Any pelican case builds/mods?

Blakestr

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I'm working on a simulator for public safety (firefighting) and approaching the part where we actually need the machine we take to departments. Since this will require a high-end machine but needs to be portable, I was thinking one of those huge pelican cases.

(Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Pelican-1730...85319&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=pelican+case+1670 )

Ideally the goal would be to have something that has minimal setup time, perhaps some vents that could be slid open for airflow. I'm NOT worried about moisture/element protection, this will be used inside training rooms in A/C environments, not outside. Obviously there will be a cost vs benefit but my gold standard would be simply opening the box, sliding open air-vents, plugging in the power, and flipping up the monitor. Any thoughts?
 

Wizzard

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I thought about the same thing, to make a durable ad portable system.

My one shared idea is to keep the system SEALED from the outside - It's easy to build the system such that all ports are accessible at the top surface and ventlation is sufficient, once the case is open. Breaking the seal and drilling in all the holes makes such a mess and ruins the concept of using a environment-proof case.
 

Blakestr

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Aug 11, 2004
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I thought about the same thing, to make a durable ad portable system.

My one shared idea is to keep the system SEALED from the outside - It's easy to build the system such that all ports are accessible at the top surface and ventlation is sufficient, once the case is open. Breaking the seal and drilling in all the holes makes such a mess and ruins the concept of using a environment-proof case.

I don't mind breaking the seal but the problem is that there seems to be an all-or-nothing approach to cases. Either they are built to withstand a hurricane or they aren't built at all. I want the case that protects it when you drop it but isn't rated the water protection. I'll have to check other sources, but I imagine there is one dude who has done a case mod like what we're talking about...
 

Bandalo

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How "high-end" are you talking? And exactly how much abuse are you expecting it to need to take?
 

Blakestr

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How "high-end" are you talking? And exactly how much abuse are you expecting it to need to take?

Build includes high-end, so probably a 1080, as well as the VIVE components. Probably 3k worth of hardware. Just the frequent moving from one station to another and back home.
 

rastaban

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Jul 30, 2011
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That would be a sweet build. You'd probably need some kind of support structure to keep the VGA in place though since the PCIe slot would be the weakest link if the case sustains impact.
 

Koween

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May 24, 2012
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I'd mount the card independently with a slot extender ribbon to prevent exactly that issue.
I wanted to say the same - had a friend kill two gtx970 cards in his pc that he uses in his truck - the vibration chewed through most of the contact pads on the pcie connector on the card. After switching to a pcie extender the problem went away.
I would also use an AIO cooler to have as little mass as possible attached to the motherboard - essentially, I'd try to have all of the heavier components to be attached to something other than the motherboard.
 

Guarana [BAWLS]

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On that idea:

Grab a pelican case that's larger than the computer components will be.
Build a frame offset from the front of the case to put a couple case fans in, blowing towards the components.
Intel board, MATX or ITX would be easiest to install.
Side mount the Radiator on a frame for exhaust
Separately mount a Video card. (Preferably with a front case fan pointing at it)
Have a second frame offset from the back for exhaust space.
Cover the entire rig with a sheet of Plexi for airflow control and safety of the items.
 

RazorWind

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Feb 11, 2001
Messages
4,075
I'm working on a simulator for public safety (firefighting) and approaching the part where we actually need the machine we take to departments. Since this will require a high-end machine but needs to be portable, I was thinking one of those huge pelican cases.

(Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Pelican-1730...85319&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=pelican+case+1670 )

Ideally the goal would be to have something that has minimal setup time, perhaps some vents that could be slid open for airflow. I'm NOT worried about moisture/element protection, this will be used inside training rooms in A/C environments, not outside. Obviously there will be a cost vs benefit but my gold standard would be simply opening the box, sliding open air-vents, plugging in the power, and flipping up the monitor. Any thoughts?

I have a similar application. I do airborne surveying using LiDAR and hyperspectral imaging systems. When the airplane lands, we have multiple terabytes of data that we spent all day and thousands of dollars collecting that we need to back up and do some fairly gnarly processing on. The meant I need two huge, physically separate storage devices, plus a powerful workstation PC, all of which are capable of surviving rough handling. This was my solution:

lidar1.jpg

lidar2.jpg


We call it Goliath. Those are Pelican-Hardigg 'Blackbox' ruggedized racks with an Antec 4U (but otherwise regular ATX) server chassis in the top one, and Norco SAS enclosures in the bottom. The Pelican racks are great, but you have to be careful about the rails you get, because they appear to be meant for audio equipment, vs. computers, as they have little threaded holes, and not the square ones that IT equipment rails usually seem to be designed for. I had to get some adapters to get the rails to fit.

Setup and teardown takes maybe 20 or 30 minutes. The racks are heavy, and realistically require two people to stack like the photos show, and the ends have a lot of latches that are kind of fiddly. One end of each case has a set of wheels, though, so they can be rolled around like luggage. In your case, it sounds like you only need one case, which would significantly shorten the setup and teardown.

Pelican offers these cases for about $900 apiece, but they also have another, similar line that is customizable. You can get them in different colors or sizes, so you could conceivably get 5U unit for the PC case plug a rackmount monitor. That would eliminate the need to haul around a separate monitor.
 
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We built a couple of PCs with I5 Mini ITX boards and touch screen into a Peli iM2600 case. It was fitted externally with Amphenol waterproof connectors. The thing weighed a bloody ton when finished.

After about a year of use and a number of overheating problems, we mothballed it and replaced the system with a Getac X500 portable server. It was significantly lighter and more reliable.

We gutted one of the Peli cases and foam lined it to provide a travelling case for the Getac when flying with it.
 
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