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 Post subject: Wood case - Pros/Cons
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:41 pm 
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I'm planning on building a wooden case for my PC. Not an enclosure to stick my PC in, but an actual case made of wood. I found some links to a couple of these that someone made but I can't say I've found much discussion on it. So I was wondering if anyone could throw out any experiences they've had.

I know that heat will probably increase. As wood is an insulator and your normal metal case works as one big heatsink. But I figure if I have enough air flow that should hopefully make up for it. Plus I plan on making it a little bigger and leaving more room so that the components can breath. And I was thinking about maybe opening up the psu and removing the orginal fan. Then I'd have one of the exhaust fans blowing directly across it.

I'm currently working on drawing up the design. I'll share when I get things moving.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:42 pm 
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someone link him to rustys computer article.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:43 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/modules.p ... =44&page=1 i decided not to be so lazy and link it myself :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 7:11 am 
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Dop! My bad, thanks for the link.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 9:37 am 
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Thanks Gaminggod.

I really haven't seen many cons to having a wood case. The heat transfer through a metal is really minimal and can be more than compensated for by having good airflow design. The only possible downside I can think of is EMF interference, since you don't have the metal side to stop it. But I say "possible" because I've been running my machine for 8 months unshielded without a single problem.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 10:27 am 
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I wouldnt be too hard to rig up something on the inside of the case would it? Im not sure what the requirements are for a faraday cage to work properly, but i think MikeC mentions it in his BreadBox PC article maybe...

Maybe use some tinfoil, or metal grill fixed to the inside of the wood. Could also run an earth connection to it fairly easily.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 10:40 am 
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Yeah, it would be fairly simple. A spray-glued lining of aluminum foil would work, or even a lining of Paxmate or Dynamat. (both have an aluminum layer in them)

But I haven't done it because I'm lazy. 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 2:38 pm 
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If you want RF sheilding to work, it needs to be electrically continuous around the whole encloseure. Separate hunks of sound barrier with Al layers in them just turn into independant antenna's, even if you ground them together (not easy to get a good grip on the foil layer anyways). That's why normal tinbox cases have all those funny little tangs/dimples around the outside, to connect the sides-back-covers etc. together at regular close intervals.

Lots of plastic cases are internally spray coated with conductive paints. I have done a wee bit of preliminary looking into these paints, and they appear to be nickle-flake, or maybe Al in budget/bulk versions, with silver-flake available ($$$$$) for critical high grade work. I think you could get fairly good results on wood with something like that, and it would be practical and cheap if the right paint can be found. It must exist.

I'll post back further when I get around to searching it out. In the meantime MG Chemicals does have a product, albeit expensive.

MG Chemicals: Super Shield Conductive Coating


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 3:54 pm 
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On the other hand, as long as you don't use your cell or cordless phone or 2-way radio -- or anything that actually transmits RF -- near or around your PC, you probably won't do any harm to anything being lazy. It's not really a matter of health. Getting on a cordless or a cell will expose you to gobs more EMF in a much more sensitive area of your anatomy than an unshielded PC several feet away at your feet. But the PC and phone could interact and cause problems.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 5:26 pm 
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Hey Mike, I respectfully direct your attention to RF interference and computers: Experiences anybody? concerning the cell phone remarks. Curious minds. Topic oft discussed. Concrete answers extremely scarce.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 5:33 pm 
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OK, interesting question... I will answer over there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 2:59 am 
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Rusty075 wrote:
Thanks Gaminggod.
I really haven't seen many cons to having a wood case.


Commercial cases are made of inflammable materials and fire safety is improved by using flame retardants. Self-made wooden case don't meet any fire safety standards. This is as important as magnetic shielding. Lightning could cause a voltage peak to modem line and set fire.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:52 am 
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bluehat wrote:
Lightning could cause a voltage peak to modem line and set fire.


Theoricially yes, but I doubt there's enough fuel in modern computer components to maintain a fire long enough to catch the wood alight. PCB and wire insulation don't really burn, they melt and smolder mostly. Ever try starting a log on fire without tinder? That's how it'd be for your computer to start a wooden case on fire. When my article got /.'d there was all kinds of silly arguments like this one in their forums over it. (not that your concerns over lightning are silly, mind you, just that their comments in their forums were)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 10:49 am 
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bluehat wrote:
Lightning could cause a voltage peak to modem line and set fire.


Your surge protector with telephone and/or network surge protection will keep this out of the case. Try APC as one quality brand (igoring the recent recall)

:wink: What is a modem? :wink:[/b]

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