The Freilite Brevis S - A <5L case with internal PSU

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by iFreilicht, May 14, 2015.

  1. Kawi

    Kawi n00bie

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    I might be able to help a bit here with my physics background. I'm not an electrical engineer, but I know the basics. The complex impedance for an inductor is Z_L = jwL. w (small omega) is 2*pi*frequency. So altogether the equation they are giving is 600 <= 2*pi*100e6*L, which means L >= 9.5e-7, which has units of henries (H).
     
  2. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thank you very much for your help, but I seem to have figured this out already, wasn't really all that problematic.
    The issue was that I didn't need to search for "inductors", but "ferrite chips", which have these characteristics specified in their datasheets and are actually used for EMI filtering.
    This is still quite a complex part of the case, and I'd really like to get a first prototype while still working on the final front I/O.

    I'm currently trying to make a mount for the front I/O PCB in such a way that I get a lot of flexibility with.

    Also, I will pick up my sample of the flex riser at customs, so that's something to look forward to.
     
  3. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Small Update!

    The flex riser from LiHeat arrived, and damn is it a fine product!
    The riser is not only shielded but also nicely sleeved, which gives the whole cable a really nice look and feel.

    [​IMG]

    This is the approximate configuration I'll run it in. You'll notice there is a small bulge in the middle. That is due to the cable consisting of somewhere between three and five layers internally that all have the same length. Because of the bends it does, the inner shielding is on a shorter way, so it has to compensate by bulging. (I hope that was an understandable explanation) Not a big issue, though, I have more than 13mm below the GPU.

    [​IMG]

    The bend radius is also quite sharp, the cable is about 2.3mm thick and can easily do a 180 in just 5, maybe 6mms of space. This means that my solution for the GPU mount is feasible and I could even scrape 5mms off the case height at the bottom. This is a huge advantage over straight ended risers like the 3M one which would require me to make the case 20+mms higher.

    [​IMG]

    I also tested the distance the PSU has to have from the motherboard and the one used in my CAD model is perfectly fine, could even reduce it a little bit.

    I installed it into Freilite Alpha and am writing this on that rig right now. :D
    Additionally, I tested the performance non-scientifically with GTAV, and still got smooth 60FPS in 1080p as always. (Most settings on very high, some on high, density and variety settings on maximum, no AA, 16x AF)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I will have to order a custom made ~360mm long riser for the real prototype, but right now I just wanted to assess whether everything fits, which it fortunately does.

    There were connectivity issues when installing the riser first, but that was quite probably caused by the way I bent the riser (very close to the solder points, and LiHeat does offer "armoured" versions of their risers that prevent that sort of thing. Once it ran, it ran really well, though. The connection is well made, even waving the GPU around, bending the riser like crazy and wiggling on the connections didn't change a thing. Very solid, I love it.
     
  4. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Small Update!

    So the conversation with LiHeat is going very smoothly, they linked my build log update about their riser on their facebook page and even offered to send a riser with the correct length to me free of charge! :D
    We were also talking about the necessity of using the B type riser like I did so I asked them whether they could measure the minimum height for me with both A and B type risers. This is the result (red lines were made by myself, yellow by LiHeat):

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the A type riser takes up quite a bit more space vertically, but it also clears the side of the GPU and would let air flow out way easier.
    The problem is, 54mm are about 2mm too much for my case. So either I make the case 2mm thinner, which would increase the Volume from 4.7L to 4.8L, or I'll choose the B type riser.

    0.1L doesn't sound like much, but using an A type has an additional problem: Fan swapping for the GPU.
    With the B type riser, I could make it possible move the GPU down by 10mm and install a 120mm, maybe even 140mm fan instead of the stock ones, which could improve noise levels for certain GPUs.
    With the A type riser, that's not possible, and I kind of fear that I would regret that decision later on.

    I really don't know what way to take at this point, so I made a strawpoll for you to vote on. If you have any other suggestions or reasons why I should or should not use an A type riser, it would be highly appreciated.
     
  5. esplin2966

    esplin2966 Limp Gawd

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    Isn't there a "C-type" riser (i made that name up) that doesn't have a 90 degree turn?

    Like this:
    [​IMG]

    I feel like that would work the best.
     
