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REVIEW: Spotswood Large ATX Tech/Bench/Mining Tray

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I'm going to do a review of the Spotswood Tech/Mining bench I won during the September '13 Foldathon.
If you want to check out the assembly page you can see some better pictures of it, otherwise refer to mine.

Here are the specs according to the website.
  • 8.5 x 23.5 x 13-inches (H x W x D), fits ATX size motherboards with room to spare
  • Heavy duty aluminum construction
  • Room to suspend 6 gpu's above the motherboard with riser cables
  • Open air design
  • Expandable and stackable design
  • Ability to add 2 power supplies onto 1 tray
  • Vibration dampening feet

Unpacking
I received the tray packed flat (disassembled), and packaged very well.

Lots of packing peanuts greeted me.

I was then pleasantly surprised that each part was packaged in its own bag. Tools, nuts, screws and misc parts were all in separate marked baggies, and put together in a larger bag to keep them altogether during shipment.



Included with the tray itself were:
  • 2 new in package Allen wrenches
  • Baggie of end caps
  • Baggie of GPU post screws
  • Baggie of standoffs and standoff screws
  • Baggie of feet and screws
  • Baggie of PSU screws and rubber bumpers

Each baggie contained the appropriate amount of pieces needed (or extra) for assembly. I did end up with a few extra screws and nuts, and rubber spacers, that would be necessary for adding 2nd PSU to the tray, and probably a few extras just for spares. That was a good thought to include extra small pieces.

Materials
These aluminum posts are very tough and the nuts, bolts and other small pieces all seemed to be of good quality to match. The tray itself comes as one piece. The posts are glued to the tray which I believe is steel. All holes seemed to be precision drilled, including the holes through all posts, and the standoff holes as well all lined up perfectly.

Assembly
Assembly was easy and very slick, the instructions are well done (see here.)


My tray came painted with a black plastic bedliner type of of covering. I'm not sure if others will come this way or not, but it has an appealing look to it.

Does it work?
Yes!
I am very impressed with the layout of this mining tray. The clamping mechanism, which consists of 2 posts and a layer of soft rubber between is very secure. It will hold your gpu's no problem.

You can also adjust the height of the clamps and the support beam as needed. I am referring to the 2nd shorter bar across the middle as the support beam. The support beam can be positioned where you need it, by either moving the posts closer or nearer the gpu clamp and also by moving the support beam up or down, depending on how you want your cards to sit.


The power supply rests on top of rubber bumpers, and are then clamped down by 2 posts, also using rubber bumpers. So there will be no vibration noise. The hard drive is meant to sit open air and also rests on 4 rubber bumpers.


My customized Setup
In my case I didn't even use the support beam (as intended) and instead inserted my cards directly into the motherboard, and used the clamp lower. Works perfectly.


I then moved the support beam up onto the main posts and used it as a ghetto rigged fan holder biggrin.gif


Final Thoughts
This is a great open air mining tray. Easy to put together, sturdy, great craftsmanship. I particularly liked how easy it was to position the beams as I needed. The design also enables you to stack these on top of each other very easily, you can see that here.

My only complaints really are that the hard drive is not secured, just sits on the rubber bumpers, and that the 2nd post holding down the power supply isn't super sturdy. It is only secured at one end by the tall post. I don't fear that it will fall out, and can tighten it down quite a lot with just the one post, so really it wouldn't become an issue unless you were throwing the case around... (lol) That's about it for complaints, which are really weak and can be overlooked. Since these tech trays are primarily going to be used for mining, then they should be moved very little if at all, and there really is no chance that anything can move out of place.

For a no frills, tough, aluminum mining tray, this one gets the job done. thumb.gif

Thanks
I would like to thank @Spotswood for sending me this, coincidentally I was looking for a mining tray to move my parts into at the same time I won it. It has been a pleasure working with it, and I expect it will outlast the parts it has in it. I wish you success with your custom cases. Everyone go check them out.

Post any questions or comments you like smile.gif
post #2 of 3
the only problem i see with this design is actually the material that it's made from. aluminum is not the best material to use when screws are involved. the structural integrity of the framework will degrade over time through repeated fastening and unfastening of the clamping screw. i'm concerned with the joints where 2 (or more) structural posts meet, the leverage of the posts acting on the clamping screw will cause a need to re-tighten the clamping screw from time to time or the overall structure would become wobbly.

IMO they would have been better off if they have welded a few of the structural joints together to avoid structural integrity issues over time.
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

the only problem i see with this design is actually the material that it's made from. aluminum is not the best material to use when screws are involved. the structural integrity of the framework will degrade over time through repeated fastening and unfastening of the clamping screw. i'm concerned with the joints where 2 (or more) structural posts meet, the leverage of the posts acting on the clamping screw will cause a need to re-tighten the clamping screw from time to time or the overall structure would become wobbly.

IMO they would have been better off if they have welded a few of the structural joints together to avoid structural integrity issues over time.

All of the threaded holes pass through 4-5mm of material and are therefore extremely unlikely to fail, if ever. These trays are ridiculously strong and I have never received a single complaint, or heard of any other type of issues, from any of my clients. thumb.gif
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