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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:00 pm 
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Thanks guys :D

Quote:
A while back I suggested using the case sides as a heatsink (on another forum) and was flamed for making such an absurd suggestion

Hehe, well, the ones who flamed you will not be in the forefront of making much progress in this ever changing world, too bad...

This week I haven't gotten that much done, I've been playing Elder Scrolls Oblivion and it is so addictive that I did not want to take the HTPC apart again...

I did make a support bar for the front though, I will attach the DVD to it and probably the Media Center IR as well:

Image

Image

On sunday I will start taking it apart and do some real work with the bottom and the back. Hopefully I'll be able to install the DVD as well...
:)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Location: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, UK
I'm loving this thread, and hating it too.

I'm building a passive HTPC just now and my efforts look nothing like as eloquent as yours!! Bah jealousy is a terrible thing!!

Cant wait to see how you make the top and front. Can I suggest a wrapround piece of perspex with vinyl dye on the inside to give you the colour you prefer? Then you can leave a window or two unpainted to show off your craftsmanship on the interiour.

Oh why bother you probably will have something even better up your sleeve. Want to call you names. Why cant I be as talented as you when it comes to case modding!!

:twisted:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Thanks justblair!

I've seen your project building a computer in your desk, that was a great job! :lol: We need "thinking out of the box" and I think you did a good job there!

Have you come far in your new project? Have you decided on what hardware to use? Any experiences?

Quote:
Can I suggest a wrapround piece of perspex with vinyl dye on the inside to give you the colour you prefer? Then you can leave a window or two unpainted to show off your craftsmanship on the interiour.

My initial plan was to go for a piece of aluminum but along the way my thoughts started to think of exactly what you are suggesting. I think I am gonna make one white and one black to be able to match upcoming media rooms.

The plastic I have got is called polycarbonate, I think it's easy to work with, and it does not crack as easy as other plastic glass materials, and is more resistent to scratches. It is the same glass as the ones used in hockey rinks.

I have one problem to test with this solution though. Since I want the Media Center reciever mounted in the case with the black cover I need the IR signal to pass through the paint. Anybody that have a good idea about this? My plan is to have an area with "sunproof" stickers used for windows in cars (I dont know what this is called in english) and paint the surroundings in black, hopefully get a seamless solution that looks all black. :?:

I need to make a wooden model the same size as the case to have something to heat up the plastic and shape it around. Might take a while to build though...

edit:typos


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:06 am 
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Quote:
Since I want the Media Center reciever mounted in the case with the black cover I need the IR signal to pass through the paint. Anybody that have a good idea about this? My plan is to have an area with "sunproof" stickers used for windows in cars (I dont know what this is called in english) and paint the surroundings in black, hopefully get a seamless solution that looks all black.


I think polycarbonate is transparent to IR, however paint and metal are not. Not sure what the "sunproof" stickers are that you mention, have you got a pic?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:22 am 
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The right term would be Window Films: Sunscreen, they come in different colors but are usually black...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:37 am 
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Bizarre that, I have been workin with that one as well.

I bought some window tint (light grey film) in order to use with mine. I have made the case (mostly) though mine is not wrapparound perspex, more just a perspex panel on the front. I have an LCD display panel on the front. With a dark background behind the perspex and the fim over it the perspex appears flush black. Switch it on and the LCD display appears in the black shiny surface. The sun visor stuff may have a detrimental effect on range or maybe not. I went for the light stuff, if the background is dark it appears black and I guessed that it would be the best for displaying the LCD through.

Tried it with the MS MCE remote, it works fine with no discrenable effect on range.

Like the idea of the white. That would look cool. The poly carb is a good idea, though I couldn't find sources here, could buy off the web, but needed to make fairly large orders to get it. Went for perspex cause I could get a large sheet for less than £10. It is easily damaged, I have made 1 front panel so far, but will make a MkII to complete the project.

As far as where I am to completion, I keep moving my own goal posts!! Got the spec so far to

Athlon 2100xp undervolted/underclocked
Moddified Typhoon cooler (Thread in the CPU cooling section)
Modded Abit NF7 mobbo (passive heatsinks on all)
HD in silentdrive enclosure
Silverstone 30NF passive PSU
Kworld DVB-T 100 digital reciever
ATI AIW card (gave up on the TV tuner within it though) passive card
Passive Playstation 2 almost fitted to case as well.. This has been a pain in the wotsits to do, I have it working in principle, but still have some fitting to the case.

