5.56 Ammo Can Server

Discussion in 'Worklogs' started by tmclaugh, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Well supposedly I'm going to Afghanistan this coming December, and damnit, I can't leave my T.V. shows, Music, etc @ home or on a non redundant drive that can fail. So I decided that I will throw together an ammo can P.C. that is extremely portable, rugged, and I won't care when it gets scratched. This first model is for my Dad and is a prototype. So this one will be painted up all pretty. I found that the Mini ITX Intel Mobo fits snugly into the closed ammo can. I will have to test this when I put together the framing, but I'm fairly confident it will hold up.


    You can see the small PSU I have in the picture above. Unfortunately I cannot make that fit with two 3.5" HDs, so I'm most likely going to get a 12V ITX adapter in the 200W range. This PC will have two mirrored 320's, but the one I travel with will most likely have mirrored 1TB's.

    [​IMG]

    I will have the mobo recessed with wires extending to the rear of the case. (Left hand side) The only wires going out will be Wireless connection, USB connectors, VGA, ethernet, and Sound. I want to cut down on this so I can make it somewhat weather resistant, also I can put the connectors where I want and not how the mobo is laid out. So I will be using a VGA splitter, and putting output for both a DVI and VGA connection (both still only analog) so I can use whatever is available.



    Next I will have it either attached to a wireless network or administering one (thanks to PCLINUXOS!) so I have a USB wireless adapter that will allow for an external antenna.



    I have to resolder the connector because I broke it while it was connected to a laptop...

    The main problem I have now is that I don't know how to accurately cut through the case. I think that the dremel does not have enough power, and may not be very accurate. (Those fiberglass wheels are pretty big for what they need to cut)

    This is about all I have today, tomorrow I hope to sand it down, prime it, and get the framework built using "L stock." I will be closely following Monk3y's similar post for ideas, since he seems to have a hella better idea of what to do. Anyone with ideas on how to do this better, let me hear them.
    Thanks:D


    1/7/08

    So I've made some progress, but most of that was learning.

    Here I got the largest part of the sanding done. I'm going to go over it with a smaller sander to make sure I get everything off, but now the bulk is done.


    Also, my frame changed a couple times.

    [​IMG]

    Initially I was going fab my own frame piece by piece, but the Hoobie thought we should make 90 degree cuts in the metal and bend out a square. We spent some time making that not work, so eventually I just got a piece of aluminum or steel from Menards and we started the frame around that.



    This will hopefully fit in there perfectly with very little room to spare. I just ordered a Bulgin switch for the switch. This will hopefully give it a nice clean look.

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/1905/ele-71/Green_Illuminated_Bulgin_Style_Vandal_Switch_-_Silver_Housing_-_Ring_Illumination.html#blank

    Next I will finish sanding and then begin fabbing the ammo can, as well as figuring out a way to make the board slide in and out.

    UPDATE 6/5/08

    Yes, I know - I'm speedy Gonzales...
    I've been doing a lot of work and learned a lot of lessons.

    This is my epoxied frame
    [​IMG]

    The goal is to weld a steel form of this with some possible adjustments - but for now it may work. Epoxy is really cool and all, except it just cannot take the stress a good weld can. Hoobie7 is going to get a 220V drop so we can start playing around with that idea.

    Next I have a pic of the mounted PSU. This isn't what I would perfer to do, however there were time and budget constraints that prevented me from getting the pico psu. I'll save it for ver 2.0.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    UPDATE 6/25/08


    Okay, back to the drawing board. I decided to actually map this out and try to have a plan instead of winging it and repeatedly screwing it up. So here is what I'm looking at with Google Sketchup. I canted the board because it was way too close when the top of the can was closed. If anyone has any welding advice for my frame I would appreciate it. I have no idea how to weld so... we'll see how that goes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you think. I know the measurements are a little off.

    Update - Cut out some of the unnecessary pics
     
  2. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    I just received my Bulgin switch for $40 w/ cables from FrozenCPU.com. Paid way to much I know. I am currently ordering a slimline CD Drive adapter to IDE for $7.50 so that will be here within a week. I am working with sketch up to get a model of how everything will fit. Speaking of witch I will be going with Seagate drives. I'm not sure what they are called, but they are half the height of regular 3.5" drives.
    But that's all I have.
     
  3. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Just got my slim cdrom to ide adapter, so I can start working on ways to mount it. Any ideas?
     
  4. cesium666

    cesium666 [H]ardness Supreme

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    looks good! can't mod worth shit so can't help you there :p
     
  5. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Haven't given up yet, still working on the details... money is tight so I can't be out buying the connectors at $10 a piece right now.
     
  6. ToX

    ToX Limp Gawd

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    what about mounting the slim cd rom to the underside of the lid of the ammo can(if it will even fit there)? is that a possible consideration? kinda hard to tell how the space is going to be once everything is in there without being able to have it in front of me
     
  7. swatbat

    swatbat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Looks interesting.

    Good luck
     
  8. annaconda

    annaconda [H]ardForum Junkie

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  9. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    I think I'm going with your idea, except I may use a full size DVD drive. I'll know as soon as I get the frame finished. By the way I finally got a real job so expect progress soon.
     
