My UN-case mod! featuring the audigy2 that thinks its a motherboard...

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Holdenkicks, May 8, 2009.

  1. Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Just a little project that I finally got round to doing tonight... Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

    The purpose of this computer is fairly unusual IMHO so I think it deserves explaining...

    My main pc is a laptop, which sits on my desk most of the time but travels with me occasionally. When at home, I dont like using its built in trackpad, keyboard, nor its speakers and I like to run dual monitors. I also have a PS/2 wireless keyboard that I like; the laptop doesnt have PS/2 ports. And above all, I find it inconvenient having to disconnect and reconnect the mouse, KB, monitor and speakers each time I move my laptop.

    Therefore this computer (that is the focus of this thread) functions as a server for my keyboard, mouse and speakers :) A 4 port wireless router connects the two PC's automatically, and the speakers, KB and mouse remain plugged into the server. Since the server only has an 8GB Kingston CF card as its HDD (to reduce noise, space used and power consumption), I store all my music on the laptop and share it over the wireless. The keyboard and mouse are shared over the network between the two PC's with a nifty piece of freeware called Synergy. Winamp accesses a playlist via the network which plays all my music stored on my laptop. Now all I have to connect to my laptop is my monitor and the power brick :)

    As a bonus, I also get better sound quality this way since I play my music through my audigy 2ZS rather than the crappy onboard audio in my laptop.

    Finding a way to secure the audigy so that it wasnt loose was a bit of a challenge but Im quite happy with the solution that I came up with.

    The black wood panels which the mobo and audigy are secured to are part of the hutch on my computer desk. In the first image the whole shebang is upside down.

    [​IMG]
    By holdenkicks, shot with E-10 at 2009-05-08

    The audigy has its own standoffs.... thinks its a bloody mobo!
    [​IMG]
    By holdenkicks at 2009-05-08

    An overview of where the server will live:
    [​IMG]
    By holdenkicks, shot with E-10 at 2009-05-08

    A closeup of the audigy

    [​IMG]
    By holdenkicks, shot with E-10 at 2009-05-08
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  2. phantom220

    phantom220 Member

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    Haha wow. One of the more original solutions I've seen going around.

    You mentioned it all hooks up via wireless, ever noticed any lag?
     
  3. OP
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Thanks mate :) Good question too. 99% of the time its fine, virtually no noticable lag on the KB or mouse at all. The other 1% of the time it lags quite badly for a few seconds but then fixes itself up again in a few seconds, so it doesnt bother me.

    I think thats just an issue with network congestion or something. Im pretty happy with it considering its constantly transmitting music (even big ass flac files), keyboard and mouse all at the same time. it even goes OK with transferring big files from one PC to the other.
     
  4. broox

    broox Member

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    cool solution :thumbup:
     
  5. Pipster

    Pipster Member

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    woah, thats pure awesome!!!!!!


    what are the specs of the sudo server?
     
  6. OP
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Thanks :)

    Specs are:
    Gigabyte mini-ATX socket 478 mobo with onboard LAN and video
    P4 1.8Ghz Willamette core
    512mb DDR266 RAM (ram, mobo and CPU rescued from a desktop PC that my friend had out for rubbbish collection)
    8gb Kingston 266x CF card with IDE adaptor for a HDD
    Audigy 2 ZS
    20x2 Matrix Orbital LCD with blue backlighting for winamp song titles and more.
    Crappy generic 300w ATX PSU which Id like to replace with something better
    Some leftover old blue cable wrap thats been left untouched in a box for several years.
    OS: Win XP PRO.
     
  7. )(arg0n

    )(arg0n Member

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    thats pretty cool mate nice work :thumbup:
     
  8. NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    Now that's thinking outside of the box.

    And for that, you've cracked my posting cherry - congrats :p

    Nice job :thumbup:
     
  9. OP
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    CF card mounting

    Also, i forgot to add... The CF card is mounted onto a stack of three standoffs which in turn are screwed into... one of the motherboards standoffs!! Secures it well and keeps the whole thing nice and compact :leet:
     
  10. )(arg0n

    )(arg0n Member

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    just curious, how does that p4 pc connect to the network, i see no network plug or wireless card :p
     
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Yeah i guess i took the photo before connecting it, the onboard lan is connected with cat5 cable to the routes. Nothing special there.
     
  12. pie123

    pie123 Member

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    Magic... :D:D:D
     
  13. ford ftw

    ford ftw Member

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    Nice job very creatibe.:D
     
  14. Smegger

    Smegger Member

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    ....or you could have just used a portbar. Then you only need to plug one item in which connects eveything.

    Or a USB KVM.

    Both of which would use a lot less power and be silent.

    Just my 10c. ;)
     
  15. jboles

    jboles Member

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    This is way cooler tho :)

    I've been doing something similar for a while with my laptop. I hate having to unplug/replug the keyboard/mouse every time i take the laptop elsewhere, so I have my file/web server serve my keyboard/mouse to the laptop too :)
    All we need is for Synergy to forward USB ports too, then we'll be all set.

    I also use some software called ScreenRecycler so that I can do triple monitors with my laptop -- my laptop serves up a virtual 3rd "monitor" which the server connects to using the vnc protocol. And it's all wireless too.
     
  16. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

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    That Audigy is bending something chronic, but other that that :thumbup:
     
  17. OP
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    whats a portbar? I dont think my laptop has a dock connector so I dont think I can get a dock for it. Plus using anything else would have required me to spend money... this cost nothing! Also, I get the benefit of the audigy which I couldnt do any other way. PLUS using a KVM or portbar requires me to connect something. This doesnt. Therefore, server pc = win.
     
  18. OP
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    Holdenkicks

    Holdenkicks Member

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    Yeah I fixed that after a second look at that pic, I just loosened the screw one turn ands its fixed. the barrel distortion of my cams lens from taking a closeup makes the bend look worse than it was, plus thats a blank part of the pcb where it bends anyway
     

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