Project: Desktop/Portable/Car Audio player

widefault

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I dropped the PIII mostly due to the way it handles on/off. The Commell P-M board is like a normal board with ATX power. Hit the button and it turns on, shutdown the OS and it shuts itself off. The PIII was like an AT power supply, it would have needed an on/off switch and shutting down the OS left all the other bits still running. Would still need to hit the power switch to shut it down.

I also want the extra performance and lower power requirement of of the P-M. With SpeedStep set up on the P-M it spends most of the time running at 600MHz and .7 volts without even being any slower performing than the PIII.

Another reason was the ability to have more than 256MB of memory. The PIII is an i815 chipset, limited to 256MB, where the Commell can go to 1GB.

Other nitpicks on the PIII are the lack of headers for power and drive activity LEDs. Didn't feel like messing with that to get the guage working. The Commell has a pretty standard array of front panel connectors, and using standard size pins. Took me all of 10 minutes to get the guage wired up on this instead of an hour or so with the PIII board.
 

VulturEMaN

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yea, it's lookin well, and i'm glad that you're usin the commell board....they're fairly nice now that i'm messin around with mine...

/still subscribed
 

widefault

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Got one of the USB ports done, no pics until I finish the other. Had a design change then screwed up on the second port. Mismeasured by 1/4", but was able to conceal the screw up. Not really happy, but it works and there's not much else I can do.

Basically, all that's left are...
- USB port #2 - this weekend
- redrill the top for the wireless antenna - this weekend
- feet so it can get air
- power switch when I find one that looks right
I also got the power LED and HD activity wiring hooked up. Same as the other meters, backlit the guage with a blue LED and the needle on the guage is rigged to show activity. Might dig out the camera and get some action shots.
 

WarlordOne

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Very cool. I can't believe I haven't seen this thread before. BTW you can pinmod overclock the 1.4 PM to 1.86Ghz without increasing voltage in fact if the NHC software works for it you can undervolt it and run it cooler...

Looking Good!
 

widefault

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The board doesn't reliably work with the pinmod, I've tried. Not sure it'll even work with a 533MHz bus chip, but I'll be giving it a try with a 2GHz chip this weekend. Only 400MHz is officially supported, so we'll see.

Already running RMClock for the speedstep. Under a heavy load temps stay under 45C so it looks like in my jury-rigged setup it's already getting enough airflow.

Just not sure on the feet. I'll probably pick up a cheap set of rubber ones like I used on the hard drive cases then keep looking for something. I don't want anything that lights up, prefer to find something that "matches" the case.
 

WarlordOne

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That's interesting because the mb link you posted said it would support the 533fsb...maybe it's an error?
 

widefault

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All I can say is that the pin mod does not work for me. Even with the wire in place it only runs at 1.4Ghz. That's why I'll be trying a 2Ghz chip, should tell me if it's truly capable or not.

Did I ever mention that there's some minor overclockability to these? Has about 8 fsb steps from 100(400) to 130(520), but will not allow 133 through the BIOS.
 

WarlordOne

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widefault said:
All I can say is that the pin mod does not work for me. Even with the wire in place it only runs at 1.4Ghz. That's why I'll be trying a 2Ghz chip, should tell me if it's truly capable or not.

Did I ever mention that there's some minor overclockability to these? Has about 8 fsb steps from 100(400) to 130(520), but will not allow 133 through the BIOS.

Ok, I did a quick check and the 852GME chipset does support 533fsb (4x133) so that's not the issue. BTW, where did you check your system speed after the pinmod?
 

wiretap

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willie92 said:
Anybody know where I can find a gieger counter big enough to fit an ATX mobo??? :p
At the nuclear plant I work for, we have air particle gieger counters that are about the size of a home theater pc case, or standard desktop case. :D It even comes complete with a little red police siren light on it. haha. Here is a pic of a modern one, but ours are older and made by the company Eberline.

m375-600.jpg


Anyhow, if you want to buy any sort of radiological monitoring equipment, I just ran across this site, and they have a ton of stuff, but its pretty expensive, as you would expect. http://www.ludlums.com/product.htm

edit, this site is a list of vendors of nuclear/rad monitoring equipment. http://www.radiochemistry.org/vendors/index.shtml
 

widefault

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Heh, now that's a potential case.