  10. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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  11. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Yeah... One cracked frame later = Welding class. Also can anyone recommend a good linux distro that would work well as an independent Wireless Access Point? I'm going to try Mint - PCLinuxOS is turning out to have to many issues.
     
  12. Logan321

    Logan321 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Have you considered having the ammo can lid open when you are using the pc, and closed for transport? That way you could just build a cover that goes over the opening with a air tunnel, a fan, and any and all ports you required exposed. When you're done using it, just unplug, close the cover and you won't be worried about dust or whatever getting inside.

    like so... (fear my mad doodles)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. best [486]

    best [486] Limp Gawd

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  14. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Those are some mad doodles!

    I'm hoping to have this case be water and dust proof, so I don't want anything to be open and exposed. That's funny because of the power supply I have in there now... I know. This was the proof of concept model before I got crazy serious with the spending. I'm going to go with a ITX PSU and a bunch of water tight bulgin port covers. I did learn that the mobo needs to be canted at a slight angle to achieve the water tight seal, and once the PSU is removed there will be room for two to three hard drives with one set mirrored.

    I do want to eventually build a "fat .50 cal can" box, but really want to finish a project I started. Plus I need this particular project to be small and portable. I am going to work on my own mad doodles and try to plan things out a little better.

    Does anyone know a good Linux Distro?

    Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming.
     
  15. NoobToast

    NoobToast Limp Gawd

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    definably use unbuntu. I have no clue if i spelled that right. :p
     
  16. xdivenx

    xdivenx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ubuntu is the proper spelling =p, and its a great general purpose distro. Just make sure you install all the codecs for media before you go over there, because they don't come with the os, you have to download them with synaptic package manager.
     
  17. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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  18. jmroberts70

    jmroberts70 2[H]4U

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    Looks interesting. Subscribed!
     
  19. best [486]

    best [486] Limp Gawd

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    You have the "fat 50" box ;) which had linked 5.56, it's commonly called that because it is a .50 caliber can only a bit wider, .50 can is only 5 3/4 wide [across the opening in the top with the latch towards you]

    And i made a ghettoer version of yours with the .50 can here and if I can only afford a picopsu I'll try putting one in a 30 cal. ammocan [ 3 1/2 inches across, and the other dimensions are about the same]
     
  20. TheGardenTool

    TheGardenTool 2[H]4U

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    Well at least you'll have a few months to settle in before next year's spring offensive.

    It looks cool and I should do something like that. I was considering making a small form factor and painting it ACU/DCU or something to take with me to the desert next year but I think I'll skimp out and take a notebook instead. This is a much better idea until someone asks why the hell you are hoarding a can of 5.56 rounds next to your rack.
     
  21. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Yeah, I can't wait for the countless questions of how I obtained the can itself. I took the proof of concept to drill and let's just say there are people who still worry a little too much. (By the EBAY) I'm also taking a notebook myself, but I wanted to have a centralized location to share media, training docs, music, etc. from.

    Also, for anyone else checking out mini itx boards - the Intel Little Valley board has issues with linux. It can work, but the time and effort is worth the extra $100 or so for a really decent VIA.

    On another note, I'm checking out Linux Mint and was wondering if anyone knew of any decent programs that would configure my wireless card as a hotspot? PCLinuxOS had a really easy user interface, but Linux Mint (Ubuntu w/Gnome right?) seems to be lacking with wireless options. Also, I'm looking for a program that will check my IP and then e-mail it to me when it changes, so I can remote in while still stateside.
     
  22. compslckr

    compslckr [H]ardForum Junkie

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    this is a cool project, i am subscribing to your thread.
     
  23. quisman

    quisman [H]Lite

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    I'll take the ammo from the can for my m4 please :)
    Hope it all works out good for you, and good luck to you across the water.
     
  24. Faction

    Faction The Chairman

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    I love the idea but I feel you might run into some thermal issues with the motherboard placed that way.
     
  25. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Old case became the mock up case

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yay! Economic Stimulus is giving me money... Actually I'm waiting on a travel voucher... Then the real fun begins. Anyway, I stole some of Hoobie's modders mesh, and got my Arduino in with some random other stuff.

    I also picked up some "big beefy feet" from Performance-PCs.com.

    I'm thinking I will put down lexan or some type of acrylic under the mesh and then a metal plate under that (to attach to the frame) with which I will control LEDs drilled into the lexan with an Arduino. I'm going to order waterproof USB connectors, waterproof ethernet connectors and caps next week.

    Also I agree with Faction about the thermal issues and have decided to incorporate keeping the lid open. The pair of 60 mm fans will be mirrored on the other end as well as having a HD inbetween them. I'm going to attempt and stick four hard drives in there and see how temp. works out...:eek:

    I'm looking at setting up the Pico PSU 200W, only problem is that you have to mod a dell laptop brick to use it's potential.

    More to come. Hopefully I'll get welding done this week, or at least a lot of learning mixed with money down the tube.

    BTW check out my roommates website. He's doing a DIY projector, pretty neat. www.hoobie7.com
     
  26. Black-Tom

    Black-Tom Limp Gawd

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    Just fyi, hoobie7.net didn't work for me, but hoobie7.com did after a google search.

    Definitely a cool project, I can't wait to see it come together
     
  27. tmclaugh

    tmclaugh Limp Gawd

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    Changed, thanks!