WORKLOG: 5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by GAM, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. GAM

    GAM Member

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    WORKLOG: 5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC - COMPLETED 1/8/07

    5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC (Commissioned Build) – Day 1
    Note, click on images for higher res. versions.

    Some time back I responded to a forum member looking for a case to be custom built. I replied ;) Well, being my first commissioned custom case job as I wasn't sure what to expect… and I definitely didn't expect a 5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC! In fact, I hadn't even heard of it. Well, not to be put off and following my ideology that nothing is too big or too small, I took on the job. :D

    What was made... Glimpse of the results!
    Final photos are here.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Brief
    Custom 'functional' case as small as possible, based on the Commell LS-570 5.25" Miniboard (Ref.: http://www.commell.com.tw/Product/SBC/LS-570.HTMhttp://www.commell.com.tw/Product/SBC/LS-570.HTM)
    No frills: no lights, no extreme cooling, no details, no paint jobs, no windows, no, just a plain functional smallllll form factor case.

    Acrylic or aluminium
    2x Low-profile PCI on riser card
    1x 92mm fan
    1x 2.5" HDD
    Power button ('sales' potential! ;))
    Small front panel LCD (Ahhh, frill!)

    Hmmph. Not what I was hoping for. Nevertheless, a very intriguing project. Doing a little research I realised that there is a whole new world of computing out there that follows this 5.25" form factor. Intriguing indeed.

    Purpose: Dedicated Firewall and potential media player

    Drawing board
    No drawing board for this one, instead I arranged, several weeks later :embarrassed: for the client to come over and spend the day together to get this project off the ground and discern directly from him what his expectations were.

    Construction - Day 1
    Well, not used to collaborating on a project, or having anyone else in my little worksop for that matter, I was distracted and didn't take any pics… except this one:
    [​IMG]

    Two weeks later (today), I quickly snapped off a few more before I progressed with the build and offer something visual for the start of this worklog.
    By the end of that day, we got as far as working out the overall dimensions and catering for the various extremities, locating the 2.5" drive, 92mm fan and front panel LCD and power button. The base plate was cut and motherboard standoffs tapped and fitted. The HDD mounting was also devised and partially constructed (U-channel on the left of the photos).
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Dreadfully dark pics, sorry. I can't be bother correcting them so you'll just have to squint and look closely.
    The other day I just had to drag myself away from the supplier product details I had been working and started to map out the rear panel cutout… this was going to be a little tricky.
    [​IMG]
    The extent of the front panel fabrication completed on that first day.
    [​IMG]

    Well, this is start. Hopefully I'll get a chance to progress this (maybe even complete it?) by the end of this weekend.

    Cheers guys and have a good weekend!
    GAM
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  2. OP
    OP
    GAM

    GAM Member

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    5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC (Commissioned Build) – Day 2
    Note, click on images for higher res. versions.

    Well I did manage to get something done yesterday, but not as much as I'd hoped.

    Rear Panel Cutout
    Okay, well a short day of cutting and filing…initial rough cuts using the bench mounted jigsaw.
    [​IMG]
    First test fit. Note, at first I thought I had made a mistake by cutting through from the bottom instead of within a hole i.e., removing the bottom edge, but then I recalled that this rear panel will be fixed to the top and sides which will be removable to gain access to the interior and the PCI and Riser Card. It is actually an awkward arrangement with the PCI cards. You'll notice that the PCI brackets are, unconventially, external. Due to the arrangement of the rear ports, some recessed some protruding, there are few convenient options.
    [​IMG]
    Lots of fine tuning with a file to get the panel to sit all the way down. Note that the bottom edges (left and right) should touch the ground.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It took an hour or two just to get this to sit right. I'm still not sure exactly how I am going to fill the gaps, but I do have some ideas that I hope to explore next. An additional alu section will be cut and permanently mounted to cover the exposed area beneath the ports and possibly cut to fit between the ports, but I think I will probably use some thin plastic instead for this purpose… easier to cut out the fine details required. Note, I should point out that the board doesn't come with a I/O shield like ATX motherboards!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Front Panel LCD Cutout
    Leaving the rear panel on the back burner for the time being, I finished of the filing and cleaning up of the LCD cutout. This is just a mock up i.e., the LCD is not attached.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I was also deliberating over the front panel fixings. Originally I had planned on all rivet and screw fixings, but I think the front panel should probably be glued in place to keep a nice clean fascia. The top panel will be fixed to the sides and the sides screwed to the base to complete the enclosure. I'll probably go with double-sided tape to fix the LCD to the front panel.