I had a stash of these meters for quite a while, but now I'm down to two. One is identical to the one I'm using, the other was made by Victoreen and is just a slight bit different enough that a board like the Commell wouldn't fit. Does work well enough for a hard drive, though.

I also have a stash of about 20 guages from this type of meter. Not really worth anything or very useful, but they make a hell of a hard drive activity guage. Just wish the faces weren't scuffed on most of them. Don't have the time or motivation to polish the scratches out.

Second USB port in place as well as the antenna for the wireless card. Going to pick up some cheap rubber feet tomorrow and take a few pics.

Warlord, I'm really not concerned about forcing an overclock. I have a 2Ghz chip I'll be trying tomorrow. If it works, it works. If not, I put the 1.4Ghz back into the board. This is no longer going to get used for much more than a simple desktop, anyway, so the 1.4Ghz Dothan is already more than it needs.
 

widefault

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Ah, what the hell, took some pics.

First, the new zero knob "feature"
pmrm05.jpg


Hmm, what's that jack for?
pmrm06.jpg


Ah, for a wireless antenna..
pmrm07.jpg


Foldable if needed, doesn't look out of place, either.
pmrm08.jpg


One USB port..
pmrm09.jpg


Internal view of my screw-up and the second USB port, wanted both in the same spot BUT forgot to measure for where the hard drive would fall. Oops.
pmrm10.jpg


And my masterful "fix".
pmrm11.jpg


I had the sticker, it was always supposed to go on there somewhere, so I may as well use it to mask my screwup.

Tomorrow it gets rubber feet and tested with the 2GHz chip. From that point it'll be considered complete unless I find a simple power switch. Until then it works just fine having the BIOS set to boot it up when a key is pressed.
 

VulturEMaN

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teh pimpage!

Can the Zero dial be put back on to stealth the antenna-jack, if need be? :D
 

widefault

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Yep, the set screws on the zero dial are in just enough that it can be turned onto the jack and will stay in place.
 

widefault

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Did a bit more messing around with the wire method for overclocking and the issue lies with the CPU. For some reason the Dothan 1.4GHz chips I have(2) just don't want to run at 133/533MHz bus. Dropped in a Celeron-M 360 which is also 1.4GHz and that one booted right up at 1.86GHz. I'd prefer something with speedstep, so I'm sort of looking for a known overclockable P-M ~1.6Ghz or a true 133/533MHz bus chip. I don't have a real use for the system right now, so I'm not looking too hard.

I did find another weird thing with the board compared to other i855gme boards I have. At 133/533, the system lists the memory as running in DDR266 mode just like my other boards, but where that results in a 3:4 divider and DDR 354(177MHz)on the others, this one shows 1:1 and DDR266 in CPU-Z. Thats SLOWER than with a 100/400 chip where memory runs at DDR333. In this case the performance difference between the 100/400 and 133/533 at around the same clock is probably slim to none. I may be better off with a faster 100/400 if I ever do go for a faster CPU.
 

widefault

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And a few final "glamour shots" before I go on to the next project.

pmrm12.jpg

pmrm13.jpg

pmrm14.jpg

pmrm15.jpg

pmrm16.jpg

pmrm17.jpg

pmrm18.jpg


It will be getting a 1.7GHz P-M Dothan, hopefully overclocked to 2.26, but that's all I have planned.
 

WarlordOne

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widefault said:
Did a bit more messing around with the wire method for overclocking and the issue lies with the CPU. For some reason the Dothan 1.4GHz chips I have(2) just don't want to run at 133/533MHz bus. Dropped in a Celeron-M 360 which is also 1.4GHz and that one booted right up at 1.86GHz. I'd prefer something with speedstep, so I'm sort of looking for a known overclockable P-M ~1.6Ghz or a true 133/533MHz bus chip. I don't have a real use for the system right now, so I'm not looking too hard.

