Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by Lazzer408, Dec 2, 2011.
I know how great your work is lazzer
I have seen this build of his in person it is awesome, guarentee one of a kind. Keep up the good work on it Lazzer. Looked great man. Cant want to see the finished model.
Thanks Pantherx12 and Reaperx87. Reap, that was just the prototype. I too can't wait for the final product. I've been working side-by-side with the 3D modeler for weeks and have the pleasure of watching it take shape in virtual form. Seeing the final complete assembly rendered was a treat. It's exactly how I envisioned it just alot more refined.
Tonight is our last meeting to going over everything one last time. I'll get a screenshot of the outside of the model but you'll have to wait until it's in production to see the magic inside.
Maybe Townshend will let me call it the "squeeze box" because the hardware is really squeezed in there.
Yeah well seeing the final product in action will be sweet. Good luck and keep me updated.
Since I'm waiting on quotes, I fiddled around with some dimensions. They won't effect the quotes. Things were nudged a bit here and there to give a little more room for wire, fans and knuckle clearance. As I mentioned, it will accept two 70mm fans. They can now be up to 25mm in width. A wide fan can turn slower and produce less noise but still move the same amount of air as the narrow ones. The wider fans tend to whine less.
The 70mm fans mount to the same bracket as the SSD. I flipped this bracket around so the screws were accessable, without having to remove the bracket, for easy drive or fan replacement. I think you will all be pleased with how easy it is to work with this chassis. Wire management is also in place but not for asthetic reasons (hiding wires) but rather the wires will lay nicey in the chassis to keep them from getting pinched or blocking airflow.
A fan converter/controller and 3-pin Y will be included. This controller can take the PWM signal from a 4-pin motherboard header and drive the two 70mm side fans. Unfortunatly, those two fans have no effect on the chipset or CPU temps but at least you'll have the ability to adjust the fan speed in the BIOS. The fan controller also has a manual adjustment knob (internal) in case your board does not have a 4-pin PWM fan header.
I know your waiting for pics so here's a shot of the cad drawing. Sorry it's not photorealistic but the software doesn't do texturing or rendering. The vents in the side are ugly but they are not finalized. It's just to show that vents will be there. The SSD is shown in light purple. The GFX card in red. The eject button will be unfinished aluminum for the first production run. Power button will be flush, black, and is made of plastic with a concave surface.
Any requests for LED color? Blue? Red? Green? UV?
Also, I recieved one of the quotes and it's looking good. I don't have pricing at this time but I'm trying my best to keep this affordable without any sacrifice to quality.
Which eject button to you guys like? The one on the left or the one on the right? The left button is spring loaded and stays in the front panel. The button on the right just sits in the hole and if you tip the case back (without the drive in place) it'll fall out, but it's inexpensive.
Cool. I would scrap the button and go with a hole...remember closet door unlocking? How often will the optical be used (rhetorical)?
Addition: besides, any modern OS will have a "eject" in context menu.
I know what your saying but personally I'd like to be able to walk up and hit a button to swap out a movie or a cd. There's alot of old-school people out there who still prefer buttons and switches. I'm one of them. I hate having to rely on software to do everything for me. I can't remember a time I've ever ejected a disc without the button. Just my thoughs about it.
Does a MCE remote have an eject button? (heads to google)
Hmmm im quite a fan of mitx systems, and can never find one that suits my gaming and can fit a standard graphics card. This looks to be better than any solutions currently on the market. I had a sugo sg5 but that was much taller than your case. Too bad i wont be able to buy when you mass produce these as im in new zealand lol.
I'll ship worldwide my friends.
Going to keep my eye on this
I had some updated parts test cut on some scrap today. Here's the 13.5x3.5" rear panel. Judging by the I/O shield, you can get a better idea of it's size.
Wow. I tried to do this over at AnandTech to let them know what it was and ask for more opinions and I got banned for spamming. Just goes to show how corporate America runs the show and why American made hardware costs so much. They just slammed the little guy. Looks like I'll just have to build it my way and pay for marketing and let the customer eat the bill... NOT!
Long live TPU!!
A few of the quotes finally came back. Many of the companies involved took a long holiday vacation. Everything is coming back with a cost below what I was expecting which is great. Some samples are on the way as type. I can finally get some production units built to verify it all goes together as intended and get some real product images.
Monday I'm meeting with a rep from Apem and hopefully get this switch problem sorted out. If it turns out they can't provide me the cap I need, I have a local friend who owns injection molding facilities who's willing to float me the cost of injection dies. That said, what shape and finish do you guys prefer for the power button? A flat button with a chamfered edge? A concave button? A domed button? Gloss or matte finish?
