1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

mediaBIN3.0 Weighted Companion Cube Build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by zAAm, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Yes, the placement of the standoffs are hopefully (haven't checked) such that the screws will be under the corners at the bottom so they'll be out of sight. Then the corners will be glued on top of them - if I need to change the hardware I can always remove the components from the top down so I won't need to remove the bottom screws (which will be inaccessible anyway)... ;)

    On how I'm going to mount the entire underside to the rest of the cube (if that was what you implied), I'm still working on a way to screw the top and bottom half of the chassis together without any obvious screw holes... :wtf:
  2. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    maybe some hinges on the edge to keep simplicity? :confused:
  3. Cuzza

    Cuzza New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,318 (0.51/day)
    Thanks Received:
    207
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Very impressive work with the perspex. but why are the disks orange? or are you going to paint them?
  4. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    I'll keep that in mind, but I think I'm probably just going to screw everything together...

    Haha, thanks. They will be painted white yes :laugh: - with the pink hearts either painted or printed on... I wanted to make it out of clear perspex but that would be painted anyway and I wanted to use the clear perspex I had left for something else.
  5. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    good luck which ever path you choose :rockout::rockout:
  6. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    The reason I didn't get far with the actual building today - installing ubuntu and setting it up just as I need it. Right screen is the cube, left is my i7 (which is playing music mostly) and the laptop is used for command searching... I actually grabbed the wrong keyboard or mouse a couple of times... :D I must say I struggled a bit with installing Jaunty on a software RAID0 volume, but I pulled through in the end :laugh:
    [​IMG]

    A sneak peak at the hard drive mounts I've started to make... The other mounts are going to be extended with thick aluminium bar stock and then screws will be threaded through the perspex into the other aluminium bottom pieces (hard to describe it - will be easy to see afterwards). It might be overkill for just mounting some drives, but I thought while I was busy I might as well do it properly :toast:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  7. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    what happened to the IDE hdds?
  8. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    What do you mean? They're still there :rolleyes:
  9. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    So, today I didn't get to spend a lot of time on the project, but did manage to drill all the mounting holes and also make the top perspex plate. Here is the template I drew first
    [​IMG]

    Drilling the pilot holes - there's a whole lot of them
    [​IMG]

    Then, after I drilled all the holes, cut the spaces in between with the jigsaw and spent a little (or a lot) time with filing everything neat, this is what I had left. I still need to drill the fan mounting holes though.
    [​IMG]

    The middle plate after drilling all the mounting holes. There are 4 sets of 4 to enable basically any mounting position.
    [​IMG]

    Now I'm working on mounting the (orange) disks and playing around with a way to make the LED light strips... :D
  10. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    you were talking about installing stuff on RAID1 or something, sorry that confused me :laugh:
  11. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Yeah, I installed Ubuntu on the two IDE hard drives in a RAID0 configuration. :D

    Also, I've just checked the clearance with just some of the LED strips in place and it's going to be TIGHT! :eek: Here's a Solidworks render showing 4 of the 6 sides equipped with LED strips. The clearance is going to be in the range of 2-3mm on the sides and as little as 1mm at the back!
    [​IMG]
  12. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Okay, I finally decided how I'm going to construct my LED strip boxes. They will be pieces of pearl opaque perspex covered in pewter (yes you read right) with a small strip cut out that will shine through a slot in the side panels. I chose pewter because it's reflective, easy to work with and can easily be smoothed out. It is pretty heavy though - although that does give the strips an amazing feeling of quality :D

    [​IMG]

    I also worked on the hdd mounts as well as the edge pieces (I miscounted the edges of a cube :eek: - it's not 8 but 12, so I had to make an additional 4 pieces) but didn't take photos of that. Also, I got a way of mounting the circular heart disks to the frame by making (and baking) plastic clay pieces to give me a way of mounting threaded standoffs to a curved surface. It's not amazingly pretty but it works and will be covered. Will glue that tomorrow.

    Sorry for the shoddy update guys, will hopefully do better tomorrow :D
  13. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Okay, I have a little update that took a long time... :D

    Today I cut and shaped all the LED strip pieces and started to cover them in the pewter. I got as far as 4 as it takes about 20min each. So only 20 to go... :D I also made a batch of plastic clay standoff pieces that will hopefully fit into the thermoformed disks I made earlier. They will allow me to screw the curved perspex to the side panels. They're not pretty, but hopefully they will work and they'll be covered under the panel anyway.