  6. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    LiHeat calls it D-type I think, and while it would theoretically work, it would require me to make the case even taller because of the length of the PCB and the bending of the ribbon cable. Right now, I could even shave a few mms off. With a straight riser I'd have to add about 10 to 20mm to the height.
    There was a bit of discussion on Dondans A4 and my first case design about the same topic.
     
  7. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Small Update!

    After seeing a few more answers on the poll and thinking about it all day, I decided to add the extra 2mm to accommodate the A type riser. Airflow for the GPU should NOT be an issue of any kind anymore.
    I also spent hours today going through multiple designs for the HDD brackets, because the previous one actually blocked the entire air intake for the PSU. Whoops. :eek:
    What I came up with solves multiple issues:

    [​IMG]

    • The front mount can be removed without interfering with the HDDs now, which makes building a lot easier
    • The HDDs don't protrude over the PSU anymore so they aren't blocking any of its airflow
    • There's no need to put adhesive foam tape on the PSU anymore. The tape will be put on the bracket and on the top panel to somewhat decouple the drives.
    • It is now possible to mount a single HDD in parallel to the PSUs orientation which alleviates all clearance issues with wider cards or CPU sockets close to the PCIe slot.
    • If two HDDs are used, there is now much more flexibility in moving the bracket around, allowing to always use the maximum space available

    I think those are very important changes. The only thing that could be criticised is that you generally have to remove the HDD bracket if you want to change the PSU because the former is resting on the latter, but as it's only mounted with two screws and can be removed very easily, I see this as a non-issue.
    Not sure whether I want to keep the screws countersunk or not, either. The ones for mounting the HDDs will have to be countersunk for spatial reasons, but the main mounting ones don't really need to, and countersunk M3 screws are quite small, so they won't offer as much stability.

    The other thing I spent a lot of time thinking about is the GPU mount. Normally, PC cases have slots that the smaller ends of PCIe brackets slide into for additional stability. But because the GPU mount on my case is bent backwards, I can't just cut such a slot into the sheet.

    [​IMG]

    I could theoretically just leave it like this, as the cards used in this case won't be very heavy anyway, but as this is a highly portable case that will surely be moved around a lot, I'd like to have a sturdy solution here. I thought about a single angled piece that would come through the back of the mount which could contain the slots.
    The front panel could also have those slots cut in, but maybe it would look bad having those two holes with silver or even grey steel pieces in it.

    Also, I thought a bit about the AMD R9 Nano, and noticed that the reference design is actually just 6" (~153mm) long, which means that it will easily fit inside the Brevis S even though it has its power connector sitting on the front edge.
     
  8. vipz

    vipz Gawd

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    For securing the GPU bracket, have you considered using screws? One or two screws at where the 135 degree angles are would probably do a decent job.

    A lot of cases I've seen have stamped slots where the end of the bracket is visible from the outside. I don't suppose you have access to stamping though?
     
  9. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Actually I didn't, that's a pretty cool idea! Not sure how well it would actually work, but I don't see a reason why it wouldn't.

    Unfortunately no, or at least I don't think so. I don't have a manufacturer yet, but I wouldn't want to spend lots of money on tooling for that.
     
  10. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Today I played around with ideas for the screws, and this is the best I could make (click for larger images):

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I don't really like this, to be honest. The missing screw in the rounded corner looks kinda odd, and I'd rather go for a cleaner look with less screws anyway, maybe even none, but that doesn't seem to be possible.
    There was a post on OCN recently where someone showed a ~11L case with a FlexATX PSU and sliding, screwless sidepanels that were then held in by the front panel.
    I think something like this might be possible by doing this:

    [​IMG]

    So there would be a slot milled along the whole front panel and the top and bottom panels would be chamfered, so you can slide the front panel on the bottom panel first, secure it with screws, then slide in the top panel from the back and secure that as well. I would probably need flanges on the top and bottom panels that allow screwing the panels in from the back like most regular PC cases do, but then most screws would be eliminated without sacrificing any stability. It may well be that the stability even gets increased by this.
    On the other hand, this may require to increase the thickness of the front panel to 3 or 4mm so the indent won't be a weak spot and the exact shape of the slot would be determined by the method of manufacturing.
    Also, having that chamfered edge of the panels be halfway visible around the chassis might look pretty cool.
    Is that worth it, though? Or should I just go with the screws as they are right now?
     
