SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

FiDDy

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sadly i cant vote ether, option 1 would be my favorite.
it is true that to many holes would kind of break the design, but especially because the upper right side now has only 5 rows instead of the 7 the prototype had, it kind of levels that out.
although i like the more balanced look, im not sure how it would look as a whole. maybe it would make it look bad because the upperside has two inlets, whereas the back has only one. of course that would only be visible if the case stands upright.

what could be awesome.. if you made 4 rows to the left, and 4 two the right symmetricaly. maybe even mirror the wholes like mentioned earlier.

maybe its just me loving that symmetry! :D but yeah would have to see how that looks.
 

SaperPL

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sadly i cant vote ether, option 1 would be my favorite.
it is true that to many holes would kind of break the design, but especially because the upper right side now has only 5 rows instead of the 7 the prototype had, it kind of levels that out.
although i like the more balanced look, im not sure how it would look as a whole. maybe it would make it look bad because the upperside has two inlets, whereas the back has only one. of course that would only be visible if the case stands upright.

what could be awesome.. if you made 4 rows to the left, and 4 two the right symmetricaly. maybe even mirror the wholes like mentioned earlier.

maybe its just me loving that symmetry! :D but yeah would have to see how that looks.

Going for symmetry this way would limit the air going to the cpu an power supply even more than what we did so far. I've removed the row on the edge because that wasn't above the psu anyway and we did check that power supply has more than enough air if we cut the vent row from the other side. Currently it's quite balanced thanks to the asymmetry of the front so it should be fine.

Excellent...any estimate on timeframe? Everything looks great btw!

We've got one last design piece to solve and we should be ready for the pre-final prototype and after that comes out of the shop we'll make quick adjustments for metal works for the final piece. We're still targeting this year for order starts. Hope we can manage this.

Excellent work !

Thanks!
 

SaperPL

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Minor update: last pieces got shipped.

I've made a quick test on how stuff fits in. Photos taken with my potato phone :p

aP1Rrs5.jpg

Note that secondary drive support has been removed since it's obstructing a lot of things and it'll be moved further away from the power supply in final version.

There's finally a USB3.0 cable and it fits. Whether it'll fit in your build will depend on if you're going to use the secondary drive slot and if it's going to collide with USB3.0 connector location. Otherwise you'll be able to use fallback USB3.0->USB2.0 adapter.

Both short types of risers came: cheap standard but shielded type with 55mm long ribbon and high quality shielded 50mm one:

vzPLILr.jpg

Pj5CfPj.jpg

Note the fact that the high quality one have welding points protected from mechanical damage when bending the ribbon. That's the solution of main problem we've had so far with all other risers. If the ribbon isn't held properly after the welding point the bending force is applied to the weld and they can easily break of after few bending attempts.

26c7VNp.jpg

it's the only riser with such protection except for what LiHeat's been doing but they aren't manufacturing the type we need and we don't want custom manufactured piece because of the cost.

50mm riser might be perfect fit looking at the cad designs but you still have to bend it while plugging it into the motherboard pci-e slot.

The cheap riser idea was to give you short one and let you put there the standard long riser if the supplied one ever breaks but the long riser makes a mess in terms of putting other cables inside like the sata and power cables that are hidden under short one now.

Because of this we might need to increase the price tag slightly by something around $15 since that's probably what riser price delta would be for manufacturing run.

At this point we have all we need in the matter of critical supplies required for manufacturing in the BOM list. One last thing is to figure out the final metal parts design and this part is taking some more delays since we've got other stuff to do at work.
 

iFreilicht

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Looks good, I like the higher quality riser.

It's quite a pain with those front USB3.0 connectors, they are so bulky and the cables are so stiff because of the shielding requirements, they fit close to nowhere if the case is very slim.
 

SaperPL

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Yeah, that's a real pain with those USB3.0. I wish they were doing it the old way.
 

FiDDy

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I was wondering if the dates on the first page are up to date, especially is SFX-L still a viable option ? would it obstruct the second hard drive ?

and is the tray option for harddrives 3-6 still in play ?
 

SaperPL

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Yeah, I should update the first page soon.

What do you mean by 3-6?

We've dropped the support for 3.5" drives since those are not making much sense and are breaking the design.

The SFX-L will obstruct second drive slot as it was stated from the start.

All other configuration are still the same. There are still those 3 2.5" mounts on the bottom of gpu compartment and we still want to attach at least one set of hard drive brackets if you want to stack 4 2.5" drives in front of the gpu.

