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Project FlameCube

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Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
My Shoe-Horning is about to reach new levels as I attempt to cram my next mainrig upgrade into an ever shrinking space. I've chosen the smallest, lightest, quietest case imaginable. It will be a huge, and, uh, small improvement upon my current machine.

As seen here...
0_front.jpg

Before
Athlon XP 1900+ AGOGA
MSI KT333
512mb PC2700
Geforce 4 Ti4200
60gb HDD
Dimensions: 21" x 19" x 6.5"
Weight: 24lb
28 dBa

proposed
Pentium 4 2.4C
Intel 845GV
512mb PC2700
Onboard Intel Extreme graphics (for now)
40gb laptop Hdd
8x laptop DVD-ROM w/ window
Dimensions: 8" x 8" x 4"
weight: 4lb-6lb?
25dBa

and here's the case that's going to make it possible. (click for big)

Casetronic Travla C138 - Review

Planned mods
- Chrome Bomberman plaquard
- Custom heatsink (DC1207BM-X modified to accept 80mm fans)
- Window above DVD-ROM
- Side windows or mesh venting
- 5 feet of red EL wire
- temporary Slot cooler in only PCI slot for improved cooling
- Upgrade to PCI Geforce FX5200 (IF I'm unhappy with the onboard graphics. I'm not a big gamer lately)

It will be as powerful as a desktop, yet as portable as a gamecube. At some future point in time I will even be working on a removable LCD monitor lid for it.
I'm excited.
:santa: Merry Christmas to myself :santa:
 
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Fushyuguru

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Location
WPAFB, OH
Looking forward to it Captain.

I know its tacky (and not like me), but what about some paint? That case itself needs some spucing beyond its tidy neat self. Although you could go buck wild with some neat cutouts and mesh vents.
 

Nightingale

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Ohio
I have to agree in that this case will need a nice creative paint job. Also I love the idea of the lcd now if we could only figure out a way to incorporate a battery power supply it would be just like those portable game cubes.
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Fushyuguru said:
I know its tacky (and not like me), but what about some paint?
Since this is a portable rig, I can't think of many paint finishes that would be durable enough to withstand any kind of mobile abuse. So my favorite option would have to be a gradient toned powder-coating or something similar.

I do however love black. And it will match the tiny peripherals I have yet to show everyone. :D
Any coloring will be done with lighting or accent pieces that I will be adding.

Nightingale said:
if we could only figure out a way to incorporate a battery power supply it would be just like those portable game cubes.
This PSU that this rig uses has an input of DC [email protected]. Any battery that could supply that much juice would definitely not be portable. Also, the whole point of me building this is for me to have a machine that's lighter, more powerful, and more portable than the average uberlaptop.
 
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Nightingale

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Ohio
yeah I understand that whole mess I was just saying it would be pretty cool if possible. Maybe in the future when we see more hydrogen fuel cells then you can not only have an uber small pc thats fast but can explode as well. :D
 

Fushyuguru

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Location
WPAFB, OH
Captain Slug said:
Any coloring will be done with lighting or accent pieces that I will be adding.

True, thats what i was kinda hinting at with the second part of my statement.

Paint isnt normally my thing, accenting is.
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Project update

The new case presented some cooling challenges. Specifically the annoying 40mm exhaust fan that's included, and the shear compactness of it's design. After some epiphanous conclusions I came up with a solution.
Instead of trying to add another fan and blowhole (which there's not space for anyways) I decided to use the most important fan in the case for two purposes.
I spent a little while tearing apart an old slot cooler, then attached a Vinyl Dryer Hose duct onto it with floral wire and masking tape. It was pretty ugly, but it worked. So I set it aside and spent a long night making a more efective model out of sheet aluminum, ABS plastic, and another dryer hose.

Exhibit A
flame_duct2.jpg
flame_duct1.jpg
The 80mm fan will exhaust through the custom slot-duct while mounted onto the CPU HSF. This will pull fresh air into the case through all of the venting holes. And will make the cooling a direct-path solution, which also reduces overall system noise.

Oh, and it will look really really cool wrapped in Red EL wire. :D
 
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specific

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Location
Atlanta, GA
Is there another duct over the hs? Like the ones dell/hp/others use? It's hard to see how this duct will have enough clearance to snake its way without another piece.