    Sorry for the crappy photos, I must have changed something on my camera. I'll look into it for the next round of photos.

    Cheers
    GAM
     
  3. hotsuma

    hotsuma Member

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    wow very nice, where do you source these boards in aus?
    hehe the guy needs 5xGB network ports?

    are you going to have a fan pulling air in\out or not requuired?

    wonder if one of these would be fast enough to serv quake wars for when friends come over that would be sweet not needing a router
     
  4. slamaa

    slamaa Member

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    Nice work GAM, what power button are you going to be using? a bulgin? your going to have one happy customer.

    Cheers
    slamaa

    edit: ah i see you've used a bulgin ;)
     
  5. Scotty1991

    Scotty1991 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Small pc =o, nice
     
  6. WooKiE_MaN

    WooKiE_MaN Member

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    heheh thats crazy..

    why so many lan ports? crazy man.....leech fest machine maybe...:p
     
  7. Jarwedy

    Jarwedy Member

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    Grab a few 1TB hdd's and throw them in HDD caddies.

    You could probably bridge the NICs together and use it as a router? Or MythTV pc or something.

    But damn, nice work.
     
  8. fad

    fad Member

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    Where did you order this from, and how much was it?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    GAM

    GAM Member

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    Cheers guys!

    @Hotsuma, the board was purchased online direct from Taiwan, from memory. I can't remember the price, but not cheap... AU$3-400, thereabouts.
    It's no slouch if fitted with a Core2Duo ;)
    1x 92mm fan mounted in the top panel blowing in directly over the CPU Heatsink.

    @Slamaa, yes mate, Bulgin Vandal Resistant (Low Profile/Stainless Steel) ;)
    [​IMG]

    Firewall/Router (home network).
    :leet:

    @Jarwedy, yes, I believe so. The intention is to dump to another networked machine whenever the little drive is full ;)


    It is very feature rich for such a compact unit. I'm impressed.

    If we're lucky, the owner will pipe in and fill in the gaps and answer the questions with more accuracy... I'm just the builder ;)

    Cheers
    GAM
     
  10. rthorntn

    rthorntn Member

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    I am the happy owner, and very impressed with the case work so far :)

    The LS-570 was ordered from commell in taiwan it was $300 usd, i am going to put linux on the cf card and use the 2.5" disk for media, the pci slots will contain a dvb-t card and an adsl2+ card if i can find one, sangoma delayed their version :-(

    It has two sata and one ide so you it can support 4 disks you would just have to build a case that had space for the disks :)

    it will have a 1.66G t2300 dual-core processor, 2GB ram and a ABGN minipci wifi card

    the plan is to use it 24x7 as a ipfilter firewall with snort inline, mythtv backend, torrent client, asterisk voip, cups printing and a music server, distro will probably be gentoo with a hypervisor and lcdproc will be feeding the lcd.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    GAM

    GAM Member

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    Like I said, I am just the builder ;) If you want to know the details of this little beauty, rthorntn's your man! :D

    (I can only understand about half of that ;)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    GAM

    GAM Member

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    5.25" Embedded Motherboard PC (Commissioned Build) – Day 3
    Note, click on images for higher res. versions.

