Pelican Case Gaming Rig

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by lhl, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. lhl

    lhl n00bie

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    Hey guys, so it turns out that the Brix Gaming I had (i5-4200H/GK104M) wasn't really cutting it for my carryon-friendly portable computing needs, which is a shame, because at <2kg and <2L w/ the external PS, it was damn small.

    I've started assembling a new system in a Pelican 1430 top loader case. The external dimensions of this case 16.4" x 8.71" x 13.15" which should just squeeze in under an airplane seat (20-24" x 14-17" x 9-11"). Note, the bare Pelican case alone weighs more (2.6kg) than the Brix Gaming w/ power supply.

    It will also comfortably fit a Mini-ITX board, and up to a 10" GPU vertically (I'll probably go w/ a shorter Mini-ITX 970 board for better clearance/circulation), SFX power supply, and have room for me to store a 60% mechanical keyboard in the lid, and most importantly, my Oculus DK2 on the left side. When running, that DK2 will be removed and ideally entire left side will be a ventilation channel for the GPU and the radiator/fan for a liquid CPU cooler. When turned on, the lid will remain open and will hopefully have enough ventilation w/o having to drill holes in the Pelican.

    I've bought some TEC 1756 Licron Crystal ESD permanent anti-static spray for the Pelican interior. I have various 90-degree C13 power cables, so I think I should be able to position things to get around having to have the PS exhaust fan pointed up underneath but unblocked much (this depends a bit on whether I can get the CPU cooler to reach the other side, otherwise I'd have to swap positions, which probably is still OK...)

    My plan is to use Instamorph for all the mounting.

    Here's my planned HW list (everything en-route now):
    • Asus ROG Maximus VII Impact
    • Intel Core i7-4790K
    • Corsair H55 Liquid CPU Cooler
    • Crucial Ballistix Sport 2x8GB DDR3
    • Plextor M6e Series 256GB M.2 PCIe
    • GALAX GeForce GTX 970 OC

    Total weight I think will end up around 8-9kg. (some of the parts are hard to track down weights for so I'll just have to order and see)

    I'm curious if anyone's done a similar (a search on Pelican on the SFF forum didn't turn up anyone building a system into an actual Pelican), or if there are any things I might be missing.

    And here's a rough 3D model of what I'm planning:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    I love it, and I don't think something like this has been done before.

    The PSU fan doesn't exhaust, though, it is an intake fan. How are you going to get air down to the GPU and PSU intakes? What's the black box on the left?

    With instamorph, will you be able to leave the case unharmed so that it will still be waterproof?
     
  3. lhl

    lhl n00bie

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    The black box represents the DK2. When the system is on, it'd be removed, leaving an unobstructed air path.

    The way I was looking at ventilation is that the GPU and PS exhaust into the left channel (where the DK2 is in that model), w/ the CPU cooling radiator on the very bottom and 120mm fan blowing up. It seems in theory there'd be a natural column for all the warm air to rise. I could probably 3D print a little cowl just shift the power supply a bit to make sure the exhaust is going out where it should (also maybe a little popup cowl on that left chimney if warm air is getting recirculated back in) - I think this should work OK if the PS fan is an intake, I looked at the manual but I guess that was a bit unclear to me on the airflow direction.

    Also, yep, the idea is that w/ Instamorph (and potentially some glue) is that I wouldn't need to drill any holes, and the case would remain waterproof. Of course, if I can't get the air circulation figured out I might need to reconsider that, but I think I'll need to actually assemble it and see how it works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  4. lhl

    lhl n00bie

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    Ah, thanks for those pointers Aibohphobia, pretty interesting reading. I think my build will end up being a fair bit smaller than those listed. The case for the fnordcorps build isn't too much bigger than mine (a couple extra inches in each dimension), but it doesn't have space to hold the DK2 itself.

    It looks like all the other builds are using MicroATX boards w/ full length cards and ATX power supplies.

    Looking at this build log it looks like some drilling/grounding was done. I'd be interested in anyone's experiences w/ ESD coatins. My original plan was simply to spray the inside, but maybe I should do the outside as well...

    Do I need a ground wire w/ a plastic case? Would welcome any comments from those w/ a more solid EE background than I do...

    (If I understand how the ESD sprays work, depositing a thin conductive layer, if I spray the inside and outside (and the Instamorph mounts), that should ground all the components?)
     
  5. Kaos_Drem

    Kaos_Drem Gawd

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  6. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    I see, I somehow missed that. I really hope it will work that way, you can't transport a PC any safer than putting it in a pelican case :D
     
  7. m4dcow

    m4dcow n00bie

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    Consider you might have issues carrying on because of any sort of liquid cooling, be it loop or AIO.
     
  8. lhl

    lhl n00bie

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    Hey, just thought I'd post a build update. Total cost was about $1750. Here's the full parts list.

    Basic assembly was pretty straightforward, and it pretty much fit as the CAD models suggested, so that was great. For mounting, I ended up just cutting/folding some strips of the anti-static high density foam to wedge in the radiator/fan, and the power supply. It's surprisingly secure. I worked w/ a coworker to 3D print a clip for one side of the motherboard and some screws for the GPU to seat things.

    I took a fair bit of work to get all the EFI bits working, but after a weekend of poking and prodding I ended up with a Clover EFI bootloader loading Yosemite Hackintosh, Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu 14.10 all off of the single Plextor M.2 PCIe drive, so I'm pretty happy with that.

    Cooling isn't too bad, airflow works as expected (cool air down the motherboard, warm air all up the channel on the side. I use some motherboard standoffs to give the radiator fan a few mm to get air through. When maxed out (Prime95, Furmark) CPU and GPU both thermally throttle at 88C. Under normal usage (or when run by themselves), they'll both reach the same temperatures but run pretty close to their turbo speeds. I probably won't be OC'ing, but I'm pretty happy that it's running pretty darn close to max speed, and way faster than my other portable options.

    The system clocks in at just over 15lb w/ a Pure Pro 60% keyboard and the DK2 stuffed in it.

    Here's a couple of pics.

    Overall:
    [​IMG]

    3D printed clip detail:
    [​IMG]

    GPU bracket drilled into Pelican:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Very cool to see how it all turned out! Good work! :)
     
  10. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo Gawd

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    Where can I buy this? :)