  11. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    So I've made a mockup for a banner. First the Freilite banner, the logo would be just the F. (Click images for full-sized version)

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I somwhat dislike the first "e", it does look kinda off, but I can't really put my finger on it.
    And two ideas for the Brevis S banner. The only difference is the font. Not sure which one I like better.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Whaddya say?
     
  12. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    The "Freilite" is totally unreadable to the people that didn't knew the name before reading it.

    Writing something on it doesn't help it either. Additionally I've got a feeling that this kind of attachment fits more to the updated version of something rather than the initial run of some kind of product.

    Apart from that - I'd make something like FreiLITE Brevis S meaning a combo of big/small, but standard machine letters, find some proper font for it and that's what'll be on the case.

    You can then write the italic and classic/handwrittenlike Brevis S on the box and the promo materials or vice versa(only the model name on the case front).
     
  13. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hm, I thought I made it pretty readable, but maybe you're right about that.

    Well apart from maybe the F logo, I don't really plan on having any branding on the case, that would ruin the looks. And I don't think I'd put it on the front, maybe it would be engraved in the side panel. The banner was more as an idea for watermarks in the corner of pictures and as a banner on a website I'll eventually have to make and promotional material, yes.

    I think having some kind of branding is important, but as I already have a logo that I quite like, the rest is optional. I'd not put just the case name into promo materials, I'd always want to have the logo there as well.

    Maybe I could use just the F, which is pretty recognizable, and the name of the case, instead of the whole Freilite name. That could certainly work.
     
  14. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Meanwhile, I've made a parts compatibility list for the case for Mainboards, GPUs and CPU coolers. I don't think it covers every last component in existence, but it's still quite extensive and I tried to give a good explanation on what sort of restrictions you're facing with different components. It's read only at the time, but your feedback would be much appreciated, especially on the Footnote explanation table. :)
    During the compilation of that list, I also decided to make the case 6mm wider (so we're at 420mm now) in order to make sure that every mainboard and every GPU can fit 2 HDDs when angled SATA connectors are used. That was possible before, but only with very specific connectors and close to no clearance whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  15. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    A few updates!
    1. Thermal Divider

    So I've finally made up my mind about how the thermal divider should look and this is what I came up with (as always, the images are linked to the full sized version):

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there are cutouts for the HDDs and the PEG connectors, but other than that, this 6mm thick piece of acrylic insulates the PSU from the GPU both thermally and in terms of airflow, so when a GPU is used that dumps most of its heat into the case, the PSU should stay as unaffected as possible and the heat will be exhausted through the side and back vents.

    2. Back Vents

    Because cards like that partially exhaust at the PSU and because there are a few Mainboards that block their side exhaust, I decided to add back vents to the case to allow the hot air to take a controlled path. The vents above the Mainboard and below the GPU are cut over the bend to prevent the sheet from ripping at those edges. When the time to prototype comes, I'll get different versions of those back panels to see whether the vents will actually make a difference.

    [​IMG]

    On a side note, that picture also shows the new GPU mounting with screws and small cutouts for the bracket tabs to fit in.


    4. Vent redesign

    As you can also see in the previous picture, the vents for the top and front panel were redesigned to fit together better. I didn't find a vent pattern for the front panel that fit with the angled vents on the top panel satisfyingly, so I made them the same. These may still be changed but right now I'm quite happy with them. Maybe I'll get different versions for those parts as well and see which pattern looks best in reality. I could also learn to render properly, but that's not nearly as much fun.

    [​IMG]

    5. Horizontal Stand

    You may have noticed four odd holes in the top panel in the last picture. "What are those?", I hear you ask. Well, I'm glad you did because those are the mounting holes for the new Horizontal Stand:

    [​IMG]

    This stand consists of a sheet of aluminium and a block of transparent acrylic which is screwed to the top panel from the inside. Then the top panel is screwed to the case, and then the stand is screwed to the block of acrylic.
    This means that the installation is a bit complicated, but it also means that the stand is very sturdy, very stylish, and allows for optimal airflow. I reckon the stand will be sturdy enough to place a screen of virtually any size on the case. This design also allows the top panel to stay relatively unaffected optically.

