Overclock.net banner
1 - 20 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Small poll:

A GPU is not the only thing one might want to put into the GPU compartment, and I've recently made a change to allow for a fan swap. What would you put there?

Information:

After successfully finishing the Freilite Alpha in the PC-Q12, I of course had to notice how much space was wasted in that case because it wasn't designed for the components I built into it.

So I got to the drawing board and managed to scrape off two more litres, arriving at currently just under 5L. This is the PC that I wanted to build when I built Alpha, and it is now time to make it happen! (Well sort of, I have to finish the design up, but I want to get it out there.)

I proudly present:

The Freilite Brevis S



Isn't she a beauty?
tongue.gif


It's this small:

Height: 420mm
Width: 60mm
Depth: 197mm

Enclosing Volume: 4.96L

It will fit this stuff:

Apart from the second HDD and DIMM, the riser and the upgraded PSU, I have all of those already.

Motherboard: Gigabyte B85N Phoenix

Graphics card: GALAX GTX 970 OC

GPU Riser: Custom flexible B-Type riser from LiHeat

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770T

CPU-Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i

RAM: G.Skill Value 8GBx1 1600 CL9, maybe a second one

SSD: Samsung Evo 840 120GB mSATA


HDD: Samsung Spinpoint M9T 2TB, maybe even a second one

PSU: FSP300-60LG at first, hopefully the FSP500-50FSPT



It has these design ideas: (Improvments over Freilite Alpha)

Intakes on only one side: This allows the case to be placed under my monitor, be VESA mountable or even be placed in a HiFi-Rack without suffocating the components and allows an extremely clean look from one side. (Alpha runs without sidepanels currently, so that's a huge plus)

Recessed GPU: By recessing the GPU into the case, the PCIe brackets don't stick out the back and the cabling for its power connectors can run directly into the PSU cabling area. (The former is very important, I frequently stabbed myself with the sharp corners of the GPU mount on Alpha, especially when carrying it around)

Portability: By being very thin and short, this case fits into many sidebags or backpacks while still leaving space for other gear. (Alpha is quite thick at ~88mm which made it hard to put a keyboard alongside it into my bag. It was possible, but not really a pleasant experience)

HDDs far from heat sources: By being placed on the cold side of the PSU and far away from the underside of the GPU, the HDDs experience the most minor heat from other components possible in such a small enclosure. (That's not an issue in Alpha, fortuntely)

Minimal waste of space: By using an angled flexible riser, having the PEG connectors intrude into the area in front of the PSU, letting the HDDs connectors intrude into the Mainboards PCIe connector space and using the space next to the GPU for a front USB3.0 cable, the height of the case is kept at a minimum while using every little bit of space available. (2L less with the same hardware, I'll take it)

Easy installation: To ease installation, most panels can be removed, giving easy access to most components. (Installation in the Alpha is very challenging and must be done in the right order)



What's left to do before I can make it:

Tasks:
  • Thermal dividers between all three main components, maybe made out of acrylic Done
  • Stands for vertical and horizontal mode
  • Sample of the flex riser from LiHeat to make sure it fits Done
  • Redo intake and exhaust holes Maybe done, maybe I'll redo them again
Questions:
  • Should the case be made a little bit taller to make sure the HDDs fit with mainboards that have their socket right next to the PCIe connector and wider GPUs? Currently you can only have two of the three at the same time or resort to one HDD instead of two.
    Yes, added 6mm to allow two HDDs always.
  • How can I mount the HDDs? Adhesive tape seems like the easiest way, it decouples the drives and makes installation quite easy. But it seems like a cheap solution.
    HDD bracket is designed with no drawbacks from adhesive tape.
  • Is there space for a TRRS 3.5mm audio jack? (That's what smartphones use.) I personally like that as a solution for Front Audio because you only have one jack which looks sleek but still maintain all functionality you'd get from two jacks.
    Yes, there is. Now to designing a PCB for that.
  • Is it possible to design the PSU mount in such a way that replacement PSUs can be mounted upside down? They should always have the hot side facing away from the HDDs and I'd want to enable the use of other PSUs. Jup, done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Very svelte supermodel chassis.

You make adhesive tape sound cheap. Suggest you employ the two-sided foam picture hanging tape. It's strong, offers a little more isolation and not as cheap as tape. Or if you wanted to push the technical boundaries - Velcro. But since you have the height, you could have an elaborate elastic suspension system to reduce drive noise to minimal levels.

