The Skyscraper Photo PC

Show off your quiet rig.

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slipperyskip
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The Skyscraper Photo PC

Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:55 am

Here's my latest silent PC creation. It is a hybrid PC/digi-frame that I designed to sit on a mantle or similar "silence-required" area. It can also sit on desk and act as a basic e-mailer/web surfer.

Image

Image

It has a fanless VIA CN10000 board and a 2GB compact flash card plugged into a CF/IDE adapter.

The only noise comes from a 60mm Vantec Stealth fan. I had to include the fan...well....just in case. The fan is routed through one of those Powermate fan controllers and I have it turned down all the way.

I haven't tested it yet without the fan running but that is coming soon.

So what do you think?

http://slipperyskip.com/page22.html
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:59 am

That is awesome! Its like piece of decoration. You can easily place that for aesthic pleasing and most won't even know its a computer.

You could however try see if you can fit 60 mm -> 80 mm adapter and hook Nexus 80mm. It would be much quieter than Vantec Stealth.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:13 am

thejamppa wrote:That is awesome! Its like piece of decoration. You can easily place that for aesthic pleasing and most won't even know its a computer.

You could however try see if you can fit 60 mm -> 80 mm adapter and hook Nexus 80mm. It would be much quieter than Vantec Stealth.
Thanks for your feedback. The Vantec is barely turning and the system is staying cool. I'll probably disable it completely after a little more testing.
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

BillTodd
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Post by BillTodd » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:32 am

You're an artist with a real eye for detail (that light pine/beach veneer trim sets it off perfectly :))

Are the chrome 'switches' operational? (if not, have you seen these qprx touch sensor ics? http://www.qprox.com/products/qtouch.php )
Bill

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:24 am

BillTodd wrote:You're an artist with a real eye for detail (that light pine/beach veneer trim sets it off perfectly :))

Are the chrome 'switches' operational? (if not, have you seen these qprx touch sensor ics? http://www.qprox.com/products/qtouch.php )
Thanks Bill!

I decided early in the project that front-mounted video screen controls weren't going to happen. The only controls are brightness, contrast, blah, blah and I hardly ever fool with that stuff once it is set.

Instead, I mounted the control PCB inside the casing. Four thumb screws on the back panel gives me access to these controls. It was a cost/benefit decision. Controls made for thin skinned enclosures just don't play well with much thicker wood walls.

Towards the end of the project I realized that I needed something shiny on the front. I'm not a big fan of fake things but in this case I got my shiny without it looking out of place.

That link you provided looks very interesting. Thanks for that.

The light-colored accents are actually a lighter grade of mahogany that haven't been so highly finished. They will get darker with time but so will the rest of the case.
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:28 am

Man.....what a project for a digital picture-frame. I think I would have saved time/trouble by making the thing out of solid wood sections, combining different wood types......rather than veneer the project. Cutting all those little pieces would have driven me crazy. And I like the idea of a sunshine drying/aging process. The thought of warped panels in such a project is cause for concern with wood.

Nice computer however.....at great cost of time. :)
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Bluefront wrote:Nice computer however.....at great cost of time. :)
Thanks! It is my hobby. Time is a non-issue. Fact is...I'm sad it is finished.

There are many ways to do it faster and all of them involve a considerable amount of waste. I prefer to work "green" and enjoy the ride.

Cheers
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:37 am

It looks like old radio or something... Its truely piece of an art. When you do next project, you could use potento meter to adjust fan. And hide the potento meter inside wooden turn knob. That is way you could control it easily. I am not sure does VIA make ITX boards that have PMW's they could good solution too.

But I just love the wood.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

tehfire
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Post by tehfire » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:39 am

slipperyskip wrote:Time is a non-issue. Fact is...I'm sad it is finished.
You could always build me one ;)

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:52 am

tehfire wrote:
slipperyskip wrote:Time is a non-issue. Fact is...I'm sad it is finished.
You could always build me one ;)
Sure! 100 hours times $100/hour equals........ :shock: :D
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Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:15 am

slipperyskip......I know it's too late now, but here's what I would have done with that fan. Some airflow through the case is probably necessary, but not much. I would have eliminated the rear fan, and placed a quiet 60/80 mm fan under the heatsink area blowing upward. I would have routed out that top wood section so that an opening faced the rear. Convection currents would pull cool air in the bottom openings, and would be helped by the single fan. The exhaust would passively leave the upper vent slot....., probably quieter.

You could attach the fan to a NoiseMagic NTM3 auto-controller if you thought you might need more airflow on hot days. I don't think many/any VIA boards have fan speed controls. Just a thought.... :)
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:26 am

what I love about all of SS's designs is they have a strong Art Deco/Retro feel about them...like a 30's/40's throwback to when guys wore spats and jackets with wide lapels. :wink:

SS, have you thought of doing a computer that is fully integrated into a wooden desk? this would take the theme of hiding computers "in plain sight" to the next level....

great work, as usual :)

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:49 am

Bluefront wrote:slipperyskip......I know it's too late now, but here's what I would have done with that fan. Some airflow through the case is probably necessary, but not much. I would have eliminated the rear fan, and placed a quiet 60/80 mm fan under the heatsink area blowing upward. I would have routed out that top wood section so that an opening faced the rear. Convection currents would pull cool air in the bottom openings, and would be helped by the single fan. The exhaust would passively leave the upper vent slot....., probably quieter.

