ON3 Up....

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Worklog: ON3 UP
Hey, ppl.... The original plans for the Railgun mod were mostly scrapped but some of them were used as an inspiration. The parts I bought for the Railgun will be used here: Biostar SFF socket A, 2500+ barton, 1 GB Corsair DDR-400, Nvidia 6800 NU 128 MB, 80 GB Seagate HDD, and a plain sony DVD reader. I added an LCD 4x20 display to the parts pile along with a 17" 16ms LCD, Zippy EL-620 backlit mini-keyboard, and MX-1000 laser mouse. What I am building must be the smallest footprint, and portable as it will be a LAN gaming rig. Laugh at the specs if you want, but damn- Half-Life 2 and Doom 3 kick serious boo-tay in 1280x 1024!

The design includes a fully scratch-built aluminum frame with clear acrylic covers, which will be painted ala Framed/RaQ2 style. But now I have an airbrush and etching gun! MwahaaaHaaa. Now things like "Real Flames" can be accomplished. It might be a White/Green flame on a black background. And of course there will be masked sections in the acrylic, to provide windows into certain portions. But what gets showed off will also be unique, since both the SFF motherboard area and the backside of the AGP 6800 NU will have acrylic covers attached. Windows will also live in these pieces, as well as cutouts for RAM, FHS, and Northie heatsink. All of the wiring except some on the front of the AGP card (see pix below) will be covered as well, accessable by removing the mobo cover, with a few thumscrews. And that's just the BACK of the case! The external covers allow for full access into the case. It will stand on end and have a footprint of 10" square on a desk. A handle will be built into the upright supports of the frame extending down to the tips of the four legs, all one piece for each side. These legs will be bent outward slightly for a much more three-dimentional appearance. Every piece of aluminum except the center mount plate will have rounded corners. (And they may possibly have "jagged" edges like you were looking at them in a low-resolution picture, pixelated. The acrylic covers might also get this treatment, and that would mean each seam would have to match the adjacent panel! I have to look into this idea a bit more but the general design of the whole package is pretty much set in stone.)

My original idea for the powered opening on the railgun became a beginning for what was to come. This mod will have four separate covers, all powered. Two side covers move out and up away from the main framework. They split in the middle of the front of the machine and have two control arms each. All of the control arms will be made from aluminum stock 1/4" thick or better, as well as the whole frame. A lower section in front and back each covered in acrylic moves down together exposing the lower sections of the case. This happens in unison via a see-saw design of the lower control arms attached to the side covers. A secondary result of this design is minimal motor strain, allowing for a swift opening motion from having counterweight. The port area is under the case and partially covered by the skirt from an overlap of the side covers and front/rear covers. A 4x20 MX424 Matrix Orbital (display/fanbus/temp monitor/GPO) has been purchased (it's worth the $110, so many options and settings!) and it will live inside the front lower cover, moving with the cover adding to the counterweight. All of the indicators will also live here, behind the black glass surrounding the LCD and invisible unless illuminated. A small two-temp VFD module is also hidden in the black glass, and switches between intake temps at the bottom of the case and temps at the exhaust of the power supply at the top of the case. An RF remote with three functions will be sourced for the opening and closing of the case along with eject/close DVD button. The original infrared sensor is hidden in the black paint, too, for quick syncing with my iPaQ RX3715 and additional control thru the RX3715 IR remote functions it came with. I'll be able to do emulate anything thru my PDA including full control of movies and music from a distance and also the afformentioned controls that live in the RF remote. This way even if the machine isn't booting, the RF remote can be used, but once booted in windoze I'll use the iPaQ. The RF remote will also integrate itself into the design somewhere, looking like a part of the case. Just a little sliver of acrylic you pull off the case leaving a hole. It might be part of the rear lower cover under the mobo/AGP area. The green flame job (if that's my final answer after building the hardware) will extend inside the windowed areas to combine with the mobo tray and AGP card cover.

