SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

Alzayani

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Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
8

zx4yle0oza0yvel6qx0p.jpg


How much the case fully packaged weight (5 KG?) , it's seems to me it will be very costly to ship.
 

flaphead

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Joined
Dec 17, 2016
Messages
26
While we all are waiting for the Sentry, I want to add a few words about sound in this case. I suppose that a majority of builders will use it for gaming with headphones and without external sound card, but the case hasn't a front audio panel. It's not a big deal, you will say, every mobo has a green headphone output on a rear panel. Yes, it has, but this output is directly connected to audio controller and it can't provide enough current for low impedance loads. And I'm not talking about audiophile stuff like midrange colorations; it's obvious to almost every listener that sound from rear green output is pathetic due to overload of controller. Thus there is a special operational amplifier for headphones in mid and high range mobos which is able to give a HiFi sound quality without external sound card. The issue is this amplifier directly connects to a header for front audio panel.
My asus z170i pro gaming mobo is shown in the figure 1, it has audio controller Realtek ALC1150, operational amplifier RC4580 from Texas Instruments and decoupling capacitor Nichicon SW 100uF 16V (yes, just one cap for ground wire). Components are good enough to achieve nice sound quality but only if headphones connected through the header for front audio panel (pin definition is shown in the figure 2). So I think to instal aditional jack socket at the sentry back panel (and maybe replace op amp to OPA 2134 and cap to Nichicon FG) because sound difference is significant.
z170i.jpg
header.jpg
sentry.JPG
 

Ej24

Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2016
Messages
621
While we all are waiting for the Sentry, I want to add a few words about sound in this case. I suppose that a majority of builders will use it for gaming with headphones and without external sound card, but the case hasn't a front audio panel. It's not a big deal, you will say, every mobo has a green headphone output on a rear panel. Yes, it has, but this output is directly connected to audio controller and it can't provide enough current for low impedance loads. And I'm not talking about audiophile stuff like midrange colorations; it's obvious to almost every listener that sound from rear green output is pathetic due to overload of controller. Thus there is a special operational amplifier for headphones in mid and high range mobos which is able to give a HiFi sound quality without external sound card. The issue is this amplifier directly connects to a header for front audio panel.
My asus z170i pro gaming mobo is shown in the figure 1, it has audio controller Realtek ALC1150, operational amplifier RC4580 from Texas Instruments and decoupling capacitor Nichicon SW 100uF 16V (yes, just one cap for ground wire). Components are good enough to achieve nice sound quality but only if headphones connected through the header for front audio panel (pin definition is shown in the figure 2). So I think to instal aditional jack socket at the sentry back panel (and maybe replace op amp to OPA 2134 and cap to Nichicon FG) because sound difference is significant.
View attachment 19103 View attachment 19104 View attachment 19105
Interesting. Once you receive your Sentry it'll be interesting to see if this works. (you did order a sentry right?) There's definitely no reason you can't mod the case to make the jack fit. That's part of the beauty of steel, it's strong as hell even if you start drilling holes. In fact I think the Zaber team would be disappointed if we didn't tinker with it a little. It will be interesting to see what everyone does to their Sentries. I'll be very interested if someone comes up with a nice, clean front panel audio mod.
 

darksable

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
431
Cool idea, flaphead. :)

Personally, I'll be using an external DAC when not on the go, but I might actually consider this mod.

The other option, for those who don't have the drive to mod, a USB headset is probably an option. Are there any of them that actually deliver decent sound?
 

flaphead

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Dec 17, 2016
Messages
26
Interesting. Once you receive your Sentry it'll be interesting to see if this works. (you did order a sentry right?) There's definitely no reason you can't mod the case to make the jack fit. That's part of the beauty of steel, it's strong as hell even if you start drilling holes. In fact I think the Zaber team would be disappointed if we didn't tinker with it a little. It will be interesting to see what everyone does to their Sentries. I'll be very interested if someone comes up with a nice, clean front panel audio mod.

Yeap, I'm a happy owner of one white sentry from the second week 150 units batch:cool: Now I'm thinking about jack position: front panel also looks nice for replacing a high quality 1/4" jack. And of coarse I'll post modding results here.

