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Project Evolution: Reimagining Jellybean to honour 10 years of Mini-ITX

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by BlueSmurf, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Hello again OCAU.

    I know many of you would rather I was working on The Imperator rather than starting a new project, but when VIA tapped me on the shoulder to do something for the 10 year anniversary of the debut of Mini-ITX, I couldn't resist.

    After building the GTRPC in the late 90's, in 2003 I worked with VIA on Project JellyBean, or Eve as she was known officially, for display at trade shows such as Computex.

    To commemorate the evolution of the Mini-ITX platform, I'm going to build the project that I really wanted to more than a decade ago. Now free from many of the restrictions imposed by the size and capability of the technology, I can build something that is beautiful, functional and at the same time, completely pointless. But hey, isn't all art like that?

    Well... exepct maybe the functional bit. ;)

    Work commences this weekend, I hope you'll join me for a simultaneous review of the past while building the future.

    BlueSmurf.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  2. [RMS] ST1NG3R

    [RMS] ST1NG3R Member

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    im having trouble finding pics of this GTRPC which is making me want to see it even more.... are you able to put links in your sig of prevoius build logs?
     
  3. Optimistic Pess

    Optimistic Pess Member

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  4. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Cheers for digging those up. I'll post some pictures and information tonight so you can get the background.

    Unfortunately the PCDB and original GTRPC sites are gone (damn you iiNet).

    BlueSmurf.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  6. BigDave

    BigDave Member

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  7. TheBradl3s

    TheBradl3s Member

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    It's an r34 GTR! genius! I love it!!
     
  8. [RMS] ST1NG3R

    [RMS] ST1NG3R Member

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    so this build will be in the shell of a lancer evo X?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Far too obvious. Think the evolution of the VW beetle according to Jeremy Clarkson. ;)

    BlueSmurf.
     
  10. Lenqt

    Lenqt Member

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    thats cool i havent seen this done before :D that VW cd drive looks wicked.
     
  11. kristianzanek

    kristianzanek Member

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    take it that step further and make it still work as a remote control car.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    This.

    Parts are all here as of today. Job's on.

    BlueSmurf.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Ok, time to outline the plan for this project and showcase some of the key parts I'll be working with.

    Firstly thanks to Fiona Gatt at VIA for sending Jellybean home. It's been 8 years since I built her and she's in need of a little TLC.


    Click to view full size!


    Originally I was just going to do a motherboard upgrade and get her back into working order. Having seen what would be required though, I decided to do a complete new build, evolving each component in Jellybean into current tech and taking my series of Car PC's to a new level.

    Evolution 1 - Eden to Nano X2

    For this project, VIA was kind enough to send me the new VE-900 Mini-ITX board which was announced this week. This is the first evolution from Jellybean which was based on the Eden CPU (Single core, 32 bit and generally much less awesome).


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    #include <pressrelease.h>

    The VIA VE-900 Mini-ITX Mainboard, measuring 17cm, x 17cm, pairs a 1.4 GHz VIA Nano™ X2 64bit CPU with the VIA VX900 MSP. In addition to enabling support for up to 8GB of DDR3 system memory, the VIA VX900 MSP features the latest ChromotionHD 2.0 video engine, boasting comprehensive hardware acceleration for the latest VC1, H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV9 HD formats at screen resolutions of up to 1080p without incurring a heavy CPU load. Display connectivity support includes onboard HDMI and VGA.

    Rear panel I/O includes a Gigabit LAN port, HDMI port, VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, one PS/2 K/B and M/S port, one serial port and three audio jacks for line-out/in/Mic-in. An onboard PCI slot is accompanied with 2 SATA pin headers, four USB 2.0 ports and LPT support.

    Obviously this spec out makes it ideal for a Media PC, and that's exactly what I intend to use it for, taking a place in my Home Theatre.

    BlueSmurf.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Evolution 2 - VW to 911

    For the Top Gear Fans amoung you, Jeremy Clarkson's claim that the Porsche 911 is just a souped up Beetle will be a familiar one.

    As such I felt it would be a fitting change from Jellybean and keeping in the theme for this project. It's also the shell I originally wanted to use for Jellybean but couldn't because of the height restrictions.

    The shell I'm using is a 1/10th scale HPI 911. It's a 200mm wide version, same as used in Jellybean.


    Click to view full size!


    Evolution 3 - Solid State and Wireless


    Jellybean used a lot of custom made cables to provide the external connectivty to the motherboad. These days we don't worry about such tedious tasks and do it all wirelessly.


    Click to view full size!



    Click to view full size!


    If Wireless HDMI were small/cheap enough, and we'd followed Tesla's lead on wireless power, Evolution wouldn't need a cabled connection at all. There will only be a power connection and an HDMI cable.

    Also in this section we're moving from the 20GB Laptop HDD that was in Jellybean to a nice 60GB SSD. It's probably overkill as all the media will be streamed from my QNAP NAS, but it does have the advantage of being far more vibration/collision resistant.

    Evolution 4 - DVD to Blu-Ray

    Bit of an obvious one this, but as I don't currently have a Blu-ray player this will add to the "functional" part of this project. This is a Slimline SATA unit.


    Click to view full size!


    BlueSmurf.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  15. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Evolution 5 - Internal to External Power Supply

    A lot of the rear internal space in Jellybean was occupied by an ATX PSU. Now Micro PSU's are readily available that effectively give you a laptop type external brick.


    Click to view full size!


    This tiny little unit will give me 80W of ATX power and free up enough space to enable the next Evolution.

    Evolution 6 - RC Capability

    This is the Haiboxing Quakewave 2WD RTR Buggy. For $150 you get a car, radio, battery and charger. It's cheap and cheerful compared to many of the serious racing RC cars, but it's hard to argue with the value - Cheap Fun.

    And I'm only going to cut it into pieces anyway. :)


    Click to view full size!


    The Quakewave is going to be providing the transmission and suspension components I'm going to be using to make this Media PC fully RC driveable.

    So there we have the project scope and design in a nutshell. Now the construction commences.

    BlueSmurf.
     
  16. brayway

    brayway Member

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    Nice looking board!
    What will this PC eventually be used for?
     
  17. [RMS] ST1NG3R

    [RMS] ST1NG3R Member

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    i think he mentions it being a media pc in the last post.
     
  18. GoofyHSK

    GoofyHSK Bracket Mastah

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    So In the end you'll have Jellybean and Evolution? or just one?
     
  19. brayway

    brayway Member

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    Ahh, that post wasn't there when i was looking, as i just opened the tab, and looked later :p
     
  20. OP
    OP
    BlueSmurf

    BlueSmurf Dream it. Build it.

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    Both. Although VIA may want Jellybean back. She does need a rebuild though, at least a new shell.
     

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