But the front of the case also has its own set of layered panels: the DVD drive cover is also made from acrylic. It will be painted with whatever theme to match, too. It faces forward at the top of the case showing the DVD inside with the LCD and indicators in the powered cover panel below. Under the LCD panel is the hard drive, not windowed but painted for durability and matching appearance. Both the DVD and HDD will be removable by thumbscrews securing the custom brackets to the center mount plate at the middle of the case. Between this plate and the mobo mounting tray (from the original SFF case, allows for easier aluminum plate design and also serves to remove the whole mobo package with AGP card attached for access to the covers' transmission) will be the arms and links that operate the covers. Two modified servos act together, and they are mounted on either side of the HDD with no real room to spare. The servo drive spindles will be the only part of the servos to extend into the thin transmission section of the case, the backsides of each servo will be covered by acrylic or aluminum covers on the open HDD side. The power supply is attached to the top plate, and hangs down inside the case above the mobo cover. All wiring passes under the power supply and into either the mobo cover or routed to the front side of the case inside the top corner. From the front of the case, both IDE cables come from the top left, and go straight down the left side wall in the recess beside the DVD and HDD. In the right hand recess is the power wiring from the power supply on the other side of the case. All of the wiring is going to be modded to directly fit each device. You can see how this mantra has already started out, check out the pix of the AGP card that I just finished up. (Well, the acrylic cover on the back isn't done yet, but trust me, the frontside of the card took quite some time!)

The AGP card I started out with had a screenprinted cartoon creature on it like most. The cover with the design was removed and refinished in brushed aluminum. I was very glad this piece was aluminum starting out, it saved me from making a new piece. I attached heatsinks to the memory but one set of two chips was partly under the FHS. So I cut a notch in the heatsink to match the lines in the FHS. An acrylic piece was made to go between the aluminum cover and the FHS, slightly oversized. This border running along the edge of the aluminum cover is also frosted, so the custom mounted LED's will make it glow. Two LEDs are recessed into the back of the FHS along with a MX424 compatible thermoprobe. The three wire probe that the Matrix Orbital displays use are actually called 1-wire, since there is only one true wire that carries data, the other two are power and ground. These things are truly expensive, at $15 for a three-pack. They aren't very small either. I was forced into making holes in the FHS for the CPU and GPU. The third one will be for HDD temps, and it also will be inserted into a drilled hole in the HDD's aluminum body. Each one of these temp sensors have a custom wire with heatshrink covering and MALE fan connectors to prevent my plugging them into fan headers! Each wire will be numbered with labels anyway, but ya never know... Each wire for the LED's in the GPU FHS are routed under the device along with the three-wire thermoprobe wiring. I got pretty creative in the narrow area between PCB and heatsink, see the pics below for an eyeful of work. Each wire was routed thru cutouts in the little rubber bumpers of the heatsink to help keep them in place. Tiny bits of narrow-guage heatshrink and close-cut leads on all the pins under there was fun! The cable for the thermoprobe passes back to the finned portion of the heatsink to help secure it in place without ever fearing damage, and this also prevents the cable from interfearing with the LED wiring that's a millimeter away. The GPU itself is 1 mm from the thermoprobe connection on the yellow wire, too. Not much room to breathe under here.... Artic Silver was applied to the GPU, and a spot was "polished" into the anodized black finish of the FHS as well. I can't believe that XFX sold the card with the anodizing intact! My polishing job isn't mirrored, but it's much better than it was! The LED's are directly wired to the fan solder points in series, but under testing they only work when the card's circuitry power the fan enough under load. So they will have to be redirected to +5vdc on the card elsewhere. Oh well. At least the hard work's done! The acrylic and aluminum cover sandwich does glow nicely, and the holes for mounting them needed to be tapped for bigger torx screws. Those custom screws even needed modding! Ugh. Maybe six to eight hours of work here on the front side of the card.

The harness for the front lower cover will include all the LED wires, USB data, power for the LCD and VFD displays, and all temperature and fan connections. Don't worry, the data lines are already shielded so wrapping them together with power won't matter. The power supply mains wiring will need to be re-routed down to the frame lower plate which also contains the ports from the mobo and expansion slots. An aluminum tube will pass between the acrylic-covered power supply and the lower plate where the power connector for 115vac mains will be relocated. The tubing will shield the AC current from the mobo area beneath it. It will look like a column helping support the power supply, and with the AGP card aluminum support being upright, both sides will kind of match. The tube will have flexible ends for easy removal along with the power supply for maintenance. All of the power supply outputs except the ATX cable will have connectors under the power supply, leaving the harnesses in place so the whole machine doesn't need to be ripped apart. There are two 40x20mm fans, one in the bottom of the case in the front lower cover framework, and another above the AGP card area. The original 70mm fan in the mobo tray is now at the bottom of the case. It was reversed as well as the CPU fan, to move air upwards. With the mobo cover acrylic piece, half the air volume goes under the cover right away, allowing MORE airflow around the important parts. The cutouts for RAM, FHS, and Northie will be assisted by the airflow above the mobo cover. At the top of the mobo cover behind the power supply, the cover will be cut out to help exhaust air leave the "wind tunnel" and allowing wiring to pass between. Both 40x20mm fans are controlled exclusively by the LCD display software. When the temp of the AGP card or the HDD gets too high, the fans will ramp up output, keeping the machine as quiet as possible, yet allowing a significant increase in airflow when needed. Matrix Orbital really did a great job with this display! The power supply exhaust is in the top plate next to the upper 40x20mm. This power supply has a fan which will face the mobo once installed, drawing air out of the mobo area. The top plate also has a connector panel from the original SFF case, all the ports are already mounted to the "top" of the mobo, so why not provide them at the top of the case? In front of the ports is the DVD drive opening toaster-style, it's a full 5 1/4" bay opening in the aluminum plate. The DVD drive itself has acrylic covers for the faceplate and tray front, too. No buttons or LED's live here. These mods were already done for the railgun mod anyway! It's perfect... An acrylic cover will be made for the top plate also, to help blend the DVD acrylic pieces into the whole design. All of the top plate covers will be painted in theme. Whatever design in the top of the case will be able to pass thru all the seams to complete a single pattern, broken when the DVD opens. Of course all the covers in the case will be like this. The seams and angles between the side covers and front/rear covers will be nearly invisible until they open.

