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Something witty
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2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Completed Sept 10th, 2008



I was asked by my older brother to build a HTPC for him.

The planning took place over a few months since I didn't have much time to actually work on it.
Since it is summertime, I now have time to work on it(weekends).

The original [Plan] thread can be found here

I'm using 3/4" oak plywood and I plan to stain it with a dark red stain and then use a diamond clear-coat on it to give it a hard glossy finish.

-I've cut the main pieces of wood already.
plywood ready to be cut:
Attachment 78985
Pieces:
Attachment 78997
-Assembled the guts and set up a test bed.
I've installed XP got the system into a workable state and created a backup image of the drive using Norton Ghost.
Right now I'm stress testing...
I don't think folding counts as stressing.
Current temps max out around 50-52C when under load. I think that if I keep good airflow in the case I should be able to keep close to that. Not sure if overclocking is going to be necessary here but this is overclock.net...so I might.
Packages:
Attachment 78995
Up and running:
Attachment 78988
eerie green:
Attachment 78989
This is my first log so if you want more information just ask, and be nice!
LL
LL
LL
LL
LL
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #3

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Pew Pew
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Looking good so far!
Consider me subbed.
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #5
hmm, I've hit a bit of a hitch. I am in need of a motherboard tray. If anyone could direct me in the direction of a cheap OEM tray or something similar it would be awesome.

I'm thinking I might just have to steal an old computer from the recycling centers around here... lol
 

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Something witty
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2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Here are some 3ds max renderings of what it will look like when finished. Obviously the textures aren't quite accurate... lol

Front View


Top View


Perspective 1


Perspective 2

and yes there is a lot of space inside... Room for future upgrades and airflow.
 

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Something witty
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2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ordered a motherboard tray.

Hopefully I'll be able to work on it more this weekend (long weekend!).
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #8
I'll be getting me soldering equipment out tonight.
I will be fashioning a marvelous device for turning on and off the PC.

... and no it is not just a power button... it is oh, so much more than that.

If all goes well tonight there will be an update with pics of my creation. Wish me luck
 

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Something witty
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2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Doctor the operation was a success!!

My wireless PC starter is fully functional

Attachment 80681
Attachment 80682
Attachment 80683
Attachment 80684

This is a mini walk-through I can go in depth if necessary

I basically turned a wireless doorbell into a wireless PC power switch. Adding nothing more than a resistor and a relay circuit.

Before beginning, testing voltages and resistance with multimeter throughout the circuit.



I needed some pins and an old(DEAD) motherboard seemed to fit the bill.



After attempting to solder out the pins I gave up and went for more extreme measures.



I managed to take out the piece that I needed.



Done pins! I think they look sexy




Other side



After the pins I soldered a capacitor into the circuit to smooth out the signal coming from the receiver. I am using the signal that would normally power the speaker to power a relay circuit.



And added a relay to act as the PC power button.


Final wiring shot



With this setup I'll be able to turn on the any PC I hook it up to.

It has been tested and has successfully managed to turn on the HTPC test bed as well as allow the standard power switch to function at the same time hence the pins I soldered on earlier.
As a bonus it has a range of approximately 100feet so unless you have a huge house you could turn on the PC from anywhere.
LL
LL
LL
LL
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks,

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get the rest of the cutting done.
 

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Registered
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495 Posts
Nice work man. I've wanted to do this for an HTPC for our living room with cherry and dovetail joints (I'm a woodworker in addition to a PC enthusiast). Consider me subbed as well.
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks!

I'm going to be adding to the wireless PC starter and making the actual transmitter more aesthetically pleasing.
eg: painting or perhaps fashioning a small box out of wood that it can go in. I'm thinking a tiny wooden box for the transmitter would probably match the rest of the case quite well.
 

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For that wireless starter, did you just use a standard PCB from Radio Shack or something like that or a breadboard and just solder to it?
 

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Something witty
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2,400 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I bought a $14 wireless doorbell from Home Depot and yes, a standard PCB from Radio Shack. I also bought a 5V reed relay SPST similar to this

This is the PCB i bought. Mine is just from "The Source" which is the company that bought all the Canadian Radio Shacks
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #16
Hurray! the motherboard tray I ordered is in at the post office. I have to wait until tomorrow to pick it up though
, damn not having a real address.


This means a big update should be coming either tomorrow or Saturday.
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #17
Small update this morning. (from work using remote desktop)

I received the motherboard tray and hacked it apart into a slightly more usable form.

I removed the rivets holding the extended back-plate on and hacksawed off about 1 1/4" off the bottom at the front.

Tomorrow I have most of the day free so I'll be working on this as much as possible, gotta get it done before I have to leave for university.


The first two pics are the before shots and the last three are the after ones.




 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #18
Update 4 - Putting the pieces together

Here it is... the moment of truth... I have assembled the main part of the case/table.

Cut the 80mm and 92mm holes and cut the notches in the bottom piece to allow legs to come up through into the box.



Disk drive tray slot cut out.

It took way too much fidling to get that piece out without destroying it.

There is only about a 1/16" gap around the piece. It'll be practically invisible.




I'm using insert nuts paired with bolts to attach the legs, motherboard tray and HD rack to the computer.



Finished cutting holes in the back panel... it is now about half the weight of the front panel.

The bottom panel sits 1/4" above the bottoms of the side and front/back panels and is notched into the side pieces 3/16".

To hold it all together we need.....

Wood glue... lots and lots of wood glue



It all fits together, glue is now drying, the case is pretty square (actually only about a 1/32" off by way of corner to corner measurement) and it is being held in position by dual straps.



Dual straps... sounds like a bad movie name...





 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #19
Some may notice that the power supply is in a different orientation than it was originally. This is due to some measuring errors and mostly me not remembering that 2" material is 1 1/2" in reality... hurray for companies making measurements on green lumber.

Anyway, did a mock-up last night and all parts should fit(I'll post pics later when I get home). The CD drive gets a little close to the power supply but there is still room for cables so it should be fine.

The next thing I have to do is finish drilling fan mounting holes which should be simple enough as long as I can drill straight.

After those holes are done it'll be prep time and then staining time.

I'm probably going to stain it with a dark red color(see) and then do a polyurethane coat on top of that to give it a really hard finish.

I've seen a combination product that is both stain and polyurethane in one. Sounds pretty sketchy just wondering if anyone has had any experience with staining etc.
 

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Something witty
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Discussion Starter #20
Going to check Rona for stain and Varathane. Also going to look for some small bolts I can use to hold the fans etc on the case.
 
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