The other option, for those who don't have the drive to mod, a USB headset is probably an option. Are there any of them that actually deliver decent sound?

I've never used it before. There are some other options like a tiny usb stick DragonFly or bluetooth headphones. As for me I already own great beyerdynamic DT 770 pro headphones and it will be a crime using it without some mod.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,820
If you want to mod the case for front panel audio, then maybe you could simply mod the USB 3.0 cable? You could start doing it now before even getting the case.

My concept would be to strip the dual port USB 3.0 baffle cable and mod one of the ports to HD audio connector. If you don't need microphone then maybe you would be able to figure out having single HD audio jack while retaining USB 2.0 working for this port if you use DC/GND from the USB.

The question is, how would USB 3.0 devices behave when connected to this port... You could try to figure out modding the port in a way that only your audio adapter can connect to the USB3.0 pins in this port.

You would have your own USB type A to audio jack connector which would also be interesting to show off to people baffled about how the hell does it even work :D
 

flaphead

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Dec 17, 2016
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You would have your own USB type A to audio jack connector
It's creepy and hilarious at the same time :ROFLMAO:

I like the way blue usb ports look at front panel of a white sentry and it's unnecessary to sacrifice this ports for frankenstein adapter. As I see the best place to mount headphones jack actually settles at the back of case in holes for wifi sma connectors.
 

SaperPL

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With your approach to putting the jack at the back, you could also think about incorporating the jack into the vertical stand somehow. You could have the jack port you want to use on the side of the case where the vertical stand attaches and a jack attached to the vertical stand so it connects while mounting. how would you place the connectors on the vertical stand is just aesthetics at this point :)
 

flaphead

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Dec 17, 2016
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With your approach to putting the jack at the back, you could also think about incorporating the jack into the vertical stand somehow. You could have the jack port you want to use on the side of the case where the vertical stand attaches and a jack attached to the vertical stand so it connects while mounting. how would you place the connectors on the vertical stand is just aesthetics at this point :)

Yep, there's a lot of variants to mount a jack into a sentry, but it's more convenient to choose the one when your sentry is located at your work table;)
 

SaperPL

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The gpu in the picture IS the EVGA 1060 6GB SC, so yes, it fits with that single 3.5" hdd.

I think it would be hard to mount the 3.5" with adhesive since adhesives don't want to stick to powder coating easily and putting heavy object on it won't help.

You can mount the drive with 2 screws somehow but it will require a bit of force to fit the screws since those holes ain't matching 3.5" layout perfectly.
 

niclas90

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Jan 28, 2017
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Which GTX 1080 would be the optimal choice for this case? The go-to seems to be Founders Edition, but how does this card compare to MSI Aero OC for example, or even an open-air card? The tests in the first post seems to indicate that an open-air card wouldn't be that bad either.

Also, does anyone in here have experience with the quality of the cooltek LP53. There seems to be mixed opinions and i can't decided if i should go for Asus Strix z270i + NH-L9i instead of maybe the MSI board.

And at last i want to thank you for making this case a reality. Awesome design and size, i'm looking forward to getting mine.
 

Soularax

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
94
Which GTX 1080 would be the optimal choice for this case? The go-to seems to be Founders Edition, but how does this card compare to MSI Aero OC for example, or even an open-air card? The tests in the first post seems to indicate that an open-air card wouldn't be that bad either.

Also, does anyone in here have experience with the quality of the cooltek LP53. There seems to be mixed opinions and i can't decided if i should go for Asus Strix z270i + NH-L9i instead of maybe the MSI board.

And at last i want to thank you for making this case a reality. Awesome design and size, i'm looking forward to getting mine.

I personally would choose a blower style card like founders edition. It helps venting hot air from the case and an open-air card of that caliber might affect CPU cooling more than a 1060 which is used in the tests we have seen. MSI Aero seems to me like redressed founder edition which means no difference at all except how it looks.

If you can buy the Strix board at the same price of MSI Carbon m-itx board, then go for the Strix since it has 2 M.2's and looks better imo.
 

SaperPL

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Messages
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Which GTX 1080 would be the optimal choice for this case? The go-to seems to be Founders Edition, but how does this card compare to MSI Aero OC for example, or even an open-air card? The tests in the first post seems to indicate that an open-air card wouldn't be that bad either.