The power button in the image below is the concave gloss finish button.
View attachment 44624
I think the power button in the picture looks good, nice and simple.
Also will the case take sfx psus or the longer tfx variety. Cause if its sfx ill just stick my silverstone sfx one in .
It uses an SFX/mATX power supply. There are more SFX options available then TFX. The supply I use has custom cable lengths and connectors. There isn't enough room in the chassis to stuff 15" worth of cable with half a dozen connectors on it. You can use your supply of choice but you may need to modify the cables or use lots of zipties.
I can offer the chassis with or without the power supply. There will be other options as well such as a solid or vented top cover. Choosing the vented top cover will allow you use a wider varity of CPU coolers.
Current power supply specs:
450w Active PFC 80+
80mm fan (thermally controlled)
+3.3v and 5v = 120w max.
Total continuous output 450w.
1x 4+4 EPS
1x 6+6 PCIe
1x SATA (on cable "a" for HDD)
1x Molex (on cable "a" for optical)
1x Molex (on cable "b" for LCD/acc.)
I've sourced suppliers for the fans, controller, and the Y cable provided to drive both fans.
The Delta fans shown are high speed models and not ideal for my application. Don't bother looking them up. The fans used in production will be around 3000rpm 70x15 (chassis supports up to 70x25) and either PWM controlled or manually set using the controller provided. Both modes are supported by this controller. One fan being considered is the Delta AFB0712MB. Specs here. http://www.delta.com.tw/product/cp/dcfans/download/pdf/AFB/AFB70x70x15mm.pdf
The fans are located near the rear of the chassis next to the graphics card and assist in removing heat around the card and around the 3.5" drives.
This fan "package" will be sold as an option that can be selected during checkout. There will be other options such as a ventilated top cover (for using more standard CPU coolers), solid cover (for use with my custom cooler), and an optional bracket that's used to install two more 3.5" drives for those not needing the space for a graphics card. Example: HTPC users content with on-board graphics but wouldn't mind two additional 3.5" drives for mass media storage. This amounts to a total of three 3.5" drives and you still have room for a 2.5" SSD.
Update, questions, and teaser pic...
The extrusion FINALLY came. Now I can get this production proto rolling. Also my hook up came through with the injection molding which dropped the switch/LED assembly costs considerably. Have to compete right? Every bit help.
Question for you guys. Pay attention to dimension. The current chassis is 13.5(w)x12.5(d)x3.5(h)" which is revised from the original 12.5x12.5x3" to accommodate for 2 fans, more HDD options, and to account for a wire clearance issue with the gfx card. At this point in time it would be easy to make the adjustments to allow for an ATX power supply. The main reason I'm considering this is due to the high cost of a quality mATX supply. To fit an ATX unit, the chassis size would increase to 14~14.5(w) x 13.5(d) x 4"(h). I'm deviating from my origlnal design because I keep stuffing more options into it, but, the ATX supply would be significantly more alluring to people.
Do it? Opinions?
For me personally, i wouldnt increase the size, as it would just put it closer in size to other similar competing products in the htpc/small gaming case. The allure of this case is its size and ability to fit a flagship graphics card and cpu in the smallest size possible.
Unless of course you plan to offer 2 variants of the case. One the smaller size and one the atx psu size. Which depending on how you want to go about it, could be a good idea.
Nice work so far though
I'm considering 3 variations. The design allows me to do this with little to no re-tooling cost. A model line-up could consist of the smallest model supporting an ITX board (not limited to Atom-based), 1U (flex) 300w PSU, one 3.5, one 2.5, and slim optical, 10(w)x11?(d)x2.5"(h)" depending on drive configuration. Next is a medium model which is the current design, 13.5(w)x12.5(d)x3.5(h)". The largest model could support an ATX PSU, two 3.5, one 2.5, slim optical, two 80mm case fans, can support dual-GPU cards like the HD6990 and would be 14(w)x13.5(d)x4(h)". Wouldn't that make for a tasty little ITX gamer?
found your post on google, looking for similar gaming mini itx projects.
I have a similar project in mind, to build the smallest gaming mini itx possible. I'm not planning going commercial with it, just building one for myself. Right now the case is in SketchUp drawing phase.
The case you are building was one of the two variants i had in mind, at least when it comes to exterior dimensions. But it's not the smallest possible. The other variant, the one i plan to build, is the one you can see in the pictures bellow. I have not finished the Sketchup drawing of the casing, it's only a mock-up and i've not decided on how all the case panels will mount together...