I look forward to doing some more work. Next up is the AGP card backside cover, I'll update in a couple days with that and some drawings of the whole design. After that, complete cardboard mockups of the main pieces of aluminum must be made. It should be interesting to see them all, I'll know then what I've gotten myself into! There's only five main pieces, but four of them will be ornate so will take some time. But there's carriers, arms, links, cams, brackets and oh yeah the aluminum pieces involved in making those front and rear lower sections too. All these little bits will also be ornate! Think s-curves, irregular patterns, and rounded corners. Each piece will be hand-cut and finished, and all of the frame plates and front/rear lower carrier parts will be TIG welded by a great guy named "Don the Welder". I have another associate named Pat from my kid's scout troop who will make the wood forms for the acrylic, as the corners will be radiused 1/2". My woodworking skills are okay at best, this guy can make each piece fit to the thousandth. I'm glad these guys can help, cause this project is pretty extreme. I want it to be perfect. The name "ON3 UP" refers to the machine's upright design, and a logo will be made out of more frosted acrylic, invisible until the machine turns on, then it will glow green, seamlessly in the black background of the DVD drive cover. There will be very minimal green lighting, in comparison to most modded projects. Just the DVD internally mounted LED's for the disk and logo, GPU FHS acrylic cover LED's, and a few more LED's beneath the power supply to illuminate some of the stuff inside the mobo area. The LCD and indicator section up front will round out the light produced by this machine, and I think these features will be complimentary and not garish. Each lighting area is integrated into it's owner, further aiding the hapless repair monkey (yours truly) anytime he needs to pull a part for repair or upgrade. There's no inverters, CC lamps, or externally mounted stuff to deal with. And that also means less power drain.

When the case is done, the LCD will also be modded and will include the mouse base station integrated into its enclosure. The keyboard frame and mouse top will be airbrushed, too. The green and white flame designs would be great. But either way it will be green and white on black. I just think that an irregular pattern airbrushed into the glass of the case will really pop, especially once the thing opens up. The new airbrush is gonna get a workout... Cheerio! :)

overview.jpg

backside.jpg

backsideover.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Here's a pic of the DVD drive so far, obviously it will be rebuilt to go along with the new theme. Also, I threw in some pics of the hacked (brand new!) SFF case.
railgundvd.jpg

case1.jpg

case2.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
SpangeMonkee said:
them there are lots of words.

edit: nice plans
Thanx, Spange.
It's alot to take in, but at least the ideas are well thought-out. I may update tonight with my scanned drawings, you really need to see it laid out to appreciate the design. Right now Im using my iPaQ so it's not so easy to post!
 

rogue_jedi

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 6, 2002
Messages
4,821
who else just read the first paragraph (or started it) then just skipped down to the pretty pictures?

/raises hand/

of course, i'll probably regret that when i don't know some vital piece of information later on. oh well. i'll deal with that when the time comes.

i mean, come on. there are words on the pictures! those are probably averaging at least 1005 words/picture.

the mod looks interesting, though (from what i can tell)
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
rogue_jedi said:
who else just read the first paragraph (or started it) then just skipped down to the pretty pictures?