I believe 1080 Founders Edition has the superior radiator to all(or most) non-reference blowers because it has vapor chamber. Some of the users here talked about getting this cooler separately for 1070 since it doesn't have this feature.

Open air card should perform better on vertical stand, but also might be louder with multiple fans.
 

SniperCzar

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Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
27
While we all are waiting for the Sentry, I want to add a few words about sound in this case. I suppose that a majority of builders will use it for gaming with headphones and without external sound card, but the case hasn't a front audio panel. It's not a big deal, you will say, every mobo has a green headphone output on a rear panel. Yes, it has, but this output is directly connected to audio controller and it can't provide enough current for low impedance loads. And I'm not talking about audiophile stuff like midrange colorations; it's obvious to almost every listener that sound from rear green output is pathetic due to overload of controller. Thus there is a special operational amplifier for headphones in mid and high range mobos which is able to give a HiFi sound quality without external sound card. The issue is this amplifier directly connects to a header for front audio panel.
My asus z170i pro gaming mobo is shown in the figure 1, it has audio controller Realtek ALC1150, operational amplifier RC4580 from Texas Instruments and decoupling capacitor Nichicon SW 100uF 16V (yes, just one cap for ground wire). Components are good enough to achieve nice sound quality but only if headphones connected through the header for front audio panel (pin definition is shown in the figure 2). So I think to instal aditional jack socket at the sentry back panel (and maybe replace op amp to OPA 2134 and cap to Nichicon FG) because sound difference is significant.

As someone else with Beyerdynamic DT770Pro cans (80ohm)... they are very sensitive to output impedance and you're going to get interference from running any kind of unshielded DIY audio jack setup inside a tightly packed metal case with a short distance between the PSU and everything else. You should really just be using an optical out to portable DAC. My FiiO E17 solves the amping, output impedance, and interference issues all in one tiny device and you can get them for what, 50-100 USD? I was happy with myself later anyways when I bumped up to planar magnetic HE400S cans... any serious headphones are going to take more juice than most of the "premium" motherboards can output.
 

illram

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Kind of what I was thinking too. USB DACs like the E10K or the Fulla (for a little more $$) are also great and relatively inexpensive solutions.
 
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flaphead

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As someone else with Beyerdynamic DT770Pro cans (80ohm)... they are very sensitive to output impedance and you're going to get interference from running any kind of unshielded DIY audio jack setup inside a tightly packed metal case with a short distance between the PSU and everything else. You should really just be using an optical out to portable DAC. My FiiO E17 solves the amping, output impedance, and interference issues all in one tiny device and you can get them for what, 50-100 USD? I was happy with myself later anyways when I bumped up to planar magnetic HE400S cans... any serious headphones are going to take more juice than most of the "premium" motherboards can output.

Standart Beyerdynamic DT770 pro has 250 Ohm, special version for drummers has 80 Ohm. Also, I don't think that parameters and components of your FiiO E17 is much better than at "premium" motherboards: AD8397 op amp for headphones and WM8740 DAC. But if we are speaking about serious external DACs and headphones amplifiers it's obvious that it could be significantly better than any mobo sound.
As I'm not an audiophile just normal sound quality without ESS DACs and discrete transistors in headphones circuits fully satisfies me. So I don't see why Realtek 1150 + good op amp wouldn't fit for me. And saying about a jack cable it will be shielded DIY interface:D
FiiO_E17.jpg

For all this audio stuff can't you use a usb audio adapter?

Kind of what I was thinking too. USB DACs like the E10K or the Fulla (for a little more $$) are also great and relatively inexpensive solutions.

Surely I can but why? I've already paid for good mobo with normal for me sound circuit. Why I should buy something with the same or just a little better parameters and plug it into my sentry case?
 

illram

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Surely I can but why? I've already paid for good mobo with normal for me sound circuit. Why I should buy something with the same or just a little better parameters and plug it into my sentry case?