The case has a meshed rear 1/3rd top back and rear. It is able to keep the machine cool passively and I get good performance from MCE. Its a lot bulkier than yours and is based on a turned over ATX case.

Other thing with my build that I am happy with is the power switches. Used Vandal proof, brushed stainless steel intercom buttons. They are flush fit and would match your side heatsinks nicely. Hard to get hold of but available on t'internet from farnel etc. They are the most expensive momentary power buttons I saw in my travels but everything about them oozes quality. They would certainly be good enough for your project.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:37 am 
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Quote:
Bizarre that, I have been workin with that one as well.

Hehe, crazy... :lol:

Interesting. Perfect that the IR goes through. I might go for a window tint on the whole peace of plastic then. I also have a PLED display that would be perfect to use but one row (2x16) seems to be defected on it. Was it hard to get a smooth surface with the film? I wonder if it's hard to apply on a curved surface... I am gonna try to get a hold of some this weekend.

Post some pictures of your project when your done, It sounds intresting. :P


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:33 pm 
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It wasn't that hard to get the film to sit smoothly on the surface in general. But round the corners of the CD rom slots it was inclined to wrinkle. The trick I think is to use plently of weakly diluted soapy water. This seems to give plenty of lee-way. Its when it starts to dry out that mistakes start to show.

The other type of product that I have not tried is automotive indicator blackout spray. This is an opaque laquer that you apply to indicators. Used it before on a car, but I would think that it would work well in this application.

Will post some results in the general gallery once I get some progress made.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:02 am 
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The indicator spray might be an option, it seems to be hard to find though, I got a little inspired by the idea of putting my OLED-display in there and I tried to fix it yesterday (Only one row is working out of 2x20) but I could not find the problem. I have decided to make place for it and mount it in there if I at some point manage to get a black/transparent cover without too much hassle, seems to be a delicate problem though. I'll just have to go for trial and error... More updates during the week though :D


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:05 am 
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Location: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, UK
I dug out the film I used from the parts cupboard. FYI it is called

Defender Auto Window Film, light smoke. The roll I bought was 51cm x 228cm and described for use in side windows.

The company manufacturing it is

Trillogy Ltd
car-styling

Tingewick Road Ind Park
Buckingham
MK18 1SU

tel 44 1280 822865

This is a UK firm, but I am sure that similar will be available worldwide.

The same product is available in dark smoke, limo black, silver and a few other colours (green red etc)

Only tool needed to fit it is a spray bottle and a squeggie

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:10 pm 
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Thanks man! :) I think I have found some good films to use! Hope the heat in the heatsinks does not affect surface though.

Yesterday I got the DVD-burner in there but I think it broke so I will have to get a new one later on but for now it's very seldom I use it anyway...I'll post some pictures later on today.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:17 pm 
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I doubt the heat will be an issue. This stuff is for car windows, it must be durable to some degree or another to take into account solar heating.

If you have not bought yet, can I make a vote for silver...

With a dark background it will look solid, shine a light or a pled through it and stuff will majically apear.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:14 pm 
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Here's an image of the cutout and the attachment for the DVD:

Image

I also got the time to make the attachments for the expansion cards, the precision is not the best but it works:

Image

Next I'll probably pick the IR-reciever apart. That'll be intresting.
:)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Yep, it will. Look forward to seeing this, as I have that task to do myself soon. Any hints and tips will be apreciated.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 7:55 am 
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Hyphe, where are you on this build?

I got my IR reciever fitted without issues. It works very well behind the smoke film. Microsoft have used star type security scews to hold it together. Fortunately they dont have the raised point in the middle, so a precision scross head screwdriver was all that was neeeded to remove them.

Just took it apart and made an enclosure from double sided foam, the top half of its case and some insulting tape. Bit ghetto, but effective none the same. Mines hiden anyway even with the case top off. It has a playstation 2 on top of it!

More piccies please. Nag Nag Nag...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:28 am 
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Hi guys,

I've been kind of busy with job and paternity leave lately so the project has halted a bit. :?

I have also had trouble finding somebody who can help me create a wooden model, I used to work as a furniture carpenter myself 10 years ago but I want the model 100% accurate and I do not have access to a CNC-machine. A friend of mine helped creating CAD drawings from my sketchup files so I will try some joineries this week to finish it for me.

Meanwile I have thought of a name for the case, I ended up with Stylencio Media Center: :)

Image

As you can see I have decided to go for white as the first cover, my plan is to make 3 covers, one in white without ventilation holes, one in white with ventilation holes and one in black later on with or without ventilation holes depending on design and functionality.