2 x 2.5" should also still be possible even with SFX-L though when you put the second drive under the gpu at the front - blower fan inlet isn't really obstructed that way and open air card will have a lot more area to get air from.
 

FiDDy

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very good! i was just making sure, because i think im going to start to get my parts now before we shift to close to christmas.

with 3-6 i was refering to 2.5 slot numbers three to six. and with that I meant the brackets you can put in front of the gpu, didnt know there were even more options. sorry for being unclear

There are still those 3 2.5" mounts on the bottom of gpu compartment
where exactly would these be? is this in case of a single slot card ?
 

SaperPL

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Wait for the final configs and reviews if not sure though. There shouldn't change much but still we haven't finalized the designs.

Those are either in case of single slot, water cooled maybe or if someone wanted to make the NAS out of it. It's may be also possible to use those with the card if the cooling is efficient enough for example I think it could be okay with two or even three drives mounted under the gpu with blower cooling if not blocking the center of the blower inlet.
 

darksable

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We've dropped the support for 3.5" drives since those are not making much sense and are breaking the design.

... we still want to attach at least one set of hard drive brackets if you want to stack 4 2.5" drives in front of the gpu.

Wait, when did that happen? Are you saying general support for 3.5" drives is gone, or that the brackets are no longer going to support 3.5" drives either?

One of the things that I loved about this case is that it would let me use a pair of 4TB storage drives without giving up anything but a long graphics card.
 

SaperPL

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Brackets will support stacking 3.5" drives if you want to put one on another inside the case but generally 3.5" mount breaks the look of the bottom/gpu side inlet. It's just that there's the vertical stand and we can't make it suck visually for most of the people since this is supposed to be more of a gaming rig. So if you're using it as a NAS with two drives in desktop position then it shouldn't be a problem although those stacked drives won't be screwed to the case :|

Can I assume you knew that it meant two 3.5" drives without any dedicated gpu?
 

SaperPL

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Is that CPU water cooler still a thing?

It's still possible but not guaranteed depending on the type of radiator, I think.

There's 130mm gap in the central wall to ease the cable installation so if you're not using SFX-L but short one then you should be able to fit 120mm radiator through this gap.
 
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It's still possible but not guaranteed depending on the type of radiator, I think.

There's 130mm gap in the central wall to ease the cable installation so if you're not using SFX-L but short one then you should be able to fit 120mm radiator through this gap.

Sweet I still have my 450w SFX psu.
 

FiDDy

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hmm as I can take from the pictures the sfx(L) will sit right beneath the top right air inlets. How important is the air intake of it? would you rather recommend a strong and continuos airflow from the power, or is it rather unimportant?
 

SaperPL

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It's like super important? There's like literally no space between the PSU and the cover except for some 0.5mm-1mm spacing for filters. If you block the inlet above it then you shut the air inlet of the psu itself.

Hope that answers the question :)

Cutting off part of the intake like we did doesn't make any problems for the power supply since there's quite a lot of headroom and the air coming out of the psu is still not even warm.

Why do you ask?
 

FiDDy

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im asking because there are power supplies which have fans that only switch on over a certain temperature, and i was wondering if in this configuration this would be pro or contra.
 
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FiDDy

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have you sent the prototype for review yet?:) also do you expect feedback from him or will you just wait, till the video is out?
 

SaperPL

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have you sent the prototype for review yet?:) also do you expect feedback from him or will you just wait, till the video is out?

Sadly not yet.

We're a bit overloaded with work at this moment and this adds some delays. Zombi is launching another wind turbine and I'm figuring out the launch of a studio.

We've still got to tackle the filter/inlet manufacturing with our metal shop before we can finalize the design and that's the part that's blocking us at this moment and Zombi has literally no time to spare on this at the moment.
 

ZombiPL

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Just like Saper said, I had very busy October. At this moment Saper is showing me some of his ideas for intlets/filters or hdd's placement and i have time only for answers like "yes", "no" or "what the...?". After this weekend i'll try to send actual intlet drawings to the laser-cutting company to check if we can get better price with our new design.
 
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FiDDy

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"what the ..?" :D

yeah well, I guess good things take time right? better finish the product right than catch after certain dates!

another question; Is it still possible to make a few exceptions when it comes to painting ? because I personally find the metal look of the early prototype really fitting even if it had galvanizing spots. And if I should become tired of it or fear rust, i just might as well paint it myself!

still possible?:)
 

ZombiPL

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"what the ..?" :D

another question; Is it still possible to make a few exceptions when it comes to painting ? because I personally find the metal look of the early prototype really fitting even if it had galvanizing spots. And if I should become tired of it or fear rust, i just might as well paint it myself!

still possible?:)

I think it shouldn't be a problem for us to send You an unpainted case. But You have to remember what Saper said about loosing warranty for the case's external cover. Whole case is zinc galvanized so, when we are welding some parts togother, zinc cover is getting damaged. It means, when You won't have painted case, after 1 or 2 weeks You will see rusty spots (maybe even You'll see them when You'll get our case, "out of the box").

