock SNES, but that's no problem. I'm going to be raising the top panel about 1.25'', and put mesh in-between. Airflow is critical for something this compact and I think having open space in the case will do the job of keeping everything cool.





While moving everything around in the solidworks model, I became very worried that I wouldn't be able to fit everything without making huge compromises in either graphics power or size of the case. But then I noticed that newegg had a single slot 650 on sale. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133471 The heatsink itself only takes up one slot, which led me to decide that the GPU and CPU will share a cooling fan. This takes an entire inch off the height of the machine. Deciding what the fan will exhaust onto will be a tough decision. Ultimately I'll probably end up installing it in both configurations to see which one works better.

UPDATE 1/20

Being back at school means that I actually have an excuse to be out of bed every day; it also means that I have access to a machine shop, so I need to start figuring out how this machine is going to go together. I've made some progress with respect to some of the brackets that I'll need to make, but the general idea is that now things are going to get more precise. The past few days have been busy as far as that's concerned.



Here's a new overall shot from the back of the machine. Here you can see the faded yellow sheet that I'm going to be using to mount the fan above the motherboard. It's going to be held in place by threaded rods that come up from the motherboard's screw holes.



From the front not much has changed, but I was looking at the controller ports one night and realized that there was a perfect spot where the SNES power LED used to be, that I could use to mount a headphone jack. I was originally going to cut this tab off, and it would have been a shame had I jumped too quickly.


A better view of the sheet and fan without the graphics card in the way.


The sheet itself.



This is one of the two brackets I designed to hold the PSU to the bottom of the case. It's a snug fit but ought to keep it steady. From here you can also see the back of the headphone jack, clipping through the PSU. This is a great example of why it's always important to watch the details. Had I not done a model of the jack, I wouldn't have known that I need to offset the PSU by a tiny bit to make everything fit.



Here's a base template of the mesh I'm using. Haven't figured out exactly how to incorporate it into the build yet, but I'm getting a clearer picture as I go.



Here's a model of some RCA ports that I drew up. I've been learning solidworks mostly through this project, and it's great to be able to so accurately replicate the design on a computer.



My white board after a 4 hour design session.
The Build UPDATE 1/20 (Click to show)
I haven't done much in terms of actually putting this thing together, but that's because I want to have it completely designed before assembling it. I know where everything is going in the case, I'm just not sure about how it will all go together. I have the resources to machine some brackets, but I'm still brainstorming the best way to do it. Right now I have all the internal walls shaved down, sorry guys, no before picture here.





Today I decided to do some more cutting. I want to give the eject button some kind of function, but deciding what's feasible will prove a challenge.



Careful when cutting/melting plastic, kids.




The cpu heatsink fan needed to be removed, and that's exactly what I did.



Here's a picture of everything together in the bottom shell of the SNES case. I'm feeling really good about this project at this point, it's just a matter of bolting everything together.


update 1/20

Here's a back view of the hardware with the GPU laying on top. The entire system ought to be only a bit taller than where the GPU sits now.



A top view, showing how the CPU and the GPU will share the cooling fan.




Here's what the headphone jack will look like once everything's in place.




Here's some shots of me on the mill machining the PSU brackets. In these shots I'm drilling the last hole on one of them. Thanks to my friend Berto for keeping me company and taking the pictures for me!




The brackets line up with the PSU and are flush with my desk. I just have to make sure the the bottom of the SNES is flat too so that everything plays nice.



There's nothing better than seeing a finished product come out exactly how you intended it.



To Do List:
-Design USB assembly
-Work on Software Suite
-DesignGPU restraint
-Design Mesh Frame
-Fan Bracket
-HDD Restraints
-Order raw materials
-Machine Everything
Edited by Thosesneakyfrench - 1/20/13 at 9:26am
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post #2 of 4
Looks and sounds like a great and fun project, I would love for you to keep us updated as you go about it and show us the finished product.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just posted up a massive update, let me know what you guys think. I'm back at school now, which likely means you can expects updates every weekend or two.
ThatSneakyRig 2.0
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ThatSneakyRig 2.0
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post #4 of 4
Looking at the white board put a smile to my face. I am a Civil Engineer and seeing the formula for stress, shear strain, and shear modulus, brought back some memories. smile.gif

Good work on the build by the way. thumb.gif
Edited by Ragsters - 1/20/13 at 9:37am
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Tiny Dancer
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For Sale: EVGA GTX 1070 FE
$420 (USD)
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i7 6800k Asrock X99e-itx EVGA GTX 1070 FE Corsair Vengence LPX 
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Western Digital Black SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 500GB NVMe Corsair H75  NF-F12 industrialPPC-2000 PWM  
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
NF-F12 industrialPPC-2000 PWM  Windows 10 BenQ 32" IPS 4K (BL3201PH) Vortex Poker 3 (White with White LED) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair SF600w Ncase M1 V5 (Silver) Logitech G102 Prodigy (Matte White) Glorious PC Gaming Race XXL Extended 
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