Here's the current status. I have put some cardboard on with ventilation holes and aluminium net to cover the holes. I have been running this for two months so it's stable. I had one incident where the PSU shut down, but this was in exceptional heat, around 30 degrees ambient, I think I will replace the PSU with an external but that will have to wait until fall. That would give me some more place for HDD's in the future.

Image

A sketch of the wooden model:

Image

justblair: Great to see you are progressing!

That's it for now, I'll get back as soon as I get somebody to help me with the model.

Edit: typo


Last edited by Hyphe on Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:59 am 
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I think your pics might be kaputt.. :( Tried copying the URL to a new tab and it doesn´t work.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:42 am 
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I can see all his pics fine. Great new name, Stylencio, genius! :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:11 am 
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Paternity leave? Does that mean congratulations are in order?

And you were on leave and you didn't get more done on your project.... Shame on you, you need to straghten out your priorities young man! :wink:

The name is good....

The piccies are just how I imagined it....

Looking forward to seing the finished item.

JB

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:01 am 
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Quote:
I can see all his pics fine. Great new name, Stylencio, genius!


Thanks, it felt like right on target :)


Quote:
Paternity leave? Does that mean congratulations are in order?

Well, not exactly, he is 13 months now, I am on Paternity Leave from June to September though, pretty nice. But thanks anyway :D

Quote:
And you were on leave and you didn't get more done on your project.... Shame on you, you need to straghten out your priorities young man!

:shock: Hehe


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:24 am 
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Hyphe

Great job. Quick question, where did you get the heatpipe?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:42 am 
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The pics work now... Looks very nice :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:46 am 
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IceFire wrote:
Great job. Quick question, where did you get the heatpipe?

Here's the website of the company who sells them. http://www.hifiatx.com/ They have a whole range of different heatpipe solutions for their HFX-Cases, these can be used in custom cases as well. Take a look at "Shop", you'll find local stores in US as well


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Good news, I have been in contact with a company that could do the milling with my wooden model, I will most likely have the pieces available next week. :D

This image was taken about a year ago and was the starting point for the project. Preparation was of course countless hours on forums and searching articles all over the web before that, so this project has really taken some time.
Image

I will post a more complete and chronological thread later on when I am finished with the first phase.


Last edited by Hyphe on Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:11 am 
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Just an update on what is going on. The pieces for the wooden model are now ready :) , I am travelling right now so I will pick them up when I get back next week and pick up the work from there. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:06 am 
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Wow, I love it! Stylencio, indeed!
A few questions for you: How much has the case cost to build? I realize you have spent countless hours on it, and theres no way to calculate that, but approximately how much have you spent on materials?
Nother question: how hot do the side panels get under a moderately heavy load? Say, while gaming? Warm? Hot?
Just wonderin' Good luck to you and keep the pics comin! Cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am 
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revloc8 wrote:
How much has the case cost to build?

I have been hoping no one would ask the question :wink:
Seriously it has not been as expensive as I thought it would end up at. Especially considering the amount of aluminum and making everything custom. Mostly because I have been lucky finding people who could help me. Here's a couple of figures:
    The aluminum on the image above costed 80 euros, pretty expensive, you might find better priced.
    I bought some additional aluminum for 30 euros and I have not spent all of it yet.
    The polycarbonate was pretty expensive: 36 euros
    I paid 40 euros for the milling of the side heatsinks.
    I got the bolts welded on the side heatsinks for free.
    The feet are from another case I had at home.
    The wooden model I need will cost me 40 euros (material+labor)
    Nuts and bolts are not included.
revloc8 wrote:
Nother question: how hot do the side panels get under a moderately heavy load? Say, while gaming? Warm? Hot?

I can get back to you with actual temps, when I get back from travelling. To give you a quick answer, the right heatsink, which cools the CPU, gets warm and the left, which cools the GPU, gets hot. You can hold your hand there for a couple of seconds but you realize after a while that it is not comfortable :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:17 am 
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I got the pieces for the model today. Usually there are always drawbacks, this time the holes were not drilled through the pieces :?, 2 millimeters deeper would have been enough. Nothing to despair though, I'll just have to finish them myself :D

Some images:

Image

Image

Image

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Last edited by Hyphe on Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:18 am 
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I made some tests painting on the polycarbonate, it looks pretty good so far. It will be hard though to get precision on the edges.

Image

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:36 am 
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I got the model together yesterday and I found out that I will need some filler to get the model smooth. Some images of the model:

Image

Image

Image

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