But if You like fallout rusty style, that's fine. I think we can make it as an option.
 

FiDDy

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nah im totally fine with rusty spots as long as they dont penetrate the whole metal. maybe ill find some kind of anti rust spray or politure later on!:)

edit: another question. does the black color you use feel like metal or more like plastic ?
 
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ZombiPL

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edit: another question. does the black color you use feel like metal or more like plastic ?

tbh we have no idea :D our next prototype will be made with different type of powder paint (structural one) than the prototype nr4 (white one). We're testing different types of paints and at this point we don't know which really stays. And about plastic or metal feeling of the actual prototype... maybe Saper will answer:) 4th prototype is actually his main pc case, and he's so addicted to it, that i believe he might even tasted it :)

p.s. i just sent new venting holes design for pricing. We'll see if we can make them in some other way than laser-cutting...
 

SaperPL

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I have no idea how to precisely differentiate the "feel" of plastic and metal on this.

I'd say the feel of that powder coating is closer to plastic rather than metal since it's not so cold in touch but at the same time it's slightly closer to metal in terms of friction. Weird thing to measure though.

If you're asking about how it looks then it's more of shape that defines how it feels and why it doesn't feel like plastic rather than the paint itself.
 

FiDDy

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hmm new venting hole design you say ? different shape? or a new filter design?
if the new holes were to be aproved would that mean sfx-l would fit?

haha yeah saper but how does it taste ? :D

hmm well what I meant to aks is, is it more this hard abs plastic feeling or more of a grippy cable feeling ?
 
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SaperPL

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The SFX-L will fit, it's a core design decision to support those because they are quiet and have a lot of headroom for gpu.

Looks like the holes might be round holes with 5mm diameter with some standard 60 degree slanting pattern.

The problem for the vent holes is that big holes are making filters easy to detach or rip off if glued and after a lot of prototyping it looks like it'll be better to just push the metal shop to do the small holes with punch machine.

It's not something totally like plastic but it doesn't feel like metal either. Technically it's something more like a rubber but so evenly spread that it doesn't grip like rubber.
 

FiDDy

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oh! so you plan to make holes for filters so i guess every side (except front&back) gets 4 holes around the characteristic air inlets ?
did consider you using 4 magnets from the inside for each filter ?

good to hear sfx-l is going to fit! i guess im going to order one soon:)
 

ZombiPL

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oh! so you plan to make holes for filters so i guess every side (except front&back) gets 4 holes around the characteristic air inlets ?
did consider you using 4 magnets from the inside for each filter ?

Nope. This is not what Saper wanted to say.

Temperatures vs big venting holes and filters:

We've checked our design of the 4th prototype from the temperature point of view and our tests showed everything was OK or even better than OK. In the 4th prototype we could handle huge TDP components thanks to our big "characteristic" venting holes. But we wanted to add some dust filters, and here we are where it gets complicated.

In bigger cases like M1 and other over 10L volume, there is no problem with adding a "proper" dust filters which really filters the dust. Adding them won't increase the internal temperature of the case so much, because we have a lot of air inside, so it won't heat so fast. The problem is in cases like SENTRY. You have to remember one of our targets is to carry our pc case in standard 17'' laptop bag. We have less than ~6.9L of internal air volume, so it means the air inside the case gets hot quicker than in bigger cases. There are two things we have to think about:

- "Bigger TDP -> More air needed".
- "Better dust filtration -> less air at a time".

Huge venting holes gave us proper ventilation. The problem started when we added "proper dust filters". With them, the internal temperature can rise easily by +10 degC or even more with higher TDP components. The solution for this situation is:

- use filters with bigger holes (which starts to be pointless, because they won't catch the dust),
- increase the filtering surface (which in such small cases like SENTRY would be needed on like 80-90% of the case),
- increase the internal volume of the case (which we obviously won't do)
- add some fans to increase the air flow (which would increase the price and the noise, and would lower the reliability of whole case)
- don't use filters at all.

We'll decide if we'll be using filters, when we'll get our 5th prototype.