But, why use spinners in a supermodel chassis? Don't be cheap! Use a couple 1TB SSDs. If you need to take more data with you, stuff the NAS in the other bag.
biggrin.gif


Have fun with the build!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroCat View Post

Very svelte supermodel chassis.

You make adhesive tape sound cheap. Suggest you employ the two-sided foam picture hanging tape. It's strong, offers a little more isolation and not as cheap as tape. Or if you wanted to push the technical boundaries - Velcro. But since you have the height, you could have an elaborate elastic suspension system to reduce drive noise to minimal levels.

But, why use spinners in a supermodel chassis? Don't be cheap! Use a couple 1TB SSDs. If you need to take more data with you, stuff the NAS in the other bag.
biggrin.gif


Have fun with the build!
Haha yeah, I remember you saying that
biggrin.gif


Yeah that's what I used in Freilite Alpha as well and it worked pretty darn well. Well I would love to have something with strong rubberbands, but there' snot enough space to actually make mounts for that.

Because I'm not a supermodel nor the boyfriend of one so I don't have the money
tongue.gif


Thanks, I really will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Six-Strings View Post

Insane idea, hope this turns out great. How will you produce the case? What will happen to your Q12 PC?
Yeah I hope so
smile.gif


I've got a few local shops in mind. It's only made of five aluminium sheets, three of which are 2mm thick, two are 1mm thick, nothing too complicated. The most complicated part may be the bend with high radius at the top, but we'll see.
I'll ask a few shops for quotes next week.

No idea about the Q12, honestly. Maybe I'll refit it at some point, but I don't really wanna throw it away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
Haha, hell no, before you throw it away, sell it to me!

4,73 liters, I think that's less than a PS4 / Xbox One. Looking forwards to build updates.
 

·
Amiga 500
Joined
·
3,682 Posts
This is extremely interesting , Subbed of course ..
I like the idea of the audio jack in front-perhaps above the usb port?And just for the record , double sided tape has never let me down
thumb.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
In the upright position the only problem I am seeing here is the centre on gravity is too high. You'll need to either put the PSU at the bottom and or a set of feet that extend about half inch on both sides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Six-Strings View Post

Haha, hell no, before you throw it away, sell it to me!

4,73 liters, I think that's less than a PS4 / Xbox One. Looking forwards to build updates.
It's not well-made enough that I wanted to sell it to you. One of the threads I cut into the motherboard mount wore out and the standoff inside is completely lose. Apart from that, I cannot sell on OCN without being an artisan. So please, no further discussion of that in the thread.

Not quite, but it's similar. The PS4 is apparently 4.4L, the Xbox One is actually 7.2L, and it doesn't even have an internal PSU. I'm sorry, Microsoft, the Freilite Alpha was smaller than that. The Sony engineers seem to know their stuff.

But the Xbox 360 Slim is 5.3L, so I'm smaller than that, which is quite nice. No matter what changes I do to the case, I'll stay below 5L, that's for sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mAs81 View Post

This is extremely interesting , Subbed of course ..
I like the idea of the audio jack in front-perhaps above the usb port?And just for the record , double sided tape has never let me down
thumb.gif
Thanks, I'll do my best not to disappoint you.
wink.gif
Yeah that was the idea with the front audio, I hope there's enough space there. I never said it would let me down, it just seems kind of cheapish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithydan View Post

In the upright position the only problem I am seeing here is the centre on gravity is too high. You'll need to either put the PSU at the bottom and or a set of feet that extend about half inch on both sides.
Designing a stand is already on my todo-list, if you haven't noticed. So far I just haven't had an idea that fit well with the overall design.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,791 Posts
The layout looks nice. Looks like it will fit in a standard 1U rack. My Slim Machine build is aimed to be more like the PS4 in shape, it has a more square profile.

Also, having a small access "door" on the side which you can unscrew to install or replace hard drives would be nice from a user friendliness point of view, in the similar way that modern game consoles do. This might be more difficult to do with the way you have your hard drives arranged. But I want to do something like this in my case. Instead of fiddling with cables, the hard drives attach directly to SATA adapters that are fixed inside the case.

I suggest making a angled stand with a bit of style. There is a SFF build about 3-4L in size that I saw on ExtremeSystems but I can't remember the name. It had a stand that was angled diagonally when you looked at it from the front, which added some asymmetry to the design.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccRicers View Post

The layout looks nice. Looks like it will fit in a standard 1U rack. My Slim Machine build is aimed to be more like the PS4 in shape, it has a more square profile.

