Bonzanego's Project: MorningStar

bonzanego

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This new Shuttle XPC based project was kindly sponsored by Modaholic.com. The bulk of the worklog will be featured on thier new site in the coming weeks.
Modaholic.com provided a brand new Athlon 64 Shuttle XPC and Athlon 64 Winchester CPU.

This Project began life in the pages of my sketchbooks. It was keeping the
Satan's Deuce project company for a long time. Now out of spite it has been bugging the crap out of me to be built also.

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This will be the 3rd Shuttle I have built and this one is the most complex of the 3
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It has some very nice lines and these flip down doors are really sleek.
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Throughout this project i will be showing the original drawing with red outlines around the various parts of the case. These will coincide with the images of each part as it is being constructed.

The main engine body is a plywood box that has been covered in foam and fiberglass, filled and sanded smooth in a lathe. The shuttle chassis is housed here.
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One of the ideas for this mod is to create a contrast between the base/stand and the actual turbine. The Turbine will be finished with automotive paint and clearcoat. the stand and base are made from various woods and plastics and will be finished in traditional furniture finishing techniques. The wood and painted surface of the turbine should create a very complimentary contrast when viewed as a whole.


The base is made from black Walnut. This wood is very special, it is over 300 years old. The top of the base plate is a single 14"wide 1" thick board, the tree it was cut from was massive to yield a clean, sapwood-free board this size.
Normally large planks are made by gluing smaller strips of wood together to form a wide plank ( like a table top), however the major drawback to this is the grain of the various boards does not line up or match and visible lines appear where the joints are. Boards of this width are very scarce, usually wide boards can suffer from warping if not dried or stored properly, which makes them even harder to find in usable condition.
The base plate is tapered from front to back. the front is 2" thick narrowing to 1" thick in the back. The top was cut out and inlayed to create the design you see in the photos. The base is 25" long and 14" wide.
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The edges of the plank were cut down to 45 degrees with a router then shaped with handtools and sandpaper into gentle rounded edges.
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jodonnell

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Sep 15, 2004
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:eek: Wow, that looks pretty ambitious! I look forward to seeing how this progresses. :D

It would be amusing if you found yourself awash in free time and decided to build a 4 box cluster in this fashion, then hook them up to a scale model 747 :p
 

altec

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Little cheap don't you think? Just putting a shuttle in a work of art like that? You should use M-ATX board. But none the less that thing is a work of art * :eek: *.
 

mpcamer1220

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jodonnell said:
:eek: Wow, that looks pretty ambitious! I look forward to seeing how this progresses. :D

It would be amusing if you found yourself awash in free time and decided to build a 4 box cluster in this fashion, then hook them up to a scale model 747 :p
That would be pretty freakin cool...
 

bonzanego

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Little cheap don't you think? Just putting a shuttle in a work of art like that? You should use M-ATX board
Trying to replicate the scale of the shuttle with random parts is really inefficient, the purpose of the turbine body it so relocate some things away from the shuttle itself and dual 120mm fans one up front and one in back to lower internal temps. The turbine itself will be functionally moving air from front to back through the shuttle chassis.
 

mpcamer1220

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Can't wait to see the finished product! You must be pretty busy with this and then making fan grills and the other Duece cases....
 

Qtip42

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Ya bonz, get jiggy with it and take that shuttle case out and mount the hardware yourself :D

j/k looks fun.
 

Sheldog23

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Qtip42 said:
Ya bonz, get jiggy with it and take that shuttle case out and mount the hardware yourself :D
.
Are you going to take the parts out of the shuttle and mount them? It would be a shame if you didn't.
 

bonzanego

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As for everyone suggesting taking the hardware out of the shuttle, it will actually be more space efficient to keep it where it is and just redo the frontpanel.
Agreed. The face plate wont be inside the final piece. The height of the turbine, means that wether the pc is on the floor or a desk it is high enough to be grabbing cleaner air and not dust bunnies.