    6. VESA Mounting

    And the four holes for the stand also allow for a VESA mounting solution. To make that work, I adapted the idea of french cleats in woodworking to sheet metal:

    [​IMG]

    The grey piece get's screwed to the VESA75 mount, for example the back of a screen while the blue piece get's screwed to the top panel like the horizontal stand. Then, you just let the blue piece slide into the grey piece and secure them with two screws. Those pull the angled flanges together so they are secured quite easily. I may need to add ball-washers to account for bending, but the basic principle should work.


    That's it, thanks for reading! :D
     
  16. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not really an update, but I started working on the project again. If you aren't interested in technical stuff about the case, you can safely ignore this. ;)

    Mostly clean-up work, restructuring of the cad model, but I also wanted to ensure that this case is going to last.
    So instead of having tapped threads for all the screws, I will use self-clinching nuts, specifically Penns F4 Series. Very durable, very space efficient.
    Using these nuts instead of deeper ones is required to comply with the ATX standard in terms of distance from the mainboards conducting components, and I think they look a lot nicer than protruding nuts.
    This means that the main mounting panels now need to be 1.5mm thick instead of 1mm, but I don't see that as a disadvantage yet.

    I also decided to scale the motherboard screws up from M3 to M4 to have more surface area available for the motherboard to rest on, both on the standoffs and the screwheads. I know this is a bit unconventional, but with M3, the standoffs are extremely narrow, and this case is supposed to be put in backpacks and take a bit of a beating, so I don't want to take any risks.

    Two decisions are coming up that I'm a bit undecided about:

    1. Should the currently blank "bottom panel" get intake vents for the PSU, just like the top panel has them? It would greatly increase the amount of airflow available to the PSU, especially when it has a lot of cabling to deal with. On the other hand, that could really hurt the aesthetics for some people, I kind of like having one completely plain panel.

    2. Should the HDD mount be made thicker by 0.5mm as well? It doesn't really need to be that thick in terms of stability and it will give the HDDs less room to vibrate, but it would allow me to use ISO-standardised countersunk M2.5 screws, because their head is 1.5mm tall. There are screws that can be countersunk into 1mm thin sheets, but those are really hard to come by and that may hurt users that lose screws. I could also make the case another Millimetre taller to compensate for the additional height.
     
  17. EdZ

    EdZ Gawd

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    It's a neat idea, but it might be an issue. IIRC the specified hole diameter for ATX/miniITX is 3.96mm. That's just about fine for an M4 bolt, but means there is pretty much zero tolerance for even a slight variance in hole-to-hole distance for both the motherboard AND the case. Thermal expansion/contraction, slight non-flatness to the case wall (because the standoffs protrude so any angle will cause their ends to shift laterally), standoffs that are non-cocentric, etc could all be issues even if the case and motherboard holes are sub-mm perfect. Having stresses applied to the board can result in solder fracturing over time, particularly the solder balls under large BGA components (e.g. the LGA socket).
    Using standoffs with an oversized lower end (e.g. M4 from standoff to case wall, M3 for the motherboard to standoff thread) would still increase rigidity for case attachement, without the risk of stressing the motherboard.
     
  18. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wait, what? I don't get that. You need 6.35mm distance from the surface and you're going to use those completely flushed in? Did you forget to add that you'll be screwing those standard distances in?

    You should go for M3.5 and M4 with undersized M3.5 thread instead of going for straight M4.

    I can't see your case being used in vertical position (yet) - it looks too "tippy". Also you've already decided to use short flushed in threads so the screws will stand out a bit. There's no aesthetics of the bottom if its only in desktop position.

    I don't really get what your problem is. We're using 1mm thick sheet for everything and there's o problem with using all those standard screws for them. The only problem is when you want to use a screw both for side and bottom of the same drive, then you need such short screw.
     
  19. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    M3.5 would be perfect, 3.9mm is the normal through-hole diameter for this thread size, but I can't seem to find any self-clinching concealed head standoffs that are M3.5.
    M3 is too small, you have the same issue reversed; the standoffs are so narrow that the mainboard mounting holes have the smallest of lips to rest on.
    Maybe I should just bite the bullet and go for Unified imperial threads.

    You can also safely use 6mm, but I'm getting a bit closer than that.
    to attach the top and bottom panel, the back mount has two flanges which extend into the moterhboard area. At the top that's fine, but at the bottom that already reduces the distance to the board underside by the thickness of the sheet. Because the ATX defines maximum height for components that are electrically conductive and tolerant to being grounded at 3mm, I can even get a bit closer.