I hear you. I think your idea is cool and I'm eager to see how it works out! :)
 

Morzy

Limp Gawd
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Jan 20, 2017
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181
Isn't there something about Ryzen about it supporting less PCIE lanes or something? Basically the resource that everything takes up... I forget what it's called. <_<
 

SaperPL

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Isn't there something about Ryzen about it supporting less PCIE lanes or something? Basically the resource that everything takes up... I forget what it's called. <_<

It supports less pci-e lanes than X99 platform CPUs. For mini ITX this should be meaningless. You just need 20~24 lanes for mini ITX and Ryzen 7 has 24 lanes so you'll have 16 lanes for GPU, 4 lanes for M.2 and 4 remaining lanes split between other stuff like USB 3.1 ports, M.2 wlan slot etc.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
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Good evening I wanted to know if there are updates on the production / packing / shipping and if you can have its data will be sent when the first sentry and it would be interesting to have a list of the first batch ;)
 

ZombiPL

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Oct 26, 2014
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452
Good evening I wanted to know if there are updates on the production / packing / shipping and if you can have its data will be sent when the first sentry and it would be interesting to have a list of the first batch ;)
Every week we are making one big update. All updates we are sending through Indiegogo mailing system and also we are posting them here. We are still making many orders for necessary parts, and it would be problematic making updates after every part will come, because some email providers would ban indiegogo for sending so many newsletters. Maybe we make them too detailed, but we want to give as many information as we can. All updates are posted together on indiegogo website and in previous posts in this topic. Next big update will be posted again on Saturday.
 

Soularax

Weaksauce
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Feb 19, 2017
Messages
94
My old laptop just died for the second time...
And this time it might be for good. I just ordered Strix Z270i board and a 7700k. Now I have to figure out where to put them in. Maybe Ill just put them on the mobo box until Sentry arrives lol.

Sorry, AMD. You did superb and if I could, I would buy your 1700. But your platform is not mature enough for SFF builds. So, maybe next time.
 

AlbinoWolf

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Feb 22, 2017
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The cpu launch seemed really rushed tbh, but I guess thats what happenes when you have r7-r5 & vega all in a short timeframe.
 

Soularax

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Feb 19, 2017
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94
Kabey Lake, 1080 ti and now Ryzen within just over two months of each other? I'd give the manufactures some slack.

I would but I need a PC for work. I understand that the manufacturer have their hands full and SFF is a niche that may be at the far side of the priority line.
 

Morzy

Limp Gawd
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Jan 20, 2017
Messages
181
Oh well shit! In that case just chill with Intel for now and build another system with Ryzen later on so you can have the best of both worlds! Probably what I'm going to do.. I5-7600 and 1060 are serving me well..
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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3rd week of Sentry manufacturing process



This week, just like previous weeks, we spent on making orders and receiving packages.

From our metal parts subcontractor we received our first four Sentry v1.1 preproduction prototypes (two painted black and two prepared for painting white in external paint shop), which we mentioned in the last update. We measured them and installed our pc parts there. We have to say, those four units are so far the best we received in terms of dimensions and overall quality. And your cases will be the same, because manufacturing machines were calibrated according to those four units. We gave the green light to our subcontractor and we are waiting for the first transport of steel elements (1st week of April).

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A lot of time we spent on receiving, checking, analyzing and counting the packages from our orders. We already received:
- aluminium 2,4 mm rivets for engraved labels,
- all types of M3 mounting screws,
- binding screws for mounting the vertical stand,
- rubber O-rings for vertical stand,
- rubbers for fastening internal cables,
- silica gels,
- industrial glues (Loctite 243 and Loctite 480),
- Sentry transport foil bag,
- zipper foil bags,
- printing tapes for thermal small labels printer,
- big labels for thermal printing of shipping information,
- thermal printer for printing shipping labels,
- black stretch foil for packaging purposes,
- packaging tapes,
- transport baskets for internal transportation process.


(click on the image to zoom-in)
Also some new orders were made:
- steel parts for our newly designed rubber-cutting machine. We will use it to make rubber feet for Sentry vertical stand,
- special software dedicated for handling and gathering the shipment information and to contact with customs services,
- printed carton boxes,
- accessory carton boxes,
- shipping boxes.

Many ordered parts which we mentioned before need 3-4 weeks of manufacturing, so next two weeks will be fun.
 
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