Also, having a small access "door" on the side which you can unscrew to install or replace hard drives would be nice from a user friendliness point of view, in the similar way that modern game consoles do. This might be more difficult to do with the way you have your hard drives arranged. But I want to do something like this in my case. Instead of fiddling with cables, the hard drives attach directly to SATA adapters that are fixed inside the case.

I suggest making a angled stand with a bit of style. There is a SFF build about 3-4L in size that I saw on ExtremeSystems but I can't remember the name. It had a stand that was angled diagonally when you looked at it from the front, which added some asymmetry to the design.
Thanks! Nope, too thick for 1U
biggrin.gif


Yeah, yours does fit a larger GPU as well, which is nice, but I assessed that a mITX 970 is enough for me.

Well you can just unscrew the top panel, that will give you access to every component in the case. I could make those panel into three separate pieces, but I have no incentive to do that, really. And yes, that would be very difficult when using two HDDs. When just using one that is oriented in parallel with the PSU, it would be quite a bit easier.

Angled could mean pretty much anything, I'm not sure what you exactly have in mind there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,791 Posts
For my case, I'll be putting the hard drives stacked vertically, in the empty space in front of the GPU. There will be a small side panel to unscrew to access those hard drives, so no need to take the entire lid off the case.

What I mean by angled is to have an asymmetric angle look when viewed from the front. I found the case I was talking about here. The angled stand provides balance as well of breaking the boxy look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccRicers View Post

For my case, I'll be putting the hard drives stacked vertically, in the empty space in front of the GPU. There will be a small side panel to unscrew to access those hard drives, so no need to take the entire lid off the case.

What I mean by angled is to have an asymmetric angle look when viewed from the front. I found the case I was talking about here. The angled stand provides balance as well of breaking the boxy look.
Hijacking my own buildlog here, but did you think about using a few of these guys? You can unscrew the PCIe bracket which makes them barely thicker than a 9.5mm HDD, I'd say about 11mm. You could stack three of those on top of each other and hide them behind the panel you're talking about.
I thought about using one of these myself and just have one HDD, but I'd have to make the case a bit thicker for that, which I don't really want to do.

Ah I see. I wanted to make the case look like it's floating anyway. That was a very good inspiration, thank you! Oh and that case looks pretty cool as well, reminds me of LittleMac and Neutronium V3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Small Update:

Today's work so far was designing new intake holes for the top panel, which are, let's say, inspired by the PC-Q12:



I may make a few other designs as well and then do a poll to decide which is received the best
smile.gif


And I also made the reversible PSU mount, which I earlier assumed to not be possible. I surprised myself.



This now allows to install FlexATX PSUs in any orientation, so no matter which PSU I choose to install or if I later want to upgrade, I can always install it in such an orientation that the hotter side is farther away from the HDDs. Good stuff.

As you can see, one screw is only holding on to the edges of the mount, but that's fine as the PSU won't have much room to move anyway, so I don't see any stability issues there. You could probably use just two screws and be fine. Maybe there are screws with an extended flat head that grip more of the metal there.

EDIT:

One last thing I did today: (Audio for the win)

3VTsnTE.png?1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

Sub sub
biggrin.gif
Hi WiSK, great to have you on board!
thumb.gif


Sorry that I don't have any large updates, there is a major Development Issue I encountered.

Front audio

There are quite a few ways I can do this. The more complicated, the higher quality the final solution will be. The problem is that the different solutions may require different sizes for the PCB for the front audio connection.

The pin header in the following schematics is the HD_AUDIO connector.

1. Easy, dirty way:

So the most easy way would be to just use a TRRS 3.5mm jack without a switch, connect that directly to the audio header and shorten the two sense inputs to the sense signal pin like so.



Advantages:
  • Easy to make
  • Few components
  • Small size
  • Low cost
Disadvantages:
  • No EMI filter
  • Noisy, bad quality audio output
  • Mainboard and OS always think a mic and headphone is plugged in
Maybe I'll still make this one first to just have something that works, but it's not desirable in the end, having unfiltered audio on the front ports would result in high noise, so I wouldn't ever use it.

2. Sophisticated solution with slight problems:

This requires a TRRS 3.5mm audio jack with an isolated, normally-open switch that will shorten the two sense inputs to the sense signal only when an audio jack is plugged in and it requires the use of three to four capacitors and inductors for the EMI filter.



Advantages:
  • Good quality audio
  • OS and board know when the front audio isn't used
  • Reasonably easy to make
Disadvantages:
  • Can't differentiate between regular headphones and headset with mic
  • 3.5mm TRRS with isolated normally-open switch is hard to find
  • No idea what inductors to use
The second issue can be worked around. I found a jack with a normally-closed switch that could be inverted by using a MOSFET, but I'll be searching one that works with this circuit out of the box.