Can't wait to see this.
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Fushyuguru said:
How is the airflow and noise of the setup?
@12V = 30CFM - 25 dBa
@7V = 25CFM - 21dBa

And with the duct the pitch is lower and more tolerable. With the new fan I hope to acheivethese ratings.
@12V = 32CFM - 23dBa
@7V = 27CFM - 19dBa

Sounds like a very quiet humidifier. My Air conditioning system makes more noise than this setup.
specific said:
Is there another duct over the hs? Like the ones dell/hp/others use? It's hard to see how this duct will have enough clearance to snake its way without another piece.
If you take a look at the other case pics you'll see that the only PCI slot is flipped 180 degrees and extended so that the PCI slot is parallel over the motherboard. And since the case is only 4 inches tall, the duct will be more than long enough.
 
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OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Update: I thought the fan would have a problem with back pressure, but it does seem to work in the other direction as well. I'll have to see which directions produces lower temperatures.
 

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
Wow - that sure is tiny and compact looking :)

Planned mods
- Chrome Bomberman plaquard

Awesome idea that - I'm trying to make a red vinyl Magus window applique myself :)

A question for you - is there going to be an 3.5" floppy in the finished product?

I love that exhaust idea - that should work really well, and will really help prevent component heat from "polluting" the air inside of the case.
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
felinusz said:
A question for you - is there going to be an 3.5" floppy in the finished product?
Nope, I hate floppies. I'd only need one if
1. I were installing certain Linux distros
2. blind recovering the BIOS

I have a portable USB2 hard drive and a home network. And I can make any kind of bootable CD I'd need.
Plus there's just no space for one. :)
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
I ran into a few problems with my previous plans for the cooling setup that required some extra thinking.

Problems
1. After noting the location of the CPU location on the motherboard and the PCI slot of the case, they do not over-lap enough for the duct to be feasible. A second design accounting for the offset would work, but would be tedious.
2. The duct inlet size restricts airflow too much and acts as a resonating chamber. Even if I got it setup properly the performance would probably be moderate at best
3. The fact that I may want to upgrade to a fast PCI video card later would force me to remove the duct anyways


So, after playing around with different fans at various voltage I had another useful idea that should prove most effective.
The Heatsink I have was made for 70mm fans, but the looped retention brackets are the right spacing to hold a 92mm fan. So @7V I could get a great rating

19dba - 30CFM

This fan also has a good pressure level. That gave me an idea. If I don't have enough space for a duct, but I still want to prevent the CPU fan from recycling air, I just seperate the case into two different hemispheres.
I'll use some cardstock (or colored mylar), cut it to size with the fan hole in the right spot and some pass-through holes where needed, and attach it to the 92mm fan with the fan grill and screws. This Diaphragm will make the top half of the case a negative pressure zone, and the lower part of the case a positive pressure zone. And since the case is riddled with entilation holes there will be no need for any extra intakes or exhausts.

Weird, but it should prove effective. It's not going to make this case any more fun to take apart, but it won't require any additional weight or noise.
I'm happy again.
 

SniperXX

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Location
Folding in Diamond Bar
Dude that looks awesome. I cant wait to see it completed! Your small cases never cease to amase me, I really want to make a small rig... ;) I was looking into a shuttle but modding just sounds sooo much more fun, plus it would give me something to do over break.
 

TheFrag

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2002
If you dont mind me asking, how much is that case gonna set you back. Just curious.
 
OP
Captain Slug

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
TheFrag said:
If you dont mind me asking, how much is that case gonna set you back. Just curious.
About the same price as my rackmount, but it's the tiny motherboard that costs the most.

Case + silent 125w PSU = $161
Commell LV670LVDS P4 ITX mobo = $242
Total = $403

I'm upgrading almost my whole machine. So yes, this is one of my most expensive upgrades to date. I did however work out that I'll be making back 90% of my expense selling the parts I'm replacing anyways.
The same friend who's buying my old rig is also going to help me machine the LCD lid out of aluminum. We'll probably be coordinating that either in January or february.
bt_glee.gif