Are you sure that the Pentium M cpu's you're trying to o/c are Dothans? Sounds like you're having a Banias pinmod o/c problem.

What's the s-spec? (ex:SL6F9)

I do know a bit about Intel Moble chips if you want a hand...
 

widefault

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Trust me, with seven Pentium-M and Celeron-M setups running, I know the difference between Dothan and Banias. These are Pentium-M 710s, 2MB Dothan cores. They just don't overclock that well, if at all. The Celeron-M is a cache-neutered C0 Dothan, good up to around 155MHz bus on default voltage.
 

WarlordOne

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widefault said:
Trust me, with seven Pentium-M and Celeron-M setups running, I know the difference between Dothan and Banias. These are Pentium-M 710s, 2MB Dothan cores. They just don't overclock that well, if at all. The Celeron-M is a cache-neutered C0 Dothan, good up to around 155MHz bus on default voltage.

No need to get defensive I'm just trying to help in case you didn't notice. I think you've put together a nice build anyway and any PM or CM would be more than enough for what you're using it for. I mean, at least it's not a Geode.

The C0 360 is good up to at least 169MHz on stock voltage, btw.
 

widefault

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Oh, the 360 goes higher on my desktop boards, but 155 seems to be about all I can push on the Commell. I think I'm running into a power issue, 60 watts is enough for stock but overclocking is being limited. Of course, a 2Ghz+ system running on under 60 watts is nothing to complain about.

That is one benefit of the 1:1 memory ratio on the 133 bus, high bus speeds aren't impossible even with cheap memory. I should really still try the 2Ghz chip, ~2.4Ghz isn't out of the question. Just have to change the power brick.
 
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I hate to ask, but where the heck do you power that thing from?

I've looked over and I can't find a powersupply or anything that would suggest powersupply, I figure it's probably due to the scale of the project/board but I R Confused
 

widefault

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It uses a 60 watt, 12 volt laptop-style power brick. The power connector is the furthest to the right in the pic, about a 5/16" diameter hole.
 

widefault

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And the next project turned out to be peripherals for this PC.

First, a 15" touchscreen LCD. 3M Microtouch, found used but working great. Just had to fix the color.

pmrm19.jpg


Color is Krylon Fusion Yellow which is an amazing match to the case. The front and back are the same color, camera messed that up for me.

pmrm20.jpg


The back, need to come up with a stand or mounting setup. Might make an adapter plate so I can use a VESA standard mount.

Also have a keyboard and mouse in the works, but I doubt the keyboard will actually get used. I'll probably get myself a good keyboard in black instead. I do plan on using the mouse, had a spare Intellimouse Optical which has been a favorite of mine for a few years now.
 

VulturEMaN

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Aww...i was gonna say...if the monitor has dual-inputs, that would be cool if you could do dual desktops on one monitor, but...uhh....where was I goin with this? :p

/failure-for-me-to-speak-today


btw, still subscribed dude....tis a very kickass project imo
 

widefault

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The second D-Sub is for the touchscreen serial cable. Makes a nice media player interface. Just wish this had a dual monitor output, run one to the touchscreen and the second to a big screen or projector. Save that for Version 2, I guess.

Keyboard is back together and I know I'll be looking for a good keyboard instead. Just don't like how it turned out and I'd rather have something more useable than a "standard" 104 key. Mouse has been painted, but it needs a few more coats til I'll be happy.

Also, I'm working on a stylus for the touchscreen. Matches the overall theme quite well.
 

widefault

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Matching mouse, finally got it put back together. Color came out a bit different than the LCD for some reason but it's still a close enough match for me.
pmrm21.jpg

pmrm22.jpg


Also finally found a source for boards like the one I used, but at a better price. I have one more of these planned for sure, contemplating building a few more.
 

widefault

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I actually spoke to soon. After checking with the place, they're not in stock and would need to be ordered AND shipping from Taiwan would be tacked onto the price. Basically brings the price to the same level as BWI where I got mine.