    The screws that connect the bottom panel and the back mount are 4mm long, so they have a distance of 4mm from the underside of the board, 1mm away from groundable conductive components and 1.5mm away from non-groundable conductive components.

    Having the flush nuts doesn't decrease that distance because they are only 1.53mm thick and don't extend from the sheet metal they're pressed into. All other nuts I could find were about 5mm high in total, which is too much.

    I also thought about using 8mm tall standoffs to be on the safe side.


    See above, couldn't find standoffs like that.

    I'll make a stand for the vertical position. There is a stand for the desktop position that turns the case on its face, hiding all vents on the "top" panel and only displaying the completely clean bottom one. That is important when you want to place a screen on the case, and that's where the vent holes will show.


    The heads of metric countersunk M2.5 screws are 1.5mm deep, and I need to use countersunk screws because all other heads are too tall and will touch the PSU, increasing vibrational coupling.
     
  20. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Today I've finally got a chance to test the LiHeat A type riser that they've sent to me a few weeks ago. Not anything to report really, everything worked just like I didn't use the riser, no matter how I bent or flexed it, and it will fit inside the case just how I planned it to. What a boring update.
     
  21. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm kind of baffled by LiHeat as a company - they're making the stuff that's extraordinary in segment of risers but at the same time I'm having problems communicating with them and of course their sites.

    Sending someone not working SAMPLE doesn't help their PR...
     
  22. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't think you understood what I meant by "works just like if I didn't use the riser". I meant that there is no difference in plugging in the card into the riser and plugging it in directly to the board. In other words, it works perfectly fine with no problems whatsoever.
    They test every single product they ship out, they really know how to do their job well.

    But yes, their site is bad and the reps don't speak english well if at all. I think they mostly communicate through Google translate, a real native speaking rep would really help them catch on.
     
  23. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wow, my bad, I misunderstood it as you meant there's nothing plugged in.

    Good to know it works.
     
  24. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hey guys, just a quick notice: I am still alive and working on this, but a mayor redesign for the interior is required. A lot of the Z170 boards that have been coming out feature a M.2 slot on the bottom, and I feel like I have to incorporate this fact into the design. Right now the board is directly screwed to the side panel which doesn't allow any access to the back of the board at all, and this has to be changed. Sorry for the lack of updates, I will do my best to work on it as often as I can.
     
  25. Siba

    Siba Limp Gawd

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    Couldn't the m.2 drive be installed on the back of the motherboard before installation in the case?
     
  26. Aircoookie

    Aircoookie Limp Gawd

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    This. It has to be done in most other ITX cases, too. It's nice that you think about it, but how often does one need to access his boot drive?
     
  27. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    I agree - also neither msata, mini-pci-e or m.2 are portable for moving them to other PC easily so it shouldn't matter.
     
  28. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Of course they can be installed before the installation of the board, but from what I've read on OCN, SFN, [H] and CB, a lot of users despise removing the board to upgrade or replace the drive, the same goes for the CPU cooler. LianLi actually got a lot of flack from users for using standoffs embedded in the side panel, something they changed in recent iterations of older cases.
    And unfortunately, removing the board takes quite some time, too, it's not just four screws.
    The PCIe riser has to be removed, which can be tricky because it bends so tightly underneath the PSU and you have to unplug the front USB and power cables as well.

    Of course, it's better than with other cases, but it's still a usability flaw that I see and would like to get rid off. To me it feels like I'm going for a premium product, and I want the user to feel like every little detail was thought about.

    M.2 is actually quite common on mATX nowadays as well, some boards even had mSATA ports.

    An added benefit would be that I could go for exotic exterior materials and finishes, which wouldn't be possible otherwise. I'm mainly thinking about wood there.

    Thank you for your feedback though, it's very valuable to get that sort of criticism.
     
  29. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    The thing is that if company such as lian li makes normal sized case and they didn't thought about it then it straightly sucks. If you're making a ultra slim case then it's understandable that some things won't fit there.
     
  30. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Don't know how that applies to this situation. If I can make it better, I will. Or fail trying ;)
     
  31. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good news everyone! I've managed to shrink the case a little bit again, it is now 59mm slim, so we're back below 5L at a whopping 4,88L!
    At this point, it is pretty much impossible to go slimmer, the I/O shield of the board has a little more than 1mm left to the beginning of the top mounting flange and the hard drives, PSU and ribbon cable make for a tight package with practically no room to spare, excluding the foam padding that should reduce vibrations of the HDDs a bit. The only way I could now shrink the case is by ditching support for 9.5mm drives, but that's simply not worth it in my opinion.