The last issue is the most problematic right now. The Intel I/O connectivity design guide merely annotates the inductors with: "ZL should be 600Ω or greater @ 100MHz with a low Q (broad Impedance curve over frequency)". I have no idea what to do there, what kinds of components I need. That's why I can't really say anything about whether this circuit would even fit inside the case or not, that entirely depends on the size of the inductors.
If anyone could help me out here, I would highly appreciate it.

The capacitors are very small, though. Maybe I can eliminate one of the inductor-capacitor-pair because the microphone effectively only has one channel, not two.

Incidentally, it seems like most PC cases don't implement this EMI filter, that's why front audio is so shoddy on most of them. There's also the option of using just the isolated switch mechanic and leaving the EMI filter out.

2.5. Super sophisticated high-end solution.

In order to eliminate the differentiation problem of 2. between headphones and headset with mic, one can use a Texas Instruments TS3A225E, which can sense whether a mic is connected to the second ring of the jack and switch the sense signal accordingly.
This would make the whole circuit more complicated, but it would make it work out of the box with every mainboard out there, all adapters from TRRS to mic+audio and all headphones and even regular microphones that connect via the 3.5mm jack. I would really like to employ this Solution, but it could take quite a while to make it happen.

I know that laptops have different ways of solving this, their drivers recognise that the audio port is a TRRS so it can ask you what kind of device you plugged in every time, but I don't think modding drivers is a solution for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Small updates:

1. HDD mounting:

I finally decided to stick with adhesive tape. Designing a sophisticated mounting system has proven to be quite complicated and make installation of the HDDs more complicated.
The tape is not only a cheap solution, but it's also decoupling the drives and allows multiple orientations and positions for the HDDs, so no matter what components are used, at least one HDD will always fit.

Also, I decided against making the case a little bit larger to make two HDDs work in every configuration. Not only do I hate making anything larger, but every mm I add to the height of this case will decrease the compatibility with bags, and that's one of the main features I am going for.

2. Front Audio:

So this again. I finally found out how I can find the inductors I need.

An example on digikey: You don't go to the "Inductors" section, but the "Ferrite beads and chips" section, and there you can sort or filter them by "Impedance @ Frequency"! So, looking for >600Ohms @ 100MHz, I have quite a lot of choices. there even are SMD ferrite chips. So that's solved, I can easily fit those components on the front Audio PCB.
I'll look into the TI mic sensing IC as well. I really want this to be a plug and play solution, so if I made that work, that would be awesome.

3. PCIe Riser:

After talking to LiHeat and even getting a few pictures, I can now say for sure that the solution I envisioned for the riser will work. The riser is about 2.2mm thick and has a bend radius small enough to fit into the cavity the PCIe bracket encloses. They also made the surface non-conductive, so I won't need an additional shield underneath the GPU.
I got a quote for a somewhat shorter sample that I will use to try out how large the gap between the PSU and the mainboard really has to be and what kind of optimisations I can do there.

So yeah, things are happening. I wanted to ask metalworking shops for quotes this week, but I really want to have the parts finalised first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Great project, looking forward to seeing the actual case!

I initially didn't get what the difference between inductor and ferrite is. but I've found this short post on another forum:
Quote:
Inductor opposes current change & block AC signals. Ferrite beads suppress high frequency signals. Normally you use inductor in any power output especially switching regulators to separate the AC & DC signals then take advantage of opposing the current change in the circuit. you use ferrite bead when you want to separate two circuitry especially when application of certain circuit is high frequency. Hope this helps.
So the same function it seems but Inductors are meant for higher currents/lower frequency and ferrites are meant for lower current/higher frequency is seems. You learn something everyday
biggrin.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by QinX View Post

Great project, looking forward to seeing the actual case!

I initially didn't get what the difference between inductor and ferrite is. but I've found this short post on another forum:
So the same function it seems but Inductors are meant for higher currents/lower frequency and ferrites are meant for lower current/higher frequency is seems. You learn something everyday
biggrin.gif
Thank you very much! Yeah me too, I can't wait to get the current stuff finished and get it made
biggrin.gif


Yup, that's what I found as well. The confusing thing is that Intel calls the components "Inductors" in their Design Guide, not "Ferrite chips/beads" and ferrite chips and inductors both are inductive components in a way, at least that's how it sounds to me.
 
1 - 20 of 86 Posts
Top