    So, on to the photos! This is the jig I quickly built to align the plastic clay pieces.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the jig with the standoffs and their plastic clay tails that I will use to mold to the disk's contour.
    [​IMG]

    After coating everything with baby powder :)D) so they don't stick, the disk was pressed onto the clay and tidied up a bit with a blade.
    [​IMG]

    The finished pieces. They do look a bit crap and untidy, but the clay is such that I couldn't really tidy them up too much without risking losing the bond between the standoff and the clay and then ending up with a useless (albeit nice looking) piece of clay and metal ;). Afterward I just popped them into the oven at 130C for 35min and they're rock solid :D
    [​IMG]

    Next I set about cutting and shaping the LED strips. It took a LOT of measurement, 48 holes and some time filing to get the 24 pieces so that two LED's fit neatly side-by-side. The finishing wasn't that important since it will be covered by pewter anyway. At the left is a test fit of the pewter to determine the size needed to cover the entire perspex strip.
    [​IMG]

    A strip of pewter I cut with a blade to size. It's heavy!
    [​IMG]

    To illustrate just how heavy it is, I weighed 20 strips on a scale. 97g! Which means they are just under 5g for a ~30x100mm piece! All in all just by covering the perspex the pewter will add 117g to the cube :eek:
    [​IMG]

    I then covered and glued the pewter over the perspex strip. Here's the finished product after about 20 minutes. The strip of light will be cut on the opposite side.
    [​IMG]

    The underside with the strip cut. Also, all 4 I've been able to make so far :D
    [​IMG]

    One of the final strips in action! :cool:
    [​IMG]

    I'll be going away tomorrow (camping) for a few days so I won't be able to work on the project for a while. But I'll be back the 15th or so and then I'll be going at it full speed again. Also, while I'm away I'm going to pick up the picoPSU 90W version - the 120W is pretty thick and will push the clearances further than needed. Also, 90W is enough for everything in the cube I believe...
  14. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    not too sure myself, but if you can fit it, get the bigger one :rockout:
  15. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    So, I'm finally doing an update again - been away awhile and haven't been able to work on the cube. This is where everything starts to fall together so it's been a challenge to work out how and where I'll fit everything.

    At least I've finished the 24 LED strips. Took ages!! :eek:
    [​IMG]

    I also started the final work on the side panels - drilling holes for the heart covers as well as cutting the LED strip channels in all the panels. Here's everything marked up and ready to go!
    [​IMG]

    I used a normal jigsaw to cut the channels...
    [​IMG]

    Everything finished :D
    [​IMG]

    The placement of the LED strips at the back of each panel. Also, I removed the perspex backing so now we can see the actual colour.
    [​IMG]

    The placement of the heart covers - I superglued the little plastic standoff mounts to the covers, will q-bond everything later when I get some more superglue.
    [​IMG]

    I also bent the top perspex panel to fit over the network card - it's now nice and secure ;)
    [​IMG]

    I moved the wireless adapter to the top panel, and made a perspex mount to hold it in place. It will be glued to the top panel and braced with additional perspex strips.
    [​IMG]

    Finally I decided where the switches and power/hdd LED's were going to be placed (the perimeter of the front and back panel holes just behind the heart covers) and wired them quickly. They will be connected with a single connector to the motherboard.
    [​IMG]

    I also decided exactly how the rear removable heart cover is going to be mounted. It will be completely removable without hinges to simplify everything. They will have steel rods going through the perspex panel and will stick to 4 neodymium magnets covering the holes on the backside. This will ensure easy removal as well as pretty decent holding strength. Before you ask, I will cover the backside of the magnets with sufficiently thick steel to route the flux directly through it - essentially negating the magnetic field inside the cube so as not to damage or influence the components inside ;).

    So that's the progress so far. Tomorrow I'll continue with the removable cover mounting system and also try to complete the hard drive mounts. ;)
  16. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    42,125 (11.68/day)
    Thanks Received:
    9,461
    dude - nice.

    and the magnets is a sweet idea for the panels, makes them removable and basically indestructible as far as normal use goes
  17. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    wow! really great man i want one sooo bad
  18. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Thanks! Actually, I was wondering how to mount them and was pondering all sorts of quick release mechanisms and hinges when my mother suggested using magnets! :laugh:

    That makes two of us! I can't wait for everything to come together - it's been quite a while since I wanted to make one. :D

    I quickly q-bonded the heart cover standoff mounts to the perspex so I have a VERY strong bond. It looks pretty bad, but I think I'll paint the bottom as well so it doesn't stand out alongside the white disks...
    [​IMG]