/raises hand/
Hey, I'm a visual person too....But I thought the design intro was thorough! I have a scan for you to look at for now so my words-per-picture will go down! Thanks for looking :)
on3up_d1.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Vanilla Coke said:
/raises hand/

so are those 2 lcd panels mounted on the sides?
No, the MX424 and the temperature display will face the user along with the DVD disk. Both the MX424 and the temp display along with all the indicators will move down during the opening cycle.
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
SpangeMonkee said:
ahhh.. I visualized it a bit different. I like this though.
Here's an inner view for you then. This one was from April, but the inside of the drive enclosure will be like this... the big part in the top is the DVD and the smaller one below is the HDD sideways.

on3up_d3.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Here's a new drawing of the front of the case. As you can see, the DVD and HDD are quite accessable with the covers opened. The locations for both servos (it may just have one) are on either side of the sideways hard drive. All the wiring for this area is exposed here, as well. Each harness only passes on the edge of each device. The inset detail shows how the lower covers will mount to the subframe. I should have a transmission section drawing shortly...
on3up_d5.jpg
 

KodiakStar

/'s by 0
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
12,733
Hmm there were words?

I have them addblocked in FireFox...

just want to see the pr0n pix of comptuers...


Hope this project works out for you, ill keep my eye on it!

 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
KodiakStar said:
Hope this project works out for you, ill keep my eye on it!
Thanks, Kodiak. I'm doing some work today so I'll update tonight with some more stuff. I'm going to carry this one through for sure. I need to do something with the pile of parts I call a PC in my bedroom! :p

oneupparts.jpg
 

Majin

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
2,477
WOW
I am sad to read that the rail gun is dead, but this seems like it will be very awesome!
Keep giving us more.
I am hooked!
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Majin said:
WOW
I am sad to read that the rail gun is dead, but this seems like it will be very awesome!
Keep giving us more.
I am hooked!
Thanks, Majin, and thanks bored-sarcasm. Here's my update for the night, ppl:

Got thru with final adjustments for the legs of the case. Also finished the rear (mobo side) view. Didn't get a chance to work on hardware today, tho :( Maybe tommorow?
What you see below is one side of the leg assembly. Two of these plates will be made and joined by one or maybe two aluminum tubes for additional support. Once the lower cover is open, you can access the bolts on both sides of the case (4 of them total) and the whole machine will lift directly off the leg assembly. To replace the legs, smply place the machine on the legs and bolt them back up. Easy. Both leg side plates will be bent around 30 degrees and they will come all the way up to the top of the side cover area from each corner of the case. Bolts will thread into tapped holes in the legs, and the frame of the case will have holes at the bottom of each upright support to accept them. :cool:

on3up_d7.jpg

on3up_d8.jpg

This next view shows detail of how the legs will attach from a side view of the legs (mobo side of case):

on3up_d9.jpg


EDIT: BTW, the colored portions are for CLARITY not the actual finished colors! DOH!
 

ShaolinDragon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 30, 2004
Messages
423
Looking very good, but also complicated ;), I cant wait to see what this thing does once it is finished.
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
vrogy said:
Looks neat, but all your drawings don't convey the concept very well...

If you get interested in doing any lasercut/waterjetted parts, I have the know-how to make DXFs for cutting from any sketches you have, and I'm damn good at 3D CAD, too:
http://www.vrogy.com/CAD/tbox_n_wheel.JPG
http://www.vrogy.com/CAD/gpa_magnum_40.JPG
Thanks very much for the offer, Vrogy. The aluminum parts will be cut by me here at home, most likely. A router table, drill press, and band saw are next on my list of purchases. I feel that doing it myself will be more satisfying to me, and will cost only a bit more to buy the tools than to have it all cut professionally on CNC. The drawings convey my personal ideas and are not to scale or anything, I'll be doing the paper mockups to scale, but until then I won't need any accurate drawings. If I wanted a 3d view, I'd just use the Quake 3 q3radiant editor! It actually works well for me to create 3d views... LOL! The paper mockup will be templates for the actual aluminum parts, and they will be cut and finished by hand. I think the warmth of freehanded work is better than a machine-cut piece any day. This project will last until fall, most likely...
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
1337m0dd3r said:
looking good, love the cd drive. like the plans too :)
This machine is turning out to be a lesson in packaging. It's going to be a fun, fun few months before this is done! Thanx for the props!
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
ShaolinDragon said:
Looking very good, but also complicated ;), I cant wait to see what this thing does once it is finished.
Well, its gonna open up! LMFAO
I just keep drawing so much, I gotta go build now. But here's another drawing to show how the lower cover is assembled as well as the final design for the indicators/displays up front. Don't mind the 3d view, it's kinda bad! :p But at least it gives you an idea of how the whole section will look when it's done.
on3up_d10.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Hey ppl, got the cover for the NV6800 done. Still gonna etch the edges, mask some windows, and paint the rest black as well. Should look slammin' when its done. This cover is meant to tuck under the mobo tray cover when it's installed with that cover. Still have to make the mobo cover, but this really shows what that one will look like too. The top edge where the aluminum strip is has a bent edge to the cover, so when you look at the case from the rear the edge will look smooth and you won't be able to see between the cover and the card. None of the PCB components hit the cover, and those plastic nuts under the glass will be hidden once the cover has been painted. EDIT: Those screws match the ones for the heatsink cover, they are Torx screws and the other side of the card will have nice cap nuts before long. :D
Check it out:
6800cover.jpg
 