The total case dimensions should be: 6.8"(H) x 4.7"(W) x 12.5"(D); standard 2 slots video card cooler and 60mm total height for cpu cooler. Direct air path, positive pressure only. Perfect cooling, no dust, but also no noise reduction.
-no optical drive, as i don't need one anymore (everything i have is on usb sticks or external hdds)
-the video card is connected with a 16x pci express flexible extension card; i bought one like this and replaced the cable with an ~8 inch longer one. Tested and it works fine, no performance or stability issues.
-only room for 2x 2.5" drives (maybe 3, i don't know exactly), but it's fine for me, as i plan to use an SSD for the OS and programs: one 128 GB SSD and one 1 TB 2.5" hdd.
-the video card can be as long as 11", with any standard 2 slot default cooling. But i plan to use a Scythe Setsugen 2 cooler, the only 2 slot custom gpu cooler that i know of. Direct air path.
-for the CPU i plan to use a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 cooler, with its slim fan. Maximum cooler height should be no more than 60mm. But the decision on this is not final, maybe i'll add ~0.5" to the case height, to accommodate a normal 120mmx25mm fan. Direct air path, the air will be pushed by positive pressure alone, to the sides of the case (haven't decided yet where the exhaust slots should be, maybe only to the back).
-SFX PSU (400w-450W by Fortron or Silverstone).
-custom shorter cables everywhere, including for the PSU. I don't think you can hide the default PSU cables without increasing the length of the case by an inch or so. I plan to replace the fan also, so it's not a problem for me, but could be for a commercial case.
This is the absolute smallest possible mini itx system that accepts a full length powerful video card, by total volume. I've tried several other positions of these components, but this is the most compact one with little to no space wasted. The case could stand vertical, with no legs, or orizontal, but with legs, so the video card can get some air from below.
Ha! Nice to see in picture my idea of putting the GPU under the motherboard tray...
Show me a dozen smaller designs and I'll show you a dozen reasons why it's not ideal. I've had this in development for over 2 years with dozens of prototypes to test. Some designs worked better then others. I settled on a design that offered good cooling performance AND was cost effective to reproduce in large quantity. The latter was more work then designing it.
PCI flex extensions do have issues. I've tested many of them with many different graphics cards. Some cards would work ok, some are unstable, some won't work at all.
Good luck with your project. If you need any ideas, look my up.
By the way... with 4.92" allowed for psu depth, plus 1.2" for the AC plug, You should have 6.12" min. from the front edge of the mobo to the front of the chassis. That's plenty of room for a 3.5" drive using 90deg connectors. There's also the problem of the PSU's DC cables hitting the mobo or the cooler depending on where they come out of the psu you intend to use.
Have you tried something similar to my design? Any problems with cooling? I haven't tested my design, only in theory. I thought that if every component draws fresh air directly from outside, it shouldn't have any problems. The air will be forced inside and pushed outside (positive pressure inside the case). That works for the Xbox 360 slim, for example. But that's in theory, i could be wrong.
Anyway, i don't want to hijack your thread with my design, i just have the same goal as you. Could you post a pic of the inside of your case, please? I'm curious to where and how you've placed the psu and hdds. And if the GPU is facing down, how is the cooling? Is there enough room under the video card and the bottom of the case?
Could you please elaborate on this? I'm very, very interested in this, since my whole design depends on a flexible 16x pcie cable. I only tested my cable with a nvidia 560 TI video card and it worked fine. Why do you think some of your cards didn't worked? I'm guessing all your video cards were using pci express 16x, right? Different cables helped or it didn't matter? A problem of length maybe? Or not enough shielding on the ribbon cable, a problem of quality? After all, if the normal riser cards work fine (as i assume from your design), then it's something to do with the ribbon cable used in flexible riser cards, but what?
That will add to the height of the case and i want to avoid that. The sfx psu in my sketchup is using a normal 80mm fan, not a slim one as that used in the Silverstone psu. Even with the lower height of the Silverstone sfx psu, the 3.5" drive will still rise the height of the case. Not to mention it will create a heat hazard there. It could fit in front of the video card, in the bottom chamber, maybe there you meant and i didn't understand. If so, than yes, there's space there, but only with that video card, any longer video card would not fit. And i was planning to use a part of that space for some front usb connectors and a power button.
I know, i will shorten the cables as much as i can and maybe move the psu a little bit, to make room there.
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