Projects  |  Guides  |  Gallery  |  Articles  |  Contact

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5

Page Two: Project 'TroyBoX -  09/19/08 Update

    I have so far tried to keep this project in line with my last as much as possible because the last one was simply designed and it works so well, but the last one did not have a video card to deal with and that poses new problems.  I tried cutting down the piece of corner angle next to the video card, in the following picture you can see the 1/2" pieces of Alum Angle in the two corners. The cut Alum Angle corner piece I made provides little structural support and is therefore less than ideal, it will not be used.

    I got a way better idea how to make this all work, I removed the two screw mounts and took the video card entirely off its metal retainer... no warranties voided so far.

    I cut a piece of one inch corner Alum Angle to height and then measured and marked the spots that needed to be removed to fit the video card.  Notice the tight fit of the main board back cover plate against the three Alum Angle sides, nice and snug... so far so good.

    It took me three tries making this particular Alum Angle piece to get it to fit into the corner and around the video card properly, it still isn't absolutely perfect which kind of annoys me, but it's close enough and won't really be seen in back.  It's a lot better design using the 1" Alum Angle instead of the shaved down 1/2" corner piece I'd made, definitely better structural support anyway.

09/26/08 Update...

    I decided to make all of the Alum Angle corner support pieces beefier, the 1/4" pieces I'd planned to use will be cut down for outside corner edging.  Doing this will make the whole thing sturdier with the only downside being the added width might make hardware installation difficult, which matters because this PC must be serviceable/upgradeable.

    I plan to make this PC in two pieces, divided top and bottom.  The bottom section will have the main board, video card and LCD attached.  The top section will house the DVD burner, hard drive and power supply and it will be screwed down instead of riveted.  I cut another piece of MeshX for the top and used some duct tape to hold it all together.

    Below is the first test fit of the hobbled together top, I still have a bit of cutting to do on it to fit the DVD burner and LCD screen, but so far so good.  It's coming together well so it won't be too much longer before I can start throwing down some rivets.

10/01/08 Update...

    Ok, it's time to rename this thing because I want it to be more Google unique, "Project Mofo" hits hardest as Frank Zappa music... cool if this mod were a Zappa tribute, but it's not.  The gluttony image that will be used on both the top and side of the mod is shown below, it is the logo for my art business as well as my online avatar - the new official vanity infused mod name is 'Project: TroyBoX'.

    It seems that this is the mod to kill my tools, first a Dremel and now my nibbler.  The top nibbler shown in the picture below is dead... thankfully I had a backup ready to go.

    I started throwing down rivets, the bottom section is entirely set to go while the rivet together top is merely set on, I drilled side holes for the top rivets but have to wait to install them, doing it now means I won't be able to fit any hardware inside.

10/05/08 Update...

    Ok, other than mounting the LCD screen the bottom half is set to go, so I decided to concentrate on the top half.  Logic dictates that I start with the hardware closest to the top and work down, the slim slot load CDRW/DVD ROM is the top most hardware.  Below shows some aluminum flashing that I measured the CD drive onto, then I put a magazine beneath it while holding a ruler tightly on top of it and ran the pizza cutter tight up with the ruler to score and bend the aluminum flashing.

    The next picture shows the test fit, the aluminum tray sits too high compared to the height of the drive and still needs a bit more bending of the top edges, but so far so good.

    I cut a couple lengths of Alum Angle to support the drive tray I just made, drilled my holes and then rivet the whole thing together.  Everything lines up really well and the drive can go in and come out quite easily with the rear laptop adapter PCB removed.

    Below shows the top mocked up with the slot load drive installed, this thing just keeps looking more and more like a sweet little computer.  Truth told, the entire mod up to this point could be accomplished with a nine dollar nibbler, hand files and a drill.  So far on this mod I've used the nibbler more than any other tool, proving that you don't need a shop full of tools to do this kind of stuff.

10/08/08 Update...

    I want to finish mounting everything onto the bottom half of this so that I can more easily visualize parts placement and concentrate on fitting everything into the top half.  I used the nibbler to cut some 1" corner Alum Angle pieces for mounting the 6" LCD monitor, it was a process of fit, nibble, file, repeat.

    Below shows the LCD set into place for a mounting dry run...

    This next picture shows the back of the 6" LCD monitor rivet into place. 

    Here's a front shot of the monitor rivet down and ready to go.

    Back to the top section, the power supply needed to be mounted so I cut and drilled some Alum Angle pieces to make it happen.

    Below shows the top section with the CDRW/DVD ROM and PSU installed next to the bottom section with the main board, video card and 6" LCD monitor installed.  The laptop hard drive in the background is the only piece of hardware still needing to be installed.

    I puzzled for hours over how best to install the hard drive before coming up with a simple solution, below shows the top half of the mod wired up and ready.  After installing the hardware I tried to put the top on and it's going to need some pretty serious cable management before it will fit.

Project 'TroyBoX' - Mini ITX HTPC Mod -  Page 3