SpangeMonkee

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Messages
1,435
zeusenergy said:
Hey ppl, got the cover for the NV6800 done. Still gonna etch the edges, mask some windows, and paint the rest black as well. Should look slammin' when its done. This cover is meant to tuck under the mobo tray cover when it's installed with that cover. Still have to make the mobo cover, but this really shows what that one will look like too. The top edge where the aluminum strip is has a bent edge to the cover, so when you look at the case from the rear the edge will look smooth and you won't be able to see between the cover and the card. None of the PCB components hit the cover, and those plastic nuts under the glass will be hidden once the cover has been painted. EDIT: Those screws match the ones for the heatsink cover, they are Torx screws and the other side of the card will have nice cap nuts before long. :D
Check it out:
[.IMG]http://home.comcast.net/~zeusenergy/6800cover.jpg[/IMG]

can you take a pic of that at a different angle. looks like something I wanna put in my mental file cabinet.
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
mashie said:
I'm impressed by your concept art. It will be very interesting to see how this turn out in the end.
Thanks Mashie! That means a lot coming from you. I should be posting weekly or better, so keep an eye out. Check out my next post BTW, the GPU cover is done!
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
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Jul 24, 2004
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323
SpangeMonkee said:
can you take a pic of that at a different angle. looks like something I wanna put in my mental file cabinet.
Actually, just got done with the paint and etching for the cover. Check it out:
EDIT: forgot to screw down the Torx screws in these pix, the middle of the cover is bowing out. It goes into place with the screws fully installed... BTW, the edge of the cover is actually etched with an AEC Paacshe air eraser, its not sanded!
6800cover1.jpg

6800cover2.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
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Jul 24, 2004
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323
Here's some tools of the trade, in case you want some suggestions for this stuff. The top one is the AEC Air Eraser. You fill the aluminum bowl at the top with fine powdered compound. It's a single action, so the only setting is in the cap for releasing more compound. The bottom one is a VL series (both are Paasche) airbrush, dual action. You push in the button for more air, and pull back the same control to let more paint out. Both of these units along with a nice swivel Xacto knife and spare blades was less than $200. You can get them at Dick Blick Art Supplies:

Dick Blick Art Supplies

airbrushes.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
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Messages
323
..And heres the final pics of the cover installed. The first one is on edge. You can see both the FHS acrylic cover and the new rear cover. Notice that the masking for the memory around the resistor area behind the card came around the curve in the cover, I did this on purpose. The edge of the cover perfectly matches the aluminum strip at the top of the card edge. The aluminum bar will eventually have a small ornate bracket to affix it to the upper plate of the case frame! It already looks sexy....:cool:

6800cover3.jpg


The next pic is self-explanatory. You can't really see those plastic nuts, either :)

6800cover4.jpg


And the last one shows the card the way it will be inside the case, looking at the case from the right rear side:

6800cover5.jpg
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
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Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
Man, I'm just full of content lately! As I work, I get more into it and will update more often. This next drawing is of the mobo cover made from acrylic like the agp card cover. The edges of all the cutouts in the piece including the very edges of the cover itself will be etched like the agp card cover. The center section around the northie heatsink may be masked to show little windows, and I'll try to add some green and white airbrushed work into the black background, as well. This is the last post for now, I promise!!! LMFAO
on3up_d11.jpg
 

sarbz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,319
I envy your engineering, desgin, and fabrication skills. Keep up the good work. There's a lot of useful information and cool ideas here! :D
 

zeusenergy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
323
sarbz said:
I envy your engineering, desgin, and fabrication skills. Keep up the good work. There's a lot of useful information and cool ideas here! :D
Wow, thats some big props there. This is the kind of inspiration I need and I really do appreciate it! This project is pretty big (time wise) so there will be a lot of updates! Stay tuned, you won't be disappointed!
 
Joined
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Messages
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i am just posting so i can see this when it is done. . i wasn't about to go reading all of that. therefore more mod pr0n, less words.. haha

looks really good so far
 

sarbz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,319
scottatwittenberg said:
i am just posting so i can see this when it is done. . i wasn't about to go reading all of that. therefore more mod pr0n, less words.. haha

looks really good so far

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