    A close-up of one of the bonds - this stuff is pretty amazing and immensely strong - just what I need since I will be applying some torque when fastening the covers and they're protruding so I don't want them to hit something and fall off.
    [​IMG]
  19. WhiteLotus

    WhiteLotus

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    6,532 (2.53/day)
    Thanks Received:
    847
    jaw dropping. keep going this is fucking epic
  20. TheCrow

    TheCrow New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    399 (0.15/day)
    Thanks Received:
    55
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    Wow amazing, i wish i had your technical ability, practical ability and patience.
  21. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    Thanks guys! :toast: I'll definitely finish this project - not like me to leave things hanging... :D


    Today I decided I'm going to finish all the small outstanding things I've started but didn't finish like the USB bracket, the bracket for the light controller and the HDD brackets.

    This is the finished product - it weighs a ton now that the HDD's are mounted :D. I also routed the IDE cable cleanly around the cube since I don't want anything towards the front of the cube past the motherboard edge.
    [​IMG]

    This is the light controller mounted. It's fastened by sprung heatsink clips since the back of the board isn't flat. I also added some foam to avoid scratching the perspex, line up the board and make everything prettier overall :D
    [​IMG]

    The USB bracket was basically just braced and glued in position to the top panel since I made it yesterday... :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]

    The HDD brackets completed. It takes a bit of wrenching to make everything fit since there are fraction of millimeter differences in the hole spacing (something I can't really help), but it's very secure and will definitely not move anywhere :D. You can also see the mirror finish I added to the aluminium to make it look a bit better, although I kind of got tired when polishing the bottom brackets - hence they're not as smoothly polished as the top brackets :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]

    I will continue working on the outside panels and the magnetized heart cover tonight - will need to fabricate some more plastic clay pieces. Also, I've just realized the extent of the wiring that will need to be done for the LED's! It basically involves making about a 100 connections and soldering and heatshrinking each one individually! :eek: All the while connecting the right amount of the right type of LED in series with themselves and the correct resistors...

    Anyway, we'll come to that later. I need some coffee... Will keep you guys posted ;)
  22. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,302 (2.74/day)
    Thanks Received:
    863
    Location:
    London, UK
    damn :twitch::twitch:, sounds epic :twitch::twitch:, :cry: if that was me i would enjoy a few beers first :toast: :toast:

    keep it up :rockout:
  23. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    So, today was LED's and heart covers all the way...

    I completed the mounting of the HDD and power LED's, the power and reset buttons as well as the magnetized rear panel. Everything went pretty smoothly (after I replaced one of the buttons as I accidentally superglued the button to its case :D ), and I continued mounting the covers and LED strips...

    In the process of gluing the LED strips to one of the panels. The mounted heart cover is also clearly visible.
    [​IMG]

    One panel done :rolleyes: . It took a while to cut all the windows in the pewter and glue them in the correct position for each panel.
    [​IMG]

    The reverse side of the panel, showing the LED strips through the slots.
    [​IMG]

    Next, I decided to glue three of the panels together to make it easier (and actually to allow the UV LED wiring altogether) to route the LED wiring. You can also see I q-bonded the legs of the LED's to keep light from leaking from the bottom and causing weird light spots through the semi-opaque gray perspex.
    [​IMG]

    Another shot with 5 of the 6 panels' LED strips mounted - the 6th one is the bottom panel which still needs to be drilled to mount the internals when I'm sure everything will fit. I think the silver with the gray and orange actually looks pretty cool. :D
    [​IMG]

    The red part of the LED's connected to each other. All these wires will be routed cleanly once everything is connected. I've also epoxied three terminal blocks to give me something to route the wires to so I can connect it to the controller mounted on the other half of the cube. The UV LED's are going to be trickier since they need to be connected three at a time in series.
    [​IMG]

    A closer shot of the terminals, the neodymium magnets with laminated steel on top of them and also the tactile power and reset buttons (both sides of the LED strip)...
    [​IMG]

    Tonight I'll continue with some serious soldering and will see how far I can get with the wiring... Really putting my soldering skills and patience to the test. :D
  24. zAAm

    zAAm

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Messages:
    979 (0.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    76
    Location:
    South Africa
    So I've just finished the red LED wiring on 3 of the 6 panels. Just thought I'd share it with you guys. Looks pretty cool already :D
    [​IMG]
  25. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    42,125 (11.68/day)
    Thanks Received:
    9,461
    you gunna do anything about those black rings from the adhesive stuff?

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page