    Rebuilding the whole case is a tedious process, but it starts to show its benefits. I'm now experimenting with different Hard Drive mounting solutions, and having all of them on a single mounting point really eases the process of replacing them in the assembly.

    Anyway, things are still progressing, just not as fast as one would like them to. One day I'll present a prototype, I promise!

    In other news, it seems like I've finally found a good solution for the HDD MOUNT!
    For comparisons sake, this was the old design:

    [​IMG]

    It is nice and simple, a 1.5mm thick piece of aluminium, four holes for each drive. You can either mount two across the longest edge or a single one along it. The mount can be moved by about 20mm to allow the user to either use available space above the motherboard or next the GPU, depending on GPU height and socket position.

    I've disliked a lot about this solution, and experimented with a multitude of designs until I finally had this idea:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So as you can see, each HDD is screwed to a small bracket with two screws, which is then screwed into a slot on the right side of the mount. Again, this is mounted to the case through slots, so it can move to accommodate the components inside the case.
    While it seems like a simple concept, the advantages of it are plentiful:
    1. Because no countersunk screws are needed, thinner material can be used (currently 0.5mm).
    2. As only the screw holes on the side are used (where space is less of an issue), the overall package becomes thinner.
    3. The drives can now be decoupled more effectively with foam strips on the mount and on the side panel.
    4. Theoretically, 5mm thick drives are now supported as well, those only have mounting holes on the side. Not that anyone would want to use those, though.
    5. Drives can now be mounted upside down, which allows the connectors on the back drive to just barely fit behind the Motherboard I/Os Audio stack and gives a bit more clearance for CPU coolers on boards with their socket close to the PCIe slots. Both of these issues only appear with the widest of GPUs and can be resolved by using angled connectors, but if it eases the life of a just single guy, it's absolutely worth it.
    The only slight disadvantages I've found so far is this:
    1. The front HDD now extends over the PSU slightly by about 5mm. Not really an issue, but it of course blocks a little bit of the airflow for the PSU.
    2. Drives are connected to the chassis less sturdily, which could pose a problem during transportation. This is probably not going to be a real issue, as the drives are sandwiched between the drive mount and the side panel.
    3. The screws on the side ever-so-slightly increase the width of the whole package by about 4mm. I'll have to check whether that would actually be a problem or not.
    This is how a single drive would work:
    [​IMG]

    Now there are a few questions arising:
    1. Should I migrate (at least for this piece) from aluminium to steel? It would allow me to make the material this thin or even thinner without sacrificing stability, and I could get strong threads without using threaded inserts, which are hard to use so close to the edge anyway.
    2. How do I best fully decouple the drives? It seems like I could use rubber grommets where the drives attach to the brackets, but maybe there is a better solution that I can't think of?
    3. Any other suggestions on how to improve this piece?
     
  32. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,348
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    Sep 23, 2014
    An idea sprung to mind. You guys remember the Sharp X68000? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    [​IMG]

    Well, I've made a little brother for the Brevis S:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Inside that 24mm thin box, a slim slot-in ODD and four 2.5" HDDs of a maximum height of 15mm can be crammed, the latter of which are mounted on the same HDD mounting bracket the case itself utilises. Each of those brackets is mounted to the back panel with a PCI expansion bracket and they can be replaced to allow the use of various PCI expansion bracket extensions, mainly for extended I/O capabilities. In theory, you could run a PCIe x4 riser from your M.2 M-Key slot down there to install real PCIe add-ons.
    Alternatively, you could ditch the ODD and go for a total of six HDDs or twelve 7mm SSDs if you were to use stacking brackets, not counting the two drives in the main case.

    [​IMG]

    As a PCie bracket itself is already close to 22mm wide, this is how they are currently mounted to the case:

    [​IMG]

    I think that this is worth it for shaving off 4mm of thickness to get the extension as slim as possible. As it is right now, normal full-height cards would not fit this enclosure, though this is a rather quick draft (only took me 5 hours or so) of what I would imagine this extension to be and it should be fixable rather easily by using a thick spacer between the panel and the bracket there.