You could attach the fan to a NoiseMagic NTM3 auto-controller if you thought you might need more airflow on hot days. I don't think many/any VIA boards have fan speed controls. Just a thought.... :)
Good ideas but...where would you put an 80mm fan?

Image

I pack'em solid.

I've been running the system fanless for the last hour with a full photo slideshow (w/ transitions). Natural circulation seems to be working fine for my application.

Shouldn't be surprised. The VIA CN package is rated at 9.3W at idle which is what it is doing running a screensaver slideshow. The CF card doesn't generate heat. The picoPSU is very efficient.

The only unknown was the LCD panel. It appears to be a power miser also.
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

Chris Chan
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Post by Chris Chan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:02 am

I love it. I'm thinking of doing something similar to the guts of a 12" iBook. Only thing is, why use a can of *caffeine free* Diet Coke as a size comparator? I need my caffeine!
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slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:15 am

Thanks jaganath! I respect your opinion. No old desks will harmed by my obsessions. That's where I draw the line.

Chris Chan wrote:I love it. I'm thinking of doing something similar to the guts of a 12" iBook. Only thing is, why use a can of *caffeine free* Diet Coke as a size comparator? I need my caffeine!
Caffeine Free Diet Coke....the power drink for old farts.

I tried doing a notebook to digi-frame conversion but was stumped by the keyboard. I thought I could disconnect the internal keyboard and use the external keyboard port instead but that was a bad assumption.

Maybe it was the model I was working with. Be wary.
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

ayjay
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Post by ayjay » Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:31 am

:shock: This is... amazing. Now that's a digital photo frame!
Neato. Something to be proud of.

Chris Chan
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Post by Chris Chan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:02 am

slipperyskip wrote: Caffeine Free Diet Coke....the power drink for old farts.

I tried doing a notebook to digi-frame conversion but was stumped by the keyboard. I thought I could disconnect the internal keyboard and use the external keyboard port instead but that was a bad assumption.

Maybe it was the model I was working with. Be wary.
Ehh, I'm not an old fart. I'm only fifteen.

It may well have been an iBook; mine doesn't boot without the keyboard connected. I might just leave it there internally as it's maybe 5mm thick.
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Post by peteamer » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:03 am

8)

Bluefront
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Post by Bluefront » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:00 am

slipperyskip......I'd get a 15x80mm San-Ace fan from Sidewinder Computers (that's the best/quietest you can get). Then I'd turn it into a slot-fan by cutting the end of the fan frame. Link to slot-fan mod I'd mount it right over the CPU area of the heatsink, sucking off the heatsink, blowing over the top of the ram sticks, toward the top of the case. You'd only need another 18mm or so between the back of the monitor, and the top of the heatsink to do this mod.

You'd cool the cpu heatsink better, and you'd have some airflow over the back of the monitor.
[size=75]"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke[/size]

protellect
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Post by protellect » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:37 am

Where did you get the metal piece you attached the motherboard too? Something you buy?
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slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:58 am

protellect wrote:Where did you get the metal piece you attached the motherboard too? Something you buy?
lol I made it out of wood and painted it with an industrial aluminum paint.

I'll take that as a compliment. :D
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protellect
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Post by protellect » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:04 am

rofl! nicely done. I have a mini shuttle case that I want to mod out a bit to build a epia file server.


I'm thinking why run my main rig [200W+] 24/7 when I just just need apache server/ftp server/storage. It doesn't need to be as pretty as yours, but I need a hard drive cage bay with good ventilation, something to attach the motherboard/power supply too, and some way to hold it all together.
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slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:44 am

People have been stuffing mini-ITX boards into almost anything for years. You should check out the projects at mini-ITX.com for some inspiration.

There I think you will find all kinds of different ways to mount boards and peripherals into almost any enclosure.

The Skyscraper Photo PC made Gizmodo and Boing Boing yesterday. My favorite though was Cowcotland...a huge French gadget site. Something oddly satisfying about reading about your work in a foreign language. lol
Cowcotland

A comment at Gizmodo motivated me to post a size comparison photo. Sometimes you get so close to a project you lose perspective...literally.

Image
[url]http://www.slipperyskip.com/page23.html[/url]

Chris Chan
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Post by Chris Chan » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:48 am

Another diet soda, huh? And you're famous for getting written up in French. What's with the "SlipperYskip" thing though?
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slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:01 am

Chris Chan wrote:Another diet soda, huh? And you're famous for getting written up in French. What's with the "SlipperYskip" thing though?
Slipperyskip is the name of the road I live on.

I'm famous for other things too. lol

http://slipperyskip.com/page15.html
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Chris Chan
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Post by Chris Chan » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:20 am

No, I meant on Cowcotland, it's shown as "SlipperYskip" with a capital Y.
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Post by Blacktree » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:30 am

Hey Slipperyskip, that's pretty cool. Can you show us a photo of the backside?

slipperyskip
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Post by slipperyskip » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:34 am

Blacktree wrote:Hey Slipperyskip, that's pretty cool. Can you show us a photo of the backside?
Yes.....you could also see how I built it on my website. ; )

Image
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Blacktree
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Post by Blacktree » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:55 pm

slipperyskip wrote:
Blacktree wrote:Hey Slipperyskip, that's pretty cool. Can you show us a photo of the backside?
Yes.....you could also see how I built it on my website. ; )

http://slipperyskip.com/hammond/058.jpg
Image

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