The hardware stays in the chassis period. At some point the hardware may need to be serviced, a part replaced, cleaned etc. Opening up the ends of the turbine and being able to remove the hardware needs to be simple and easy. At the end of the day it is still a desktop pc or HTPC and must retain the ease of use present in the original design or my changes cease to be improvments and become obsticles to the user. Someone besides me might own this pc one day and it cannot be a rubik's cube to try and figure out how the thing comes apart. It is hard enough to get your hands into a shuttle chassis when it is sitting out in the open, can you imagine changing ram by reaching in through only the front of the square opening of the turbine body?

This is a modification to an existing case not a scratch built, the deuce is built in a similar vein, mostly additive sculpture with a splash of subtractive sculpture.
To me a "modification" involves using a ceratin amount of the original pc/chassis. Shuttle has spent an insane amount of money on engineering and design to layout the hardware in a stable framework, throwing that out the window and starting over is just silly. The purpose of this new case is to look better for one and to improve the running temps of the hardware. The new shape also allows me to hide/relocate all the wiring and add a bus controller to the base.
 

Sheldog23

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Actually the opposite might be more true.

If you made a removable HD rack and simalar things for the HD, PSU and CD. Not only would getting rid of the chassis free up space for air flow. But The removable racks would make it easier to service.

I know you are going to do more to it though like move the power switches and other things I'm sure, and maybe I am a little crazy, but putting a whole case inside another case doesn't seem like case modding to me. Its like a fancy holder for a case?
 

zeusenergy

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Sheldog23 said:
Are you going to take the parts out of the shuttle and mount them? It would be a shame if you didn't.
That's what I was thinking. But then again, I've been at my SFF mod for how many months now??! I think he's gonna finish this one in a pretty quick way due to all the cosmetics added rather than a fully custom arrangement.
 

bonzanego

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If you made a removable HD rack and similar things for the HD, PSU and CD. Not only would getting rid of the chassis free up space for air flow. But The removable racks would make it easier to service.
The bare chassis is pretty hollow in stock form and will be more so after I relieve it of some exteraneous metal.
I fail to see how individual racks could be easier than pulling the naked chassis out with all hardware attached in one motion. Besides all that the plan is to relocate all the rear connections so they terminate out of the rear of the base plate, meaning the turbine can be lifted off its stand with no visible wires. An amphenol plug between the base and turbine provides the seamless connection between the 2 structures.

Its like a fancy holder for a case
Thats pretty much what all cases are, some just look better than others. You could say the same thing for any chassis based mod. I equate it to building a car from scratch including the chassis and body, or modifying an existing car like the first hotrods. This being the latter. I tend to think the turbine will look quite nice as "holder" while it is running my hometheater as opposed to a stock black shuttle box.
 

bonzanego

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pffft.... way overpriced for a 172mm fan
That fan is gigantic! but my blueprint drawing has been scaled around 120mm so i cannot change it now.


Here is another smaller part of the base, i made this from the cutting scraps that were removed from the original 14" wide board.
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Walnut has such pretty shades of deep purple and chocolate in the grain, I can't wait to see it sealed and laquered.
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This piece will be mortised to accept the stand.
 

Qtip42

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mashie said:
This seems to be yet another nice case from you bonz.

As for everyone suggesting taking the hardware out of the shuttle, it will actually be more space efficient to keep it where it is and just redo the frontpanel.


You have a thing for shuttle cases don't you mashie? :D
 

JamesM

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Aug 12, 2005
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Very interesting idea... although I do agree more should be done internally (and I'm sure even better air flow could be achieved in doing so), I'm also sure this is going to make a very nice decorative case/stand/thingy that anyone would be proud to have sat next to them.

Keep up the good work Bonz :D
 
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It's been mentioned already, but can be said again. Put a huge fan in its front, mimicing a jet engine. That would be so cool :) Can't wait for the next update.

/subscribed



PekkerCadette out :cool:
 

Tyklfe

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Looking very interesting so far - can't wait to see where this goes.
 

bonzanego

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Thanks for the stickie! And thanks to Steve for putting the log on the front page a few days ago.


