Nice How-To – Dan & Doyle Sullinger
My Dad is a retired Mechanic of 35+ years, now
at the age of 65; I (his Son) am 45 and an office clerk
by trade. We both have computers just for hobbies – I
taught myself how to build and work on computers eight
years ago and then taught my dad how to build and work
on them also, so both of us are self-taught and learn
as we go; neither of us has taken any computer
schooling or classes.
With that in mind, my dad a couple weeks back
just decided that he wanted to build his own computer
from scratch and to build his own Tower also – he
decided on a vehicle shape (one like an SUV) in that it
would be easier to house the various computer
components inside and also thought being
clear acrylic, it would look very cool. Already having a
main computer, this would be a second and something to do
in his spare time, being retired.
So he just sat down at his work bench and drew up by
hand the SUV shape design of the computer. He used his
jigsaw and Dremel to cut out the various shapes from
templates and the necessary holes for the screw
mounts, cooling, removable hard drive, DVD Burner,
mouse, keyboard, etc.
He had purchased the 3/8″ acrylic sheet at Lowes, with
various lengths of angled aluminum for mounting
purposes. For the bottom we ended up having to
re-design it and beef it up with a new 1/4″ sturdy
sheet metal (grounding issues), then mounted onto the
3/8″ acrylic bottom – this gave a level and firm area
to mount the motherboard to, no twisting or bending
action and extremely firm.
He then chose his area to mount the power supply,
hard drive and DVD Burner. He located and mounted
the motherboard slightly ahead of where he stacked
mounted these components, using computer motherboard
mounting pins that are included when you purchase a
Since grounding might be an issue, we slowly mounted
and tested as we went. First we mounted, in a stack,
onto the metal bottom, the DVD burner, then on top of
that the hard drive and the power supply on top of
all, each having about a 1/4″ clearance.
Next we mounted the ECS Enforces3-A motherboard with the boxed
AMD 64 3000+ CPU, popped on the Kingston 512 MB PC3200
RAM and Nvidia FX6200 graphics card. Our switches had
been mounted on the front with 2 – 80 mm green lighted
fans (acting like headlights on the SUV shaped design).
We hit the power switch and the computer posted fine.
Next we added and tested each of the other fans – a 120 mm
blue light fan mounted at the top of this vehicle
design and a red fan located on the side facing towards
the CPU. We wanted to make sure cooling would not be
Finally we mounted the clear SUV-shaped top on with
hinges located at the back (think funny car design for
lifting top). We mounted our verbatim movie reel DVDs as wheels (just for looks) – the computer actually has rubber legs underneath for support. We powered it up, formatted the hard drive, popped on Windows XP Pro and it’s been working perfectly ever since – it surprises me how quite and cool it runs.
Here are the main components of the SUV Computer:
- AMD 64 3000+
- ECS Envidia Enforces3-A Motherboard
- Kingston 512 MB PC3200 Ram
- XFX Geforce FX6200 256 8x AGP Graphics Card
- Pioneer 16x 110 Burner
- Maxtor 200 GB hard drive in removable case
- Max Raid 400 watt power supply
- 2 80 mm Green Fans
- 1 120 mm Blue Fan
- 1 80 mm Red Fan
- Size: 22″ x 9.5″ x 10.5″
Now my dad is poking at me – “When are we gonna’ build
me one… umm, wonder how a racing car design would look
like, Nascar, Indy or maybe Formula One design?”
To Be Continued?
Dan Sullinger – Technical Adviser
Doyle Sullinger – Designer and Main Builder