BWI does have a cheaper board now, but while it has SATA RAID and a TV-out, the power setup is like the PIII board I had, no soft-off. Better to spend the few bucks more on the Commell in my opinion.
 

VulturEMaN

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aww wide...i coulda told u about that mouse if you woulda said you were gonna paint that one....my friend tried to paint up the same 5button one and it came out different too...

he went with the classic 3button laser instead, which has a way better mousewheel anyways. Yay bunnyhopping!!!
 

widefault

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It's really only noticeable if you put everything very close together. In that case, the mouse is a bit more yellow than the LCD and the case. Put any distance between pieces and they're about as close as one could get when matching 40 year old paint.

No way I could go to a 3 button mouse after using a 5 button. Of course, if this ends up only being a media PC, the mouse will barely get used due to the touchscreen.
 

VulturEMaN

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widefault said:
Of course, if this ends up only being a media PC, the mouse will barely get used due to the touchscreen.

That's where I was going with my statement :p
 

widefault

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The mouse will get used with this one, looking like it will end up as my new work PC in the near future. Just need to decide what to do about a keyboard.
 

widefault

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Because I only have two USB ports, it was pretty obvious I'd end up needing a hub at some point. Rather than using something everyone else can buy, and realizing that painting one wouldn't be good enough, I arrived at this.

pmrm23.jpg


That is another surplus Civil Defense item, the CDV-750 Dosimeter Charger. Originally, it was used to zero out a dosimeter, which was used to measure exposure to radiation. Now it's a 4 port USB 2.0 hub with character.

Simple enough to make. Pulled the guts from the charger, recycling a few pieces to keep the knob and cover attached, drill and file the ports, and add a notch in the back for the cable.

pmrm24.jpg


Now, some may ask why I have a permanently attached cable. First, the hub I bought had one, which was about 3 inches long. I could have made that work, but it would have been too damned short. While digging in my parts bin, I found a USB extension cable. Noticed that the design of the receptacle end could be used to secure the cable if I cut a notch in the back. Turned out pretty well, although I wish I could have made the notch a bit more shallow. Do to the design of the top of the case, that wasn't possible. So now the original cable from the hub plugs into the extension cable, which is secured in the notch.

I like it.
 

piako

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hey widefault, is the carputer case with the handle a typical type of hardware?

I just saw one on the beginning of the movie The Hills Have Eyes.
 

widefault

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Typical? Sort of, they made literally millions of them during the early 60s for Civil Defense Departments across the US. There are other variations(true geiger counters, survey meters with remote sensors), but they all have the familiar bright yellow casing. There's a UFO nut who shows up on History Channel that has one on a shelf in his office as though it's some kind of "special" equipment. They're about as useful as a buggy whip these days.

So yeah, they were pretty common, but it's getting harder to find them at decent prices. Lot of people think they're geiger counters, so they pay way too much. There are also some guys using these as a starting point to home-built geiger counters. In my search, I also ran across a guy who was scrapping them for the aluminum and steel. Still trying to find out what he may have, can always use another for a USB drive case.
 

piako

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wow, that's very interesting. I wonder what they use now to test radiation? hmm
 

widefault

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They still use geiger counters, which is why I build my stuff using what are called Survey Meters. They only measure radiation in the amounts that would have been present AFTER a nuke attack. Basically, if a Survey Meter can read something, it's already too late. They were only meant to be used for measuring the level of fallout, where a geiger counter can show even the faintest trace of a radioactive material.

Now you can get electronic geiger counters than can cover the entire range that previously required multiple analog meters(usually a CDV-715 Survey Meter and a CDV-700 Geiger Counter). Of course, the modern ones have no sense of style, most look like cheap electronics multimeters.
 
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