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The stand and cradle are roughed out now. They are cast urethane from cardboard molds. The stand will be painted white to match the striping in the base and the cradle will either be veneered to match the base or covered in aluminum, not sure which yet. The base will have a skirt of aluminum to make it appear a bit thicker and make room for all the relocated ports from the back of the shuttle to the back of the base. so I am thinking aluminum on the cradle will accent that trim or if it is veneered in walnut, aluminum rivets around the edge to accent the skirt.
There is a hole in the stand and cradle to run wiring through to the base.
There is still some sanding and shaping to do and boring out the holes in the stand also.
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Is it heavy? You bet your sweet ass it is.
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Is it big? Yeah, but only about the height of a full tower, certainly wider though.
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Front bezel is up next.
 

jodonnell

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You mentioned earlier that you filled the fiberglass - was that to get out the low spots? What did you use for that, Bondo? Thanks, this is looking great :)
 

bonzanego

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The bezel for this project has proven much easier than that of the Satan's deuce project. ( you would never guess looking at the bezel it was made from paper and cardboard molds) There are fewer angles and curves to worry about getting straight. The only tricky part is getting the inner curve of the leading edge to match up all the way around, a big round file helps accomplish that. The part is pictured here with only a light sanding, there is still more material to remove around the leading edge and final sanding to line up the seams where the bezel meets the case body. The mold was nearly perfect so the seams will only require very minor touching up.
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It is very importain that the inside of the bezel be perfectly round so the turbine blades turn freely and leave a uniform gap at thier edge.
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Elledan

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Before you put on that bezel I felt almost disappointed with the way it looked compared to the sketch, but now that it's taking shape my faith in your skills has been restored :D
 

rogue_jedi

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is the turbine in the front going to be functional or just spin? (powered or not)

awesome project so far.
i'm invincible!
 

bonzanego

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is the turbine in the front going to be functional or just spin? (powered or not)
It will function in a passive way, i want it to turn at a reasonable speed like a tubine at idle. Man that would suck if it just sat there static seems like a waste to build all that only to not have it move.


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The tail of the turbine is roughed out now. The steep angle made this piece much more difficult to create than the bezel.
There is still quite a bit of surface sanding to be done on both pieces to make all the seams even. The exhaust tube is next and it is mounted inside the tail section as pictured in the drawing.
As I get closer to completeing the body of MornignStar I am trying to decide what to make the turbone blades out of. Plastic and metal are obvious choices, but I was thinking about making them from wood to match the base. The wood is an unexpected material and would compliment the base, have to think about it more as it gets closer to time to make the parts.
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dropper

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Although wood would be and interesting choice, it would ruin the "illusion" of the engine. I think the more it looks like a real turbine, the better. I would say you should go with plastic, for lightness. Maybe paint the counter-swirl like the big jets do on the blades.

Keith H.
 

Ozone77

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If you are making a "turbine" you need al blades to be exactly the same, the only way to do that is to make a cast that you can reuse to make all the blades.

Well, i suppose it really depends on the speed that the blades will rotate at, if they are slow enough, it won't matter.
 

bonzanego

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Although wood would be and interesting choice, it would ruin the "illusion" of the engine. I think the more it looks like a real turbine, the better. I would say you should go with plastic, for lightness. Maybe paint the counter-swirl like the big jets do on the blades.

I think what I will do is make the nose cone out of wood and make the blades out of polished aluminum. As for them being all the same, I am making a jig to ensure they are all the same size, shape and have the same amount of curvature.
 

RD

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heh, its one of the most creative mods i've seen so far. its art, not just a pc.

i'm receiving some new grilles from bonzanego soon - i just think his stuff is way before its time - its really seminal and i am certain will have a lasting impact on pc modding for years.

this one is really sweet, it should be in a museum, its beautiful so far.
 

nighthawke

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Feb 27, 2005
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:eek: Man, 300 year old black walnut... I'd be a nervous nellie just applying sandpaper to a piece of wood that old and that good looking. :eek:

Don't skimp on the finish now dude! Give it some of the old school treatment. :D :D
 

Tyklfe

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The Alum blades with the wooden cone sounds like a great comprimise, keep up the good work!
 
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