    In the current state, the extension blocks the rear screw holes of the main case, so in order to get to the components in there, you'd have to open the extensions, remove the ODD, unscrew the extension from the spacer and then remove the top panel. Hardly user friendly.

    -------------------------

    Personally, I really, really like this new idea. It makes the case something absolutely unique and allows me to play with lighting effects through the acrylic spacer and different ideas for front I/O. It also lets loads of ideas for potential builds and mods pop up, the extension could house a single-slot R9 Nano that is watercooled by a radiator in the regular GPU compartment, stuff like that.
    It literally gives room for loads of ideas where previously only a few combinations of components where possible.

    If this isn't the standard version of the case, at the very least it should be a prominent add-on.

    Unfortunately, though, this comes at a hefty price of an additional 3.64L of envelope volume (2.97L if you count the spacer and extension as separate boxes), so it absolutely has to be optional. It might be possible to tone that down, depending on the actual width the spacer needs, but it still pushes the case from the smallest case for ITX GPUs and internal PSUs close to a 9L beast that is larger than the Osmi.

    ---------------------------

    Now is to be decided how to make this as smooth as possible.
    1. Should cables from the main case to the extensions be routed out the back or through the acrylic spacer?
    2. Should the extension be made a bit deeper and taller to fit the footprint of the main case?
    3. How can I make the extension detachable in an easier way?
    4. Should the extension be made a bit thicker to avoid the small cuts in the sidepanels and/or center the ODD slot?
    5. Is there a better way of attaching the brackets to the case?
    6. How can I ensure reasonable thermal performance for U.2 SSDs inside the extension?
    --------------------------

    I'll work on getting a partial prototype made after exams are over, don't want to indulge into anything time-critical right now, but I've found four manufacturers already that all have the exact capabilities I'm looking for, all of them close enough for me to drive there.
     
  33. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Getting more work done, and we're ever so closer to the first prototype! I actually started to get quotes from manufacturers and while prices are looking to be reasonable at 100 units or so, a single unit is quite expensive. We're talking about roughly 110€ for just the GPU mount! :eek:

    Anyway, I've finally found a spot for two small details, the Kensington Lock Slot and the nameplate:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You can see a few other changes here if you look closely, but they aren't terribly important ;)

    Other things to look forward to are a small discrete door for the front I/O - which will be interchangeable, maximum connectivity is supposed to be 2x USB2, 2xUSB3.0 and 2x Audio - mostly-tool-less mounting for the HDDs, and a dedicated cable management solution.

    Width of the case has now been finalised at 59mm. There's no way to go below that without going out of ATX/ITX spec, getting custom length standoffs made (expensive) or changing the outer panel material to steel. I was also able to increase the depth of the case to 201mm, effectively giving a bit more tolerance for longer GPUs and more space for cabling, balancing on the edge of 5L at 4.957L.

    Anyway, the thing I'm really excited about is the HDPLEX PCIe x16 riser that I'll hopefully be receiving next week for testing. It looks to be ultra-thin and if it can perform well, it would solve all remaining big problems I have. It does have a somewhat strange concept where both sides of the cable have a female connection and they use a male-to-male adapter board of sorts to make the actual connection, but in theory that would allow to change the angle of the cable on the GPU side by just plugging it into the mainboard side. We'll see how it goes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    NFC likes this.
  34. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,348
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Current state of affairs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yeah that looks a bit dodgy, but I'll be working on that. The most important thing for now is that things fit.

    First off, I took all components, including the PSU, from Freilite Alpha. As some of you might now, I've cut a pretty big hole into that one (I discharged the cap, no humans were harmed in the making of this post):

    [​IMG]

    Aaaaand fixed:

    [​IMG]

    I also had to add the 40mm fan back in and boy I can't wait to replace this PSU with the SSP-300SUG because that fan is probably broken. Even at lowest voltage it sounds like a bumblebee on steroids, something I've never had to endure with other FlexATX PSUs.
    The noise under load would be tolerable if it was only whooshing, but the buzz makes it sound more like a miniature F1-Car.
    We'll see how that all turns out, cable harness will be done tomorrow or the day after that, I already received the package from Icemodz.

