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 Post subject: Bozar & Thrash's Hidden HTPC
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
We've recently made some mods with big quality cases from Chieftec, Antec but now Thrash wanted a HTPC invisible for the eye so we decided to build it into some furniture.

The HTPC consists of:
    Athlon II X2 250 (too powerful for HTPC but enough for lots of browsing and a few multitasking programs.
    Two 1 GB 6400 memory sticks
    A uATX Asus 785G motherboard
    250 GB and 2 TB Samsung drives (7200 and 5400) in Scythe Himuros
    Seasonic S12 500 (leftover from old computer)
    Scythe Big Shuriken
    Two Scythe SL Slipstream 500 RPM 140 mm fans
    One Scythe Gentle Typhoon 500 RPM
    Some foam


Picture of the parts before the modd:


Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
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Location: Sweden
The idea was to build it in the drawer but we soon realized that cooling would be an issue if we didn't provide the PC with some airflow and ventilation. Since the bottom is quite thick and so is the back, a few well placed holes would not cause to much noise.

Image

The same holes have been made in the outer box providing some nice ventilation but not too much noise.

All fans were soft mounted with some rubber sealant which is surprisingly soft and resistant to vibrations. Also looks good and sealing out a bit of dust:
Image.

The idea for the airflow is an two intakes in the bottom of the drawer, one aided by the Gentle Typhoon and one without a fan, providing ventilation for the 140 mm Slipstream cooling the HDDs. The single very slow 140 mm Slipstream blows the hot air out of the case.

Image

As you can see, the PSU is mounted facing the spot where we will mount the motherboard, although not using any screws, its very stable. We had plans on making a separate chamber for the PSU but decided not to because the heat will probably never build up to the lever where the PSU fan ramps up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
The finished build:

Image

Leftover cables are tucked in the spot behind the PSU and under the foam.

The HDDs lay directly on foam which works surprisingly well despite the fact that the foam isn't that thick. Both drives are held together by two tiny screws cut at both ends to provide stability.

Image

The results? Well the Scythe Big Shuriken was a bit noisy at 12V but managed by the motherboard it's quiet enough. The motherboard undervolts the fan to 5-6V during most loads which seems a bit low for me because of the thin fan but the temperatures are good, CPU: 28-30 degrees idle and almost never exceeds 40, Chipset: 45 degrees, HDDs 30-35 degrees. The Slipstreams are amazingly quiet even up very close, the gentle typhoon is also very quiet but a bit more tonal.

The only plans we might have for the future is to exchange the fan on the Bid Shuriken for a regular PWM Slipstream to allow better cooling at lower RPM.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:01 pm
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Location: Southern France
Looks...special but cost nothing i guess which is alwaysa good point.
What worries me is the foam, is it non flammable ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:39 pm
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Location: Dutchieland
A very creative idea, I must say. But what happens if someone would open the drawer with too much force? Did you secure the drives and the upright fan well enough?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:05 am 
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themaster1 wrote:
Looks...special but cost nothing i guess which is alwaysa good point.
What worries me is the foam, is it non flammable ?


Yep, non flammable, but none of the components are really in direkt contact with the foam except for the drives.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:15 am 
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Location: Sweden
Xobim wrote:
A very creative idea, I must say. But what happens if someone would open the drawer with too much force? Did you secure the drives and the upright fan well enough?


The standing fan is secured extremely tight with four zip ties, the only way to move it is to remove the drawer and cut them from underneath so its pretty solid. The rest are secured by screws.

The drives are a different story though, they are secured into each other and kept at place by it's heavy weight, I guess you could cause them to move a bit by using really much force but it's impossible for them to flip.

Also, there is only one cable attached to the motherboard affected by the drawers position and that is the DVI-cable which is long enough to allow lots of movement. The rest is wireless stuff, not the best quality unfortunately but whenever he decides to get a new mouse and keyboard, it's all good.

Thanks a lot for the response!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 397
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Certainly an interesting build! :)

Have you considered using less fans?? My rig runs just fine with one 650 RPM Nexus fan, I guess you could certainly get by with less than the five you've got now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:19 am 
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Location: Sweden
Strid wrote:
Certainly an interesting build! :)

Have you considered using less fans?? My rig runs just fine with one 650 RPM Nexus fan, I guess you could certainly get by with less than the five you've got now.


Yeah, two case fans would probably be enough but we where unsure about how much heat the 7200 HDD cause.
With the Shuriken undervolted it's really quiet though, the LCD is louder than the computer and more cooling hopefully means longer life of components.
We are happy with everything but the lack of a IO-plate in the back and maybe the PSU could be mounted in a different way so that it wouldn't aid cooling. 140 mm fans are massive guys, don't underestimate them!


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 Post subject: Re: Bozar & Thrash's Hidden HTPC
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:24 am
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Location: Earth
Looks very messy.


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 Post subject: Re: Bozar & Thrash's Hidden HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
Wilhelm-Tell wrote:
Looks very messy.


Cabling is tied behind the PSU so it looks rather clean to me but the pics are rather messy.


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 Post subject: Re: Bozar & Thrash's Hidden HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
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Location: 128.0.0.1
Nice idea!


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 Post subject: Re: Bozar & Thrash's Hidden HTPC
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:19 am
Posts: 400
Location: Boston, MA, USA
That's my kind of workbench!

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