Venting holes vs law:

From the law point of view, noone shouldn't be able to touch components inside the case with his finger. I'm tall and i have quite big hands so this wasn't a problem for me, but people aren't the same, so we know big venting holes might be a problem. If someone will buy our case to sell whole pc as a one product, with big venting holes without filters he won't be able to give CE mark, because small children or people with smaller fingers could touch some internal components through the holes. It means, if we'll decide not to use the dust filters, than we have to make our venting holes smaller. In our 5th prototype we'll try to make them on a punching machine with 5mm round tool. We'll see how it looks, and how it works, and than we'll decide if this design can stay. Probably some people won't like the new design of those holes (i also like the 4th prototype style), but this case must be safe and effective, and we have it as a priority. As i said before, it's still a prototyping stage.

good to hear sfx-l is going to fit! i guess im going to order one soon:)

One of the first points on our list of wishes (when we started this project) was to have SFX-L inside.
 

FiDDy

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hmm I just now catch the magnitude of your filter problem..

Well, you stated bigger filter wholes would be pointless. I think its not as drastical, shure they wont catch the smaller dust particles, but theres more to worry about. It would, for example;
- hold small objects like coins from slipping in and possibly damage stuff
- (depending on final holesize) catch middle sized dust like hairs and stuff.
- give you the CE mark
- look nice ? :cool:

Now I for one never really minded the small dust, I just took it apart once a year and cleaned it carefully. Still i'm really excited about the new look, maybe it looks even better!

Is the 3rd prototype still unpainted, and for sale ? :D

Asking solely out of curiousity of course ..
 

SaperPL

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Zombi forgot to add one thing here: there's also small area of exhaust and putting a filter on that slows the open air cooler airflow significantly. Normal tower cases have quite a lot outlet areas and you can mount fans on those exhaust filters to pump the air through.

I bet that's most likely the reason why node 202 has non-detachable side meshes instead of proper filters.

So at this point we're leaning towards some kind of grid of 5mm diameter holes instead of big inlets + filters. That's all the changes there are most likely, nothing revolutionary on the inside.

The 3rd prototype is at metal manufacturing factory as a point of reference to look at so there's no mistake on bend directions and to feel what the whole thing.
 

thamiel

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Havn't really got much to add to this thread other than some friendly encouragement, been following this since the start. Absolutely cannot wait to order one of these, great job guys.
 

FiDDy

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do you have renders of the new model already ? id love to see it :)

and if it satisfies your legal and thermal concerns, are we final?
 

ZombiPL

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do you have renders of the new model already ? id love to see it :)
Personally i prefer the old look from prototype 4, but we would have problems with big venting holes because someone would insert there a pen, coin or even a finger. We also can't add proper dust filters, because the temperature inside rises... rises a lot ( remember Sentry[6,9L] is almost 2 times smaller than Ncase M1[12,6L] ). At this moment our laser-cutting company said, they can make a prototype of this case with 5mm venting holes on punching machine. We will try this way...

TtKuNm4.jpg

WjF4MXK.jpg

XXAtF3T.jpg

qibqSDq.jpg

and if it satisfies your legal and thermal concerns, are we final?

Probably yes. We will again have to talk about the design made by holes (maybe another straw poll, because it's a community design), but if the 5mm venting holes will work for us in legal and thermal conditions, than we'll stay with this new design.

I just want to buy it already!! Man I hope you guys get this out before the year ends.

We also hope so, but in many ways we are dependent from other companies, who adds a delay to our project. Also our daytime jobs aren't helping us in this matter.
 

Criko

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Wow! That latest render with the 5mm hole design is by far my favorite design. It looks incredible and the accent running through the middle of the gives it just enough character for it to not look boring/sterile.
 

SaperPL

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Personally i prefer the old look from prototype 4, but we would have problems with big venting holes because someone would insert there a pen, coin or even a finger. We also can't add proper dust filters, because the temperature inside rises... rises a lot ( remember Sentry[6,9L] is almost 2 times smaller than Ncase M1[12,6L] ). At this moment our laser-cutting company said, they can make a prototype of this case with 5mm venting holes on punching machine. We will try this way...

TtKuNm4.jpg

WjF4MXK.jpg

XXAtF3T.jpg

qibqSDq.jpg

Wow! That latest render with the 5mm hole design is by far my favorite design. It looks incredible and the accent running through the middle of the gives it just enough character for it to not look boring/sterile.

That's absolutely gorgeous, even for just a quick render. :)

That's actually not a render but screenshot straight out of solidworks. I just had a bit of time to tweak scene setting for the assembly some time ago.
 
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