    Another couple of hours spent in the workshop this afternoon and I've got something that resembles an enclosure…

    Removable Top Section
    Having cut the two side panels and top panel to size on the table saw (after wasting at least two pieces of alu due to stupid errors) I laid them out ready for alignment, marking and fixing.
    [​IMG]

    This time around I decided to try my 'adhesive-tape-prefixed-method' before drilling and riveting rather than messing around with awkward clamping arrangements for drilling. Note LARGE roll of 3M Double-Sided Adhesive tape (soon to be available in store… albeit in smaller rolls ;)). I applied the tape to the pieces of angle and channel that will be used to fix the side and top panels to each other.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    You wouldn’t know it, but I made my first mistake in this area… I had affixed both joining pieces to the outer edge of the panel where they should have been recessed by the thickness of the side panels. Doh! Some gentle lifting with a screw driver and some serious sideways pulling on the joining pieces and I back a few steps. Note, this tape has some serious adhesion!
    [​IMG]
    Right then, having applied fresh strips of double-sided tape, I was ready to try again. Note the tape appearance after removing the red backing tape.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Two joining pieces affixed to the side panels ready for application and then mated for a little 'vice' adhering help.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Rear panel with joining angle affixed in place.
    [​IMG]
    Quick tip… I lightly affix the tape to the mating piece, align the edges, smooth out any ripples, air, eta and then cut to length insitu.
    [​IMG]
    Tape applied to the adjoining faces ready…. And then… an enclosure in the making.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Another quick tip… finger nails are often insufficient to relieve the backing tape so a little 'sharp edged' help is required… anyone here read fingernails? :roll:
    Note, although the technique is correct, in fact I failed here and lifted the adhesive… it is a harder with one hand. ;)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Now we start to really see the makings of an enclosure—inside and rear.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. OP
    OP
    GAM

    GAM Member

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    Preview…
    With the removable top/side panels affixed in place with double-sided 'tape of the gods', sans rivets, we have a surprisingly solid, stable structure. I inserted it over the rear PCI brackets, gently persuaded it in place and we have a fine preview of what will be. Note that the LCD has been very loosely affixed in place behind the front panel using two tiny pieces double-sided tape.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now, before you get carried away and think the outer panels are almost done, note that there are no vertical joints and the left-hand side of the top panel needs to be trimmed to size.


    Next things to do include:
    - top panel 92mm fan inlet
    - hard drive fixing points (top panel)
    - side panel located vent (HDD side)
    - trim top panel to correct dimensions
    - vertical joining pieces
    - drill and rivet and/or tap threads for all joining panels
    - properly align and affix LCD
    - cut out bottom panel Compact Flash card access
    - cut and fix bottom rear panel to cover exposed area and consider further gap coverage…
    - file, sand and deburr all faces and edges
    - affix litte rubber feet (elevating the whole enclosure a couple of millimetres)
    - and anything else that I've forgotten or overlooked. ;)

    Thanks for following everyone!

    Cheers
    GAM
     
  14. slamaa

    slamaa Member

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    @ rthorntn, whats the LCD going to be displaying? network activity / use metre or something would be cool.
     
  15. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice Member

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    ....Wow, thats some work there,

    Are you going to polish it????? think ya should....dare ya lol
    Is one 92 mm fan going to be enough for cooling, everything is so compact and on top of itself in the case?
     
  16. hotsuma

    hotsuma Member

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    [​IMG]

    ooo shiny, very nice
    does need some detail though to make it look a bit different , like the ocau logo engraved on the top right of the face or something
    thats a really decent board, wish i had the spair cash to buy one
     
  17. Scotty1991

    Scotty1991 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Carbon fibre it? :D
    or!
    Polish it :D
     
  18. r3s

    r3s Member

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    being a laptop cpu it will produce SFA heat, my laptop has a cpu similar in specs and only has 1x40mm fan cooling it, highest it goes to under maximum load after around 30 mins is 70 degrees :)
     
  19. INerTIal

    INerTIal Das Uber LemMinG

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    Any paticular reason they need 5 network ports?
     
  20. silverbullet

    silverbullet Member

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    He mentions Ip/firewall filter, from memory you need two ports alone for that and he mentions it's also a media server as well, he;ll soon use em up if he's running a wired network ;)

    Looks very nice btw :thumbup: :D
     

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