    This frame itself is NOT what I would consider final in any way, it's a functional prototype only! It does look ugly, be warned.
    So for fitting of components:

    Mainboard:
    Perfect fit, maybe a small gap for the screw next to the audio block would help with installation if the PSU is already in.

    [​IMG]

    CPU Cooler:
    The NH-L9 is close to the absolute maximum, maybe additional Millimeter would be possible. I love it.

    [​IMG]

    PSU:
    The reversible mount works just as intended, you can use all four screws in both orientations and the PSU sits flush with the bottom of the frame.

    [​IMG]


    GPU:
    [​IMG]

    Easy-peasy, the tabs on the other side aren't fitting perfect, though. Maybe I should allow more tolerance there. The screw between the tabs makes the fit extremely strong, I love the feel of that.

    But wait:

    [​IMG]

    No idea how that could happen. I am 100% sure that the cutout is way larger than the PCIe CEM requires it to be, but maybe the size of it was changed after Rev1.1? Only two screens for now, bummer.

    Also, it really annoys me how much space I left for oversized GPUs, but it does increase choice and hopefuly benefits GPU exhaust.

    [​IMG]

    PCIe riser:
    As you might've seen in the first picture, the LiHeat riser I've got here is just a wee bit short, so the GPU frame is not screwed into the main one right now. I'll probably order a second HDPLEX riser and just chain two of those for now.

    HDD:
    It's just sandwiched between the PSU and riser right now. It was a real pain to get it out of my old case because it was just taped in there with double sided mounting tape, which is made to hold picture frames to walls, but other than that, there's not a lot to test here yet.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
    Lazer1337 likes this.
  35. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    I like Your cable management :)

    [​IMG]

    One question: Your GPU holder looks very odd. Did You try to make it simply flat without so many bendings. It would be cheaper and more repeatable. The only different thing will be screwing the GPU to this holder outside the flat surface of the case (something like we did in Sentry). I think this GPU holder is too expensive in production in relation to its function.

    And one more thing: GPU needs at least 2 holding spots (PCI-E slot and GPU holder on the back of the case). I see here only one of them. Your riser will be attached to something, or maybe Your GPU will be levitating, screwed only to GPU holder?
     
  36. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
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    Sep 23, 2014
    I actually have something in store for cable management ;)

    Your concerns are valid, but there are two good reason for this shape. First, I don't want the PCIe bracket to protrude out the back of the case. When putting this inside a bag, it shouldn't damage any peripherals or the bag itself. Second, and this is more important, the PEG connectors. The case is designed in such a way that the PEG connectors can protrude into the area directly in front of the PSU, so the GPU has to be inset into the case by about a cm or there'd be no space for the cabling.
     
    Lazer1337 likes this.
  37. Lazer1337

    Lazer1337 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
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    Feb 1, 2016
    More Brevis updates!!! please :whistle:
     
  38. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
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    Sep 23, 2014
    Sorry, forgot to answer that. The GPU is actually screwed to the case at up to four points, the flanges and the angled tabs. I used only 3 screws for this one and the GPU is thus very stiffly connected to the GPU holder, it's not even wobbling a little bit.
    This is only possible because the GPU is so short. If my case was supporting full-length GPUs, you would be right that I'd need a second way to support it because it would sag too much.

    You'll get them!
     
  39. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014

    So i understand You are going to keep Your graphic card in a place only by "GPU holder" without screwing Your riser to anything (for me this is only one holding spot if You want to simplify torques/forces calculation, which will be acting on Your PCB in horizontal view)? There are some GPU manufacturers who use cheaper, less stiff PCB's. If You break your GPU during the transport in Your case, what do You think your GPU manufacturer say when You ask him for warranty? He'll probably ask how Your card was installed in Your case? Will You then say, that the only spot the GPU was held in a place, was the one-side holding bracket? I'm not sure this will be a good idea. GPU cards aren't designed to be installed in that way. For me this is a quick way to loose your warranty. Maybe try to attach Your riser to something? A simple steel sheet with two screws at least. It would definitely help.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  40. chx

    chx Gawd

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Let me remind you of the Samsonite Firelite are you sure you want to risk violating Samsonite's trademark? Consider -- in the UK at least -- it sells as Samsonite Firelite Case . Now you come and want to seel the Freilite case. I am not a lawyer, I am just a satisfied Firelite owner :) and a forum member here for quite some time now so believe me, this is just a friendly warning.